Education Policy

Labour would end free market in higher education, says Rayner | Education

A Labour government would end the “failed free-market experiment in higher education”, taking a tougher line on vice-chancellors’ pay and improving academic diversity, the shadow education secretary is set to announce. Angela Rayner will outline a series of major policy steps that would allow regulators to intervene in how universities in England are run, including how they recruit and reward staff. Speaking to the University and College Union (UCU) conference on Saturday, Rayner will say: “The Tories’ obsession with free-market…

Read More

UK public pays high price for private schools | Letter | Education

It is ridiculously inappropriate to compare “luxury homes, cars, exotic holidays” with the fees for private schools (Letters, 12 February). Good education is not a luxury but an essential provision that needs to be equally available to all children if we are ever to have a properly functioning society. Parents are not to be blamed for seeking the best for their children, but the private school system encourages the wealthiest to do this at the expense of the great majority.…

Read More

‘School Hardening’ Not Making Students Safer, Say Experts – Education Article

It may be no surprise that 2018 was the worst year on record for school shootings. According to federal data, there were 94 gun incidents at U.S. schools last year. That’s an increase of almost 60% over the previous high, recorded in 2016. One of those incidents of course was the horrific shooting on Feb. 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members. This attack – and the many school shootings that…

Read More

Two state Steiner schools face possible closure or takeover | Education

Two Steiner state schools in the west of England face possible closure or takeover after the Department for Education said it intended to cut off their funding later this year. The trusts running the free schools in Bristol and Frome have been issued termination warning notices by the DfE after the schools were rated as inadequate and placed in special measures by Ofsted. The inspections published in January reported a long list of serious safeguarding and teaching problems at the…

Read More

What is the point of higher education if it doesn’t make people happy? | Jonathan Wolff | Education

In The Methods of Ethics, a book read only by philosophers with an overdeveloped sense of duty, the late Victorian utilitarian moralist Henry Sidgwick argued that other philosophers of his day were wrong to believe that human beings act only for the sake of their own happiness or pleasure. There is a second spring of human action, he argues: the pursuit of excellence. A poet, a philosopher, or a sportsperson working obsessively may hope to be happy, but, more likely,…

Read More

An End to Civil Discourse: One Teacher’s Response to HB2002 – Education Article

Remember how I reminded us to trust, but verify?  HB20002 was the first education bill dropped this session.  It is a bill outlining a ban against teachers discussing any political issues, court cases, and/or current legislation in school. I don’t disagree with all aspects of the bill.  It prohibits teachers from “engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in their classrooms.”  The proposed code of ethics would also prohibit endorsing, supporting or opposing a political candidate.  These are not things…

Read More

‘It’s not about my school’: teacher’s TV drama depicts stress in class | Education

“ONOMATO PO E.I.A. BOOM!, ONOMATO PO E.I.A. BOOM!” bellows a teacher to a classroom of unimpressed teenagers. His enthusiasm for the written word is struggling to get much buy-in from the disengaged mass in front of him. This is the story of Shaun, a downtrodden English teacher who is eventually beaten by the system, as depicted in the TV drama Beaten, shown last week on BBC One (and now screening on BBC iPlayer) as part of a series compiled by…

Read More

Mental health: the students who helped themselves when help was too slow coming | Education

Last year, Molly Robinson, 15, was struggling to cope with the symptoms caused by an undiagnosed health condition. The unexplained pain, plus the worry about what was wrong, caused her to feel increasingly anxious and distressed. She plucked up the courage to seek help. And what happened? “I was put on a waiting list.” Over the next three months things just got worse until she began to feel “completely overwhelmed”. “Everything snowballed,” says Molly. At crisis point, she couldn’t cope…

Read More

The Ofsted Inspection Framework – What’s changing? – Education Article

Now a year into her role as Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman has frequently intimated that a change of direction in the way Ofsted carries out inspections was looming. Now the watchdog has made its intentions clear with the publication of its new Draft Inspection Framework. Subject to the usual process of scrutiny and approval, this draft framework will become the basis of all inspections in schools and education providers from the start of the next academic year in September 2018.…

Read More

Replace GCSEs with baccalaureate, says Conservative MP | Education

GCSE exams in England should be scrapped and replaced with a baccalaureate for school leavers that includes vocational skills and personal development, as part of a radical overhaul proposed by an influential Conservative MP. Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow who chairs the House of Commons education select committee, is the first Conservative policymaker to break ranks over the future of GCSE exams, after the government’s efforts to improve their status by making them more difficult. Halfon, who has campaigned…

Read More

English university given £900k emergency loan by regulator | Education

A university received a £900,000 emergency loan from the higher education regulator in England this year, it has been revealed, in a move that calls into question claims by the regulator that it would not bail out struggling institutions. The unnamed university, described only as a “small, modern institution”, was reported by the BBC to have received the emergency loan from the Office for Students (OfS), which this year took over responsibility for regulating England’s higher education sector. “Over the…

Read More

Reading University in crisis amid questions over £121m land sales | Education

A major British university is in a financial and governance crisis, having reported itself to regulators over a £121m loan. The University of Reading has confirmed to the Guardian that it is investigating whether it improperly benefited from the sale of land belonging to the National Institute for Research in Dairying trust, with the £121m from the sales having been spent by the university and replaced with the equivalent of IOUs in the trust’s accounts. The university said it had…

Read More

Educators and Parents Reset the Class Size ‘Debate’ – Education Article

Earlier this month, Rebecca Segal, a kindergarten teacher in Milwaukee, walked into her classroom, counted the number of students in front of her, and thought to herself, “This is going to be a great day.” Typically, Segal teaches around 30 kids, but a blizzard and frigid temperatures, while not severe enough for an official snow day, kept more than half her students at home. With only 12 kids in her classroom, Segal knew right off the bat that things were going…

Read More

The Gifts they Bring: English Learners and Gifted Ed. – Education Article

A few weeks back I was chatting with a gifted education specialist in our district, an excellent teacher my son was lucky enough to have in elementary school. I asked him some questions that had been in the back of my mind about English Learners and gifted education, and whether the district identified a lot of EL’s as gifted and talented. He said that the district was working on this issue and developing some strategies to improve in this area.…

Read More

Teaching all pupils to act more like Etonians won’t help solve inequality | Suzanne Moore | Opinion

It really does take a special kind of inattention to observe public life today and conclude that what we need is more public school swagger. Our politics is currently dominated by men who are so convinced of their own swag it’s dangerous. We know where politics as a debating society with no real-world consequences leads: Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson are exemplary only in their callous recklessness. Still, here we have the education secretary, Damian Hinds (I know no one…

Read More

Experience Matters: The Case for Seniority – Education Article

One of the most persistent attacks on the teaching profession over the years has been around the issue of seniority. Lawmakers have been chipping away at seniority, believing it saddles schools with ineffective teachers and forces younger educators out of the profession. But experience matters. A lot. The more experienced an educator, the better able she is to address the needs of students because she’s dealt with just about every learning level, behavioral challenge, engagement strategy and classroom management style.…

Read More

The NHS 10-year plan doesn’t do enough for children | Al Aynsley-Green | Education

The government’s NHS 10-year plan, which launched last month, has been broadly praised by children’s organisations. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, for one, celebrates that “it lays the foundations for an NHS with infants, children and young people at its core”. But does it? The plan, which aims to transform an overloaded health service, comes at an important time for children. The need is stark. We have some of the worst outcomes for children’s health, education, social…

Read More

Denying loans to students with weaker A-levels will ‘penalise poor families’ | Education

Plans to deny student loans to those with lower A-level grades would hit poor families in regions where social mobility is already stalling, data obtained by Education Guardian shows. In the north-east a third of students who would be denied a university education come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Four months ago, the education secretary, Damian Hinds, launched Opportunity North East, a £24m campaign to raise aspirations and stop children in the region feeling they’ve been “left behind”. But the…

Read More

Sparking Joy: Marie Kondo in the Classroom – Education Article

If you haven’t had the absolute pleasure of watching Netflix’s latest phenomenon, you simply must find the time to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. One lazy morning during maternity leave last month, I happened to click on it, and immediately I was hooked. I binge watched all eight episodes in two days. If you aren’t familiar with Kondo or her organizational Konmari Method, you are missing out. On the show, she enters people’s homes and helps them declutter their…

Read More

Critics take aim at subsidies given to private schools | Education

It is hard to imagine a more exclusive chain of prep schools than the one that has been entrusted with the education of the third-in-line to the throne. That privilege has been bestowed on Thomas’s, a group of four London public-school feeders, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to send Prince George. With annual fees of about £18,000, Thomas’s, Battersea, is reassuringly expensive and boasts fittingly palatial facilities, including the Grade II-listed Great Hall Theatre, a gymnasium,…

Read More

No other European country tests children at 16: let’s scrap pointless GCSEs | Sandra Leaton Gray | Education

We all could and should be having a relaxed summer but instead, 16-year-olds are grimly anticipating their GCSE results this Thursday. It doesn’t have to be this way. The UK is the only European country to have high-stakes testing at 16, with others adopting a more enlightened approach. This I discovered while leading a research project in 2016 that involved watching polyglot pupils in the European schools mill around their airy buildings in jeans and T-shirts. The European schools are…

Read More

Call for more regulation of home-schooled children in England | Education

The children’s commissioner for England is calling for greater supervision for children being home-educated after their numbers have doubled in the past five years, driven by pupils being “off-rolled” or informally excluded by schools. Anne Longfield wants the estimated 60,000 home-schooled children in England to be registered with local authorities as well as stronger measures to stop schools illegally pushing pupils off their books, often by persuading parents to home-school them. In a report to be published on Monday, Longfield…

Read More

Ofsted asks government to look closely at Steiner schools in England | Education

Ofsted has asked the government to look closely at Steiner schools in England, after multiple inspections of schools operating under the Steiner banner revealed worries over pupil safety. The letter from the head of Ofsted throws into doubt the future of Steiner schools receiving state funding, after several opened as part of the free schools programme launched by Michael Gove in 2011. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, said in a letter to the education secretary, Damian…

Read More

Educators Strike a Blow Against For-Profit Charter Schools – Education Article

In his January 15 State of the State Address, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey seemed to acknowledge that his zealous pursuit of what he calls “choice and competition” in education was careening a little off course. “We know improvements can be made,” Ducey said. “More transparency, more accountability, and granting financial review and oversight over taxpayer dollars.” But, as EJ Montini pointed out in The Arizona Republic, Ducey, an ardent supporter of school privatization, couldn’t actually bring himself to attach the words “charter…

Read More

Minister rejects call for blanket ban on mobile phones in schools | Education

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has said the government should not introduce a ban on mobile phones in schools, saying the decision should be left to headteachers. Hinds’ remarks contrast with those of the schools minister, Nick Gibb, , who has told the BBC: “My own view is that schools should ban their pupils from bringing smartphones into school or the classroom.” But in a recent interview with the Guardian, Hinds said mobile phone use by pupils was a complex…

Read More

Universities could lose league table positions for diversity failures | Education

Universities’ prized league table positions may be under threat if they fail to tackle ethnic disparities among students, and in staff recruitment and research, as part of an initiative announced by the government. The effort to “explain or change” ethnic disparities is the latest official attempt to help underrepresented groups enter and succeed in higher education in England, backed by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education. The announcement by David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, calls for league…

Read More

Virginia Educators Vow to Hold Lawmakers Accountable for Funding – Education Article

Roughly 4,000 Virginians, led by educators, rallied in front of the state capitol in Richmond on Monday to call out legislators for allowing education funding to suffer even as the state prospers. English teacher Amy Brown said she was at the rally because her students deserve better than a classroom with moldy ceiling tiles and a wall full of roaches. “We have cubicle partitions that we can’t hang bulletin board paper on because there’s nothing to staple it to—so we…

Read More

Dear Damian Hinds: tree climbing, lifesaving classes … why this policy flurry? | Education

A phrase I learned some years ago working in schools is “busy-work” – work that keeps children busy but has little value in itself, as the dictionary puts it. It first cropped up in an education report in South Carolina in 1886. This old tradition has taken a hold on you and your department. Since late November, you’ve been issuing policy statements at least once a week covering tree-climbing, plastic waste, lifesaving, your “year-long battle” to reduce teachers’ workload, when…

Read More

The Guardian view on teacher shortages: the trouble with data | Editorial | Opinion

The government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy for England contains much that is sensible and desperately needed. Key recruitment targets have been missed for six years in a row. In some subjects, and some parts of the country, shortages are acute. In physics, for example, the number of trainees last year was just 47% of the number sought. Bursaries trialled on maths graduates appear not to have solved the problem. A third of new teachers give it up within five…

Read More

Exam results will no longer be used to define ‘failing’ schools | Education

Schools in England will no longer be punished for failing to meet the government’s standards in national exams or tests, Damian Hinds will announce as part of a new strategy to attract and retain teachers in the profession. The proposals to be unveiled by the education secretary means schools will not be defined as failing or “coasting” based on results of national tests or GCSE exams, removing a burden of assessment that has been criticised for unfairly hitting schools with…

Read More