Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Education Thu 13 May

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 Tue 11 May

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 Tue 27 Apr

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 Sun 18 Apr

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 Tue 13 Apr

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 Mon 12 Apr

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 […]

Education Wed 24 Mar

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 Tue 16 Mar

‘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 Sun 14 Mar

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 Sat 13 Mar

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 […]