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Immigration helps explain Sweden’s school trouble

10 August 2015 17:56

Sweden’s education performance has faltered in the past decades, with scores tumbling in the OECD’s international Pisa survey since the early 2000s. Both the Guardian and the BBC have recently looked into… Continue reading


British teachers could learn a thing or two from the Chinese

3 August 2015 16:55
Watch and learn (Photo: Peter Parks/Getty)

‘Rude, bone idle… and cosseted by the welfare state! Chinese teachers’ damning verdict on British children after spending a month in UK classrooms. Yes – just about right, I reckon. Except,… Continue reading


Idealists tend to cause far more misery to humanity than cynics

13 July 2015 11:28
UK Labour Party Leader ship Hustings

I’ve often wondered if Freudian theories could be applied to the Left in the same way they have been applied to the Right in the past. Is there an equivalent,… Continue reading


The head of Ofsted wants to fine ‘feckless’ parents. Is he in the wrong job?

2 July 2015 16:32
Sir Michael Wilshaw (Photo: Getty)

Sir Michael Wilshaw may have been in charge of Ofsted since January 2012 – he is arguably the most important educationalist in the land – but in his head he is still very much a head… Continue reading


The quality, not quantity, of childcare needs improving

30 June 2015 16:43

The Chancellor has found himself a treasure chest: childcare. In his quest for full employment, it’s seen as crucial for boosting maternal employment. Helping parents with punishingly high childcare costs… Continue reading


Nicky Morgan: intolerance of homosexuality in schools may be a sign of extremism

30 June 2015 9:19
Secretary of State for Education, Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan speaks at the Conservative party manifesto launch on April 14, 2015 in Swindon, England.

Nicky Morgan is taking the fight against radicalisation into the classroom. On the Today programme, the Education Secretary outlined what her department is doing to support schools in tackling, what she called, this ‘very real threat’. The… Continue reading


State schools, not private schools, are the real sponsor of inequality in Britain

28 June 2015 11:17
Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 11.03.53

In today’s Observer, Will Hutton unwittingly highlights the poverty of the inequality debate in Britain. Gifted writers like him bang on about private schools the whole time rather than look… Continue reading


Students worrying about ‘value for money’ miss the point of an arts degree

23 June 2015 12:05
The point of an arts degree is the time it gives you to pursue other hobbies (Photo: Getty)

University towns are already awash with fur-trimmed gowns and proud parents, but behind the smiles there’s a glimmer of resentment: four in 10 of those graduating this year think they’ve… Continue reading


Yvette Cooper needs to do more than just talk about Nordic models

9 June 2015 11:55
Helena Christensen (Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty)

Britain’s Left has been indulging in worship of Scandinavian social democracy ever since the tide started ebbing on the New Labour project, most recently on prostitution reform and the SNP’s vision… Continue reading


Tristram Hunt backs scrapping GCSEs and urges Labour to be more radical on education

9 June 2015 9:35
Labour Party education spokesman Tristram Hunt speaks to delegates in the exhibition hall in Manchester on September 21, 2014 on the first day of the Labour Party conference.

Tristram Hunt’s education policy was assumed to be a victim of Ed Milband’s straitjacket. But now, the shadow education is free to speak his mind about where Labour went wrong… Continue reading


Nicky Morgan faces her first big blob battle with new academies bill

3 June 2015 8:34
Nicky Morgan, who will continue as Secretary of State for Education, arrives at Downing Street on May 11, 2015 in London, England.

The march of academies takes a step forward today. The government will publish the  Education and Adoption Bill, which will make it a legal requirement for failing schools to convert… Continue reading


Nicky Morgan has no right to tell Orthodox Jews how to behave

1 June 2015 17:14
A Jewish family walk down the street in Stamford Hill  (Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty

Imagine if Education Secretary Nicky Morgan went into a mosque and told the praying blokes to put their shoes back on. Or if she bowled into a Catholic school and… Continue reading


The Stalinist logic behind the SNP’s approach to education

28 May 2015 10:45
What do you do if you can’t get get children to pass exams? Stop examining them, of course (Photo: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty)

Early in the campaign for Scottish independence the SNP commissioned a party political broadcast called Two Futures. It told the story of Kirsty, a baby due to be born on… Continue reading


Young people should be wary of the Guardian’s university league table

(Photo: Getty)

This week, the Guardian published its annual university league table. The rankings are as bewildering to anyone acquainted with the reality of university reputations as they are misleading to anyone… Continue reading


Student visa reforms will be a nightmare for university vice-chancellors

12 May 2015 11:48
(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

As the dust settles on the outcome of the 2015 general election, one group of business executives who we can be sure are less than ecstatic at what the future… Continue reading


Tristram Hunt: Education Secretaries can send their kids private

23 April 2015 16:17

In the Daily Politics education debate just now on the BBC, Tristram Hunt declared that it was acceptable for an Education Secretary to send their own child to private school.… Continue reading


Ed Miliband couldn’t care less about education reform

8 April 2015 18:17
(Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Getty)

The editor of The Spectator isn’t the only person thinking about the prospect of Ed Miliband becoming the next Prime Minister. Eighty educationalists have signed a letter in the Daily Mail… Continue reading


Kids love fairy tales. This doesn’t mean they must be taught about transgender politics

7 April 2015 13:07

If the NUT didn’t exist it would be necessary for a latter-day Michael Wharton to invent it. This week the teaching union is having its congress where, among other things, it’s… Continue reading


Do we really need more physics teachers?

11 March 2015 12:11

The government has today announced a drive to get more physics and maths graduates into teaching. It’s a good idea, given the struggle that many headteachers report in recruiting teachers… Continue reading


If ‘non-violent extremists’ can’t express their views at universities, where can they?

4 March 2015 12:49
Mohammed Emwazi studied at the University of Westminster (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty)

Last month, the government’s Counter-Terrorism & Security Bill became law. One provision is the legal obligation it places upon ‘specified authorities’ to ‘prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. ‘Specified authorities’… Continue reading


E.G. West showed a way for ‘free schools’ to be truly free

27 February 2015 16:24
Durham Free School is to close at the end of this term

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, has announced the closure of the Durham Free School, following scandalously one-sided Ofsted reporting about the school.  Closure would lead to less choice for… Continue reading


Could this be the solution to the Durham Free School dilemma?

6 February 2015 19:32
James Tooley (Photo; Newcastle University)

A highly respected academic has stepped forward pointing education ministers towards a potentially face-saving solution to the Durham Free School dilemma. James Tooley, professor of education policy at Newcastle University… Continue reading


One of Gove’s most important education reforms is in danger

5 February 2015 14:22

One of this week’s most important stories is tucked away in the Times’ Higher Education supplement today. It appears that one of Michael Gove’s most important reforms, putting universities—not Whitehall—in charge… Continue reading


Exclusive: Nicky Morgan to approve more than 50 new free schools

4 February 2015 14:12

Nicky Morgan will announce more than 50 new free schools by the end of this month, Coffee House has learned. I understand that a protracted battle has been taking place… Continue reading


Will Nicky Morgan admit she may have been wrong about Durham Free School?

4 February 2015 12:49
Nicky Morgan (Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

The education secretary gave Durham Free School (DFS) until 3 February to make representations showing why it should not have its funding agreement ended. Nicky Morgan now has the school’s response:… Continue reading