Stories + Views

Page 1 of 24812345...102030...Last »
Profile Photo

Janet Downs: Busting another myth: anything lower than GCSE C is a fail

‘Fine schools for students who fail GCSE Maths and English’ Policy Exchange press release, 25 August 2015 You would think from the headline that Policy Exchange was suggesting fining schools for every pupil judged U in GCSE Maths and English because U (or X) is a fail according to Government Data. You would be wrong. The think-tank is suggesting schools ... read more and comment →

3 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "John - the same applies in Lincolnshire, Kent and other selective counties. The schools which have very few previously high-attaining pupils (because they've been creamed off to attend grammars) and a large proportion of previously low-attaining pupils are bound ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Nigel Ford: Former comprehensive school athletes do our country proud

After our phenomenal success in the 2012 Olympics, comprehensive educated Mo Farah, Jess Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford have won gold medals in the World Championships for Great Britain. Private schools have a huge ambition to dominate in sport which is why they invest so heavily in facilities, coaches and bursaries for talented young sports people. But the state sector has pretty much ... read more and comment →

7 comments

Latest comment by PiqueABoo: "Yet we can't ever celebrate comprehensive school children who are academic high-flyers because that would be elitist and make other children sad etc...."

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Janet Downs: Shattering more myths – ‘Education in England and Northern Ireland has worsened over four generations’

We’ve been here before. When the OECD Adults Skills Survey was published in 2013, the media seized on the fact that young adults (age 16-24) in England and Northern Ireland had the same literacy and numeracy levels as adults facing retirement. The media concluded this was because education in England and Northern Ireland had gone backwards. But, as I ... read more and comment →

7 comments

Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "Quite so, Janet...."

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Roger Titcombe: Schools should be ‘fined’ if pupils fail get C at English and maths GCSEs, think-tank says

This suggestion was featured in the Independent of 25 August. Most schools teach GCSE maths in ability sets. Set 1 has a higher C grade pass rate than Set 2 and Set 2 higher than set 3 etc. Why is this? Obviously the lower set teachers either are not trying hard enough or are not good enough, so why not make ... read more and comment →

11 comments

Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "I recall that when he was the Birmingham Chief Education Officer many years ago, Tim Brighouse proposed that the GCSE Grade used for school evaluation purposes and the target for most pupils should be E not C. There is a lot ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Janet Downs: Praise for state schools is overdue – pity it’s just for a tiny number of mainly selective ones

‘What’s happening in our state schools is little short of a miracle. Staggering advances have been made by teachers and Academies freed from the heavy hand of the state.’ ‘Staggering’ indeed, that the Daily Telegraph, in an article by Fraser Nelson, should praise English state education. Could it be the paper is acknowledging the OECD 2010 finding: UK state ... read more and comment →

17 comments

Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "There is more relevant stuff in Section 4.7 of 'Learning Matters' entitled, 'Why was it impossible for Hackney Downs School to succeed'. I quote from my book as follows. Was it just a very poor school that deserved to be closed ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

trevor fisher: Making sense of nonsense

It is a sign of a very bleak time in state education when trade union leaders agree with the leader of the Confederation of British Industry, but the recent speech by CBI head John Cridland on June 19th drew support from Mary Bousted of ATL and Christine Blower of the NUT. The CBI chief was pointing to a major ... read more and comment →

7 comments

Latest comment by Guest: "Janet - Not to mention the scrapping in 2010 of the 2008 National Curriculum that embedded opportunities for the PLTS theme, which was consulted on by employers before it was launched. This focused on growing the soft skill sets ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Janet Downs: New Schools Network redefines Requires Improvement as ‘failing’ to justify setting up free schools in areas where they’re not needed

New primary school places are desperately needed in some parts of the country. That’s been known for some time. The bulge will soon hit secondary schools but local authorities can’t set up their own new schools. The presumption was that all new schools should be academies or free schools. Now, as Fiona Millar discovered, the presumption ... read more and comment →

5 comments

Latest comment by Guest: "It would be mud in the eye for both Murdoch (Sunday Times mischief making) and NSN to create and publish data on the number/%age of Primary and Secondary phase Free Schools and Sponsored Academies that are grade 4 and 3. That ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Janet Downs: Cameron ignores evidence and repeats discredited soundbites to paint positive gloss over Education Bill

Stop exaggerating academy success, said the Education Select Committee. Informal intervention such as local support is more effective (and cheaper) than academy conversion, said the National Audit Office. Non-academies can do most things academies can do, said the Academies Commission. Data from the Department for Education (DfE) showed sponsoring academies is not the best route to school ... read more and comment →

4 comments

Latest comment by agov: ""I suspect their days are numbered" Francis Gilbert said the same on C4 News last night. It was notable that much of what he said appeared to come as something previously entirely unconsidered by Katharine Birbalsingh. She didn't appear ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Fiona Millar: How to get 500 free schools PDQ. Easy, just change the rules.

The Conservatives went into the General Election promising to deliver 500 new free schools in the course of this Parliament. It seemed an ambitious target at a time of austerity when the creation of new schools (often in areas of surplus provision) was being questioned. But new guidance slipped out at the start of the summer holidays makes it clear just ... read more and comment →

41 comments

Latest comment by David Barry: "Actually having now had a bit of a google I can see that the "huge row" is well started. There is a very large and organised group opposing this. Two thins that struck me:- The fact that this extra money is needed, ......"

Comment + Debate
Profile Photo

Janet Downs: Schools minister’s lack of thinking skills leads towards Gov’t control of exam setting

In the past, exam boards ‘pandered to some in the educational establishment who believed that qualifications should assess vague thinking skills rather than core subject knowledge,’ wrote schools minister Nick Gibb in the Telegraph. Leave aside the argument whether exams should just test factual recall or the ability to use knowledge acquired, what does the article tell us about the minister’s ... read more and comment →

9 comments

Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "The argument appears to be 1. If there are lots of exam boards it doesn't matter if one screws up but if there is only one exam board then it would be a disaster if it screwed up. 2. We have Ofqual ......"

Comment + Debate
Page 1 of 24812345...102030...Last »