Tag Archives: marketisation

An A-Z for a world which has to change.

In the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic which threatens many lives, we need to remember that this is just one of several global crises we face which will change our world in profound ways. All these challenges require us … Continue reading

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The promise of a National Education Service

The proposed creation of a National Education Service (NES) for England offers us the possibility of a decisive break with the market model, where education is treated as a commodity and where individual and institutional competition are regarded as the … Continue reading

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Sixth form hopes for 2018.

I’ve been posting new year’s wishes for sixth form education since January 2015. This started with 5 ‘modest, realistic and realisable’ hopes. By 2016 the list had been cut to 4 and was then further reduced to 3 a year … Continue reading

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Easing student debt won’t cut it.

Apparently, the prime minister is considering ways to ease the burden of student debt (story here). That sounds like a good idea; she might also take the opportunity to consider how the tuition fee and loan system has changed the … Continue reading

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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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Education 2022: market or system?

What will education in England look like in 2022? An election is the decisive moment where we are offered, and can select from, alternative futures. Following an inconclusive general election outcome which has delivered a hung parliament, we now await … 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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Capital as metaphor

The economy of ideas #4 We talk about social capital, cultural capital, creative capital, even ‘emotional capital’. It seems that capital can stand in for almost every human capacity. Why is this? Given its role as a real currency, it’s … 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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Life in the qualification market

‘The truth is in the whole’ and if we want to understand the impact of recent post-16 qualification reform on sixth formers’ experience of education we need to start with an overview of the whole educational landscape before analysing specific … 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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16-19 education: from independence to interdependence.

I want to say a little about where we’ve been, where we find ourselves today and where we might be heading. When I say ‘we’ I am referring to 16-19 provision in colleges and most specifically sixth form colleges, although … Continue reading

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The limits of social mobility

In his Observer article a couple of weeks ago, the sociologist John Goldthorpe shatters two cherished illusions: first, that social mobility in Britain is in decline and second, that education is a powerful agent for promoting social mobility. 1. Social … Continue reading

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A level minority report: Dance, Music, Philosophy.

I start from a belief that Dance, Music and Philosophy are wonderful A level subjects which should be accessible to sixth form students not too far from where they live as part of a broad educational offer. The published performance tables provide … Continue reading

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Education: what’s it all for?

The House of Commons Education Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the purpose of education and is asking the following 3 questions: What is the purpose of education for children of all ages in England? What measures should be … Continue reading

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