Education May 25 2010

Some questions for Michael Gove about his 2000 academies

On the eve of the general election, a friend of mine who is an expert in education law suggested that in the event of a Tory election victory, one quick way for David Cameron to get his much coveted changes to the state school system would be to send the following letter to existing academy […]

Education May 21 2010

What about the parents who don’t want to start their own schools?

What happens if you don’t want to set up a new school? The Tories appear to have won the coalition battle on schools policy and new ‘free’ schools’ set up by parents, charities and profit making companies will be pushed ruthlessly. All the signs are that, in spite of the Liberal Democrats grass roots commitment […]

Education May 15 2010

Will teachers really get freedom over what they teach?

Interesting piece by Mike Baker on the BBC website, speculating about how far this government will be prepared to go to ‘free up’ the primary school curriculum. Mixed messages came from the Conservative Party during the election campaign. On one hand they promised to ask schools simply to focus on the three R’s, but with […]

By Fiona Millar 1 comment
Education May 13 2010

Join my campaign for ‘properly accountable’ schools

The Liberal Democrats claim to have won a concession on Tory schools policy. Under the new government schools will apparently have to be ‘properly accountable’. But what does this mean? My suggestion is that all schools, current and future, should be maintained, rather than independent state schools.  It is a subtle, but crucial distinction. Maintained […]

Education May 11 2010

Why would Michael Gove want to give his job to a Lib Dem?

Why did Michael Gove seem so ready to give up his Cabinet job to Lib Dem Education spokesman David Laws as part of the coalition negotiations? It is true that the Lib Dems have their soft Tory/rightish wing, rooted in organisations like Centre Forum, which argues that Tory education policy doesn’t go far enough, and […]

Education Apr 27 2010

Time to get real about the early years

Where are the women in this election, or the debates about children, families, work life balance? The media fascination with ‘free schools’ and the focus on idividual parents who want to start them, has crowded out too many other important issues that matter to all parents. Most depressing has been the almost complete lack of […]

Education Apr 18 2010

Prepare to take your placards to Dubai and Stockholm

The debate in today’s Observer about the Conservative’s ‘free schools’ policy, and the privatisation of education,  raised more questions than it answered. But now that the real motive has been established – which is not to empower ordinary citizens but to remove control from the public sphere altogether and hand it over to private sector […]

Education Apr 13 2010

The truth about A level pupils and free school meals

Link to original article in Education Guardian A key claim in Conservatives campaigning on education issues, about which we will see more today as their manifesto is launched, is that fewer than 200 pupils eligible for free school meals get three A grades at A level. Actually the figures are vague. Sometimes it is 189, […]

Education Apr 12 2010

Class divides our schools

LInk to original article on commentisfree The Sutton Trust report today, on social segregation in schools, achieved the predicted headlines. The use of IDACI data, rather than free school meals, to assess pupil disadvantage, suggested that a small number of comprehensive schools had fewer poor pupils than some grammar schools. A media focus on that […]

Other Articles, Policy Apr 1 2010

An alternative manifesto for parents

Parents will be centre stage in the coming election, just as they have been for the last twenty years. Much will be said and done in our name and the debate will undoubtedly be  coloured by the views of a small group of media commentators whose personal experiences are not necessarily representative of the nation […]