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What’s the optimum size? Primary school via Air Images/Shutterstock

Is it really worth investing in smaller primary school classes?

Ed Miliband’s pledge that Labour, if elected, would limit school classes for five, six and seven-year-olds to 30 pupils reignites a core question about how best to spend money to improve education. In…
Lining up to take stock at the election approaches. Tim Ireland/PA Archive

Have we devolved too much responsibility for our schools?

The thorny issue of what democracy is, what it’s not and whether it is an appropriate system for government has been at the top of the agenda at the start of 2015. At the same time, we are in the lead-up…
BBC Three’s show ‘Excluded’ follows children at The Bridge AP Academy. BBC/Keo Films/Oliver Groves

Explainer: what happens to kids who are kicked out of school?

In 2013, 3,900 young people were permanently excluded from secondary schools in England. The most common reason for these children to be removed from the mainstream school system was persistent disruptive…
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…

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