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 […]

When is a teacher unqualified, @TristramHuntMP?

The question to be addressed in this short post is prompted by statements made on a number of occasions by Tristram Hunt, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary. Mr. Hunt has recently made a number of public remarks about how the Tories have been wrong to allow schools to employ unqualified teachers (E.g. here, here, and here). […]

The Real Problem is “The Snob”, Not “The Blob”, Mr. Gove.

The Snob, n. – A person who admires and seeks to imitate, or associate with, those of higher social status or greater wealth; one who wishes to be regarded as a person of social importance. – A person who despises those whom he or she considers to be inferior in rank, attainment, or taste. First […]

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 […]

A Teach First Primer: The American Experience

What follows is a summary of the concerns raised by Andrew Hartman (@HartmanAndrew), teacher of history at Illinois State University and author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School, regarding the alternative teacher certification organisation Teach For America. Teach For America (TFA) provides the model for Teach First in the […]

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 […]

Finland, Japan, Wherever Next? Labour Twigg Fails To Impress

The BBC report that the UK Shadow (in the broadest sense of the term) Secretary for Education, Stephen Twigg, believes “England’s schools should learn from Japan”. He obviously hasn’t been reading the Economist recently. “THE yells of children pierce the night, belting out the elements—“Lithium! Magnesium!”—as an instructor displays abbreviations from the periodic table. Next, […]

Charity Begins At Home: TeachFirst’s Executive Pay

With all the talk of charity donations in the UK being hit hard by Tory attempts to clamp down on tax avoidance, we’ve been wondering how we could help education charities like TeachFirst to weather the coming storm. One potential way that sprang to mind was by curbing the handsome amounts TeachFirst executives are currently […]

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 […]

Not Very Joined-Up Thinking: Gove vs. IDS on foreign workers?

When you consider how desperate times apparently are in the UK, it would help that those with a democratic mandate were talking to each other. Last week, Ian Duncan Smith urged the recruitment of British workers, a few weeks before that Michael “The Governor” Gove decided to relax the rules regulating the employment of overseas-trained […]

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