Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 I was disappointed to hear Rachel Wolf, of the New Schools Network, talking in what sounded like fairly ideological terms about “accountability” on the Today programme yesterday. Ms Wolf was being put on the spot about the ability of free schools, which the New Schools Network promotes, to employ teachers who lack Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It was a brief interview, with frequent interruptions, but I think the thrust of her argument was fairly clear. First, she said, schools needed the flexibility to decide whom to recruit. I’m not going to discuss that point directly here. But second, she seemed to beRead More →

  Wednesday, October 20th So the funding situation for schools is getting a little clearer, after George Osborne’s spending review announcements today. There is still some way to go, though. Here are a few thoughts. First, although the funding situation for schools appears at first glance better than many were predicting – and certainly appears better than that facing universities and further education, there are several caveats. For, although Mr Osborne was able to say that the schools budget for 5- to 16-year-olds would rise in real terms every year for the next four years, this relates to only to a 0.1 per cent realRead More →

  Tuesday, October 19th Since I wrote my article on the Pupil Premium for Education Journal back in May, there have been some developments which give clues to some of the questions posed in that piece. Specifically, there is more information available in relation to a central dilemma referred to there: whether or not the pupil premium is to be paid for by cuts to Labour’s existing grant schemes, which went directly from government to schools and which have had the effect, according to the IFS’s paper which was published in May, of helping to provide much greater funding for children from deprived backgrounds. On pageRead More →

Monday, October 18th, 2010 With Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review due to include an announcement on the new “Pupil Premium”, I thought I’d post here a piece I wrote on this shortly after the general election in May. It is based on an impressively detailed paper on the Pupil Premium by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. I originally wrote it for Education Journal, for whom I write a monthly article. I intend to do another blog – possibly shorter! – by tomorrow updating the position on the pupil premium based on what has been announced since May. My Education Journal piece follows below: It was reportedly one ofRead More →

 Warwick Mansell Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 What are the feelings in schools over the decision by the NAHT’s national council not to boycott Sats tests for a second year in 2011? If the reception the move received at a meeting of heads which I addressed on Friday is anything to go by, there is a lot of anguish, and anger, out there. The meeting, for heads in a London borough, was a regular chance to discuss issues of current interest. I was there to talk about the evidence on testing and accountability, but the heads were keener after I spoke to discuss the union’s moveRead More →