All posts by Ruth Boyask

Respecting Children and Young People Archive

The Respecting Children and Young People Project was a time limited project that produced Fair and Equal Education: An Evidence-based Policy Manifesto that Respects Children and Young People, released on the 10 March 2015. The posts in this blog contributed towards the development of the manifesto, but they also act as important statements on recent issues affecting children and young people, informed by research undertaken by researchers from the British Educational Research Association. While we are no longer posting to this blog, the posts will be held on this site as an archive. Enjoy reading and sharing them with your colleagues, friends, family and students. We thank everyone who has contributed to the project.

Editors:

Social Justice Ruth Boyask and Katy Vigurs
Race, Ethnicity and Education Vini Lander
Sexualities Pam Alldred
Youth and Informal Education Ian McGimpsey and Janet Batsleer
Inclusive Education Jennifer Spratt
Practitioner Research d’Reen Struthers

Renewing the focus on ‘pushed out’ learners

Sam Baarspost by SAM BAARS
Research Associate, LKMco

Discussions about our education system all too often focus on the largest, most visible components of that system: the attainment of young people in mainstream schools. While debates about educational equity are at the forefront of current policy discourse, with the Pupil Premium explicitly targeting the gap between the attainment of young people receiving Free School Meals (FSM) and their peers, these discussions, too, are framed in terms of the relative performance of young people in mainstream schools. However, more than 20,000 pupils each year receive their education outside the mainstream system, through some form of ‘alternative provision’. Seldom do we turn our attention to these young people who, in Pat Thomson’s words, are “eased out, pushed out and kicked out of school.” Continue reading Renewing the focus on ‘pushed out’ learners

Fair and Equal Education

Ruth Boyaskpost by RUTH BOYASK
On behalf of the editors of the Respecting Children and Young People project

On the 10th March 2015, the Respecting Children and Young People project will be holding an event to launch the culmination of our work, the Fair and Equal Education manifesto. This manifesto has been shaped by the dialogue and engagement of members of six special interest groups (SIGs) within BERA, representing many hundreds of British educational researchers. We have come together because we, like many other voices at the present time, are concerned. Continue reading Fair and Equal Education

Geographies of class, place and education: Deepening North-South divisions in independent schooling

Sol Gamsupost by SOL GAMSU
Doctoral Researcher, Dept of Geography, King’s College London

Just before Christmas, one of my case study schools, in the provincial Northern city in my PhD study won a national school of the year award. Whilst it maintains a comprehensive intake, though as elsewhere this is less true after 16, its academic results are high, and the sixth form has a reputation for sending a significant numbers to the Russell Group and a handful to Oxbridge. As such it is similar in relative terms London’s ‘super state’ schools used by Gove, Cameron, the Blairs and others to avoid the political opprobrium of going private. The colonization of certain “comprehensive” schools in middle class neighbourhoods is common across the country. However, across the cities of Northern England, this strategy may be occurring more frequently with the post-crisis pressures on middle class incomes, entrenching the geographic divide around private schooling. Continue reading Geographies of class, place and education: Deepening North-South divisions in independent schooling

New evidence on childrens’ voices and rights. But does DfE get it?

Robin Alexanderpost by ROBIN ALEXANDER
Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge

Children, their World, their Education. The basic premise of the Cambridge Primary Review (CPR) was as clear in the title of its final report as in its choice of investigative themes and questions: education is meaningful only when educators understand and coherently respond to the nature and needs of children and the society and world in which they are growing up. Mastering the practical skills of teaching is a necessary but not sufficient condition, and as an educational rationale mantras like ‘effective teaching’ take us to the nearest 3Rs test but no further. Continue reading New evidence on childrens’ voices and rights. But does DfE get it?

Free Schools: where next?

Rebecca Morrispost by REBECCA MORRIS
Doctoral Researcher, University of Birmingham

As the flagship education policy under the current coalition government, the Free Schools initiative has attracted substantial political, academic and media interest. It is no surprise, therefore, that with a general election looming, people are interested in knowing what direction the policy might take next. Continue reading Free Schools: where next?

Innovation creation or ‘same old same old’: proposals for educational equity in 2015 Party Political Proposals

Jacqueline Baxterpost by JACQUELINE BAXTER
Lecturer in Social Policy at the Open University, UK

The summary of the education policy proposals policies of the five main political parties reveals the weighting each places on social justice and the importance of creating a democratic, equitable education system. But on closer investigation, are the proposals new or are we seeing same old, same old wheeled out for 2015 and will they really make a difference to the creation of a fairer system of education in England? Continue reading Innovation creation or ‘same old same old’: proposals for educational equity in 2015 Party Political Proposals

Academy schools, collaboration and social justice

Jodie Pennacchiapost by JODIE PENNACCHIA
Doctoral Researcher, University of Nottingham

Academies are “shape-shifters”[i] and the ways that this policy has shifted over time has important implications for social justice in education. What began as a targeted policy to draw investment into struggling schools in deprived communities shifted to a policy of universal applicability under the Coalition government. They created a streamlined conversion process and pushed ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ schools to the front of the queue for academy status. Continue reading Academy schools, collaboration and social justice

Literature, Education and Socio-Cultural Representation: Refocusing the Debate

Chelsea Swiftpost by CHELSEA SWIFT
Doctoral Researcher, University of York

Dominant ideas about culture and literateness, advocated by the likes of Matthew Arnold and F.R. Leavis, have been reflected in much educational and political discussion since the late 19th Century. During this period, there has been a shift in emphasis from the act of reading itself to a focus on what is being read, resulting in increasingly narrower notions of what it is to be literate, cultured and educated (Williams, 1976; Milner, 2005). These beliefs about what reading is and what it is to be a reader are the only criteria many young people have to judge their own literary and cultural lives. Continue reading Literature, Education and Socio-Cultural Representation: Refocusing the Debate