NEWS – Christians in Education


The new chair of the Commons Education Select Committee wants to examine the widening remit of regional school commissioners as a matter of urgency and has raised concerns about the lack of detail on how they will work. Speaking to TES, Neil Carmichael said he was eager to find out what exactly the regional school commissioners will be doing as part of the government’s drive to crack down on ‘failing’ and ‘coasting’ schools. Read more

Ofsted is ditching 40 per cent of its contracted inspectors after assessing them as not good enough to judge schools reliably. The purge of 1,200 inspectors comes as part of its plan to improve quality and consistency, which will also mean the remaining inspectors being graded after every school visit. A spokesman, however, was quick to point out that the reduction in inspector numbers did ‘not equate’ to Ofsted being substandard up to this point, and said that no complaints were anticipated from schools. Read more

Nicky Morgan has told an education conference that she wants maintained schools to become academies because the change in status will give the goverment ‘much swifter powers’ to intervene if they fail. The education secretary said that her department did ‘not hesitate to intervene in academies that are failing’. Read more David Cameron, meanwhile, says that even good schools could be forced to become academies. Read more

A new ‘counter-terrorism curriculum’ which is aimed to condemn terrorist ideology to UK school children will be launched today. Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri hopes the ‘Islamic Curriculum on Peace & Counter Terrorism’ will dissuade young British people from joining terror organisations such as Isis, and has claimed his work is a ‘Jihad against Isis’. Read more

A number of selective secondary schools catering for the country’s most able pupils will be set up within the next few years, according to one of the country’s leading grammar school heads. The new breed of schools will not have the grammar school label – but will offer more traditional subjects such as Latin and Greek and cater for the gifted pupil. Read more

The Oasis academy chain has received a strong rebuke from Ofsted inspectors for its inability to help struggling schools and confusion within senior management – at an embarrassing time for the government, which plans to push more maintained schools into academy chains. The Trust questions the methodology that Ofsted used to arrive at the conclusion.  Read more

Pupils could sit exams in the ethics of sex before marriage and whether it is right to tell on others in the next two years through a new philosophy GCSE, AC Grayling, the author and philosopher, has said.  Professor Grayling, who is the master of New College of the Humanities, also said the idea of a new philosophy GCSE has received interest from roughly 80 out of 100 schools surveyed so far.  He is working alongside the head of philosophy at Rugby School, Dr John Taylor, who has contacted exam boards to get official approval for the new qualification. Read more

Sir Chris Woodhead, who died this week, was robbed too early of his life by motor neurone disease, but you don’t need to look far for evidence that his spirit lives on or that he can still provoke controversy.  On Monday, David Cameron announced a crackdown on ‘coasting’ schools.  He could have been singing from the Woodhead hymn sheet, thumping the Woodhead Bible which had, at its principled heart, a belief that every child, regardless of background, deserves access to a good, traditional education. Was he right in attempting to destroy the Blob? Read more