Ofsted has had a bad week after the Education Select Committee marked it down on its response to the Trojan Horse school investigation. Its report, ‘Common sense needed in tackling extremism in schools’ found a wasteful lack of co-ordination between the five enquiry bodies. Read more On the same day, the Communities and Local Government Select Committee found significant failings in Ofsted’s response to the Rotherham child abuse. Read more Read the report
More than two million working parents would have to consider giving up their jobs completely if they were not able to rely on their own parents to help with childcare, new research from the charity Grandparents Plus suggests. Meanwhile another one in six would have to cut back their hours if they could not turn to their parents for support. The report concludes that the economy could not afford mothers dropping out of the labour market. Read more
Speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, Tony Blair questioned the evidence available to politicians when they make education policy decisions. ‘One of the things that really interests me about modern policy making is how it compares to the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s when our systems were growing up, when there was an intense amount of academic work and research that could translate itself into government policies’. Read more
Writing on his blog site The Wee Flea, David Robertson reposts an article written by Matthew Parris for his column in The Times nearly twelve years ago. Although an atheist homosexual, it shows a more articulate understanding of Christianity than many of its church leaders. ‘Jesus’…followers,’ he writes, ‘are not urged to accommodate themselves to their age, but to the mind of God’. Read more
Faith schools are very much part of the education landscape. 34 per cent of schools in England are faith schools and of these 99 per cent are church schools. Yet, despite their continued popularity and the fact that our education system was created by our churches, secular and humanist groups would rather see the back of them, writes Gillan Scott on the Archbishop Cranmer blog site. The blog addresses the perceived injustice of faith education point by point. Read more
Anyone who has a religious faith has to deal with the struggle of expressing beliefs on a daily basis. How much do we allow our faith into those public places we inhabit? When do we deem it appropriate for our faith to guide our actions and words, and when for the sake of keeping the peace do we keep it hidden? Workplaces have rules, either explicit or unwritten, which necessarily regulate our behaviour to a certain extent. But religion does not fit neatly into little boxes however hard we try, writes Archbishop Cranmer, discussing the issues raised by the EHRC ‘Religion or belief in the workplace’ report. Read more
The impact of internal government wrangling over the terms of the Counter-terrorism and Security Bill has been to cause further confusion. The government is now warning that students remain at risk of radicalisation particularly by preachers visiting campus Islamic societies. Home Secretary Theresa May is insisting that universities must now ‘play their part’ in preventing radicalisation, even though there will no longer be any government guidance on how they should go about dealing with extremist speakers. Read more from the article ‘Protecting free speech in education’.
In his book, The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle says: ‘Master coaches aren’t like heads of state. They aren’t like captains who steer us across the unmarked sea, or preachers on a pulpit, ringing out the good news.’ Instead, their personality is ‘more like that of a farmer than a president or preacher: they are down-to-earth and disciplined’. And so it is with great teachers. Read more about the traits of a master teacher.