“Leaders” – look away now

I’ve been putting off writing this blog, largely because every time I started thinking about it, my prose quickly descended into a sweary litany of terrible examples of crassly incompetent “leaders” which have been gleaned from all over the educational system via various means. However, I had a brief twitter conversation with a like-minded soul (@little-mavis), and also read an article which finally tipped the balance in favour of proceeding. More about the article on another occasion, but it’s time to take the opportunity to vent. This will be a lengthy rant. Make yourself a cup of tea. Continue reading

Grammar Schools : Faith Based Education Policy

I never argue with religious people about the existence or otherwise of their deity of choice. It seems to me that the whole point about faith is that it’s faith – it doesn’t have to be backed by evidence. Or logic. Or even sanity. There is no point arguing with them because they’re not standing on the same ground as someone arguing from the basis of evidence.

This is also the problem with the grammar school “debate”. The fact is that the “debate” isn’t really a debate. The evidence is fairly clear. The problem is that proponents of grammar schools are no more capable of changing their opinions to reflect the evidence, than proponents of God are able to be swayed by a rationalist argument. Continue reading

Toby Young and the West London Free School : how to avoid educating your community.

I don’t know Toby Young, although I’ve heard him speak on educational matters, and as a result I’m not what you’d call a fan of his. He’s often invited by the media to represent pro-Govian views on education. And who can blame him : few can be ignorant of the fact that Gove gifted his good friend Young a school to play with. The West London Free School is the flagship school of Gove’s flagship programme. The proud boast of its founder and fans is that it will bring rigour, challenge and success to an inner city area, succeeding where all those terrible state schools previously failed.

So inevitably, I decided to have a look at its statistics. Continue reading