Expert Contributor

  • Watch out government doesn't try to remove BTECs from sixth forms

    Bill Watkin makes a plea to leave applied general qualifications where they are: sitting alongside A-levels in an academic sixth-form curriculum. Sixth forms tend to offer a primarily academic curriculum to prepare students for higher education. Only a few engage in technical and professional education; most do either all A-levels or a blend of A-levels

    5.00 Dec. 12th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Here's how to get monocultural schools mixing

    As the Casey review warns of the risks of culturally isolated schools, Mashuda Shaikh shares her experience of helping to foster integration, tolerance and citizenship in her local community. My work involves engaging the community to become more cohesive and resilient in times of uncertainty and change by using heritage and history in fun ways.

    5.00 Dec. 11th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Don't abandon new mothers to maternity leave - let us keep working!

    A family-friendly culture shift in schools would help to stem the teacher retention crisis and improve wellbeing for all teachers, says Emma Sheppard. In June this year, as I impatiently awaited the arrival of my son, I was forced to face the painful realisation that in choosing to become a mother, I had potentially sacrificed

    5.00 Dec. 10th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Special-school recruitment: the crisis no one is talking about

    Recruitment for special schools is way tougher than in the mainstream, but there are steps that the government and schools can take, says Marc Rowland. If you have just joined a special school, alternative provision (AP) setting or pupil referral unit (PRU), you are more likely to have a temporary teacher (or no teacher at

    5.00 Dec. 4th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Should schools be doing PR and marketing?

    Elin de Zoete gives basic steps in how to boost your school’s public image. It’s worth it, she says, as it makes all the difference when it comes to parental choice. It is not the done thing in education to talk about a competitive schools landscape. Our education institutions are keen to be seen to

    5.00 Dec. 3rd, 2016 | Opinion

  • 'Let's make grammar schools do outreach work - and that's just a start...'

    It’s a lottery as to which primary schools encourage their pupils to consider a grammar school. That needs to change, says David Jesson. The government’s education green paper has provided the basis for an enlivened debate about the purpose of grammar schools and whether more pupils should have the chance to experience this form of

    5.00 Nov. 28th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Based on data, I believed I would never succeed

    Data can inform starting points but should never be used to cap expectations of learners, says Jaz Ampaw-Farr. “Based on data, I believed I would never succeed.” As a child my trajectory was pretty bleak. On paper I was a disadvantaged, female, looked-after child on free school meals with an ethnic background of “other (please

    5.00 Nov. 27th, 2016 | Opinion

  • We need to document a child's progress from birth to age 5

    Those against data collection in early years are missing the point, says Jan Dubiel. How else will early years’ practitioners know how they (and the child) are doing? The appropriateness and value of collecting data on children has been hotly debated over the past couple of years, sparked in part by the introduction of baseline

    5.00 Nov. 26th, 2016 | Opinion

  • What schools need to know about the apprenticeship levy

    Don’t think that the new levy is all about big business, warns John Deaville. All schools, regardless of size, will feel its impact. Most people are – at least vaguely – aware that the apprenticeship levy, which will be introduced in April 2017, is a payroll tax to fund apprenticeship training, paid by any organisation

    5.00 Nov. 20th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Don't underestimate peer-to-peer support in young people's mental health

    Putting more money and resources into current mental health provision is a pointless exercise if the children who need help are rejecting the system, says Sarah Newton. The Institute for Public Policy Research recently recommended that all secondary schools have guaranteed access to at least one day a week of on-site support from a mental

    5.00 Nov. 19th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Why councils should check up on academies

    There is an accountability gap in the new education landscape that council scrutiny committees could help to fill, just as they do in health, says Su Turner. Accountability matters and is well understood within schools between pupils, teachers and parents, as it is between staff, headteachers and governors. The same is not the case, however,

    5.00 Nov. 13th, 2016 | Opinion