Opinion

… from members of the New Visions for Education Group.

Are you a Group member with an opinion to share ? Send your article to info@newvisionsforeducation.org.uk and we’ll consider it for publication.

There are an awful lot of books about education and a great many more pamphlets and articles in learned journals. They cover every possible subject from every possible angle. If truth be told there’s an awful lot of repetition as every reflection on what constitutes good education and how the developing human brain works to absorb knowledge appears to be revisited for every generation and re-presented with only minor variation. Authors from both academic and practitioner sectors write prolifically lengthily citing and crediting each other but so often appear to be travelling in a circular rather than linear direction. (read more…)

Pay for academy heads

One of the arguments put forward for school autonomy was the ‘excessive’ salaries being given to chief education officers working in local authorities. A back-of-the-fag-packet calculation based on personal experience tells me (read more…)

Prime Minister Theresa May has once again been talking about ‘burning injustices’, referring to disparities in regard to things like educational outcomes and employment. There are many factors involved here but the secondary school system must surely be one of them. So what’s wrong? (read more…)

The draft charter for the National Education Service (NES), unveiled by Angela Rayner, shadow Education Secretary, at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on 26 September, says the NES “provides education for the public good” and that it will “be accountable to the public, communities, and parents and children that it serves. Schools, colleges and other public institutions within the NES should be rooted in their communities, with parents and communities empowered, via appropriate democratic means, to influence change where it is needed…”. (read more…)

‘Without a curriculum, a building full of teachers, leaders and pupils is not a school’ – Amanda Spielman, HMCI October 2017.

Two prominent and closely interrelated experimental movements have influenced the nature of schooling in the UK over the past 40 or so years. The first is the dominance of a neoliberal economic ideology over the ways in which society at large is viewed and structured; the second is the emergence of academy or charter schools which embrace the precepts of a market driven approach to the delivery of public services. (read more…)


Introduction

1. Theresa May’s surprise proposal to create new grammar schools, and subsequent forced retreat from the idea, has given encouragement to those who have always opposed grammar schools. If this tide has turned, could there now be an opportunity to build support for the final abolition of those that survived the previous project of introducing a comprehensive education system? (read more…)

It is always difficult to be sure of the true personalities of public figures. They create only impressions. Their true personalities are known only to those who know them well.

But that said, many of Theresa May’s public pronouncements have certainly lacked substance, (read more…)

To be honest almost all schools and inspections are… – ish Only a few schools are clearly and uncontroversially “outstanding”; only a few are undoubtedly “inadequate”. The vast majority are good-ish or requiring improvement-ish. Inspection is not a science but an art; it involves complex judgments all of which don’t necessarily point in the same direction. (read more…)