Why is Education Secretary Michael Gove setting children up to fail?
His highly prescriptive, not to say idiosyncratic approach to what’s learned in schools (to be formally announced later this week) amounts to a random list of musts and shoulds that have little relevance to real children’s lives – nor to how they learn. Of course every effort should be made to get children reading fluently and, just as importantly, to enjoy reading and understand what they’ve read. How learning poetry by heart for classroom recitals (i.e. learning by rote) […]
Continue reading Phailed School Policy?
Who’s in charge of Britain these days? I don’t mean who’s in power, or who has the most MPs. I mean who is looking at the country’s complex economic and social problems and saying, “Here’s how we’re going to fix this.”
A few years ago, under Labour, the answer would have been, “The State, that’s who”. And had a Labour government – once flush with cash – concentrated on the things the state does well, like providing good schools, health care and affordable homes, “government” might not have become a dirty word. But they couldn’t stop themselves. From ID cards […]
Continue reading The not-so-Big Society
Why can’t teachers and school inspectors play nicely together?
In theory they share the same goal: The best possible education for all children in England and Wales. In practice, they’ve been descending into the kind of name calling that should get them sent to the head teacher’s office for a stern telling off.
The Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw frequently implies that our schools are full of bad teachers and malign heads intent on thwarting children’s progress.
The teaching unions accuse him of bullyboy tactics and say his rhetoric is creating a climate of […]
Continue reading Ofsted and the teaching unions: The kids deserve a truce