News and blog
There is that old saying that your friends are the family you choose to keep. Well there should also be a saying that teachers are the parents many need to have. When you step back from all the problems currently swirling around education in this country the issue of bad parenting is there, lurking...
As the phrase of ‘Back To School’ winks at me from the Monday window of my calendar, I’m filled with the enthusiasm and energy that you get after having a couple of (mostly) relaxing weeks off. Easter holidays always seem to come around at just the right time, when we can gorge on chocolate and get the batteries recharged, ready to take on the challenges of the forthcoming exam period. This time, however, we’re also going back to school, post Easter trade union conferences, with strike action looming...
The other day one of my Year 8 students said something disconcerting: ‘If you’re so smart why didn’t you become a lawyer or a doctor? Why are you just a teacher?’ This ‘just’ has haunted me for weeks. For that little just isn’t simply a word but the key to a much bigger issue. An English teacher in London, who trained through the Teach First programme, explains why teaching is so much more than just teaching.
Whilst education remains a political football, the government on one team and the unions on the other, our system will never reach its collective goal. If the Secretary of State is honest about making it his goal to free education policy from political interference, our unions should be equally determined to make it their goal to do the same...
Edapt's CEO John Roberts discusses the proposed strike action with John Dixon from the National Union of Teachers and a host of classroom teachers and parents on BBC 5 Live's Tony Livesey morning show. Great to hear a teacher commit to subscribing to edapt live on air!
Every Easter the education sector holds its collective breath, waiting for the next politically driven diatribe to be launched from the teaching unions’ conferences. “It’s not our fault”, comes the cry from the unions, responsibility for our actions lies with the Secretary of State and his political meddling. True in part, but such tirades, and their underlying political bias, do nothing but damage to the perception of the teaching profession, its reputation and its morale.
The idea of differentiation can be overwhelming and often seems too much to tackle for every lesson with a full teaching schedule. I went to an after school professional development session about differentiation with a view to coming away with simple techniques which are easy to implement, without too much extra work. Trainee Science Teacher Emma Richardson shares tips on differentiation.
Reading is an urgent issue. We all agree that we must make sure no child leaves school functionally illiterate. Sadly, despite the best efforts of many teachers, some still do. An English teacher’s experiences of the skills/knowledge debate in action.
"In this great universe, it is entirely possible that things can be owned by everybody, nobody or somebody. But what I can’t work out for the life of me is Who owns teachers?" We asked LKMCo's Laura McInerney to give us her thoughts about teacher professionalism and voice in the current school climate.
Tristram Hooley, Reader in Career Development at the University of Derby makes an argument in his piece in The Guardian that "there is now the chance to make careers an integral part of education." I fear that this flies in the face of his final thought with which I agree whole-heartedly: "Careers education … [is]about realising the potential and nourishing the dreams of the next generation."
Me: So, how did you feel having all of that power?
Student: I liked it. I could do whatever I want and get away with it.
History and RS teacher Adam Lewis explores the impact of power on school leadership...
February saw announcements in relation to GCSE reform and school accountability measures as well as the publication of national curriculum reforms leading to important consultations for teachers.
The military and medics seem to have a solid way of teaching. What is similar about both professions is that the trainers have been through what the trainees are going through. What about teaching?
In education, we’re beginning to make better use of evidence-based practice, and cognitive science - our understanding of how children learn - has an increasing profile. This still, however, seems to be happening in a vacuum of educational ethics, which is allowing politics to continue to dominate where ethics should.
The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the United States’ non-union professional educator’s organization. Focused on professionalism and collaboration, AAE advances the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. Alexandra Schroeck, Director of Communications & Advocacy at the Association of American Educators, explains the role of their code of ethics.
It was 3:45 in the afternoon and at an Institute of Physics training session my colleagues and I were learning different ways to teach the subject of waves. Our slight scepticism stemmed from the fact that all of the school’s recent subject professional development had focussed on teaching us the content behind our teaching material. What had failed to be addressed was how to teach the content...
Every now and then when teaching, usually at the end of a long hard day in cold mid-winter, I hear myself saying something that I instantly regret. This happened to me the other day when, out of frustration at a group of year 7s who were bickering over a glue stick, I heard myself say: ‘Stop being so childish.’... so I turned to a TED talk for inspiration...
Over the past few days, there have been press stories about noise in the House of Commons and the demise of the English Baccalaureate Certificate as a new qualification to replace GCSEs. I want to be a cabinet minister and change the country for the better, but I fear that is not possible, and here’s why...
Taken from the original piece in the independent:
On first encounter, the thing that strikes you about John Roberts is his youthful looks. A keen climber, he has already climbed mountains, scaled previously never-scaled cliff faces and become possibly the youngest assistant headteacher in the country at the age of 24.
John Roberts, now 28, agrees the number of subscribers to his service could well increase if the dispute...
January was a busy month in education policy. This update highlights some of the key reports and announcements, including the Academies Commission report, the report of the Education Select Committee on the EBC proposals and the proposed A level reforms.
The Department for Education has published a survey which confirms many teachers are ignoring work-to-rule directives laid down by teachers unions - because they join unions primarily for protection and support in the workplace.
The findings of the NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey" Understanding union membership and activity" published on the DfE website last Friday night show that only 9% of teachers believe work to rule is having any impact, with 76% giving their primary reason for the belief as "because staff are not working to rule"
The word innovation can be over-used, has come to conjure up images of crazy inventions and futuristic gimmicks and is too often confined to conversations about new technology. In schools this can rightly provoke caution from those who warn against change for change’s sake. One thing I’ve found is that aside from gimmicks and clown costumes, the real, meaningful, and shareable innovations can come in the form of seemingly unexciting changes to policies or processes...
Sometimes, I read about changes in education policy, and I see the direction in which the system is being driven, and I get depressed. But... reading the Academies Commission report filled me with a glimmer of hope. I was not expecting this to happen; I sat down to read it prepared to be irritated, but now feel cautiously optimistic.
With grey January turning colder and greyer and the papers full of bad news, we thought we’d come up with ten reasons to be cheerful...
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