Thursday, September 30th, 2010 If there is anything certain about the education white paper which is going to be published by the Government by the end of the year, it would seem that a long-standing loophole in league tables is about to be closed. The system of “equivalences”, whereby non-GCSE qualifications are given weightings worth several GCSEs for the purposes of the tables and of all official statistics, is about to change radically, it would appear. For years, Intermediate General National Vocational Qualifications were counted in the rankings as “worth” four GCSEs. When schools realised that getting pupils to take them could see the school’s published statisticsRead More →

Monday, 27th September Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, today gave more details on the content of the forthcoming review of Key Stage 2 Sats. In a letter to Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, Mr Gove said the review would “consider a number of key issues”, including: -“How best to ensure that schools are properly accountable to pupils, parents and the taxpayer for the achievement and progress of every child, on the basis of objective and accurate assessments.”  -“How to avoid, as far as possible, the risk of perverse incentives, over-rehearsal and reduced focus on productive learning.” -“How to ensureRead More →

Friday, September 17th An explosive – in education policy terms, at least – new book published today offers a series of highly newsworthy insights into the political process. “Reinventing schools, reforming teaching” by John Bangs, who until this summer was head of education at the National Union of Teachers, and the Cambridge professors John MacBeath and Maurice Galton, comes full of quotations from some of the leading movers-and-shakers of the New Labour years. Anyone reading these extracts will end up distinctly unimpressed with the way education and politics have intersected over the last 15 years. Among the book’s revelations, some of which I comment onRead More →