Leaving aside the fact that 7% of our children are taught in private schools…the level of segregation within the state sector, most particularly by poverty and social class, is ‘an affront to social justice’ and we do ‘need nothing short of radical, whole-scale reform.’
Author Archive | Graham Birrell
During the final term of last year I heard numerous stories from highly stressed teachers, all worried about not receiving an incremental pay rise owing to anxiety over whether their pupils’ test scores were going to hit designated targets. To put it mildly, these teachers didn’t seem fans of the new performance related pay system…
Trust has become a major theme in recent education debate. In this article Graham Birrell argues that despite the benefits it would bring, teachers shouldn’t expect to feel any more trusted post the general election.
For a number of reasons it’s getting harder to find schools to say yes (to student placements), with two factors above all cited – the fear of the progress data of a particular class getting damaged by teaching from a very inexperienced student and, similarly, ‘our data isn’t good enough and we’re expecting an Ofsted […]
After four turbulent years in charge, Michael Gove is no longer the Secretary of State for Education….In political terms, what Gove achieved in office was remarkable and makes him possibly the stand out minister of the coalition government. However, political success must not be confused with educational success. Thanks to his rush, instead of creating […]
Every three years the OECD produce a league table of what 15 year olds around the world can achieve in reading, maths and science. This time, they have added a fourth dimension: problem solving. In this piece, Graham Birrell suggests the new PISA tests themselves pose more problems than they solve. With a heavy feeling […]
Nobody is going to argue that high levels of teacher stress and consequent attrition are a good way to run an education system; even if they (possibly) get ‘results’ in the short-term, their longer-term damage is both an educational and a moral hazard…
…the government needs to use a lot more carrot and a lot less stick. A belief that you can force schools to improve leads directly to a culture where you demand that they do and punish if they don’t…Governments need to let go of the command and control model and replace it with a faith […]
We have now exchanged half a dozen articles, centring on data and accountability… can we actually agree on anything and have our views shifted in any way?
My point..is the highly detrimental effect the high accountability and data-driven regime is having on schools and on education…I’d like to look at a process that I think is particularly damaging. The process comes from the constant need for schools to show ‘progress’ and for pupils to take a childhood-ignoring upward path to ever greater […]