Isle of Wight shows the way forward, by renationalising a school

14 Nov

Disappointed Idealist

When I moved to the Isle of Wight last year, I used to quip to confused Londoners that, as a historian, I was very much looking forward to moving to the 1950s. During the General Election campaign I was the Labour candidate, and when the frothing Tory press accused Labour of wanting to take the country back to the seventies, I suggested that on the Island this counted as a Great Leap Forward of dangerously radical proportions. My political advisor (oh, ok, my wife – the Labour Party on the Isle of Wight doesn’t have political advisors) told me that humour has its place in election campaigns, but that place isn’t coming from the mouth of candidates. So I shut up.


These jokes are, of course, more than a little unfair on my adopted home, given its past record of hosting Marconi’s work on early radio, and the British rocket…

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Isle of Wight shows the way forward, by renationalising a school

14 Nov

via Isle of Wight shows the way forward, by renationalising a school

Joint Research Project 2017/18

14 Nov

via Joint Research Project 2017/18

The Relevance and Impact of Homework on Learning and Pupil Progress

14 Nov

The Learning Renaissance

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The relevance and impact of homework on learning and pupil progress continues to be a source of controversy amongst pupils, parents, senior leaders and governors. Andrew Jones reports that the Herts and Bucks Challenge Partner Hub have agreed to complete a research project into assorted homework issues during the 2017-18 academic year.

Read more about the TSA research project here: Joint Research Project 2017/18 | Herts & Bucks TSA Blog

Via: The relevance and impact of homework on learning and pupil progress | LinkedIn

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Cluster bonds vital as MATs grow

14 Nov

Robert Hill's blog

‘I told you so’ is not a nice phrase – it implies superiority and a lack of empathy with someone who may have made a mistake and should have known better. But I’m sorry it’s coming to coming to point where no other phrase will do. We have known since the early days of MATs that forming ‘clusters’ or hubs’ is important to creating sustainable multi-academy trusts (MATs) as they expand. I first wrote about this back in 2010 in a think piece for the National College, called ‘Chain reactions‘. In a report two years later my fellow researchers and I reinforced the significance of geographical proximity and the formation of clusters as a means to manage scale as MATs grew.

But parts of the sector and some decisions by RSCs and headteacher boards seem determined to ignore the advice.

Defining a cluster

Let’s first define what we…

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A Worrying Trend in English Education: The Disappearing Headteacher

14 Nov

The Learning Renaissance

The privatisation of education in England has seen the reduction in the scope and role of the Local Education Authority, who were the overseeing and accountable body in counties and city boroughs and their replacement by more independently run schools and chains of such schools called MATs (Multi Academy Trusts).

The move to MATS has been heralded as some sort of freeing up of local schools from Local Education Authority control. There were efficient and inefficient local authorities, but the important element was that all of them were democratically accountable to their local populations and national government.

The MATS are a law unto themselves, as they don’t have, in the main, adequate governance and accountability measures in place. The result has been a stream of poor performance and in some cases, financial impropriety, like the recent case of a MAT in Wakefield which withdrew from running schools and asset stripped…

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What the Best Education Systems Are Doing Right

30 Oct

The Learning Renaissance

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Finnish and Asian educational systems are often quoted as leading the OECD Educational Performance tables and models to aspire to emulate. Such talk is too simplistic as any understanding of comparative educational performance must start, not at outcomes, but at cultural drivers to the system.

In the UK, Tory educational policy has been very much driven by the idea of  letting the market decide. Parent choice has been presented as the democratisation of learning. Parents have been encouraged to seek out the best school for their child which tends to let poorer performing schools, or those in urban settings, to wither on the vine. The OFSTED inspection service has performed the role of arbiter of standards as the educational service has been privatised. Multiple Academy Trusts, in a competitive marketplace for education, have replaced the generally collaborative and accountable local authority control. The result is a diffuse and fragmented educational…

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