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An overdose of self-esteem won’t build character. Pessism concept via Ivalin/Shutterstock

To build children’s character, leave self-esteem out of it

In the last few months the UK’s two main political parties have entered into an apparent bidding war over which of them can elevate the teaching of character highest on their educational agendas before…
Trainee teachers may need a lot of convincing. Stefan Wemuth/PA Wire

Why teachers should be sceptical of a new College of Teaching

Barely one month after the current government was elected in 2010, the secretary of state for education Michael Gove announced the abolition of the General Teaching Council for England. Now, only a few…
Testing times for future students. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Students deserve better than this shambolic A Level reform

The teachers of tomorrow should be eager to prepare for “your future, their future”, according to the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s new teacher-training recruitment campaign. Sadly they…
The headmaster of Tristram Hunt’s former school in Hampstead has given him a telling off. John Stillwell/PA Wire

Labour’s attack on tax breaks for private schools is timely

The furore over the suggestion by shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt that private schools need to contribute more to state education or face the removal of their tax breaks has been predictable…
Spell it out. Alphabet soup via Brian Mueller/Shutterstock

Teaching to the T-E-S-T: phonics is working for most children

Teaching children to read with phonics has been a central plank of recent “Govian” education policy. A new set of statistics shows that 74% of children in the first year of primary school now meet the…
Let’s do this democratically. Andrew Yates/PA Wire

Does England’s education system need more devolution?

Devolving power to English regions and cities could offer a real chance to introduce more local oversight of the way academies and free schools are being managed. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have…
Let’s wait a year before we do this. David Jones/PA Archive

Shift from sitting GCSEs a year early wins guarded support

The number of students entered for a GCSE exam a year early plummeted by 40% this summer. Before 2014, the number of students taking their exams in Year 10 rather than Year 11, particularly in English…

We try to fix too many social problems through exams

This year’s GCSE results day is predicted to be “chaos” if recent exam reforms cause large fluctuations in students' grades. Exam boards, teachers and teacher unions are talking of “nervousness”, “turbulence…
What did you get? Niall Carson/PA Wire

Permanent revolution of A Level exams helps nobody

A Level results are in and as teenagers pore over their grades, a record number will be able to take up places at university. The results – which show a small decline in the overall pass rate for the first…
What’s the ideal arrangement for funding education? Would responsibility lie with the federal or state governments? AAP

Is education better off in state or federal hands?

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut $80 billion funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how can federal-state…
Al-Furqan Muslim school in Birmingham has been grant-maintained since 1998. David Jones/PA Archive

Faith schools are part of the answer, not the problem

It would take a “bold secretary of state” to argue for more faith schools in Britain, wrote Newsnight’s policy editor Chris Cook commenting on the so-called Trojan Horse storm about Islamist extremists…

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