Stories + Views

Page 1 of 22812345...102030...Last »
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Academy conversion is not a magic bullet, says Select Committee report which reveals flaws in flagship policy.

The Education Select Committee’s report on Academies and Free schools confirms something which has been repeated on this site for years: ‘Most academy freedoms are in fact available to all schools’. One freedom which is given to academies, however, is the freedom to opt-out of the centrally-mandated National Curriculum. The Committee has an answer: freedom to opt-out should be given ... read more and comment →

2 comments

Latest comment by Brian: "Interesting to watch the short BBC report from Petchey Academy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31008544 While not stating it explicitly the report implies that the positive comments by students are a result of academy status. In fact they could have been made by any student ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Paul Busby: Please Sir, can I have my wife back?

I am married to a primary school teacher. Sunday's used to be family days. Now? Every Sunday has become a full workday. It began by stealth - just a few hours each Sunday afternoon but now, with increasing pressure on planning and observations, it has become a full 8 hour day. Teachers work 195 days each year in school. For our ... read more and comment →

4 comments

Latest comment by R Waring: "Has the statutory workload increased, ie the s....tuff (you thought I was going to say something else then), that must be done, or is this extra stuff just unnecessary bureaucracy, (but perceived to be necessary (by non teaching SLT))?..."

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Ding Dong – a report’s ‘expected’ findings already being used as political football.

The Government’s flagship policies have had little or no effect on school improvement according to an Education Select Committee’s report due to be published this week, says the Guardian’s front page. Evidence that academy conversion raises standards is ‘inconclusive’. I can’t comment on the report because it’s unpublished. However, it’s already become a political football. Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt, ... read more and comment →

9 comments

Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "Your are right Trevor. This is because Tristram Hunt shares the ideology of Adonis and Blair (that had its origins with Margaret Thatcher) that market competition always raises standards. This may be true for for cars and computers but not ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: GCSE REFORM IN CRISIS by Trevor Fisher

This was published of behalf of Trevor Fisher who had problems posting. The exam reform programme hit serious problems in mid January, with proposed changes to Performance changes to disable the IGCSE programme only the tip of the iceberg (already discussed on LSN). A Level andAS have dominated attention, with the UCAS report issued 16th January, UNPACKING QUALIFICATIONS REFORM showing teachers ... read more and comment →

3 comments

Latest comment by trevor fisher: "dear john If you have read the pamphlet that I edited for SOSS (symposium on sustainable schools) on exam reform, Richard Pring wrote an article calling for a Royal Commission on exams. National Commission, Royal Commission, or something similar to the ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Andy: Ofsted to inspect but not judge academy chains: A marker or a defusing/side step tactic?

The Education Secretary gave approval for Ofsted to “take a closer look at the work of groups running chains of academies. But it will not be allowed to make judgments about whether a trust is effective or not.” This raises other issues: • Is it an indication of the consistent and persistent 'without fear or favour' attitude and approach to ... read more and comment →

12 comments

Latest comment by agov: "Here's another BBC report, from last October - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29723199 It quotes Wilshaw: "I do not have the powers to inspect and report on the overall effectiveness of the MAT. "The secretary of state for education has confirmed that she does not intend ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Morgan’s week: standardized tests, the value of qualifications and the vagaries of fashion.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has had much to say this week. She’s a huge fan of testing and inspection. League tables and Ofsted would ‘always be essential’, she said. Standardized tests are necessary to see how children are progressing, argued Morgan citing the work of John Hattie. But when Hattie talks of standardized tests he doesn’t mean mandatory, ... read more and comment →

No comments

Be the first to comment!

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: National Audit office pans DfE accounts – deeply concerned about ‘error and uncertainty’.

The National Audit Office (NAO) isn’t happy. It’s issued an ‘adverse opinion’ about the financial statements of the Department for Education (DfE). In layman’s language, this means the Auditor General is deeply concerned about ‘error and uncertainty’ in DfE accounts. It could be said that the NAO has given the DfE a Financial Notice to Improve – ... read more and comment →

No comments

Be the first to comment!

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Phonics test isn’t a performance measure, says Minister. But he praises free school for doing well on a measure that isn’t a measure.

Schools aren’t held to account in the phonics screening test, says Schools Reform Minister Nick Gibb (16 January 2015). That’s because it’s a ‘diagnostic tool’ and results aren’t published in school performance tables. It’s arguable whether this ‘diagnostic tool’, which cost £4.3 million to administer in 2014, can tell teachers anything they don’t already know. But that aside, why ... read more and comment →

9 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Schools Minister Lord Nash also doesn't appear to have read DfE research. He said: 'Our phonics programme is now acknowledged to have been a substantial success.' But DfE research found the majority of teachers were combining phonics with other methods (see ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: It’s the exam hokey cokey! Level 1/2 certificates were in, now they are out. GCSEs are Level 1/2, but they are in, not out.

‘As you know academic level 1 / 2 certificates, sometimes known as IGCSEs, were first counted in school performance tables from June 2010.’ Nick Gibb, letter to awarding organisations, January 2015,attempting to explain why IGCSEs will no longer count. This odd pronouncement ignores the fact that GCSEs as well as IGCSEs have been described as level 1/2 certificates. Department for Education ... read more and comment →

17 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "To add to the exam farce, the BBC reports 'large-scale testing' of the new maths GCSE papers will only now be taking place. Ofqual said this was an 'essential component' of its work. But this 'essential component' should have been ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Pupils praised for reading results would have started school under Labour

‘The 2014 Key Stage 2 results show that our reforms are already having an effect; a record proportion of children (89%) reached the expected standard of reading,’ said School Reform Minister, Nick Gibb, in a written Parliamentary answer. Gibb seems unaware that pupils who took Sats in 2014 would have started school seven years ago in 2007/8. It is misleading, ... read more and comment →

29 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Andy - I meant disproportionate to Gibb's intellect (meow!) . You're right, of course, Gove had a far, far greater impact but Gibb has been there acting as his mouthpiece and consigliere. As the Independent made clear, it's ......"

Comment + Debate
Page 1 of 22812345...102030...Last »