How Education Politicking Works

Yesterday I wrote a piece over at LKMCo about the reasons why secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, was right to big up private schools as being better than state schools. (Even though he wasn't correct). Writing the piece reminded me of a diagram I saw a few years ago. The author is Andrew Cooper, … Continue reading How Education Politicking Works

Let The Private Schools Take 25% At Random

The FT's Helen Warrell today ran a piece suggesting that momentum is developing behind a campaign to subsidise the cost of private school tuition for the poorest pupils. She wrote: Under the programme, the government would divert the average £6,000 spent on a pupil in the state system to a child from a lower income … Continue reading Let The Private Schools Take 25% At Random

All You Will Hear About Charter Schools Until 2017

This is Figure 1 from the 2013 CREDO Study Executive Summary. Get used to seeing it. I suspect it will soon become a new classic reference in education debate. By matching every student in a Charter School with a similar student in a nearby school, CREDO aims to see if there is a difference to … Continue reading All You Will Hear About Charter Schools Until 2017

“You get what you Gove”

New teachers quickly learn that demanding behaviour from students that you're not willing to demonstrate yourself is entirely pointless.  Calmness, courage, patience, thoughtfulness - you want them? Model them. Over, and over, and over.* Gove is often a pro at behaving courteously. He compliments question askers in Parliament, charms speech audiences with anecdotes, knows his … Continue reading “You get what you Gove”

The Two Battlelines of Teaching: Which One Are You On?

So I've finished re-reading Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind and I still cannot recommend it enough. He writes in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell and masterfully curates easy-read summaries of psychological and political research. Thankfully Haidt also summarises the main principles of his book. They are: Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second  - i.e. we decided what … Continue reading The Two Battlelines of Teaching: Which One Are You On?

The “Political Spectacle” of England and New Zealand’s Free and Partnership Schools

Last week I presented a poster at the Comparative & International Education Conference 2013 of some tentative findings from a discourse analysis of education policy implementation in England and New Zealand. The purpose of the analysis is to see what were the reasons given for the policy and whether their use was justified. Finding out … Continue reading The “Political Spectacle” of England and New Zealand’s Free and Partnership Schools

What Might Stop Excellent Academy Chains From “Scaling Up”?

The Coalition's education ministers seem convinced that academy-chains are  "the next big thing". Money is available for academy sponsors to take over failing(ish) schools, and chains are an increasing player in upcoming 'Free Schools'. Theoretically, 'successful' chains will deliver the economies of scale and quality assurance of LEAs, while also being free of unions, pesky … Continue reading What Might Stop Excellent Academy Chains From “Scaling Up”?

The School Reformers’ Pledge of Good Conduct

In his book "So Much Reform, So Little Change", Charles Payne introduces his chapter on implementation failures with a pledge that every school reformer should take. I wholeheartedly agree: I will not overpromise I will not disrespect teachers I will not do anything behind the principal's back I will not take part in any partisan personal … Continue reading The School Reformers’ Pledge of Good Conduct

The Quantum Leap Theory of Education Reform

One of my few creations in education policy is something I like to call the 'Quantum Leap Theory of Education Reform'. It's based on the idea that people reforming education are constantly trying to 'put right what once went wrong' just like Dr Sam Beckett.  It's not necessarily bad and perhaps it is inescapable as we … Continue reading The Quantum Leap Theory of Education Reform

From the 1918 Hansard

Reading the Hansard publications of education debates from the past is a glorious habit to get into (the best links are pointed to via the Living Heritage website).  Not are the debates frighteningly like those ongoing today, but they provide a welcome sense of reality into political debate. In 1918, unafraid of being picked on … Continue reading From the 1918 Hansard

The Puzzle of the Free School Teachers (Re-direct)

*This post was originally at the LKMCo website and was published on 17th May 2011*   Recently I’ve noticed a puzzle I can’t solve.  As the writer of a booklet about Free Schools I’ve worked with several Free School applicants and I keep a close eye on who is planning to do what.  Hence I noticed a … Continue reading The Puzzle of the Free School Teachers (Re-direct)