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System Change

This category contains 23 posts

Our A* Victory vs Pearson. David 1: Goliath 0

Yesterday we heard the news that we had finally won our case with Pearson/Edexcel about an A* grade in Art GCSE.  Despite several negative responses to appeals and complaints, spurred on by the candidate’s parents, we persevered and ultimately won the case. It was just one grade, but it mattered to the student and her … Continue reading

The English National Baccalaureate. Coming Soon! Updated.

(Updated 8th Jan below) After a couple of years working on this, it seems that we may be in a position to launch a genuine National Baccalaureate for England in the near future.  2015 could be the year.   In November we hosted the National Baccalaureate Summit at my school, bringing all the key players … Continue reading

OfSTED Outstanding? Just gimme some truth.

I’m sick and tired of hearing things From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I’ve had enough of reading things By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I’m sick to death of seeing things From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little … Continue reading

RSA Essays: Licensed to Create? Incentives for improving teacher quality.

Today, the RSA has published a collection of 10 essays on the theme of improving teacher quality and the concept of licensing.  This has been, in part, stimulated by Tristram Hunt’s policy proposals.   I was delighted to have been invited to contribute an essay and I have included mine in full below.  Interestingly, the … Continue reading

Sutton-Gates Summit Part 2: My Washington take-aways

The Sutton Gates summit has been excellent. After three days in Washington I’ve got a wealth of material and I’ve had the luxury of some flying time to think about the key ideas I’m taking home. An overarching take-away is the sense that engaging in professional dialogue with people from around the world is a massive … Continue reading

Sutton-Gates Teacher Development Summit. Part 1

Right now, I’m in Washington DC to take part in a two-day event sponsored (all expenses paid) by the Gates Foundation and the Sutton Trust. I’m one of 24 British Heads taking part, alongside my Heads Roundtable partner-in-crime John Tomsett, the legendary Alison Peacock and Sir Alasdair Macdonald, former Head of Morpeth in Tower Hamlets. … Continue reading

Unleashing Greatness? Education Reform in Action

” You can mandate adequacy … greatness has to be unleashed”  Joel Klein – via Sir Michael Barber Ever since I attended the London Festival of Education at the IoE in November 2012, I’ve had a sense that education reform was there for the taking – it’s just a case of people getting organised and … Continue reading

The Assessment Uncertainty Principle

In our system so much hangs on the value given to our assessments leading to qualifications.  As we seek to measure learning with some degree of accuracy, we risk losing contact with the meaning of what the nature of the learning is.  Our increasing need for measures that are reproducible, consistent and transparent decreases our … Continue reading

Tackling Homophobia: RE GCSE – Not just a matter of conscience.

  Towards the end of last week, I experienced a minor crisis during an intense coincidence of events that raised questions about the values we promote in my school and the extent to which we have control over that.  At the heart of the issue is our desire to adopt a strong position on equality … Continue reading

Labour’s National Baccalaureate: Strong on Principles and Pragmatism

Over the last year, I’ve been working with IoE Director, Chris Husbands, as a member of the Labour Skills Task Force; it has been a fascinating process. This week the third and final report from the group was published, outlining some recommendations for 14-19 curriculum and qualifications reform.  I recommend reading the report in detail … Continue reading

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