It is the season of heart-warming warming tradition, joy, pre-Christmas sales and crass householders generating enough global warming for a whole town with their shameless lighting displays. So what better way is there to prepare for the holidays than unwrapping the education sector’s annual ticking-off, as Michael Wilshaw issues his Annual Report on Schools?
Wilshaw, forever fighting the urge to tell us how he single-handedly turned his Hackney school into an outstanding beacon of excellence by recruiting middle class students from out of town, this year ripped in to schools with little sixth-forms. Apparently, students attending small school sixth forms “achieve considerably poorer results than those in larger sixth forms”.
Very Small Sixth Forms
Wilshaw said: Read More…
It has been nearly a thousand days since my last post, and a lot has happened in that time. Mr Gove has gone from a reasonable sounding shadow education minister with some good ideas, to an arrogant, self-assured education minister surrounded with yes-men and no ability to distinguish the good from bad.
We now have religious fundamentalist schools redacting parts of science exam papers with which they disagree, a rapid growth of academies without local oversight, radically changed teacher working conditions and pension arrangements, and an untested performance pay system with new head-teacher powers. There are also radically changed exam arrangements, new performance tables, a swelling Maths curriculum, arguments about English and History contents and a minister who seems to be manoeuvring for the party leadership if the Conservatives lose power in the next general election. And there is UKIP making dodgy sounding statistical claims about immigrants, along with the other right wing xenophobic parties getting more shouty all over Europe and America.
On the science side we have the Higgs Boson discovery, badger culls, shale gas extractions, wind turbine fields, the pause in global warming, observations of cosmological chaotic inflation and of quantum gravity waves.
I had originally planned to post to this blog every couple of weeks: that makes me seventy post behind schedule, so it is time to get cracking!