Management, Research & Masquerades

“But what if effectiveness is part of a masquerade of social control rather than a reality? What if effectiveness were a quality widely imputed to managers and bureaucrats both by themselves and others, but in fact a quality which rarely exists apart from this imputation? The word that I shall borrow to name this alleged […]

Lessons from London Schools, Self-Promotion and the Myth of Education Research

We were a little undecided as to whether or not to write this post because of the youthfulness of those involved in Lessons from London Schools: Investigating the Success (LLS), the study that we will critique, and not wanting for youthful enthusiasm to be overly dampened by what is to be said about the LLS […]

4 Reasons Why Teach First Might Be A Good Idea (& 22 Reasons Why It Might Not)

Given recent political limelight-sharing speeches, and education news media puff pieces, we thought it important to restore some balance to the current largely light-touch media debate on Teach First. We also thought that it would be useful to collect all the various arguments for and against Teach First in one place. What follows therefore is […]

US & UK Education Privatisation: The Differences

Renowned historian of education, educational policy analyst, and research professor Diane Ravitch today summarises nicely how education ‘reform’ “now in full operation in states across the nation” works in the US. First, set an impossible goal, say, 100% proficiency for all students. Second, say that there can be “no excuses,” no reference to social conditions […]

Gove’s Change Rhetoric: Education Secretary’s speech to ASCL

Michael Gove, UK Ed Sec, spoke at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conference on the the 24 March 2012 so we thought we’d run through the justifications he could come up with for alienating both teachers and headteachers with his needless reforms. There was a defence of free schools and academies. There […]

Does Ofsted know any better?

Where would the UK be without the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills? Ofsted has been given responsibility for making sure everything is hunky-dory with schools and various educational establishments in the UK. Depending on what you read, recent headlines cast Ofsted either as the villain or the saviour of our educational […]

The MetLife Survey of The American Teacher 2011

While in the UK OFSTASI’s Wilshaw spouts further drivel about declining literacy standards, across the pond in the US a very illuminating survey of teachers has attracted a lot of recent attention, not least because it shows just how dissatisfied teachers currently are. The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy […]

Still No Special Measures for Teach First

The recent publication of OFSTED data on those schools causing concern in April 2011 has given us another chance to assess Teach First’s claim that they are addressing educational disadvantage. In England and Wales there are 322 Schools in Special Measures and 252 Teach First participating schools, of which only 5 (2%) are on OFSTED’s […]

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Private Eye report that Sally Morgan, new Ofsted honcho, and adviser to school privatisation champions, ARK, will work only 2 days but be paid £45K pa. Aside from the fact that no-one is worth that much for a couple of days work, it also means that the head of the schools inspection body gets to […]

Testing Lowers Standards

Scrooge Humbug

Have Gilbert and OfSTED had an epiphany and seen the light? Or knowing that her days as honcho are numbered is she getting her own back? For an organisation so determined to kowtow to politicians and hold on to power and funds, today’s Successful Science report is quite remarkable. In its report based on the […]


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