VIEWS – Christians in Education


As parents around the country find out which primary schools their children will be attending from September on National Offer Day, some leading members of the Church of England are worried that their schools seem to be acting in ways that benefit the rich, harm the poor and encourage hypocrisy. What would happen if church schools stopped admitting pupils based on their faith? Read more

Parents should forget preparing children for exams during the summer holidays and instead give them a broken Hoover to take apart, according to head teacher of St Richard’s school in Hertfordshire. Parents need to give their children time away from developing skills and instead work on nurturing their confidence, encouraging them to engage in activities that promote ‘directed purposeless’ for fun. Read more

On a similar theme, Peter Tait, head master of Sherborne Preparatory School in Dorset, writing in The Telegraph, suggests that anxious parents are ‘dervishes’ about their children’s education and should be more detached to allow them to develop naturally. Parents also need to have confidence in those whose job it is to look after their children’s education. To do this requires a certain detachment, a willingness to trust the passage of time, focusing on whether children are happy, challenged and purposeful and are learning the right values. Read more

British design is undergoing an undeniable renaissance. Following the recent Department for Culture, Media and Sport report that revealed the creative industries are worth £76.9bn in terms of gross value added, even the government is taking notice. We believe we are a nation of inventors. Innovation courses through our veins, ready to be tapped at any commercial opportunity that presents itself, wherever it is in the world. Our education system is the key to maintaining that strength. Read more

The UK shouldn’t throw away authority in classrooms, an expert has said, trashing decades-long conventional wisdom that an education system to emulate is one that gives pupils more power over teachers and less homework. For years Finland has been short hand short hand for a successful education system that offers teachers’ autonomy and comparatively little homework as a result of reforms implemented in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Read more

Girls in French secondary schools are benefiting from a marking bias by maths teachers, finds research.  The girls were given 6% higher marks than boys for similar work, says the study by the London School of Economics and Paris School of Economics. The boost encouraged girls to take science subjects later in their school careers, say the researchers. Read more

When Dominique Hawkins gave birth to her daughter Sophie in October 2010, it was a bumper year for babies. The maternity ward at her local hospital was full to overflowing. ‘They had a lot of babies due that autumn,’ says Hawkins. Sophie is now four, turning five – as are all those other babies – and is part of a population boom that is causing a growing crisis in primary school places. Read more

The Green Party’s education policies appear to be designed to model the principles of the party, rather than reflect the research about what works well in raising pupil attainment. There are a number of radical and eye-catching policies; but many of these seem unlikely to have positive effects. The total cost of implementing these policies is also a major issue. The Greens seem to have moved away from a long-standing principle of school policy: that education can act against inequalities in family background to help give poorer pupils a fighting chance. Read more