VIEWS – Christians in Education


Amanda Spielman ends her first interview as chief inspector by saying that she wants Ofsted to be seen as a ‘force for improvement’. But that’s not Ofsted’s responsibility. It is for the Department for Education and the country’s head teachers to improve standards in schools. Ofsted’s job, and that of the inspectors, is to inspect, and then report on how well they are doing it. Read more

Exeter, Birmingham and Leeds universities are offering places to working-class students at two grades below the standard offer, as part of a scheme called ‘Realising Opportunities’. This is deeply patronising to working-class students. There are working-class students who will remember stress-filled nights working to get the right grades for a place at those universities. They won their place based on merit – this scheme completely undermines their achievements. Read more

‘Post-truth’ has come to describe a type of campaigning that has turned the political world upside down. Fuelled by emotive arguments rather than fact-checks, it was a phrase that tried to capture the gut-instinct, anti-establishment politics that swept Donald Trump and Brexit supporters to victory. But what does this new world mean for academics and scientists whose whole purpose is trying to establish objective facts? Read more from A C Grayling

At the Michaela community school in Brent, north London, the emphasis on discipline has earned it a formidable reputation, with the headteacher, Katharine Birbalsingh, touted as ‘Britain’s strictest teacher’ by the Sunday Times. But some educationalists are less enamoured: almost every evening on social media sees skirmishes between pro- and anti-Michaela factions. Read more

The BBC Two documentary ‘Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?’ caused some heated debate. But just as it’s cruel to deny treatment to trans people who need it, is it not also unethical to railroad youngsters into decisions they later regret? Doctors are right to be cautious about childhood transition. Read more

Mindset theory, suggests Toby Young, seems to require children to believe something that’s demonstrably false. Intelligence is largely innate. Yes, IQ can fluctuate during childhood and, yes, the more effort you put into something the better you’ll do. But to claim that your performance in a cognitive task is entirely dictated by how hard you try and is nothing to do with raw candle-power flies in the face of more than 100 years of intelligence. Read more