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The school preferred by Cameron and Gove for their daughters has come under scrutiny for its admissions procedure. Paul Rogers/The Times/PA Archive

Explainer: can schools ask for donations to secure a place?

The admissions procedure of the school chosen by the Camerons and Goves for their daughters has come under fire.
How do you measure the value of a charter school? Reuters/Lee Celano

Making sense of the evidence on charter school test scores

Imagine a police officer pulls you over and tickets you for speeding. She tells you she measured you going 50.5 MPH in a 50 MPH zone. No, you reply, my speedometer shows that I was going exactly 49.5…
In search of better schools. Primary desk via luminaimages/Shutterstock

Scrap school admissions policies based on postcode – they entrench inequality

Why are pupils from disadvantaged families more often found studying in poorly performing schools? Is it the choices their parents make, or are they not able to get into better ones? Perhaps families are…
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…
Reach Academy in Feltham. Research is beginning to look at the impact of academy reforms. Steve Parsons/PA Archive

The information war raging within the academies revolution

All schools in England have a considerable and increasing degree of autonomy over their budgets. Academies have more autonomy than those state schools still under local authority control over how they…
Who gets to go to a free school? Tim Ireland/PA Archive

Explainer: how do free schools allocate places?

As a type of academy operating outside of local authority control, free schools act as their own admissions authority. They can choose the criteria they wish to use to prioritise the allocation of places…
New Zealand PM John Key canvassing on the campaign trail. nznationalparty

When PISA meets politics – a lesson from New Zealand

“PISA shock” is the term that has been coined for the sense of political crisis and knee-jerk policy reaction that typically occurs when a country drops in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and…
Hold on to your seats, it’s academy time! Matt Cardy/PA Archive

‘4,000 down, 20,000 to go’ – the academies drive gathers pace

It was early and still quiet as I meandered around the recent Academies Show in London. Jars of promotional pens and key chains were lined up, while two young people in smocks painted the words “innovation…
They’re watching us over in England. kemorgan65

What Swedish free schools reveal about social segregation

School-based education is undergoing significant changes across much of the developed world with private providers increasingly taking over the delivery of education from public providers. In both England…
Every head could do with a Team Sky to help them. Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Why school systems need to be more like the Tour de France

In The Importance of Teaching white paper in 2010, the government committed itself to developing a “self-improving system of schools”. Four years on there is a risk that a two-tier system will emerge in…
What are you paying for when you choose a private, non-government school? Private school image from www.shutterstock.com

Buyer beware: are you really purchasing a ‘better’ education?

Australian parents are increasingly choosing to spend more money on their children’s education. A report released last week showed parents who chose private education for their child were paying an average…
Hands up who wants to go to a private school? Barack Obama visits an elementary school in Silver Springs, Maryland. EPA/Chip Somodevilla

US elections: do school vouchers work?

Most Americans agree that public education in their country is broken. The infrastructure of thousands of schools is decaying, scores on standardised tests are stagnant, and roughly 1.2 million students…
The debate on schools funding has taken a strange turn with both sides racing to increase funding to private schools. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Gillard and Abbott’s ‘race to the top’ to support private schools

In a political echo of the unseemly bi-partisan “race to the bottom” over asylum seekers, we now have a “race to the top” with the prime minister and opposition leader vying to offer the most support to…

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