Reclaiming Education Bill Takes another Step Forward (includes sound files)

Warwick Mansell made the opening speech for the debate

Warwick Mansell made the opening speech for the debate

The seven organisations which comprise the Reclaiming Education Alliance were out in full support of the ‘Reclaiming Education Bill 2015′ at a meeting in the House of Commons on Wednesday 25th February.

John Edmonds, in the Chair contextualised much of the prior work and activity that had preceded the evolution of the draft bill. As he pointed out, we were now at a critical time for education and the preservation of what remains of a national public service must be our top priority.

The keynote speaker was Guardian columnist Warwick Mansell who delivered a very thoughtful and incisive analysis of the state of education as perceived by the wider public. Continue reading

Time to Act – An Education Bill for the new Parliament

NewEdnBillOver the last year the SEA together with our partners in the Reclaiming Education Alliance has been promoting seven key principles that we think should be at the heart of a new government’s education policies. We believe that they all need to be implemented if we are to build a school system that promotes high standards, fairness and equality across the country. As we approach the election, we have developed our ideas about how the principles can be put into practice. Continue reading

Sure Start to be boosted by 50,000 new places

Sure Start logoOn the Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning, (Sunday), Tristram Hunt announced that the Sure Start programme, widely regarded as a Labour success, would be boosted by an additional 50,000 places after the election. When pressed by the host as to the funding of these sorely needed places, Tristram said that the education department would require local authorities to open the doors of currently mothballed buildings and that charities or private companies would fund the actual provision. 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

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

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