Michael Gove may have left the Department for Education but his Gradgrindian spirit lives on. It’ll be “Fact fact fact” all day every day if the Conservatives win the election in May. Times tables will be recited to perfection. Spelling, punctuation and grammar will be spot on. Headteachers could be removed from their jobs if… (5 comments)

What’s the Private Sector ever done for us?
I’m all for breaking down the barriers between private and state education. But I can’t help feeling we in the state sector may have more to teach exclusive fee-paying schools than they have to teach us. An example? Well, put your science hats on for a moment – as we were asked to do last… (44 comments)

When it comes to preventing extremist or radical influences in schools, the government doesn’t have a lesson plan. Despite Michael Gove’s centralising tendencies, neither he nor the cabinet colleagues he’s been fighting with have ever laid out what exactly schools are supposed to do to stop the – real or imagined – Islamic extremist threat.… (1 comment)

A little-known secret: being a school governor can be fun. Yes, it’s a commitment. Giving up your time to read and sometimes write policies. Analysing data on progress and attainment. Working out which children are not doing well and why. Yes, it’s a responsibility. Setting the school’s budget and its curriculum priorities. Helping the head… (4 comments)

On one side a shabby council estate, on the other side a pitch-dark park. Not the kind of street I particularly enjoy walking along. Not the kind of place either that small children should be unsupervised at 8.45 on a Saturday night. But that’s where I came across them. Three boys involved in a vicious… (0 comment)

To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” At least when it comes to reports of the demise of foreign language teaching. UK universities are “abandoning” European language courses, according to the Guardian. Over the past 15 years, more than a third have “given up offering specialist modern language degrees.” The same figure… (1 comment)

There are few things we British love more than to see one of our elite institutions with egg on its face. So of course news that an Oxford college is at the centre of a “Harlem Shake Scandal” has made national headlines. (Full disclosure: it’s of more than passing interest to me as it concerns… (0 comment)

Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw doesn’t so much tread on toes as stomp on feet and then slap their owner’s faces around a bit. England’s Chief Inspector of Schools has in the past told teachers they make too many excuses for poor performance. They should work longer hours if they expect to get a pay… (1 comment)

The world according to Gove
It’s hard being a visionary. Just ask George W Bush. You come up with a brilliant idea that you know will fix the world and what happens? Someone somewhere moans that it doesn’t fit the facts. Where’s the evidence, they demand, to support your plan? That’s pretty much the position Michael Gove’s in these days.… (0 comment)

England’s teachers are unhappy? Miss, Sir, join the crowd. From the young unemployed, half of whom say they regularly feel depressed, to nurses suffering low morale in the NHS upheaval, not to mention the growing numbers of working families struggling to make ends meet, these are not happy times. At least the teachers questioned in… (0 comment)