Education Mar 5 2010

Are our schools really failing?

The received wisdom in parts of the media is as follows: state schools are getting worse the £37 billion spent on them ( a 74% increase in real terms) since 1997 has been wasted there was once a ‘golden age’ when grammar schools reigned supreme,  giving poor children ladders out of poverty and into the […]

Education Mar 5 2010

Pupil premiums – good in theory but how will they work?

The Liberal Democrats and the Tories are proposing a pupil premium. But in a new report the Institute for Fiscal Studies casts doubt on how effective it will be in significantly reducing the educational achievement gap between children from rich and poor backgrounds.The report concludes that the cuts required elsewhere in school budgets might outweigh […]

Education Mar 5 2010

The things they say…..about academies

I sometimes laugh out loud at the things politicians say. Here is a gem from Shadow Tory Schools minister Michael Gove: ‘We need a new generation of schools run by teachers who know your child’s name, not by politicians’. What does he think happens in most schools now, that children are known by numbers or […]

Education Mar 5 2010

One in six children refused first choice of secondary school

One in six children this year failed to get a place at his or her preferred secondary school, according to today’s Guardian. At first glance this looks as though ‘school choice’ isn’t working in practice. But delve below the headline figures and it is clear that in many parts of the country over 90 % […]

Other Articles Feb 23 2009

Off ramps, on ramps

The Americans have a name for it –‘off ramps and on ramps’ – the process by which well qualified women either give up work completely or cut back their hours once they have children. In the more family friendly world of British working mothers it is known euphemistically at the ‘mummy track’. We may get […]

Other Articles Jan 23 2007

Parents on the naughty step

Late last year the Family and Parenting Institute, a charity which I chair, commissioned a poll  to examine what impact the current focus on parenting in the print and broadcast media was having on parents. It was a subject staff and trustees of the charity had been discussing for some time – the inevitable consequence […]

Other Articles Apr 18 2004

Forget Oxbridge and give me London any day

I suppose I was once what could be called a “university refuser”. I love every minute of my schools days in North London thanks to my active social life but did very little work and left with unimpressive A levels, little interest in higher education and a strong urge to go round America on a […]