Expert Contributor

  • A 'marginal gains' approach to teacher recruitment is not enough

    Short-term tinkering after a decade of disruption will not reverse dwindling numbers, warns David Spendlove. The government needs to think hard about why the profession is becoming less appealing The recently published School Workforce in England data for 2017 showed a continuation in the downward trend, with 5,300 (1.2 per cent) fewer teachers than the

    5.00 Jul. 16th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The Curriculum – Gallimaufry to coherence

    No idea what gallimaufry is? You’re not the only one. A quick search told me that it’s the perfect word to describe the curriculum in some of our schools; the “confused jumble” that many of our children are weaving their way through. Given Ofsted’s recent announcements, and the focus that curriculum design is now rightly

    5.00 Jul. 15th, 2018 | Reviews

  • The Daily Mile is no magic bullet

    The low-cost, straightforward and high-profile Daily Mile initiative is drawing wide support, says Andy Daly-Smith, but there is limited evidence thus far for its effectiveness. Schools should focus on fundamental movement skills, fitness, positive behaviour and passion. The newly published second chapter of the Government’s childhood obesity plan argues that all schools should adopt an

    5.00 Jul. 15th, 2018 | Opinion

  • 5 things schools should know about early-years education

    Children get profound, long-lasting benefits from their earliest exposure to teaching, from academic and non-cognitive development to better health and careers later in life. Research also shows that their teachers’ professional development is key, says Alison Peacock Early years education is perhaps one of the most contentious areas of pedagogical practice. Of late it has

    5.00 Jul. 14th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Ofsted DOES care about the early years

    There is much more to Ofsted’s engagement with the early years sector than the chief inspector’s visits to individual providers, argues Gill Jones At Ofsted, we know it’s imperative that young children get off to a good start when they begin primary school. Once they’re behind, it’s very difficult for them to catch up later.

    16.53 Jul. 6th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The schools that are building democracy into their education

    This week has been declared the UK’s first-ever ‘National democracy week’ in an effort to get people more interested in politics. Here Fiona Carnie celebrates the schools that already get pupils, parents and teachers involved in the way things are run. One fundamental principle of democracy is that it allows people to participate in decisions

    15.00 Jul. 5th, 2018 | Opinion

  • It’s not true that academies care more about money than pupils

    Contrary to the claims of some researchers, academisation is not creating a market, and it is not putting finances ahead of pupil success, says Martyn Oliver Some things never change. Exams finished, the sun shining, and pupils, parents and teachers nervously wondering if the little voice in their head whispering “it’s coming home” is correct.

    12.00 Jul. 5th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Reclaiming the curriculum: Specialist and creative teaching in primary schools

    It is good to have a new book that seeks to “reclaim the curriculum”. However, the question has to be: does it do what it says on the tin? Well it doesn’t, actually. But what it does do is to showcase practice from a selection of primary schools that are making sure that their curriculum

    5.00 Jul. 8th, 2018 | Reviews

  • Unleashing great teaching: The secrets to the most effective teacher development, by David Weston and Bridget Clay

    I was drawn to the optimism of the title Unleashing Great Teaching. While acknowledging the multitude of challenges schools face in improving their professional development, the tone of the book is hopeful. The premise is that, with access to the right resources, expertise and school leadership, the profession has bags of potential to move itself

    5.00 Jun. 29th, 2018 | Reviews

  • The early-learning goals aren't there yet!

    The review of early-years assessment has morphed into a review of the curriculum by the back door, argues Beatrice Merrick Following apprehensive rumblings on social media about the review of the early-learning goals, it’s no surprise that the DfE orchestrated a chorus of positive comment to greet the minister’s announcement of the draft revisions. Headteacher

    5.00 Jul. 1st, 2018 | Opinion

  • How to manage a mobile phone ban in schools

    Collecting pupils’ phones isn’t an invasion of privacy – it’s a sensible way to run a school, explains Peter Lee. Banning mobile phones isn’t as rare or shocking as some seem to think it is. In fact, every school I’ve worked in has banned mobile phones to some extent. Yet after the culture secretary Matt

    5.00 Jun. 30th, 2018 | Opinion