Unqualified headteachers? Welcome to Michael Gove’s educational dystopia . .

Pimlico Primary, a new free school in London, made the news this week for hiring a  27 year old as the head teacher ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22016045 ).  27 does seem a rather young age to take responsibility for a school, although an outstanding candidate with 5 years of experience in the classroom and as a deputy head

Profit-Making State Schools, Why this is a terrible idea (part 2)

In profit warning part I ( http://bit.ly/WCI8ut ) I argued that neoliberal pressure to allow schools to make profits were absolutely nothing to do with raising standards or improving outcomes for students. The motivation behind allowing companies to cream off profits from running state education is purely about profit and the enrichment of the elite who

Dead White Men: Michael Gove and the New National History Curriculum

Michael Gove is at the centre of another controversy. This time it’s over his planned new National History Curriculum.  A ‘leak’ to the Daily Mail over the Christmas period led them to write ‘Some of the greatest figures in Britain’s past are to be restored to their rightful place in history, thanks to an overhaul

Forever Young . .

Today Toby Young published a piece in The Spectator. The majority of it lives behind a paywall, but the first two paragraphs caused a bit of a stir amongst the good folk of twitter as the founder of the West London Free School eased into his usual combative style to defend Michael Gove’s championing of

Steiner Free Schools – Free from everything?

The latest batch of ‘Free’ Schools have been announced (http://on.ft.com/qc6qMQ) and amongst them is a Steiner school planned for Frome in the West Country. The first state funded Steiner School opened in 2008 in Hereford when its existing fee paying structure was substituted for state funding (http://bit.ly/rsbtax). The website of the Frome Steiner Academy (http://fromesteineracademy.co.uk/)

Birbalsingh and competition within the classroom

This week Katharine Birbalsingh gave the 5th Sir John Cass Foundation Lecture. The lecture was titled ‘Is the English Education System Broken?’ and she returned to common themes she has developed in her blog for the Daily Telegraph.  The Guardian printed an edited extract of the lecture http://bit.ly/oYQN6y and this piece is based solely on that text

Extra lessons at Free Schools: Is cramming more teaching in a good idea?

Free Schools are finally opening and Michael Gove’s flagship policy is morphing from an ideological position on supply side reform to schooling to physical reality. The number of free schools opening this term is 24 which is a tiny proportion of the state funded schools in England, but the media attention is blown out of