Choice in Education

Review of Economist Article June 26th 2010

In a short article The Economist has picked out a number of surveys and comments to provide an overview to government thinking on free schools.
Starting by commenting that Estelle Morris had noted that education has been shaped more by political expediency than by evidence of what actually works they then pick up on the Swedish model which is being regularly touted.
Michael Gove’s aim is stated as raising standards in state schools by allowing competition to flourish.

According to the article, of the 700 groups .. many of those wanting to establish new schools are ambitious teachers working in poor areas. Looking on the website of the New Schools Network that information isn’t obvious. Does their address look familiar? Here’s the list from the Department for Education

There is a balance in their article where they quote some research by Rebecca Allen at the Institute of Education – I think this is her article.

What do you  think?


Becta Self Review Framework (SRF) Revision

Simplified – but not simple.

To achieve the ICT mark shouldn’t be a simple exercise, and the work Becta has done looks to have removed a lot of the anomalies from the process.

The previous version of the ICT sometimes felt like one of those psychometric interview tests where you are asked the same question in a few different ways – these ‘nearly repetitions’ look like they’ve been removed.

Read more of this post

Queen’s Speech – Educational and Children’s Bill

Plus Letter to Local Authorities

In this post is a copy of the text from the Queen’s Speech plus a pdf copy of a letter sent from Michael Gove to Local Authorities today

Letter from Michael Gove to LAs

The purpose of the Bill is to:
Give full effect to the range of programmes envisaged in the Coalition agreement.

The main benefits of the Bill will be:
•To give all schools greater freedom over the curriculum
•To improve school accountability
•To take action to tackle bureaucracy
•To improve behaviour in schools
The main elements of the Bill are:
•To provide schools with the freedoms to deliver an excellent education in the way they see fit.
•To reform Ofsted and other accountability frameworks to ensure that head teachers are held properly accountable for the core educational goals of attainment and closing the gap between rich and poor.
•To introduce a slimmer curriculum giving more space for teachers to decide how to teach.
•To introduce a reading test for 6 year olds to make sure that young children are learning and to identify problems early.
•To give teachers and head teachers the powers to improve behaviour and tackle bullying.
•We expect standards across the education sector to rise through the creation of more Academies and giving more freedom to head teachers and teachers. We will also ensure that money follows pupils, and introduce a ‘pupil premium’ so that more money follows the poorest pupils.

Existing legislation in this area:
•The structure and functions of Ofsted are set out in the Education and Inspections Act 2006. The duty to inspect and report on schools is set out in section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
•The law relating to the National Curriculum, the key stages and testing is set out in Part 6 of the Education Act 2002 and related secondary legislation.
•Much of the law relating to pupil behaviour is set out in Part 7 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and related secondary legislation. The requirement to set up Independent Appeal Panels is in section 52 of the Education Act 2002. There are provisions about home-school agreements in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
•Academies are currently governed by contracts entered into under section 482 of the Education Act 1996 as amended.

It’s been emotional (via TechnoStories)

It's been emotional There has been much discussion, on Twitter and other sites this week, about the new government’s decision to take action on quangos and close them down. One casualty of this has been Becta and, while I have heard arguments for and against this decision from a number of colleagues, I for one will be sad to see it go. Lots of people in work (and elsewhere) have asked me why and, at first, I couldn’t really put my finger on it. On reflection I can s … Read More

via TechnoStories

Becta Closure

A very bad day at the office?


Following yesterday’s announcement of the closure of Becta, there have been a huge range of comments flying through forums, user groups, blogs and twitter feeds. 


A development from Becta which many local primary schools had taken on board was the next Generation Learning Charter and the ICT Mark. As news is available on the status of these items it will be summarised and posted here.

In addition, this blog  contains summaries and feeds from Becta’s safeguarding team.