Government plans to extend the school day give further priority to political agendas which are aimed at pleasing parents (voters) rather than addressing the needs of very young children. Forty five hours a week in school is excessive for two year olds and much longer than many parents spend in the workplace; unless you happen […]
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Tag Archives | schools
As schools are given greater and greater powers over curriculum and teachers’ pay and performance, the business of governance and accountability comes under the spotlight. Statements by the Chief Inspector of Ofsted early this year spotlighted the role and perceived weaknesses of some governing bodies. What do we want from our school governors? What do […]
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 […]
How do you successfully engage all pupils in their mathematics and encourage their enthusiasm for learning? Rejecting simplistic solutions such as more or narrow, results focused teaching, Dan Port and Sarah Rowntree, Year Six teachers at Meadowside Primary School in Gloucester, explain how they instead wanted to change existing practice and enable children in their […]
England is ranked the worst country in Europe for the level of acquisition of foreign languages amongst teenagers. And yet for decades, English schools have tried to improve this situation, perhaps most notably through experimenting with teaching modern foreign languages in primary schools (PMFL). Clearly, something has gone wrong…
Of course most teachers and schools are good (and the best always realise they can improve). But some aren’t; and, however much support they’re given, will never be. And they can do enormous damage….
…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 […]
Spending on the pupil premium is due to rise to £2.5 billion in 2014-15 and it is billed as one of the coalition’s key progressive initiatives. However, effective implementation and informed evaluation of the policy’s impact require clear aims. At present, mixed messages risk compromising this valuable initiative’s success…
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?
The reason the tests plus inspections model has lasted 25 years despite constant criticisms of the kind you’re making is that no one has managed to suggest a viable alternative. No Government of any political stripe is going to do anything other than tinker with the current model unless something concrete, implementable and politically viable […]