Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

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 Tue 9 Mar

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 Tue 9 Mar

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 Mon 8 Mar

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 Fri 5 Mar

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 Fri 5 Mar

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 […]

Education Fri 5 Mar

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 Fri 5 Mar

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 Fri 5 Mar

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 Fri 5 Mar

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 % […]