Author Archives: Ian Jones

Cancel the 2021 GCSEs to save our future

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The government has turned crisis into catastrophe by deciding to retain the 2021 GCSE and A Level examinations and institute rigorous mock exams beforehand. It displays a woeful ignorance of teaching and learning, combined with a total failure to learn from past mistakes.

Students have not been at school for six months and their return this autumn is marked by further periods of absence due to Covid-19 outbreaks and quarantine requirements: something highly likely to increase as autumn turns to winter.

The current pressure on both students and teachers to catch up on missed learning, while managing ongoing disruptions in attendance, is doubled by a requirement to revise for their mocks what they may have not yet sufficiently covered in class, and then for exams that may still have to be cancelled – whatever the government says.

Another U-Turn is required because teachers need whatever time will be available to concentrate on teaching and to support students who are undergoing the biggest disruption to education since World War II.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 14 Comments

Opinion: What’s the right balance of smile and frown?

facesJonathan Freedland in an article for the Guardian raises the critical subject of the right balance between positive and negative campaign messages and their effectiveness on the body politic. He does so in the context of September’s Scottish referendum over concern that the ‘NO’ campaign is increasingly characterised by fear, in spite of the fact that the overall message is ‘Better Together’.

The debate now under way has a resonance that extends beyond Scotland, touching all democratic politics. When opposing a proposal, or a government, what’s the right balance of smile and frown?

Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: Europe and peace – the ties that bind and the dangers of the rise of the right

There are many sound economic reasons why Britain’s continued membership of the EU is good for our country and for Europe itself. We are already making that case as the Euro elections approach in May 2014 and must continue to do so.

However, there is one over-riding reason that is barely getting mentioned as the whiff of ‘little-Englander patriotism’ in euro-sceptic campaigning risks once again becoming the stench of right-wing xenophobic nationalism in Britain and across Europe.

The historical development of the EU has provided the ties that bind European nations together in peace after a century of vicious blood-letting, including the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 9 Comments
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