Category Archives: Education
Michael Gove forced into humiliating U-turn over EBacc – Education News – Education – The Independent
The government risks destabilising the entire school exam system by rushing through plans to replace GCSEs with the Ebacc, a change that may be unnecessary, a committee of MPs has warned in a damning report.
The investigation, by the education select committee, challenges almost every justification the education secretary, Michael Gove, has given for phasing out GCSEs in favour of the new qualification, saying there is particular worry the change could disadvantage less academic pupils.
It calls into question Gove’s wider programme of rapid change, warning of a “lack of overall coherence” in how the government is approaching several key elements of education.
Mr Gove had hoped that leading universities would help draft the new A-level courses.
However, Cambridge said the plan would damage efforts to attract more working class students, while independent schools said scrapping AS-levels would deter pupils from studying harder subjects, such as maths and French.
10 January: The Guardian reports that education secretary Michael Gove has appointed a venture capitalist and enthusiastic supporter of academies to a post as an education minister.
By complete co-incidence John Nash has donated nearly £300,000 to the Tory party since 2006 – £288,000 since David Cameron became leader.
Nash runs a charity which sponsors a range of academies, but claims that he will be impartial in his new role.
10 January: The Daily Mail reports that budgets for training nursery staff and childminders is to be cut by 40% after David Cameron and Nick Clegg failed to agree a deal on funding.
Labour used Freedom of Information laws to reveal how much councils have spent on training for the early years workforce and supporting childcare providers to employ well-qualified staff.
In 2010-11 almost 140 councils in England spent £93.3million but a year later the budget had been cut by 40 per cent to £56million.
Mr Twigg adds: ‘The Government has slashed the budget for training for nursery staff, putting quality at risk. In four areas – Redcar, Enfield, Solihull and Lewisham, there is now no money available for councils to provide nursery staff training.’
Just 15 councils increased their spending year-on-year.
10 January: The Independent reports that Education Secretary Michael Gove has “no objections” to private companies running schools for a profit after the 2015 election.
The controversial idea has been vetoed by the Liberal Democrats, who fear it would be seen as back-door privatisation of the education system. It will not be implemented before the 2015 election, but is now seen as a front-runner for inclusion in the Tory manifesto.
Bright Blue, a modernising pressure group regarded as David Cameron’s natural ally, will propose the move in a book to be published next week calling for the Coalition’s public service reforms to be extended through an injection of market forces.
9th January: The Independent reports that the coalition’s flagship academy schools programme does not necessarily provide any better performance, and flouts rules on selection to artificially pick the best pupils.
The [Acadamies] commission, headed by the former chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert, says it was told of examples of academies “willing to take a ‘low road’ approach to school improvement by manipulating admissions”. The decision to give them control over their own admissions practices has, it adds, “fuelled concerns that the growth of academies may entrench rather than mitigate social inequalities”.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, warned: “This is a situation which will only get worse as the Government hands yet more schools over to unaccountable sponsors and allows more free schools to open.”
Stephen Twigg, Labour’s Education spokesman, said the report showed the school system was becoming “chaotic, impacting on standards and fairness”.
7 January: The Guardian reports that teachers unions have criticised Michael Gove’s plans for performance related pay, warning that pay rises for some could lead to pay cuts or even redundancies for others.
Brian Lightman, the [Association of School and College Leaders] general secretary, said: “While more flexibility to link pay and performance is welcome, pragmatically it will be difficult to do within the current school budget constraints. In a climate where budgets are at best static and at worst declining significantly, the corollary of paying some teachers more must be paying other teachers less, or making them redundant.”