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 […]

‘You are to be in all things regulated and governed,’ said the gentleman, ‘by fact.’

Hard Times Charles Dickens CHAPTER II MURDERING THE INNOCENTS Thomas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir—peremptorily Thomas—Thomas Gradgrind. […]

Is The Result Of This Systematic Review Of Teacher Merit Pay A Foregone Conclusion?

On March 1st 2013 it was announced at the Campbell Collaboration that a systematic review of merit pay (aka performance-related pay, bonuses, incentives etc.) for teachers was to be conducted this year. The title of this review is: Merit Pay Programs for Improving Teacher Retention, Teacher Satisfaction, and Student Achievement in Primary and Secondary Education: […]

What Makes Daniel Willingham A Scientist?

“Our curriculum is based on years of analysis of the world’s most successful school systems, from east Asia to Massachusetts, and is backed by leading academics such as scientist Daniel Willingham” (Elizabeth Truss MP, Conservative Minister for education) “Antidote to Twitter idiocy: The science behind Gove approach on curriculum: http://www.danielwillingham.com/1/post/2013/02/the-science-in-goves-speech.html” (Tory education news ‏@toryeducation) “I […]

Does the UK Economy really need ‘10,000 extra science graduates’?

The Royal Academy of Engineering report, Jobs and Growth: the Importance of Engineering Skills to the UK Economy, published today, calculates that the UK needs an annual minimum of 100,000 graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) just to maintain the status quo in UK industry. According to the THE, the report says more […]

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, […]

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 […]

Gove not cherry-picking this one: OECD’s Schleicher on teacher pay and conditions

For those of you who don’t know, the ISTP – 2012 International Summit of the Teaching Profession is being held today and tomorrow in NYC, USA. Our initial reaction to these events is always that they are a good opportunity to see the world, have a few dinners at taxpayer expense and pontificate on matters […]

The Missing Link Between Poverty and Academic Achievement: Parental Support

The OECD’s PISA IN FOCUS 2011/5 (June) publication offers yet more evidence that there is no evidence that poverty has the impact on education achievement that some would have us believe. We normally take what the OECD has to say about education with a pinch of salt given its overriding aim to ‘liberalise’ economies around […]

We Told You So: IfL & Tuition Fees Review

It is not our style to engage in a round of back-patting but recent news regarding the Institute for Learning and Browne’s Tuition Fees Review was not exactly news to us. Firstly, the IfL demands for a £68 annual fee have been met with howls of derision not least because no-one can work out what […]


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