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
If most people in affluent nations believed that all human beings were alike – were of the same kind, the same species – then it would be much harder to justify the exclusion of so many people from so many social norms. It is only because the majority of people in many affluent societies have come to be taught that a few are especially able, and others particularly undeserving, that current inequalities can be maintained. Continue reading The myth of inherited inequality
The Troops to Teachers (TtT) programme was introduced in England in autumn 2013. The programme fast-tracks ex-armed service members into teaching in schools and is supported both by the current Coalition government, and the previous Labour government.
The White Paper, The Importance of Teaching (Department for Education 2010), gives the main purposes for the introduction of TtT as twofold: firstly, poor standards of achievement in comparison with other industrialised nations, and secondly, a need for increased discipline in schools. Continue reading The militarisation of education: ‘Troops to Teachers’ and the implications for Initial Teacher Education and race equality