I was impressed with the coverage of Robin Alexander’s weighty and thorough Primary Review report on the curriculum last week, not least with front-page stories in the Independent and the Guardian. Particularly thoughtful, I thought was this leader, the following day, in the Guardian, which made the point that proper, independent inquiries operating without fear of coming up with findings which could embarrass the politicians are, surely, what good Government should be about. Alas, this is not the situation we have.Read More →

  I spoke yesterday at the joint National Union of Teachers/National Association of Head Teachers conference on the future of assessment, arguing that there needs to be a proper inquiry into the damage being wrought by high-stakes testing and exam statistic- obsessed schooling on our education system, and then reform. The full text is below.     “We get taught things in lessons to prepare us for things like the Sats tests.” I thought I’d start with this quotation, as I read it only last week and it struck me as shocking and powerful, even though I’ve been investigating the impact of high-stakes testing inRead More →

  Followers of the Premiership will be well-versed in the post-match professions of Arsene Wenger, esteemed manager of Arsenal Football Club and someone whom I generally have a great deal of time for. Yet if there is one phrase guaranteed to raise a smile among those familiar with these things, it is when Mr Wenger utters the words “I did not see the incident”. This usually passes his lips when one of his players is alleged to have committed an indiscretion, or a dodgy penalty is awarded to his team. It is his way of avoiding any controversy and playing it down, and trying toRead More →