Expert Contributor

  • Stop bashing Catholic schools and let us educate children

    As secular campaigners intensify their vocal opposition to faith schools, Andrew Cole charts the battle his Catholic voluntary aided school faced to open in west London. Ever since Theresa May announced plans to scrap the 50 per cent admissions cap for new faith free schools, secular campaigners have been unable to hide their disdain. Piece

    5.00 Feb. 5th, 2017 | Opinion

  • How to consult effectively when applying for school planning permission

    Consultation is never a silver bullet to securing planning permission, but it is necessary and de-risks the process, says Louise Page-Jennings. The government’s ambitious target to build 500 new schools by 2020 is leaving many communities stuck between the need to provide much-needed school places and finding the right location to do so. To find

    5.00 Feb. 1st, 2017 | Opinion

  • No website can replace good careers guidance

    Careers education and guidance is more than just providing information about jobs says Janet Downs. It cannot be offloaded to employers or delegated to website and phone lines. The quality of careers education and guidance (CEG) has plummeted since the days of the Technical and Vocational Educational Initiative (TVEI), which did much to improve the

    5.00 Jan. 30th, 2017 | Opinion

  • What's the essential technology spend for schools in 2017?

    Many schools have struggled to keep up with changes in the rules covering the use of technology in public institutions, says Mark Orchison. They do so at their peril. Schools are not spending as much on technology this year, the British Education Suppliers Association’s market barometer shows. This is hardly surprising: with budgets in their

    5.00 Jan. 28th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Progress 8: beware confidence intervals!

    Progress 8 scores offer a better way of looking at school performance than did the A*-C percentage GCSE pass rate, says Stuart Kime, but be aware of how you interpret them . Removing the A* – C percentage pass rate statistic from the vernacular of English schooling was an eminently sensible decision. But is the

    5.00 Jan. 23rd, 2017 | Opinion

  • How should we define 'disadvantaged' pupils?

    Separating pupils into those who qualify for free schools meals and those who don’t does little to highlight the more nuanced and complex picture in relation to attainment outcomes for different pupils, says Sameena Choudry. The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) research Ethnicity, Gender and Social Mobility, carried out in partnership with LKMCo and Education Datalab

    5.00 Jan. 22nd, 2017 | Opinion

  • 'Refuse, retract, resist' school nationality data collection

    Parents can choose not to be complicit in building border controls in our playgrounds – and so can schools, says Martha Spurrier. The spring school census started this week. For the second time this academic year, parents and guardians have been asked to share their children’s nationalities and countries of birth with the state –

    15.21 Jan. 19th, 2017 | Opinion

  • An autism diagnosis doesn't mean other special needs are being missed

    An autism diagnosis doesn’t mean other special needs are being missed – it’s just the first step in the process, says Malcolm Reeve. Between 2010 and 2016 the number of children with autism in schools in England nearly doubled. The percentage in secondary schools increased markedly, even more in special schools. The broad SEN area

    5.00 Jan. 15th, 2017 | Opinion

  • We must mend the primary and secondary split in education leadership

    If primary and secondary leaders better understood each other’s phases, children would be better prepared for the move from key stage 2 to 3, says Allana Gay. School leaders suffer from fear of missing out. They aim to keep up with all of the latest trends for teaching styles, data manipulation, Ofsted and sources of

    5.00 Jan. 14th, 2017 | Opinion

  • How curiosity-driven science suffered a blow in the 60s

    As the debate rages once again between “traditional” and “progressive” curriculums, and between formal and informal methods of teaching, I wonder whether we are doomed to revisit these themes with every successive generation. In 1965 I was part of the Nuffield junior science project pilot year. The goal was for children to come up with

    5.00 Jan. 9th, 2017 | Opinion

  • We can turn the tidal wave of mental health problems

    The growing sense of a crisis in schools prompted his new book, says John Tomsett. It seems that a day does not pass without a new report on the perilous state of children and young people’s mental health. Only last month a government report claimed that 110,000 children in London were suffering from significant mental

    5.00 Jan. 8th, 2017 | Opinion