Laura McInerney

  • Teachers are the best careers advisors

    When did you first decide an academic school subject wasn’t for you? Perhaps it was the day everyone laughed at your French accent? Or when the English teacher made you read Catcher in the rye? (You have my sympathy – that boy needs to get over himself). Mine was in during a physics lesson on

    5.00 May. 11th, 2018 | Opinion

  • How can we improve outcomes for excluded pupils?

    Fifteen years ago I met a vicar in a bar in Oxford who had spent 20 years working in prisons with violent male offenders. He told me that the youngest ones only had two shots at turning their lives around. “Either they find Jesus, or their girlfriend gets pregnant and they suddenly get the preciousness

    5.00 May. 4th, 2018 | Opinion

  • How should schools manage out-of-hours emails?

    Four months ago, Teacher Tapp data revealed that half of teachers had answered emails during the Christmas holidays. This sounds innocuous enough, but the figures caused a bit of a battle on social media. Email answerers were at pains to explain it wasn’t necessary for other people to answer their emails out-of-hours or reply to

    5.00 Apr. 27th, 2018 | Opinion

  • The public services Jenga tower is on the brink of collapse

    Are schools going to get more money? That’s the question headteachers keep asking – not least at the ASCL conference last week – and it’s the one that’s guaranteed to cause everyone grief. And quite honestly, the answer appears to be no. Damian Hinds is a classic low-tax Conservative. In his time as a member

    5.00 Mar. 16th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Teachers: don't give up in March - you can make it over 'the wall'!

    In marathon races, mile 20 is known as “the wall”, the point when the energy in your muscles runs out and continuing on requires overcoming every psychological instinct to stop. For schools, March is “the wall”. It’s the month when teachers’ good intentions for their class are in tatters and when, if things are going

    5.00 Mar. 9th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Why flexible working won't solve the workload problem

    Back in the 2000s, “thinking hats” were a mega-cool concept in schools. Available in six different colours, each one signified a way of thinking about a problem. For example, yellow-hat thinking involved looking positively at a problem, while people wearing white hats were told to look purely at facts. The concept is less cool these

    10.03 Feb. 23rd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Battle of the schools: which one gets closed?

    In the summer of 2013, the health secretary was stopped in his tracks. Jeremy Hunt’s decision to close the emergency department at Lewisham Hospital was ruled unlawful. It was a victory for local campaigners but it would also become a parable for the situation in which academies would one day find themselves. I fear that

    12.30 Feb. 9th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Robert Halfon, Chair, Education select committee

    Robert Halfon, the new chair of the education select committee, campaigned in the corridors of Parliament for the position using leaflets and badges as if he were in a school election for class representative. Having lost his position as skills minister just weeks before, he wasn’t going to let this chance go. The badges and

    5.00 Feb. 6th, 2018 | Features

  • How school leaders can be sucked into dodgy dealings

    Before I became a teacher I briefly worked for KPMG, one of the world’s largest auditors. It was shortly after the fall of Enron, itself one of the world’s largest accountancy firms, after its senior leaders were discovered up to their necks in fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy, among other things. The fall of Enron

    9.51 Feb. 2nd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Education ministers need to stop arguing about skills

    It is beyond tedious to watch two ministers argue in public over the meaning of the word ‘skills’ when they could be fixing education, writes Laura McInerney One of my favourite questions to ask people is this: “If you were invisible for the day, what would you do?” It always throws them off. Sometimes they

    15.00 Jan. 26th, 2018 | Opinion

  • 29% increase in secondary schools below floor standard in 2017

    More secondary schools have fallen below floor standards, but fewer have been defined as “coasting”, according to new figures released by the Department for Education today. This year 365 (12 per cent) of secondary schools dropped below the standard for the 2017 exam series, compared with 282 last year (9.3 per cent) – an increase

    10.11 Jan. 25th, 2018 | News