Tories don’t understand children, parents or ‘meritocracy’

Dan Moloney  |  7 October 2016

This week the secretary of state for education’s conference speech made clear that the Tories don’t understand children, they don’t understand parents, and they don’t have the policies necessary to create the ‘meritocracy’ that they speak of. First, the very fact that early years education did not even merit a mention by Justine Greening was shocking. …

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Grammar mistakes

Patrick Diamond  |  5 October 2016

Five reasons grammar schools are a terrible idea —Theresa May’s decision to announce the expansion of English grammar schools as a radical approach to improving social mobility has been roundly criticised, not least by former Conservative education secretaries and prominent Tory members of parliament. When David Cameron became leader of the Conservative party, he sought to bury the issue …

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Supporting young people for the world of work outside the classroom

Michael Lynas  |  30 September 2016

There are few more important subjects than how we prepare the next generation – our future – for life and work. In recent years, there has been extensive reform of the education system, with the academy programme pioneered by Labour and extended by the coalition and Conservative governments. What you study at school matters, studying …

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We have a duty to stay

Leo Gibbons-Plowright  |  28 September 2016

When I was eight years old, the Labour government introduced the National Literacy Strategy, this meant daily literacy hours were mandatory for children my age. As a child who struggled with reading and writing, and was on the Special Educational Needs register until the age of 11 — I had a dedicated support staff member who gave …

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All grown up

Wes Streeting MP  |  23 September 2016

In the debate about how we tackle inequality, our attention is rightly focused on what schools can do to tackle educational disadvantage to improve the life chances of the poorest pupils. Labour’s unrelenting focus on school improvement was one of the great success stories of the last Labour government. But we should also be concerned …

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The grammar vacuum

Sam Sims  |  9 September 2016

Aristotle famously said that nature abhors a vacuum. He was half right in the sense that, given a chance, denser material will rush in to fill the void. But as we now know, large parts of the universe do manage to persist in a state of emptiness. It is counterintuitive to think about space persisting …

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The arc of underachievement

Alex Bigham  |  18 August 2016

Students getting their A-level results today would have spent the majority of their education under a Labour government, many starting their formative nursery years at the same time as the first secondary schools were becoming academies. With a record number of university places offered, we can be proud of our ambition to open up the …

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Rehashed, reheated and wrong

Richard Angell  |  15 August 2016

Three ways Jeremy Corbyn’s National Education Service fails on its own terms and lets the Tories off the hook Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn launched his National Education Service policy. Three things spring to mind. First, this is not even a rehash of the policy of the same name launched last July with LabourList – it is the same …

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Solving Britain’s early years crisis

James Metcalfe  |  4 August 2016

In 1999, Labour pledged to eradicate child poverty by declaring that ‘no child be left behind’. Whilst in government, it was Labour’s determination to tackle inequality and promote social mobility that saw the creation of Sure Start and the establishment of a National Minimum Wage. But whilst Labour made huge strides to create equality of …

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Education obsessives

Mark Rusling  |  3 August 2016

Political parties, like people, have obsessions. They might be idiosyncratic or mainstream; based on evidence or a hunch; serious or minor. But, like an unreachable itch, all these obsessions demand to be scratched periodically and, in education policy, Tories are riven by itches. One of their most intractable obsessions is the grammar school. In 1998, …

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