Expert Contributor

  • Is there such a thing as too much education data?

    We need to become more nuanced in our reactions to research findings, says Timo Hannay We are awash in data about education. The Department for Education routinely releases information about schools in England, covering everything from academic attainment and pupil demographics to school staffing and finances. (Schools in other parts of the UK are administered

    5.00 Jan. 15th, 2019 | Opinion

  • How can schools lodge a complaint against an Ofsted judgment?

    The Court of Appeal last month found in favour of Ofsted against Durand Academy’s challenge to its procedure. In the light of the court’s decision, Katie Michelon lists the steps you should consider if you want to make a complaint against the inspectorate The Court of Appeal ruled last month that Ofsted’s complaints procedure is

    5.00 Jan. 13th, 2019 | Opinion

  • Don't blame independent schools for choosing IGCSEs

    Don’t blame independent schools for sometimes choosing ICGSEs, says Shaun Fenton The political football that is IGCSEs has been kicked around the pitch again, amidst cries of “foul” and “unfair, referee!” Independent schools were lined up to compete with state schools, despite the teams having no real heart in the game and the spectators –

    12.00 Jan. 11th, 2019 | Opinion

  • Let’s stick with academies rather than twisting again

    Let’s not use the latest Sutton Trust report to argue about school structures – headteachers just want to get on with the job, says Julie McCulloch Academisation is one of those subjects which produces polarised views. Its rapid expansion is a product of Gove-era ideology and is anathema to some of those on the left who

    10.44 Dec. 20th, 2018 | Opinion

  • 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

  • Primary school review, 2018: Storm clouds are brewing

    If you think this year has been tough, just wait for the year ahead, says Allana Gay The year opened with the backlash of Ofsted’s Bold Beginnings still rumbling. The criticism from early years practitioners across the country was immense. In April this was joined by the Standards and Testing Agency announcement of reception baseline

    5.00 Dec. 20th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Secondary school review, 2018: Looking back – with a little help from Donald Rumsfeld

    There’s lots to talk about after a year in which education remains one of the few issues outside Brexit, but Vic Goddard and Caroline Barlow decide to stick to the big issues To paraphrase the famous quote from Donald Rumsfeld, the former US secretary of defence, there are known knowns, there are known unknowns, but

    5.00 Dec. 19th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Books to buy teachers for Christmas

    For policy nerds Natural born learners By Alex Beard Publisher: Orion Natural Born Learners is not dissimilar, in scope or ambition, to Lucy Crehan’s Cleverlands. But while Crehan’s focus is school system design, Beard travels the globe visiting cognitive scientists, tech companies and schools to investigate the science of learning. The tone is of unbridled

    5.00 Dec. 16th, 2018 | Reviews

  • Special educational needs review, 2018

    The challenges for SEND have reached a critical point this year, but there are still reasons to be cheerful, says Adam Boddison I am often asked whether the 2014 SEND reforms were the right reforms. The truth is that while the ambition and underpinning principles are sound, implementation has been problematic, and the reforms have

    5.00 Dec. 16th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Education politics review 2018: The DfE needs to raise the bar

    It’s been a bit of a humdrum year in education policy, says Natalie Perera, neither a car crash nor a roaring success Theresa May’s inevitable reshuffle in January meant the fourth education secretary in as many years. Fresh from launching her much anticipated social mobility strategy, Justine Greening was barely given the chance to see

    5.00 Dec. 17th, 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