Education Mar 24 2010

Some private school myths

Private school heads have been on the rampage this month. First out of the trap was Andrew Grant, head master of St Albans School and chair of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses  Conference, moaning about the fact that his parents were made to feel guilty about paying school fees (£12690 per annum at his school). ‘It […]

Education Mar 16 2010

‘For profit’ schools on the cards

Interesting interview with Rachel Wolf in the Guardian today. It explains how the New Schools Network, which she runs, may entice private providers into running independent state schools by allowing them to make a profit. It is quite simple really. A non-profit making charitable trust, maybe a parent group, starts the school. Then they ‘contract […]

Education Mar 14 2010

School admission cheats may lose places

Parents caught lying to get their children into oversubscribed state schools should lose that place according to the Schools Adjudicator, and not before time. When his report late last year outlined the extent to which some families cheat their way into the preferred schools, the debate immediately shifted to whether those parents should be prosecuted. […]

Education Mar 13 2010

Do we need parent promoted ‘free’ schools?

Should parents start their own schools? This idea looks likely to be fiercely contested issue in the run up to the next election. The Tories want to give fund parents to set up ‘free’ schools, if they are not happy with their local provision, even if there are enough places available locally.Journalist Toby Young is the most […]

Education, Other Articles Mar 10 2010

Why parents don’t have to start their own schools to be “involved”

Its 20 years since my first child stated school. In that time parents have been urged to exercise choice, power, make representations, sign contracts, chivvy teachers, call in Ofsted, join governing bodies, start PTAs, help in the class room or simply make sure their children get to school on time, well fed and rested, wearing […]

Education Mar 9 2010

Swedish school reform comes under the spotlight

Swedish school reforms may not be all they are cracked up to be. According to the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE, pursuing the same policies over here might could disadvantage thousands of English school children. The Swedish reforms, on which the Conservative Party bases its ‘free schools’ policy, allow parents and other providers […]

Education Mar 9 2010

Who should govern schools?

I have written my Guardian column this week on governors – the Cinerellas of the education world.  Ever present behind the scenes, unpaid volunteers who need to be expert but objective and expected to perform that tricky dual role of critical friend to their schools. We rarely get a mention when school reform is argued […]

Education Mar 8 2010

Prince Charles to rewrite national curriculum

Prince Charles and former Countdown presenter Carole Vorderman are to be drafted in to rewrite the national curriculum, according to the Shadow Schools Secretary. Interviewed by the Times last week, Michael Gove set out plans to ‘rewrite the whole thing’ shortly after a general election victory because, he claimed, most parents would prefer a ‘traditional […]

Education Mar 5 2010

Independent state schools and accredited providers

The government today announced a list of accredited providers who can take over the leadership and management of schools if the parents believe those schools are are failing. Parents would be able to vote for a change of management and the accredited provider would come in and run the school as an academy, trust or […]

Education Mar 5 2010

Teacher training matters more than qualifications

Should we only train teachers who have 2:1 degrees or above? That is the proposal from the Conservative Party. Leader David Cameron says he wants the profession to be brazenly elitist, although he isn’t promising any more money to ensure that teachers are paid as much as other elite professionals like barristers, judges or city […]