Laura McInerney

  • Let's fix school structures, then we can turn to curriculum

    It’s eight years this month since Michael Gove slammed the Academies Act through the Commons and gave us the complicated landscape of academies, free schools and other issues that we all now face. On Tuesday I was asked by the Education Policy Institute to look back across the years and highlight if it was all

    5.00 Jul. 6th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Without more money, the EHCP dream will become a nightmare

    How much does it cost to educate a child? Schools are allocated roughly £5,000 per pupil, depending on location. But is it enough? And, specifically, where is the limit if it isn’t enough? This question particularly matters when thinking about special-needs funding. The new system involves an education, health and care plan (EHCP). Introduced several

    14.24 Jun. 8th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Sex education reforms: can someone in the DfE give us a straight answer?

    In Blackadder: Back and forth, our eponymous antihero runs into Shakespeare after an experiment with a time machine goes awry. “This is for every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the next four hundred years!” Blackadder cries, as he punches the Bard in the face. If I had a time machine, I should like to go back

    5.00 May. 18th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Cheating at key stage 2 SATs: what does it mean for secondary schools?

    What if the reason a secondary school had a poor progress rate was not due to its own teaching, but because the pupils arrived with overinflated results from primary school? Researchers at the number-crunching powerhouse Education Datalab believe this theory holds true, after they looked at secondary schools that took pupils from 30 different primary

    5.00 Apr. 20th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Fixing the madness of the teacher transfer window

    Welcome to recruitment silly season! It is the time of year when everyone wanting to move schools has to do so quickly, because resigning after the end of May means there’s no further option for change in 2018, and where headteachers crumble after months-long negotiations to keep a valuable staff member in their job falls

    10.33 Apr. 13th, 2018 | Opinion

  • When it comes to teacher pay, we're just like monkeys

    In 2012, the scientist Frans de Waal revealed how monkeys go berserk if paid unequally for a task. A YouTube video, watched 13 million times, shows a researcher giving two Capuchin monkeys a food treat in return for handing her a pebble. When the first monkey is given a cucumber, he happily eats it. But

    10.13 Mar. 23rd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Sue Jay, Head of creative arts, Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School

    Rain is lashing down outside the drama studio at the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, but inside there’s a cast of storm troopers, a school-uniformed Princess Leia, and Darth Vader (holding a fluffy unicorn), all prepping for Rock Challenge, a fiercely competitive annual dance contest featuring more than 330 schools. Sue Jay, the school’s

    5.00 Mar. 13th, 2018 | Profiles

  • Teachers shouldn't fear a robot revolution

    Two conferences this week and I got the now obligatory conference-chat about robots at both. Andreas Schleicer, the head of the PISA tests and a perma-attendee at conferences, showed a slide at the Whole Education Conference stating that “the kind of things that are easy to teach are now easy to automate, digitise or outsource”.

    15.41 Mar. 2nd, 2018 | Opinion

  • How schools should handle snow days

    Every time an English school is forced to take a day off for bad weather, the usual suspects ooze out of the woodwork and make a fuss about the terrible effects of kids missing lessons. So why don’t we follow what they do in the states, and add a day at the end of July?

    5.00 Jan. 21st, 2018 | Opinion

  • Helena Marsh, executive principal, Chilford Hundred Education Trust

    Helena Marsh is scouring the SSAT conference programme looking for a suitable interview time. She’s one of the opening keynote speakers, wearing a yellow dress that her assistant head said would allow people to recognise her afterwards and ask questions. “It’s worked,” she says with glee. Poring through the events, she is pained at the

    5.00 Dec. 12th, 2017 | Profiles

  • Toby Salt, Chief executive, AQA

    Stag’s Hill in Guildford is an address known to the many secondary teachers who have submitted GCSE coursework to AQA. Its name conjures the image of a royal park full of leaping deer and rolling foliage. In reality, it is located at the University of Surrey, in a building reminiscent of Ikea. The place screams

    5.00 Dec. 5th, 2017 | Profiles