Education Jun 23 2010

Policy on the back of an envelope

Three cheers for Mary Gibson, the Islington head whose robust defence of her school’s community school status made headlines in her local paper earlier this month. She has taught in the North London borough of Islington for 40 years, runs an outstanding school, was awarded an MBE recently and is defiant: ’This school will become […]

Education Jun 19 2010

School reforms face set-backs

Oh dear. Michael Gove’s school reforms seem to have hit choppy waters already. For a start there is clearly no money to build all his  ‘free’ schools. The IT fund he hoped to raid for capital investment in this financial year is partly spent and, according to the Guardian, the Treasury is less than happy […]

Education Jun 18 2010

How much extra money will academies really get?

There is currently considerable confusion in relation to the funding that schools that become academies under the current bill before parliament will receive compared to what they currently receive. This confusion seems partly the result of comparisons with what happened when the Conservatives were last in power and Grant-Maintained schools were considerably advantaged both in […]

By Guy Dixon 4 comments
Education Jun 15 2010

A legal opinion on the Academies Bill

The new Academies Bill, currently going through Parliament, is a short document, with profound implications for many pupils and parents in the schools that choose to ‘opt out’ and their neighbours. Here is a summary of what they might mean  from David Wolfe , a barrister from Matrix Chambers, in London, who has been involved […]

Education Jun 11 2010

It could have been worse. We could have got Eric Pickles.

I am Head of an inner city secondary school. Its non selective and local authority controlled and as result it is about to become deeply unfashionable. As the likelihood of a Conservative government grew over the last 18 months I began to take an interest in their policies. I attended talks, read policy documents and […]

By Urban Head 4 comments
Education Jun 10 2010

Charitable status – a suitable case for the cuts consultation

I am grateful to my other half for his robust blog pointing out that George Osborne ( St Pauls) and David Cameron (Eton) could start their cuts programme by getting rid of charitable status for fee-paying schools. Whenever anyone raises this question, the usual reaction is that it isn’t worth very much money (around £100 […]

Education Jun 9 2010

What is the IGCSE and what does it mean for our schools?

The decision – and early decision of the coalition government — to ‘allow’ state schools to offer IGCSE is actually far-reaching. As this narrative suggests, it reaches back into the heart of the educational divisions – the divisions of class, status and hierarchy – which underlie – oh, so shallow under the surface – English education. In the 1960s, there was a clear pecking order of examinations: O-level for an academic minority, CSEs for the upper reaches of the secondary modern, and vocational training for the majority. IGCSE needs to be seen in this context as an attempt to restore the hierarchy of qualifications.

By Chris Husbands 4 comments
Education Jun 6 2010

Governors should consult parents about changing their schools

Governors are in the front line of the new education plans. Even though Secretary of State Michael Gove only sent the letter inviting schools to become academies to head teachers, it is school governors who must pass a resolution that allows Gove to ‘order’ the local authority to cease funding their school so an academy […]

Education May 30 2010

Time for the Labour leadership contenders to speak up about Gove’s plan

Link to original article in the Independent on Sunday The Labour Party has been strangely silent on the issue of coalition education plans for thousands academies and free schools run by parents, charities and private companies, as have all the candidates for the party’s leadership. All but Ed Balls, currently shadow schools spokesman, might argue […]

Education May 27 2010

So much for parent power…

Link to original article on Comment is free Amid all the furore over academies and free schools, one important fact has been overlooked. There is no role for, or consultation with, parents in the new fast track process to opt schools out of their local authority. Remember it is only ten days since David Cameron […]