Expert Contributor

  • How can primaries offer a broad curriculum and still get literacy right?

    If primary schools have to offer a broad curriculum, does that mean less time for English and maths, asks Karen Wespieser Can you have a broad curriculum and focus on the basics? In her commentary accompanying the third and final part of Ofsted’s curriculum research project, Amanda Spielman admits that one of the legacies of

    15.00 Dec. 13th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Ofsted research paves the way to a sunnier upland

    While the devil will be in the detail, the curriculum research published today looks promising for schools, says Stephen Rollett If Ofsted carries on like this it could lose its place as the bogeyman of the education system. We know already that there’s widespread support among school leaders for the inspectorate’s plan to focus more

    15.55 Dec. 11th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Amir Arezoo's top blogs of the week 3 Dec 2018

    Festina Lente @ijstock This blogger is apprehensive about the emphasis on the economic utility of education – framed against university education, but then contextualised in secondary terms. It’s a pertinent debate in a context where Ofsted appears to be looking beyond data as the measure of a school’s effectiveness. As this blog rightly suggests, “the

    5.00 Dec. 8th, 2018 | Reviews

  • How to Explain Absolutely Anything to Absolutely Anyone

    Explanations are our stock in trade and we tend to think we are pretty good at them. Just a few pages into Andy Tharby’s How To Explain Absolutely Anything To Absolutely Anyone, however, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to it than you may have imagined. And if you’ve ever thought you’ve had

    5.00 Dec. 9th, 2018 | Reviews

  • Why you must beware of enormous effect sizes

    How do you know which interventions will actually work in your school? You need to look beyond the effect size, says Jonathan Haslam I’ve learned a lot from these three numbers: +0.76, +0.11 and +0.26. They are all effect sizes from trials run by the Education Endowment Foundation. An effect size is a way of

    5.00 Dec. 10th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Not all multi-academy trusts reduce autonomy

    Some multi-academy trusts encourage autonomy, says Claire-Louise West. She ought to know: she works in one . . . It’s almost been accepted as truth that schools within multi-academy trusts have less autonomy than maintained schools. But it’s not the case for all MATs. I work for GLF, a MAT whose founding principle is to

    5.00 Dec. 8th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The broken promise of autonomy for heads in multi-academy trusts

    The death of autonomy in schools risks becoming education’s mis-selling scandal, says Tony Breslin Headship is changing fast. The growth of federations and multi-academy trusts, and the concurrent emergence of executive and multi-school leadership, threatens to break the promise of autonomy that has been central not just to the substance of headship (and governorship), but

    5.00 Dec. 8th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Ofsted could do more to reward schools for being inclusive

    Amanda Spielman can make Ofsted a force for good by ensuring that in the new framework, no school can be outstanding unless they can also demonstrate they are inclusive, says Adam Boddison This morning, Ofsted published their annual report and it was good to see consideration given to learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities. 

    15.57 Dec. 4th, 2018 | Opinion

  • A lack of sponsors? Simple, ditch compulsory academisation

    Today’s annual report by HMCI Amanda Spielman covers a lot of ground, but let’s pick up here on one important section that shows starkly the flaw in the government’s policy of compulsory academisation. The report points out that the turnaround rates for underperforming schools remain too slow and that a lack of sponsor capacity means

    15.58 Dec. 4th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Why is Ofsted silent on the school funding crisis?

    If Ofsted is happy to rely on anecdotal evidence for off-rolling and school readiness, why does it refuse to speak out on the school funding crisis, the impacts of which are clear as day, asks Paul Whiteman Ofsted’s annual report describes a school system that is performing well but is under significant strain. The number

    14.05 Dec. 4th, 2018 | Opinion

  • If we don't know when teaching interventions have failed, we'll never improve

    In theory everyone thinks it’s a good idea, but why are schools not embracing evaluation more fully when its impact can be so huge, wonders Stuart Kime The English education system has a pretty strange – perhaps dysfunctional – relationship with evaluation, although I don’t think that we’re unique in this. We talk about it

    5.00 Dec. 3rd, 2018 | Opinion