Category Archives: Articles

NEWS

The Department for Education is to open a new wave of alternative-provision free schools, in an effort to transform the sector. In its document Creating Opportunity for All, published this week, the government says that new alternative-provision free schools work best when they are designed as part of a local network of schools, and created to meet a supply in areas of need. Read more

Ofqual was ‘especially disappointed’ by the extent to which exam boards changed grades last year, and ensuring it doesn’t happen again is a ‘key priority’, according to Richard Garrett, the regulator’s director of strategic relationships. He said Ofqual was considering what action should be taken against boards which failed to crack down on marking changes. Read more

Where is the best secondary school in England? Blackburn – and, defying all stereotypes, the school that came third in this year’s national GCSE rankings is also in the Lancashire town. So why haven’t more people heard that this is the country’s educational powerhouse? Is it because both are Muslim state schools? Or because they’re in a northern former mill town, rather than a north London suburb? Read more

The support of successive governments for faith schools has encouraged religious groups to believe they have total control over children’s education, writes secular campaigner Andrew Copson. But the government cannot allow culture, tradition, or religion to be used to deprive any person of their rights – and that includes children. Read more

VIEWS

Evangelist J John has hit out at the BBC for its coverage of religion. In a long blog post he accuses the BBC of discriminating against ‘mainstream, Bible-based, ‘traditional” Christianity’, saying it is ‘either under-reported, misreported or merely selectively covered by the BBC, whether that be on the radio, television or digital media’. Read more

If education-based discussions in 2018 have been defined principally by one thing, it would be digital safeguarding. We cannot allow the government to add rules about pupil use of social media to teachers’ never-ending to-do list. Tackling the negative side effects must be a joint effort involving parents, pupils and providers, writes Tes’ mental health columnist. Read more

Building a bond with your students is essential to their success in your class and it’s the small stuff that will make a big difference. Whatever age the students are, it can be your relationship with them that dictates their educational success – or failure. For our youngest children, if they don’t like you or they are afraid of you, they will cry. The older ones are likely to choose a subject to study at GCSE because they like – or don’t like – their teacher. Read more

The growing belief that the concept of social mobility is an attack on working-class values threatens to divide our education system along academic and vocational lines, warns Michael Merrick. It would be a tragedy if young people were denied access to our wonderful shared cultural inheritance. Read more

KNOWLEDGE

The DfE this week published new guidance for unregistered independent schools and out of school settings. The advice note is non-statutory guidance for local authorities setting out how the Department for Education, Ofsted and local authorities can work collaboratively to help ensure that children attending these settings are safe and are receiving a suitable education. Read more

A new phase in a campaign to tackle child abuse and neglect was also launched this week as new research reveals the extent of public confidence in reporting it. Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said: Keeping children safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility. It is important people voice their concerns, no matter how small they think they are. Read more

Space not only changes your outlook, it transforms your gene expression. Preliminary results from NASA’s Twins Study reveal that 7% of astronaut Scott Kelly’s genetic expression did not return to baseline after his return to Earth. The study looks at what happened to Kelly before, during and after he spent one year aboard the ISS through an extensive comparison with his identical twin, Mark, who remained on Earth. Read more

MPs have told the government to beef up its social mobility commission and appoint a ‘minister for social justice’ to help tackle inequality in education. The parliamentary education committee has published its report into the commission, which was thrown into chaos last year after all four of its members abruptly resigned. Read more