Stories + Views

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

Janet Downs: The way the DfE measures school performance is ‘limited’ says Audit Office, and asks if DfE expenditure on oversight and intervention was money wasted.

The way the Department for Education (DfE) measures school performance is ‘limited’, says National Audit Office (NAO), because it only focuses on education performance as measured by test results and Ofsted inspections. These are important factors, NAO said, but don’t reflect ‘the full range of children’s outcomes’. (The NAO didn’t define the ‘full range’ except to say some ... read more and comment →

4 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Andy - I was explaining how the NAO's report was hidebound by its remit (to judge schools according to the Government's own flawed measure). That's not to excuse it. Explaining doesn't mean I agree with their narrow definition ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: How big a problem is financial malpractice in academy trusts? Can the EFA cope?

Ex-Secretary of State Michael Gove said academies are subject to greater financial accountability than local authority (LA) maintained schools. And recent investigations by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) have indeed revealed financial irregularities. Two of the groups criticized – E-Act and AET – were large multi-academy trusts (MATs) responsible for very large amounts of public money. Oddly, ... read more and comment →

No comments

Be the first to comment!

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

emma kay: Islington – doing brilliantly without academies

Research published recently finds that expecting pupils to go to their local school has the net effect that poorer children are much less likely to attend high-achieving schools. This is demonstrably not the case in Islington, despite it being one of 10 most deprived boroughs in London. Pupils in this borough can go to their local school, regardless of postcode ... read more and comment →

2 comments

Latest comment by Andy: "I too wish Islington well and applaud them and moreover their parents for resisting the lure of academisation (i.e. 5 Academies and 1 Free School out of 56 schools) Out of 10 Secondary schools there no Free Schools and only 2 ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Largest multi-academy sponsor AET gets Financial Notice to Improve: EFA has serious concerns about ‘volatility’.

The Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), one of the chains barred from taking on any more academies, has been sent a Financial Notice to Improve (FNtI) by the Education Funding Agency (EFA). This follows further Ofsted criticism of AET academies following focused inspections in June: ‘too many pupils in the Trust are not receiving a good enough education.’ AET is the ... read more and comment →

22 comments

Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "agov - My experience was exactly as you describe. Changing to Google Chrome solved the problem completely for me..."

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: ‘Significant financial irregularity’ at Cambridgeshire college raises questions about how schools’ accounts can be effectively monitored

Serious allegations from a whistleblower about possible misuse of public money at Sawtry Community College, a Cambridgeshire academy, have been investigated by the Education Funding Agency (EFA). The EFA probe found significant shortcomings and the academy has been issued with a Financial Notice to Improve (FNtL). The EFA told Sawtry Community College it must comply with the Academies Financial Handbook ... read more and comment →

8 comments

Latest comment by Andy: "Hope you have more joy that I do. I use chrome and it is still hit and miss...."

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Would a proposed e-academy offering full-time virtual education really ‘reshape education in England’?

A proposed free school, Wey ecademy has a vision to ‘reshape education in England’. It will demolish ‘barriers to a first class education’ and ‘give choice to every postcode’. How will it do this? It will provide full-time education to 10-19 year-olds via the internet. Education is, of course, more than following a syllabus – it’s about children ... read more and comment →

6 comments

Latest comment by Alan: "There are parallels with health cutting public services so that the private sector can innovate technological 'advancements' as replacements for face to face care. Orders are to keep the elderly out of hospitals, monitored in their homes with iPads; tele ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Ministerial statement re secondary school results not impartial and didn’t meet professional standards, says UK Stats Watchdog

When the January 2014 school performance tables were published, they were directly linked to a press release containing a Ministerial statement by the then education secretary, Michael Gove, praising Government education policies. But the text containing the link didn’t make this clear thus giving an illusion of impartiality. This could ‘undermine confidence’ in the independence of school-level exam ... read more and comment →

No comments

Be the first to comment!

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Henry Stewart: The Academy Head, the £4,500 desk and the £170k salary

Academies have provided new levels of autonomy to schools. But some have perhaps used this a bit too creatively. At one London academy trust, consisting of two primary schools, the Head is now paid £170,000, the ICT support contract has been given to the Chair of Governor's company and the furniture spend includes almost £4,500 on a desk and £5,000 ... read more and comment →

75 comments

Latest comment by Cathy Wood: "Did she need the office to look nice for when Gove came to tea? He too has a track record for spending large sums of public money on furnishings. Perhaps it's an interest they have in common and can chat ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Janet Downs: Two B’ham schools taken over by ARK fail to impress Ofsted. Are there ‘no excuses’?

ARK academy chain has an impressive record with a string of favourable Ofsted judgements. Until 2013, all thirteen of its academies, six of which were new schools, were good or better. In 2011, ARK had claimed it was the ‘top performing multiple academy sponsor’. But so far this year, two of the three ARK academies inspected were less ... read more and comment →

13 comments

Latest comment by Andy: "A touchstone element of section 5 inspections is that progress be gauged from each pupils starting point on entry into a school. It follows then that if schools conduct a reliable benchmark assessment of all pupils joining them from ......"

Comment + Debate
Avatar Image

Sheila Madine: Voluntary Contributions undermine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to Free Education

As a parent and social researcher I believe the "Voluntary Contributions" asked of parents undermine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to Free Education. I am currently carrying out research on this hypothesis for my Master's in MRes Social Research Methods at Queen's University of Belfast. Of great concern to me as a parent is the ... read more and comment →

No comments

Be the first to comment!

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