English schools are broken. Only radical action will fix them | Melissa Benn | Opinion | The Guardian


Even for the sceptical, the suddenness and speed with which the academy schools project has fallen from public grace is remarkable. After years of uncritical acceptance of official claims that academies, and free schools, offer a near cast-iron guarantee of a better-quality education, particularly for poorer pupils, there is now widespread recognition of the drear reality: inadequate multi-academy trusts failing thousands of pupils, parents increasingly shut out of their children’s education, and academy executive heads creaming off excessive salaries – in some cases almost three times higher than the prime minister – from a system perilously squeezed of funds.

Crisis can be an overworked term in politics, and our schools are good examples of public institutions, subject to years of poor political decisions, that continue to do remarkable work. But along with the academy mess, we can add the following to the current charge sheet of what should be (along with the NHS) our finest public service: pressing problems with recruitment and retention of teachers; rocketing stress among young children and teenagers subject to stringent testing and tougher public exams; and the ongoing funding crisis.

 

Source: English schools are broken. Only radical action will fix them | Melissa Benn | Opinion | The Guardian

Vox Political on Nick Gibb Address to Teacher’s Conference


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Mike over at Vox Political ran this story from the Groan, which reported the kind and courteous welcome Nick Gibb got when he spoke to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers at their conference in Liverpool. Of course, I’m being ironic when I say that it was ‘kind and courteous’. In fact that they jeered him. And I don’t blame them. What Gibb said was pure rubbish.

The Tories are, of course, determined to turn 17,000 primary schools in England into academies. Gibb made the usual attempt to try to justify this massive privatisation to the Tory party’s corporate backers by saying that it would lead to an improvement in quality. He told his audience of educational professionals that if they spoke to the headmasters, who had become heads of the academy chains, they would hear that academy schools were flourishing. Because they’re professionally led.

This is, of course…

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Nick Gibb Was On BBC Radio 4 Today Spouting Nonsense About Academies


Nick Gibb states ‘ ‘we can’t have two systems of education’ in one country.’ Why not as no one systems works for all, Labour tried this in the 60’s with the rush for Comprehensive education against Grammar and Secondary schools. While comprehensive was better than secondary for some it was not for others. This could be said for Academies for there should be choice. The Tories are against nationalised industries as they feel privatisation provides choice and competition, so why not choice within education for families.

ukgovernmentwatch

Nick Gibb Schools Minister.Friday, 25 March 2016

The new line he repeated several times is that ‘we can’t have two systems of education’ in one country.

1. Cynics might say that the reason why ‘we’ can’t is that it’s frequently uncomfortable for him and the Tories that local authority schools are doing fine, or even doing better than academies.

English education has long been one of several systems or even many systems which separate and segregate children and parents and teachers: obviously there’s the private and public division, with private schools being left out of this whole debate anyway. Then there is the religious, non-religious divide – and religious schools are also divided between ‘voluntary controlled’ and ‘voluntary aided’. There are old Foundation schools where the land and school is held by the Foundation Trust and not by the local authority. Then again in counties like Kent there are ‘grammar schools’ i.e. selective…

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Five teachers reveal what it’s like to work in an academy | Sarah Marsh | Opinion | The Guardian


George Osborne wants all schools to become academies – but what does this mean? We hear from those who have first-hand experiece

Source: Five teachers reveal what it’s like to work in an academy | Sarah Marsh | Opinion | The Guardian

Vox Political: Report Recommends Commissioner to Protect People with Learning Difficulties


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

This is another fascinating piece from Vox Political. According to the Grauniad, Stephen Bubb, the author of a report on abuse of people with learning difficulties at a care home near Bristol, has recommended that a special commissioner should be appointed to protect them. See: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/02/23/appoint-individual-to-protect-rights-of-the-vulnerable-report-suggests/

It’s an interesting idea. The piece points out that there is already a children’s commissioner, following the horrific maltreatment and death of Victoria Climbie. Continuing the Classical theme from my last post about Boris Johnson, there’s a kind of precedent for all this in Ancient Greece. I can remember reading in one of the books at College that one of the Greek city states – probably Athens – had an ‘archon for women’ – effectively a ‘minister’, to investigate causes of complaint raised by them. This followed a women’s strike or strikes similar to the sex strike portrayed in Sophocles’ Lysistrata. There was…

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