Tag Archives: ofsted

Opinion: An end to OFSTED

old schoolThe dissolution of OFSTED is a policy we as Liberal Democrats need to support and implement to ensure our young students are being offered the best education possible.

I am not saying that schools shouldn’t be inspected and checked.The public needs to have confidence in the school system. Parents have the right to be informed about teachers abilities and performance. Most of all we must be able to ensure that teaching meets the needs of our children.

OFSTED for too long has been nothing but a political football. School inspections should be …

photo by: alamosbasement
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 39 Comments

It’s Laws v Gove again as Lib Dem schools minister says academy chains should be accountable to Ofsted

‘It’s civil war in the Coalition classroom’ – that’s how the Independent bills the latest row between those two very civil politicians running the education department, Conservative secretary of state Michael Gove and Lib Dem schools minister David Laws.

I wrote at the weekend about the first spat, which erupted after Michael Gove’s decision to sack Baroness (Sally) Morgan as chair of Ofsted for doing too good a job – at least, that seemed to be the gist of his argument, as he praised her to the skies for her “superlative” work before saying it was time for a …

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Gove and Laws scrap it out on front pages over sacking of Ofsted head. Here’s what the row is all about.

Today’s newspaper front pages are full of the scrap taking place at the heart of the Department for Education between Conservative secretary of state Michael Gove and Lib Dem schools minister David Laws:

gove laws - papers

  • Ofsted row: Lib Dems furious at Conservative plan to ‘politicise’ classrooms (Independent on Sunday)
  • Lib Dems savage Gove over sacked schools boss (The Sunday Times, £)
  • Angry Lib Dems accuse Michael Gove of bid to politicise education (Observer)
  • Why is there a row?

    On Friday night, The Independent broke the news that Baroness (Sally) Morgan, the Labour

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 28 Comments

    Clegg says no to childcare ratio changes. My question is: why’s it the Government’s job to dictate them?

    teather_cleggNick Clegg’s statement is categorical — the Coalition is abandoning plans to allow nurseries and childminders in England to look after more children. Revealed in January by Conservative children’s minister Liz Truss, the idea that the ratio for under 2s, for example, could increase from 1:4 to 1:6 was always going to be controversial. Here’s Nick:

    “One of my absolute top priorities in government is to deliver better quality, more affordable childcare for parents up and down the country. I will relentlessly champion and pursue policies that deliver that –

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 29 Comments

    How Ofsted outperforms the Department for Education in the email stakes

    Yesterday I blogged about how only a third of emailed newsletters and circulars sent out by the Department for Education to schools and teachers are read by the recipients.

    I also mentioned that you could choose who to blame for the low readership rate:

    Who is to blame for this? If nothing else I suspect these figures are a good test of your political instincts: are you already thinking the blame lies with Michael Gove and the Department for Education for not making their messages more compelling or with the teachers who aren’t reading them in greater numbers?

    One way of helping …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

    The pupil premium isn’t a quick-fix solution, it’s a long-haul policy

    The pupil premium — additional cash targeted at the most disadvantaged children — is the policy of which Nick Clegg is proudest and with which he is most closely associated. The policy itself dates back to Julian le Grand in the 1980s (when it was touted as a progressive version of school vouchers) but it was Nick who put it firmly in the political mainstream as long ago as 2002 in a pamphlet he co-wrote based on experiences of it working within continental Europe.

    Though the Tories nominally signed-up to the concept of a pupil premium in their 2010 …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

    Opinion: A serious blow to Gove’s Red Guard – How will the Lib Dems respond?

    Michael Gove’s and Sir Michael Wilshaw’s plans to use Ofsted to drive up standards in schools have been much vaunted in the press recently.

    Hit squads of inspectors started arriving in schools in January to force the ‘satisfactory’ schools into special measures and to force schools to rapidly rid themselves of their ‘satisfactory’ teachers. The fact that ‘satisfactory’ is a categorisation used for all qualities of service about which there is no cause for concern and which often includes highly regarded practices which don’t tick the boxes Ofsted has defined for higher classifications (especially in teaching) does not concern them.

    But it is …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 44 Comments

    Opinion: Ever greater centralisation is not the answer for failing schools

    “Troubleshooters are needed to spot failing academy schools around the country and sack incompetent headteachers, the new chief education inspector has said.” So reported the Daily Telegraph on 28 December. The article continued:

    Sir Michael Wilshaw said ministers must set up regional early warning systems because by the time his Ofsted inspectors discover an institution is in trouble, it is too late.

    As more and more secondary schools gain independence from town halls and become academies, it will also be difficult for the Department of Education to focus on improving individual schools.

    Sir Michael said that to maintain standards, dozens of local commissioners

    Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

    Opinion: “The Importance of Teaching” White Paper – putting Lib Dem policy into action?

    After a year’s work in the run up to the General Election co-writing the Liberal Democrats’ Equity and Excellence education policy paper with other members of the 5-19 Education Policy Working Group, I opened the Coalition Government’s first education White Paper with understandable trepidation.

    Nothing can be more important than giving every child a fair start in life, but the education system inherited from Labour offered some young people pretty much the best education system anywhere in the world, while leaving others ill-equipped, under-funded, and lacking the skills needed to get on in life.

    The White Paper launched by the government today, called The Importance of Teaching takes as its starting point the unflattering international comparisons of the performance and skills of our pupils. Its critique of where and why the school system is underperforming is one that will be very familiar to most Liberal Democrats. It is a vision for a system based on excellence, underpinned by freedom and fairness: an education system which challenges low aspiration and achievement and where school-level innovation and diversity are seen as strengths to be welcomed.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 29 Comments
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