VIEWS – Christians in Education


Teachers spend much of their working lives instilling the personal qualities of courtesy and cooperation in young minds. When it was announced that Nicky Morgan would be addressing the NASUWT annual conference, it was met with a combination of incredulity  and confusion as to how best to respond to what we already knew from the media would be her declaration of uncompromising reforming zeal. Read more

Being a parent is not a sufficient qualification to be a school governor, the education secretary has suggested, as she said she wants families and councils to take a businesslike approach to her plans to convert all of England’s schools into academies. Nicky Morgan said she expected that the public were unlikely to have strong feelings about changes to school governance, including plans to scrap the right of parents to have representatives on schools’ boards of governors. Read more

For the second time this century, national policy on testing four-year-old children entering school has been abandoned by the government. A similar policy was abandoned in 2002 because it did not provide the school accountability measures that the then-Labour government hoped for. Its successor has now been sidelined for the same reason. So why has there been a second U-turn? Read more

The white paper setting out the government’s plans for schools in England has caused a stir – and not just from the usual suspects. Parents, governors, influential Tories, even arch loyalist Toby Young are objecting. This may be a new variation of the masochism strategy used by politicians who want to look bold and courageous. Or it could be that ministers have seriously misjudged the public mood. Read more from Fiona Millar

Nicky Morgan wants all schools to become academies by 2022. This is a subject close to Kenneth Baker’s  heart because back in the Eighties he launched City Technology Colleges , the first schools to be independent of local education authorities and hence the forerunners of academies.  It took 10 years to get 16 CTCs off the ground, but they remain today some of the best schools in the country. Kingshurst in Solihull was the first CTC and is a spectacular success. So, there is no doubt that well-run academies can raise standards. But should parents be frozen out of the process? Read more

For some who work in education, April really is the cruellest month. There is a select group of teachers in the UK who spend their Easter holidays laughing at the education secretary, arguing with the chief inspector of schools and falling out with Hollywood. I hear that there are a few who, weirdly, prefer to spend their time with their families, generally acting like Real People. Some of them don’t even tweet. Me? I decided to do some teaching in New York City. I was recently awarded the first Zagat Global Fellowship at Riverdale Country School, in the Bronx. Read more

More than half of students want to see Ucas Clearing completely abolished and, instead, be replaced by a system that enables them to reapply in September with their actual grades, according to a recent survey. Forum and wiki, The Student Room, spoke with just over 6,300 students to find almost 60 per cent want to see the end of Clearing, while 52 per cent said they believe it has a bad reputation.  Read more