What the Baseline FIasco Teaches us about Forced Academisation

It is telling that my first thought upon waking this morning was the announcement yesterday by the Department for Education that they were not after all going to use the Reception Baseline assessment as the starting point to measure pupils’ progress through primary school. For reasons I outlined in this blog last year it is no surprise […]

Response from the DfE re. Baseline

Dear Mr Jeffrey I am writing on behalf of the Secretary of State to thank you for your letter about baseline assessments. I was very sorry to read that you were disappointed with the content of Ben’s report , and that the school does not seem to have recognised some of the qualities that Ben […]

Open Letter to Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education

Dear Secretary of State, I am writing to you partly as an educationalist but perhaps more importantly as a fellow parent of a primary-age child. I want to spend a few moments to talk to you about Ben. He is our third and final child, and has just completed his Reception year. However, importantly it […]

OFSTED and Schools

OFSTED And Schools; Healing the Rift It has become increasingly obvious to me and to others that the relationship between schools and OFSTED needs to be re-balanced. The heart-felt responses and the original article by Geoff Barton in the TES recently1 underline this. I also believe that the year ahead is a perfect storm in […]

Is it time to re-think the use of Learning Objectives?

Is it Time to re-think our use of Learning Objectives ? For many years I have been encouraging schools to re-think the often non-negotiable policy of writing a ‘learning objective’ or ‘learning intention’ on the board at the start of the lesson, and of requiring children to copy it into their books. I have even […]

The Problem with Hannah’s Sweets

  Much has been spoken, posted and tweeted about this year’s Edexcel maths GCSE, specifically the question about Hannah’s sweets.   This morning on Sunrise (Sky News, 9:40am) I will be talking about how to tackle the question.   So – was it too hard or was it perfectly fair? The answer isn’t as simple […]

A View of the German Wings Tragedy

Hmm. Alongside my immense sadness at the German Wings tragedy, I am anxious that depression does not become demonised due to the diagnosis of the co-pilot. Lots of people suffer from this illness – but this doesn’t make them mass-murderers. What it does (sometimes) make them is anxious,bad decision-makers, but this incident does not look like […]

Childhood Heroes!

Should you meet them?! Sometimes, no. But in this particular case, a resounding YES! I grew up with ‘Think of a Number’, a programme we desperately need back on our TV screens IMO. Johnny Ball was a stand-up comedian playing nightclubs and comedy clubs in the 1960s when he got his big break and started a […]

OFSTED Support for Mastery

This is seriously good news from someone I respect hugely, and yes, she works for OFSTED! Guidance given to ALL inspectors will ensure that teachers do not have to fear what will be made of teaching the whole class together.  Here is a quote from a news report, published today on the NCETM website: “Jane […]