Category Archives: Research
Sahlberg started by outlining how he thinks Finland have got to a stage where they rank consistently highly in the PISA tables, a worldwide study by the OECD of the scholastic performance of 15 year-olds internationally.
Finland, he says, aims to provide a great school for each and every child. Private schools were dismantled in 1972, and children simply go to their nearest school. There is no competition between schools, no league tables, no inspectorate and no standardised testing.
Despite improving children’s performance by significantly more than the national average, Gladstone Park Primary School in Dollis Hill, North-West London was rated “inadequate” by an Ofsted inspection in November 2012. This was based on progress in Years 3 to 5 being classed as too slow. However, results for the Autumn and Spring 2012/13 Terms now show that progress across Key Stage 2 year groups (Years 3 to 6) is well above expectations.
In a written parliamentary answer to John Healey MP for Wentworth and Dearne it was revealed that Michael Gove the Education Secretary can revoke academy funding following a ‘special measures’ or ‘requires significant improvement’ judgment from Ofsted. Read Parliamentary Answer … Continue reading
Nearly three thousand schools have taken up the government’s offer to become academies – but were they tempted by more than the simple promise of freedom? This documentary explores how financial equations have played their part in the success of the coalition’s flagship schools policy. As academy funding is overhauled, the programme estimates the final cost of a grant which should have meant academies got exactly the same budget after they converted as they did before – and asks why funding equality ended up costing hundreds of millions of pounds.
By Terry Wrigley
The Academies Commission was set up by the Pearson Group and the RSA. It was widely expected to be a whitewash. It was explicitly set up not to question the academies programme but to help them work better.
Surprisingly its report has revealed very serious problems of achievement, school admissions, school improvement, how sponsors are chosen, financial irregularities, and poor management. It condemns the casual attitude of the Coalition Government towards academies, which are clearly a law unto themselves.