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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 →

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Latest comment by Barry Wise: "Is it possible to find out whether what these schools have in common is a particular threshold %age of Muslim students or a Muslim majority?..."

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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 →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Andy - thanks for confirming my suspicions re 'outstanding' behaviour. I can honestly say that few of my pupils displayed a 'thirst for knowledge'. That's not to say they weren't (occasionally) inspired but it wasn't cool to show ......"

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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 →

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Latest comment by 'John Smith': "An interesting and useful piece - thanks. I have a child entering his second year of sixth form at LAE next month (so the cohort behind the one being mentioned) but the minimum entry requirement for my child was 5 ......"

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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 →

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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 ......"

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Henry Stewart: The Success Story from Newham

One highlight of today's A level results was the great results from a sixth form college in Newham. Based in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, over 60 of its students are set to go to Russell Group universities. It is a college that succeeds in getting more disadvantaged students into higher education than any other sixth ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "Patrick 'I still have not had an answer as to what is wrong with slow but steady grade inflation (if it exists)? Who suffers if CCC in 1965 is equivalent to AAB now? What harm has been done? But what is AAA ......"

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Francis Gilbert: What really matters

Why do 95% of teachers not know about what really works in the classroom? Why are the media and politicians even more clueless? According to Mike Bell, who runs the Evidence-Based Teachers’ Network (EBTN), very few people are actually aware of the teaching techniques that are proven to work across all the age ranges and subjects. Bell feels this is because ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Andy: ""I am entirely confident that none of your generalisations ... apply to my school", to which I would add that I have yet to meet a Primary School SLT member who doesn't have a timetable. It has also been ......"

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Jo Anderson: Supporting my local (RI) school

I am a MFL and ICT teacher and have taught in inner city and rural schools over the last 15 years. In my role as SCITT Programme Leader, I am privileged to work with staff and children in a huge range of schools in my local area. Having spent some time this summer holidays preparing training sessions for our ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Roger - a lovely little village school in Rutland was judged Inadequate a few years ago. The report showed the school was Satisfactory or better on all counts bar one - achievement. There had only been 12 pupils ......"

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Janet Downs: Glaring gap in national curriculum and ‘the needs of the community, society and world’, says Robin Alexander of the CPR.

There’s a glaring gap in the new national curriculum between what is mandated and the ‘needs of the community, society and world in which our children are growing up,’ says Professor Robin Alexander in his latest blog for the Cambridge Primary Review (CPR). The CPR recommendations, based on years of research but never implemented in this country, included a framework of ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Roger - such dilemmas can be approached through the study of literature, history, geography and science. When I taught Business Studies I introduced business ethics (which wasn't on the syllabus). So we discussed things such as misleading marketing, ......"

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Janet Downs: Inadequate free school will close and reopen in September with new sponsor, name and brand

The notoriety surrounding Al-Madinah and the Discovery New School seems to have bypassed Hartstbrook E-Act Free School. Ofsted judged it Inadequate on all four counts in January 2014. The free school was opened in September 2012 by E-Act, an established academy chain, and was partnered by the independent Highgate School. The academy trust, despite its avowed experience in ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "The DfE denies Hartsbrook E-Act is closing, according to EverythingFreeSchools. The homepage of the consultation website (linked above) for Hartbrook E-Act clearly says this: "Changing Sponsor - A fresh start for Hartsbrook The New Free School due to open September 2014" The school will ......"

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Fiona Millar: If the league tables went missing for a year of two, would it be the end of the world?

What would happen if we had a few years without the league tables? I have been pondering this idea since reading the letter Ofqual sent to schools in late June. In it the chief regulator, Glenys Stacey, warns of even more “variability” in this summer’s exam results than we have experienced in recent years Actually that is probably a polite interpretation ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Andy: "You are proving my point. What I said on the earlier thread you cite is consistent with what I have said on this thread. Additionally, when I assert my right to highlight and address deliberate misrepresentations of what I have ......"

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