Category Archives: Social Justice

Are SATs closing the poverty gap?

Based on an elaborate formula invented by his officials, schools minister Nick Gibb is “proud we’re closing the gap between rich and poor pupils.”  A more straightforward measure shows that nothing has changed. Last summer 54% of children eligible for free … Continue reading

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Ofsted: notoriously unreliable

Ofsted judgments have never been trustworthy. There have been problems from the start. It should come as no surprise that none of the 46 schools wearing an Outstanding label which were inspected this January retained that label: 37 became Good, … Continue reading

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Ofsted – a fairer future?

Rumours are circulating that schools in poor areas will stand a better chance of getting a good Ofsted grade, but where is this coming from? There are no such promises in the new draft Inspection Framework. In fact, page 11 shows … Continue reading

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Grammar schools and “ordinary working families” again

In our last blog post, we looked into a new and deeply flawed ‘research report’ by former Department of Education official Iain Mansfield. It was written in support of the Prime Minister’s argument that expanding grammar schools across England would … Continue reading

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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. This  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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