How best do we give children a quality education?
Posted: 13 Jan, 2011
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- I'm appearing at the BETT conference tomorrow and have been asked to address the following points and questions. What do other people think?
- Joe Wilcox who is organising the event writes:
- One of this event’s speaker, Toby Young, observed last month that British schoolchildren are now ranked 16th in the world for science, 25th for reading and 28th for maths, according to the OECD’s 2009 PISA report, compared with a 2000 PISA ranking of 4th for science, 7th for reading and 8th for maths. What does this tell us about the performance of the Labour Government’s education policies and about the issues the Coalition Government most urgently needs to address?
- How far do you welcome the November White Paper’s proposal to limit the remit of Ofsted inspections to just four key areas – teaching standards, leadership, pupil behaviour and achievement?
- How far do you welcome the White Paper’s proposal to spare top-performing schools regular inspections?
- How far have teachers been adequately prepared for their roles in recent years and how far do you welcome the changes to teacher training proposed by this Government? (Trainee teachers to spend more time in the classroom; more assessment of teacher training applicants, including tests of character and emotional intelligence; a “new generation of teaching schools on the model of teaching hospitals"; pledge to invest in doubling the number of top graduates who enter teaching through Teach First, and create a new scheme - Teach Next – to attract high performers from other professions into teaching)
- Michael Gove has described the National Curriculum as a ''straitjacket which stifles the creativity of our best teachers'' and has said he will give teachers more freedom to ''innovate and inspire''. How would you react to his assertion and what do make of his planned improvements?
- Michael Gove says GCSEs will be made "more rigorous" by stripping out modules, and GCSE performance tables will become "more aspirational" by judging schools on subjects such as science and modern languages rather than just in English and maths. How much of this do you support?
- Katharine Birbalsingh has alleged the existence of a culture in schools which forbids criticism of ineffective teachers. Is she right? Is she accurately describing a real problem, and, if so, how serious is it? Is this new Government proposing anything which might address any such problem?