Author Archives: reclaimschools

Grammar schools helping “ordinary working families”?

On becoming prime minister Theresa May decided to expand grammar schools in order to benefit ‘ordinary working families’. There is no evidence that this is what grammar schools do. This week a former Department of Education official Iain Mansfield tried … Continue reading

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Test scores and poverty 2: parents’ education

The mountains of data which overwhelm schools are next to useless, because the categories they use don’t measure up to reality. A major reason is that the categories ‘Free School Meals’ and ‘disadvantaged’ don’t reflect the serious burden of poverty … Continue reading

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Test scores and poverty – it doesn’t add up

England’s schools are drowning in data. Everybody is obsessed with accountability statistics, from Ofsted down to the school cat. ThisĀ  obsession with data distorts the way we look at pupils and their education. 300 spreadsheet columns running from A to … Continue reading

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International evidence and the phonics test

In a previous blog post, we were able to show that the Phonics Check is not a useful indicator of actual reading. Decoding regularly spelt words is only one component of reading. The rapid increase in scores in the phonics … Continue reading

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Phonics test – Nick Gibb fails again

Schools minister Nick Gibb is crowing, once again, that thousands more children are ‘on track to become fluent readers’. Improved pass rates in the Phonics test show no such thing. “163,000 more 6-year-olds are on track to become fluent readers … Continue reading

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Ofsted dodges the blame

A new school year has begun with the Government’s key allies having to acknowledge some of the desperate problems in the school system but without admitting that any of it is their fault. In particular, Amanda Spielman, as head of … Continue reading

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SATs tests are still a shocking failure

Despite intensive test preparation and enormous stress for children and teachers, Key Stage 2 SATs tests for 2018 are a disaster once again. Figures published today show that only 64% of children passed Reading, Writing and Maths. That means 1 … Continue reading

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