Expert Contributor

  • Social mobility isn't about behaving like the middle class

    We need to change the entire conversation on social mobility to have a chance of changing people’s lives for the better, says Prof Sonia Blandford A staggering 2.5 million children and young people in Britain live in poverty, and they are “born to fail” according to social mobility metrics as put forward by those in power.

    16.45 Oct. 2nd, 2017 | Opinion

  • Elite universities shouldn’t be pressured to sponsor schools

    Leading universities can better help the underprivileged by widening access and outreach schemes, argues Oxford’s Dr Samin Khan In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last year, Oxford’s vice-chancellor Louise Richardson was asked why her university had not yet sponsored or opened a school. “We’re very good at running a university,” she explained

    5.00 Oct. 2nd, 2017 | Opinion

  • Top universities absolutely should sponsor schools

    The success of students from schools sponsored by Exeter University are proof the system works, says Prof Janice Kay The University of Exeter cosponsors five schools, including one of two specialist maths schools in the country. For the university academics who lecture and mentor at the sponsored schools, removing the mystique of university is a

    5.00 Oct. 2nd, 2017 | Opinion

  • Stop labelling summer-born pupils as SEN!

    There’s a huge difference in the attainment of older and younger pupils in the same year, and it’s too often misdiagnosed, says Stephen Gorard It is well known that summer-born pupils leave school with lower grades than their peers, but research has now shown that they are also diagnosed by schools with special educational needs

    5.00 Sep. 24th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Every child can read - don't write them off

    We must stop rating reading skills on a bell curve – it lets us leave struggling pupils behind, says James Murphy It is alarming that so many students arrive at secondary school not reading well enough to access the curriculum. It is even more alarming that we don’t believe these students can catch up. The

    5.00 Sep. 23rd, 2017 | Opinion

  • Why a SEND initial teacher training pathway is a bad idea

    Inclusive pedagogy should be built into the fabric of every initial teacher training programme, rather than bolted on as an afterthought, argues Jacqui Ver Loren van Themaat Many people across the sector have called for more in-depth knowledge in initial teacher training (ITT): more behaviour-management strategies, more focus on subject knowledge, and more special educational needs

    16.20 Sep. 18th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Schools No One Wants are in limbo - here's what needs to change

    The system for rebrokering schools needs reforming to better support vulnerable schools and pupils during the transition to a new academy trust, argues Mary Riall Inadequate’ academies are too often left unsupported for long periods while their transfer to a new multi-academy trust is negotiated, even though we could make simple changes to address this.

    5.00 Sep. 18th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Is it time to bring back the EdTech quango Becta?

    England has fallen behind as an international EdTEch player, so is it time to bring back a centralised body to oversee the sector, asks Tony Parkin It is two decades since the Blair Government swept to power on the mantra of “education, education, education” and the belief in the power of education technology to transform.

    5.00 Sep. 16th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Governors! Here's how to tell if your turnaround head is effective

    Heads with the best long-term school improvement plans are often nearly fired two years into the job simply because they don’t improve exam results quickly enough – here’s how to avoid making that mistake, explain Ben Laker and Alex Hill Our previous study of the actions and impacts of 411 headteachers trying to turn around

    23.00 Sep. 14th, 2017 | Opinion

  • The reformed GCSEs are the qualifications this country needs

    My daughter may not get the top grade but I’m cheering in the new GCSEs because they promise to be the qualifications our young deserve, says educationalist Jo Saxton This week, some 300,000 of the nation’s young will receive their GCSE results. Among them will be my daughter. Am I worried about the fact that

    16.05 Aug. 23rd, 2017 | Opinion

  • Ignore the rise in school-led teacher training routes – universities are here to stay

    The Department for Education’s recent Teacher Training Performance Profiles for 2015/16 prompted inevitable cries in the media of “the end of initial teacher training in universities”. They’re wrong, argues David Spendlove. Once again the DfE’s training figures, which showed an increase in school-led training, are more down to its own creative accounting than any radical

    16.50 Aug. 14th, 2017 | Opinion