Leading Human Beings in Schools

Jonathan YoungPost by JONATHAN YOUNG
Doctoral Researcher, University of Leicester

I am writing in response to the thoughts expressed by both Diane Reay and Robert Loe on this blog. Diane recognised the problem of high stakes testing in schools, which, if given too much importance in schools, overlooks the wider roles of developing character and non-cognitive skills. Robert recognised humans as ‘society’s greatest resource’ and wrote about the importance of relational health in schools. I would like to add my thoughts to this issue by focussing on relationships in schools. Continue reading Leading Human Beings in Schools

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?

Classroom Story

Jasmine Rhamiepost by JASMINE RHAMIE
University of Roehampton

William dropped exhausted on his bed. He hadn’t realised how hard it would be to train as a primary teacher. After relaxing for an hour he carefully reviewed his teaching and marked children’s work. They had done very well and it was rewarding to note how well they had understood and progressed in maths. He thought about how he would move them on to the next concept and amended his planning in light of his marking and reflections. Continue reading Classroom Story

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