Stories + Views

Page 1 of 22412345...102030...Last »
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Free schools and academies take more swift action to address literacy failure than LA schools, says minister, but DfE supporting ‘evidence’ is PR spin

‘The Government are committed to eliminating illiteracy…we are determined to raise reading standards, but free schools and academies are taking action more swiftly than local authority schools to tackle failure in those schools.’ Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, House of Commons, 21 July 2014 I asked the Department for Education (DfE) to describe the action being taken to raise reading standards and for ... read more and comment →

No comments

Be the first to comment!

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Rebecca Hanson: Assessment Reform – where are we now?

With reforms to assessment at ages 4/5, 6/7, 10/11, 15/16 and 17/18 pending, it's hard to know what's going on. So with the help of many kind people I've spent the summer compiling a short report which summarises what's happening, what the key concerns are and what the key calls for modifications are likely to be in the hope of ... read more and comment →

3 comments

Latest comment by Rebecca Hanson: "Web technology and computer adaptive testing are making it possible for schools to gather really detailed information about progress. But it's necessary to build the system of measurement from what it meaningful and possible rather than to come up ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Maurice Holt: Another Lesson from America

Ever since the Thatcher-Reagan love-in of the early 1980s, English education has taken its cue from developments in the US, united by a commitment to the Chicago school of neo-liberal economics which Reagan initially derided, only changing his tone when it became politic to do so. In England, the result of adopting Reagan-style outcome-led policies was Thatcher's flawed 1988 Education ... read more and comment →

5 comments

Latest comment by John Mountford: "This recent article on the BBC website is a very interesting indication of just how delusional the English media, private school supporters and many members of the public are and how utterly at odds they are with Maurice when it ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: The magic (and importance) of reading aloud

‘The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another…’ First line of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Read this aloud to a group of small children and you’ll immediately grab their attention. And it’s not just the adventures of a mischievous boy who realises being a king is lonely and wants ... read more and comment →

5 comments

Latest comment by Rosie Fergusson: "Couldn't agree more ...I well remember the teachers reading aloud for 10 minutes at the end of every day. " The Little Wooden Horse" when we were 6, "Charlie and the chocolate factory" at 7, "The Hobbit" at 8 and ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Henry Stewart: Why did Gove only celebrate academies and free schools?

On 10th July, in what may have been his last speech as Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove talked of "celebrating success wherever it’s found". I was intrigued by this claim and curious to find out whether this was true or whether it was another of Gove's Orwellian phrases, where he means the opposite of what he says. So I submitted ... read more and comment →

2 comments

Latest comment by jennyquestions: "Why did Gove only celebrate academies and free schools? Because he was busy aping the Americans turning a public service into a private one. In 1969 the first black paper was written attacking comprehensive schooling on principle; its authors were ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Georgina Emmanuel: Why are there no second chances for students in Year 12 in selective state schools?

A year 12 student in a selective state school (and I'm sure there are many more) has been refused admission into Year 13 on the grounds that their AS level grades, obtained this year, are not good enough to proceed to A levels. A few points of deep concern: 1. The student is able and well behaved with a good attendance ... read more and comment →

10 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Roger - pupils can still study the subjects without having to take an exam in the subjects There's too much emphasis on the outcomes and not where it should be - on the process. Time to dump high ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: DfE had received no complaints about ten of the Trojan Horse schools. Why, then, did Gove order inspections?

‘The Department did not receive complaints regarding the remaining ten schools which contributed to the decision to commission inspections.’ Department for Education (DfE) response, 19 August 2014, to Freedom of Information request 21 schools were inspected in April 2014 as part of the Trojan Horse investigations. Ofsted ordered six but the remaining fifteen were at the request of Michael Gove, then ... read more and comment →

14 comments

Latest comment by Andy: "Your guess/speculation is as good as mine ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Times clarifies headline about ‘worst school in England’

‘Young head is charged with turning round the worst school in England’ Times headline, 5 July 2014 The ‘worst school’ was Oasis Isle of Sheppey, an academy taken over completely by Oasis in September 2013. A new head, David Millar, the academy’s fourth, was appointed to lead the school. Isle of Sheppey academy had had a troubled history. ... read more and comment →

16 comments

Latest comment by Andy: "Janet and I are in agreement over the descriptors (see my comment 20/8/14 @ 7.46 am) "Janet, I share your feelings of doubt regarding “outstanding” behaviour. The S5 Handbook descriptor is explicit in this regard" In the absence of ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Henry Stewart: Lies, distortions and Free School press releases

It is great news that dozens of students from deprived backgrounds are going to top universities after studying at the Newham free school sixth form LAE. It has added to the transformation of education in the borough that has taken place over the last decade. See this great article from Christopher Cook in 2012 in the Financial Times, clearly impressed ... read more and comment →

11 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "John - thanks. The minimum entry requirements for September 2014 are at least 5 A or A* grades overall with at least a B in Maths and English. The minimum requirements for entry last September were, as you say, lower. 'the ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Did school praised by former schools minister receive prior notice of Ofsted inspection? And why did an academy in the same Trust tell inspectors it had become a maths hub despite being in special measures?

‘Whistleblowers say schools in Norfolk overseen by Rachel de Souza were able to prepare for visits days or weeks in advance’ Warwick Mansell and Daniel Boffey, Observer, 17 August 2014 One of these schools was Great Yarmouth Primary Academy (GYPA), an Inspiration Trust school. Dame Rachel de Souza, a ‘super head’ who accompanied former schools minister Liz Truss on her visit to ... read more and comment →

One comment

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "UPDATE: Ofsted is going to investigate the allegations that the three academies received advance warning. This investigation should also find out why an Ofsted monitoring report said Thetford Academy had become a Maths Hub when it hadn't. It ......"

Comment + Debate
Page 1 of 22412345...102030...Last »