Category Archives: Education policy

Reconstruction in an age of demolition

A national project is always a ‘work in progress’ as implied by the title of Carol Ann Duffy’s brilliant performance piece based on the words of people across the country during the EU referendum campaign. So what sort of work is … Continue reading

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More area reviews?

More area reviews of post-16 education? We’ve only just got through the last lot and that took up loads of everyone’s time for very little benefit. Surely this can’t be a serious suggestion… Well, it might not be guaranteed to … Continue reading

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Dear candidates…

How to talk about post-16 education in the election campaign. Dear candidates, The general election campaign has started and you’ll be wanting to talk about all sorts of issues and hoping to win support. You can’t expect to be an … Continue reading

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Education and the French presidential election.

This Sunday, 23rd April and then on Sunday 7th May, French voters go to the polls to elect a new head of state. This will be followed shortly afterwards by parliamentary elections on the 11th and 18th June. All the … Continue reading

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Shaping an alternative education policy.

The Labour Party National Policy Forum Consultation 2017. Labour is currently consulting on its Early Years, Education and Skills policies and the consultation document merits the attention of anyone who is interested in developing alternatives to the current direction of … Continue reading

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Sixth form resolutions for 2017

Like its predecessor, this year will no doubt be full of challenges and opportunities for colleges and sixth forms. 16-19 year-olds remain the worst funded full-time students in England while rapid qualification and assessment reform continues to affect almost every course … Continue reading

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What future for Sixth Form Colleges?

I was asked to give a personal view on the future of sixth form colleges at the 2016 FE Staff Governors Conference on 2nd December, organised by a group of education unions: UNISON, ATL/AMIE, UCU and NAS/UWT together with the … Continue reading

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Going beyond.

Going beyond what is expected. What do we expect from the education of 16-19 year olds in England? Judging from the funding available, the qualifications on offer and the accountability measures which inevitably steer our work, our national aspirations for … Continue reading

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University Gold.

With some help from the Jackson 5: The proposal to classify English universities as Gold, Silver or Bronze is a stroke of genius. The perfect expression of the English obsession with ranking. So obvious, one wonders why we’re not already … Continue reading

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Your dogma, my principles.

Simplex and Sapiens are discussing the government’s plan to open more selective schools. Simplex: Our mission is to build a country that works for everyone. Sapiens: Sounds like a good starting point. Sim: Yes, it’s a vision of a truly … Continue reading

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Arguments against selection

It looks like the ‘grammar school debate’ is about to be revived within government, so it seems a good time to dust down the case against selection. Here are links to 4 of my posts on this from last year, … Continue reading

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London’s sixth forms.

There are around 165,000 students studying in London’s publicly funded sixth forms. These students are enrolled across 380 different institutions of many types and sizes which can be grouped into 4 broad categories: School sixth forms (as part of a … Continue reading

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Market autonomy or democratic autonomy?

With French presidential and parliamentary elections due in April , May and June next year, politicians on all sides agree that education should be a high priority and they are trying out a range of policies for education reform. These … Continue reading

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Overlooked and left behind?

The latest report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility runs to over 100 pages and makes some worthy points. However, it seems to support the idea that education in itself can improve mobility and fairness in the … Continue reading

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The challenge of small sixth forms.

The Department for Education has recently published new advice for academies intending to make significant changes. Amongst other things, the document requires them to make a full business case if they wish to add sixth form provision. This is a … Continue reading

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