Education Aug 16 2010

Watch out for private school spin and dodgy statistics

The private school spin machine is cranking itself up, in readiness for its usual post GCSE and A level orgy of self congratulation. Consider the story on the front page of this week’s Observer, which claimed that privately educated pupils were expected to get’ three times as many of the new A* grades at A […]

Education Aug 4 2010

Should the Premier League run schools?

Immediate reaction to this story, that the Premier League wants to sponsor free schools? This used to be called the silly season when I was a daily newspaper reporter. Parliament has risen, everyone is on holiday, the free schools policy is looking a bit shaky with only 62 applicants, the government wants a gimmick to […]

Education Jul 24 2010

Questions for the New Schools Network

Just discovered this organisation –The Other TaxPayers Alliance – interested in ‘fair’ rather than ‘low’ taxes. One of its current projects is to discover how the New schools Network, a registered charity, was given £500,000 by Michael Gove to deliver the government’s flagship policy of helping parents start their own ‘free’ schools. There are several […]

Education Jul 21 2010

Not exactly a ‘schools revolution’ Mr Gove!

Today the Anti Academies Alliance publishes for the first time the list of schools seeking academy status by September 2010. We believe that there are around 24 schools that have passed governing body resolutions and a further 11 who may be starting the process of transferring staff to the new employer without passing a resolution. […]

By Alasdair Smith 3 comments
Education Jul 20 2010

Unaccountable bureaucrats to run new academies and ‘free’ schools

There has been a lot of loose talk in the media about academies receiving their funding directly from the Secretary of State for Education. Though this was true under the last government it is no longer the case. That responsibility has now been transferred the Young People’s Learning Agency for England, otherwise known as the […]

By Guy Dixon 1 comment
Education Jul 19 2010

Swedes pass new legislation to control ‘free schools’

Today the government starts the process of forcing its Academy Bill through the House of Commons, using emergency legislation that has only previously been deployed to rush through the Dangerous Dogs Act. How ironic that at the same time the Swedish government, on whose education reforms the Coalition’s policies are based, has had a re-think […]

Education Jul 12 2010

Join the fight back on BSF and Gove’s pet projects

Once upon a time there was a Tory Secretary of State for Education called John Patten. He was generally thought to be a hapless disaster, whose time as a Cabinet minister in the early 1990s was taken up with trying to get as many schools as possible to opt out of local authority control. He […]

Education Jul 11 2010

David Cameron is wrong about London state schools

So David Cameron claims to be ‘terrified’ of the secondary school choices available to him as a parent living in London. He needs to get out and about a bit. I must declare an interest. I am chair of governors of two London schools, I was educated in London state schools and have three children […]

Education Jul 4 2010

Not so happy in ‘Nappy Valley’

Here is an interesting microcosm of the new education landscape – ‘Nappy Valley’ is an affluent enclave between Wandsworth and Clapham Common in South London. To give you an idea of the residential geography – an online search of house prices suggests not much change from £1million for a two bedroom house. Lots of those […]

Education Jun 23 2010

Most parents happy with their children’s schools

Guess what?  You won’t read it in the papers but most parents are happy with their children’s schools. A research review, carried out by RISE (Research and Information in State Education), looked at evidence gathered over three years, covering over 20,000 parents.The vast majority (over 90%) were satisfied with their children’s schools and over three […]