. This post investigates the Government’s latest efforts to establish a national network of university-sponsored specialist mathematics free schools for 16-19 year-olds. It: Recapitulates the difficult history of this policy since it was first announced in 2011 Reviews in more detail developments in the nine months since my last post on this topic Analyses the … Continue reading Specialist maths schools, again
. This is a revised and updated version of How should England close its excellence gaps? (January 2018) . . This is a significant turning point in the evolution of national education policy. Former Secretary of State Greening published her social mobility plan Unlocking Talent: Fulfilling Potential (December 2017), immediately following the wholesale resignation of … Continue reading England’s excellence gaps revisited
. First edition: January 2018 . This is an important turning point in the evolution of national education policy. Departing Secretary of State Greening has only just published her social mobility plan Unlocking Talent: Fulfilling Potential (December 2017) It was preceded by the wholesale resignation of the Social Mobility Commission’s Board, protesting at lack of political … Continue reading How should England close its excellence gaps?
. This extended post investigates resurgent interest in specialist maths schools, as displayed by the Tories under Theresa May. It: Discusses developments during the first half of 2017, foregrounding the May Government’s draft industrial strategy, its spring budget and the Tories’ 2017 election manifesto. Reviews the difficult history of 16-19 specialist maths free schools, beginning … Continue reading The resurrection of specialist maths schools?
. …Or ‘An exercise in policy design’. . This post considers proposals emerging for new selective schools that would select on the basis of ability or attainment and socio-economic disadvantage. It covers the following ground: The context provided by the selection green paper and the Opportunity Areas policy. Recent Advocacy for ‘pupil premium grammar schools’ … Continue reading Pupil premium grammar schools
. This post compiles some of the most recent and telling statistics about the state of high attainment in England. It includes a brief summary of the policy position as it stands ahead of the government’s response to the selection green paper. Finally it outlines a ten point improvement plan which does not involve building … Continue reading Rounding-up: Killer stats and 10-point plan
. This post reports five-year trends in the admission of disadvantaged students to selective universities, as revealed by the government’s key stage 5 destinations data. This half decade coincided almost exactly with the lifetime of a government that was strongly committed to social mobility through higher education. What does the destinations data reveal about the … Continue reading Advancing by slow degrees
. This post: Reviews progress to date on white paper policies to improve the education of higher attaining learners Considers some wider implications of the white paper’s commitment to equality of educational opportunity, regardless of background and prior attainment, and Proposes a dedicated national centre, based in a leading university, to specialise in the education … Continue reading Rescue Plan (or how to get from where we are to where we ought to be)
. This post compares white paper plans to strengthen fair access with the proposals set out in the green paper. It assesses each element of these plans and whether they amount to a convincing national strategy. It also considers whether the white paper is likely to bring about a much-needed improvement in the recruitment of … Continue reading The HE white paper underwhelms on fair access
. In April 2016 the Fair Education Alliance released its second annual report card. This post reviews progress against the five declared impact goals, as well as the recommendations for securing stronger progress in future. . What is the Fair Education Alliance? The Fair Education Alliance was launched by Teach First in June 2014. It … Continue reading The Fair Education Alliance: A wasted opportunity?
. . This post reviews fair access developments subsequent to publication of the HE green paper and preceding publication of the impending white paper. It asks whether some of the recommendations proffered by the Scottish Commission on Widening Access (COWA) should also be adopted in England. . Developments … Continue reading A blueprint for fair access?
. This post assesses the progress of English Russell Group universities in admitting students from areas with low levels of higher education participation. It reapplies a methodology used previously by the Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (SMCPC) to measure the success of these 20 universities in recruiting young, full-time first … Continue reading The ‘Missing 520’
. This post casts a critical eye over the proposals for widening participation and fair access in the Higher Education Green Paper. It succeeds an earlier post - ‘Can we expect a rocket boost for fair access?’ (October 2015) – that discussed what was known of the Government’s intentions prior to publication. . Publication BIS … Continue reading Access and participation in the HE Green Paper
. Today (20 October 2015) saw the publication of the latest DfE destinations data. It was contained in SFR40/2015: Provisional destinations of key stage 4 and key stage 5 students in state-funded institutions, 2013/14. I will not repeat again the detailed description of this data or the provisos attached. The essential information is set out … Continue reading FSM admissions to Oxbridge STILL showing no improvement
. This post considers whether the forthcoming Higher Education Green Paper will propose radical reform to bring about fair access to universities. . The runes first written The Conservative Government aspires to widen participation and improve fair access. There was no explicit commitment in the Conservative election manifesto but, one week before the May 2015 … Continue reading Can we expect a rocket boost for fair access?