Expert Contributor

  • What are the routes to opening new VA schools?

    To open a new school three things are needed: a proposer, permission, and capital funding, explains Simon Foulkes The government announced this month that it “will develop a scheme to help create new voluntary-aided (VA) schools for faith and other providers to meet local demand, supported by capital funding. The VA route already allows for

    5.00 May. 21st, 2018 | Opinion

  • You don’t need facts to win a debate, you need confidence

    Knowledge isn’t enough to navigate the world: children need to be taught the power of their own voice, argues Anthony David It’s not often that Parliament is silenced by a 15-year-old who is struggling not to cry as they try to convey the importance of being able to speak out, but that is what happened

    5.00 May. 20th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Without a foundation in fact, oracy isn’t sufficient

    Of course pupils need to learn to express themselves, says John Blake, but the fact is that without a firm basis in knowledge, their rhetoric will fall flat There are not many people who think literacy and numeracy are inessential objectives of our children’s education, even if there is far less agreement about how best

    5.00 May. 20th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Teachers shouldn't have to be careers advisers

    While teachers have an important role to play in inspiring pupils’ future careers, it’s wrongheaded to claim they should replace trained careers advisers, argues Denise Bertuchi In a column last week, Schools Week’s contributing editor Laura McInerney argued that teachers are the best careers advisers. While it’s true that many pupils find teachers a good

    5.00 May. 18th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The apprenticeship levy: How to make the best of bad policy

    The apprenticeship levy is badly designed and implemented even worse, but schools are stuck with it for now, says Jon Coles Although the government is keen that the apprenticeship levy is not seen as a tax, it is very clearly a payroll tax. It drives up the costs of employment and – especially in a

    5.00 May. 14th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Artificial intelligence will NOT make knowledge redundant

    Without knowledge there can be no meaningful analysis, argues Carl Hendrick, who isn’t that worried about the immediate future of AI I read with interest the recent comments from Professor Rose Luckin and others, that advances in artificial intelligence will render the knowledge-based curriculum redundant, as students will be able to look up facts and information

    5.00 May. 13th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The government must not allow segregated faith schools in through the back door

    The cap on religious selection at faith schools may not have been lifted but the war isn’t over, writes Andrew Copson; the new voluntary-aided faith schools will still be harmful The government’s U-turn on removing the 50-per-cent cap on religious selection at new faith schools, is a victory for fairness and inclusion in our state education

    12.30 May. 11th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The mental health reforms must do more to support schools

    The government’s plans to help children and young people’s mental health are welcome in spirit, writes Robert Halfon, but they don’t go nearly far enough in numerous serious ways Half of all mental health conditions first occur by the age of 14, and according to the most recent available data, one in 10 children have

    13.30 May. 9th, 2018 | Opinion

  • How should progress be measured in a special school?

    Special schools aren’t just a watered-down version of mainstream schools, and require progress measures that provide meaningful information for students, parents and the government, argues Sabrina Hobbs As many mainstream schools are still finding their way through life beyond levels, special schools are dealing with a similar scenario of their own. Our old system of

    5.00 May. 6th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Teacher supply agency fees are justified

    Teacher recruitment agencies play a vital role in short-notice school staffing, argues Samantha Hurley, who says they deserve to charge for the service Headteachers have the freedom to recruit directly should they wish to. However, the reality is that many rely on the skills, experience and networks of professional recruiters to ensure that classes have

    5.00 May. 5th, 2018 | Opinion

  • It's time to end exploitative supply agency fees

    The fees charged by agencies that provide schools with supply teachers are becoming untenable. Stephen Tierney has some simple, practical advice which could save heads a packet Squeezed budgets combined with a tight labour market means that teacher supply agencies are having a field day at schools’ expense right now. The ethical problem here is

    5.00 May. 5th, 2018 | Opinion