Academies are not a magic bullet after all

Graham Stuart MP is the chair of the Education Committee

Graham Stuart MP is the chair of the Education Committee

The Education Select Committee has just published a report in which claims that academies will naturally improve educational outcomes are demonstrably unproven. In the words of the Conservative MP, Graham Stuart, who chairs the committee, ‘Current evidence does not prove that academies raise standards overall or for disadvantaged children.’ He added, ‘While some chains have clearly raised attainment, others achieve worse outcomes creating huge disparities within the academy sector and compared to other mainstream schools’ Continue reading

New Greek government launches education reforms

 Tasos Kourakis

International Tasos Kourakis, Deputy Minister of Education

Syriza seems to have hit the ground running with regard to education. The new Deputy Minister of Education Tasos Kourakis has announced a series of extensive reforms that are going to be implemented in education immediately, in a interview he gave to the Sto Kokkino radio station on Tuesday. Mr. Kourakis pointed out that “collective action” is necessary in order to implement changes with the best possible results. Continue reading

Primary school teachers and auxiliary staff ‘disqualified by association’

By Alan Gurbutt

PrimaryThumbsUpIn October 2014, the Department for Education published supplementary advice  to schools on what are called the “childcare disqualification requirements”.

The aspect that received the most attention was the “disqualification by association” part. In November 2014 the Independent reported “Teachers to be barred for living with offenders under new rules.” And in January 2015, the BBC reported “Schools suspend staff in child protection confusion”. Continue reading

Tristram blames Dave for ‘free schools’ failure

GindonHallChristianSchoolNow it’s becoming personal. When the second north east free school in a number of days was placed in special measures, Tristram Hunt blamed the fiasco on David Cameron himself.

‘David Cameron’s failing free school programme is damaging school standards – too many are failing their Ofsted inspections, one third have employed unqualified teachers and a complete lack of local oversight is allowing underperformance in these schools to go unchecked for far too long. Continue reading

Does Ofsted need Inspecting?

Ofsted-logo-gov_ukTom Sherrington, Head of Highbury Grove School in North London, has complained of “enormous flaws and absence of proper validity trials” in the current Ofsted inspection system.

Mr Sherrington, writing in his own blog, had rejected the idea that schools “can be judged in a meaningful way via inspections”. Continue reading

Teachers in France condemn the Charlie Hebdo murders

CharlieHebdoAmbulance The French teachers organisation Fédération syndicale unitaire (FSU) issued a statement today (7th January) on the Charlie Hebdo attack.

‘The FSU condemns the appalling attack carried out today against Charlie Hebdo. It expresses its complete solidarity with the victims and personnel of Charlie Hebdo. It offers its condolences to the victims’ families. Currently twelve people, journalists and policemen, have paid with their lives for the right of expression. Continue reading

Mrs Thatcher’s vision: schools Independent of Local Authorities

Letwin's note to Mrs Thatcher

Letwin’s note to Mrs Thatcher

The recently released Cabinet Papers from the 1980s show Mrs Thatcher as being keen on the idea of making state-funded schools independent of local authorities. It is a vision which for the political parties has something of an all-conquering character given its adoption by all the main parties. Mrs T may no longer be with us but her mark runs deep in a our national affairs. Continue reading