Music will not be a statutory requirement for schools part of their Key Stage 4 provision

In the new draft National Curriculum documentation there are some interesting clauses about entitlement and access to subjects at Key Stage 4. Sections 3.6 and 3.7 on pp.7-8 read as follows: Key Stage 4 entitlement areas 3.6 The arts (comprising art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts), design and technology, the humanities (comprising […]

When is a free school not a free school?

The Guardian newspaper are reporting today that four new free schools have been given initial approval by Michael Gove. This increases the number of free schools from 16 to 20. My son attends one of these schools – Sandbach School. Here is a section of article: At least four new applications to open free schools, […]

The Coalition Agreement – what we have to look forward to in relation to schools …

The Coalition has published its new programme for Government today. The website crashed straightaway (not a good sign of stability really!) but here is the bit that relates to schools: The Government believes that we need to reform our school system to tackle educational inequality, which has widened in recent years, and to give greater […]

Free training courses from Musical Futures

I got the following information from Musical Futures today: Musical Futures have launched their Musical Futures / Roland Champion Schools programme. They currently have a network of 27 schools around the country that they have identified as demonstrating good Musical Futures practice, and who will now lead their training and CPD offer. The Champion Schools […]

Why is open source software such an issue for schools?

For those of us with an interest in applying open source software in educational settings, this ZDNet article makes interesting reading. I am constantly amazed at some of the horror stories I hear from teachers who are trying to implement innovative curricula with open source, freeware or shareware software and the barrage of opposition they […]

Blogging elsewhere from January 2017

This is a note to say that this blog is now suspended in terms of new content. I will continue to blog on my company blog here. This blog will remain here as an archive of materials, including research articles and book chapters that are not available elsewhere. Over the years, I’ve been particularly critical […]

Filming for the One Show!

It was fun to be asked to do some filming for the One Show today. This request came via my press officer at MMU (thanks Chris!) and the result should be broadcast this Thursday (subject to change). The topic of the interview was free schools. The feature is about a group of parents in an […]

Qualified or Unqualified? What’s the basic qualification every teacher should have?

Over the weekend a massive political argument has developed over the Government’s Free Schools programme. Long term readers of this blog will know that I’ve always been opposed to this initiative, particularly because it means that anyone, regardless of qualification, can teach at one of these schools. This is also the case for any state […]

National Curriculum and Assessment from September 2014

The DfE have published their latest guidance surrounding the National Curriculum and the ‘new’ assessment framework. You can download the 4 page document here. Key highlights (I use the term loosely) include: The removal of levels of attainment. Schools will need to decide how to assess pupils’ progress (beyond the Key Stage 2 SATs and […]

A rural tale …

Beccles is a small market town, situated on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. Nestling against the Broads, it is a beautiful place with typical Suffolk charm. I was fortunate enough to live in Beccles for a few years in the mid 1990s, our first two children were born there and I did my second teaching practice, in […]