National Teaching Service –  A Great Step

The government’s decision to create a National Teaching Service, paying higher quality teachers to work in challenging schools is an important step towards giving every child a fairly equal chance. Of course parachuting teachers into schools will not work well in every instance, it will probably take time to develop into an effective arrangement. Presumably…

Research Ed 2015 The Best Bit

Research Ed 2015 was the usual head-mangling mix of some of the more dynamic and incisive voices in UK education. But one moment in this years conference stood out for me because it reminded me of the very best part of engaging with research. This moment was coming across a surprising finding I could trust.…

Are Universities avoiding accountability for fair access?

One of best ways we can tell whether British society is getting fairer is the flow of disadvantaged into top universities. I hope it shocks you to consider that UK Universities are blocking access to this information. Alan Milburn of the government’s Social Mobility Commission has belatedly joined the army of voices having to ask…

Progress 8: from the carrot and stick to the chair and whip

Fischer Family Trust Education Datalab analysis of Progress 8 has staggering implications. It is crucial we are clear about the impact this new measure will have on our sense of what constitutes a good school. Chart 1 shows Progress 8 measures the subjects children are encouraged to take and that these are correlated to a…

Standing on the shoulders of giants

In education research you often hear people proudly proclaim they carried out a very thorough literature review after carrying out their study. This is getting the cart the before the horse and is a reversal of the order in which a program of research should be carried out. The literature review or introduction section of…

The Statsman Cometh: DfE propose Valued Added as the only indicator for Academy Chains and Local Authorities

Unless we get a different government (and we won’t) Academy Chains and Local Authorities are going to be judged exclusively on their Value Added (that’s right the 1000 something thingy). https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-in-academy-chains-and-las-performance-measures The Governments Value Added has been around for a long time, but let’s face it it’s been about as popular as Ebola. DfE has…

RAISE in your allowance

It’s a weird thing how much people’s attention is draw to anything highlighted in red. OFSTED/RAISE have just introduced colour coding to perhaps the most important statistic in school education today, the gap between Pupil Premium and others. Highlighting anything in red in performance reports ought to be handled with a great deal of care…