Category: Education

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Reopening schools: view from year 11

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the reality of opening schools, with personal testimony from a teenager affected and professional evidence from the scientific community, to show just how how difficult both home schooling and reopening schools are.

Are we really ready to reopen schools?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy explains Boris Johnson’s anticipated ‘big bang’ method of allowing children to return to school. He lays out the concerns from scientists and some school staff that he is rushing the process, perhaps risking an increase of the R number.

Gavin’s labyrinth: a tale of the bewildered

Amy Day

Amy Day looks into how the education secretary’s failings are leading to a confused educational environment for real children. “On the one hand, children are expected to dismantle the English language down into its most basic and technical components. On the other hand, they’re treated as being entirely ignorant of even everyday processes.”

Monolingualism: the thorn in post-Brexit Britain’s side

Oliver Lawrie

Oliver Lawrie looks at how our lack of knowledge of other languages will impede us in the post-Brexit world. “Fewer than 3,000 students sat A-level German in 2018. That’s about 5 percent of the number of people who would attend one average football match in the UK.”

Learning in the time of covid and beyond: a reflection

Dr Pam Jarvis

Education specialist Dr Pam Jarvis looks at how a strict view of education is letting down children during the pandemic. With civil servants enforcing traditional methods of teaching in this period, Pam reflects that we need a broader view of how to teach.

Let a thousand European links blossom

Michael Hindley

Former MEP Michael Hindley discusses how we can stay close to Europe: “the way back to the EU will be facilitated by maintaining and even furthering such initiatives. Labour needs to explore which EU projects are still open to the UK’s participation.”

Abandoning Erasmus: another act of vandalism?

Professor Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge looks at what the UK education sector will lose from abandoning the Erasmus scheme and replacing it with the Turing programme. “Alan Turing, after whom the government’s scheme has been named, would probably not have approved of this act of what Nicola Sturgeon calls educational vandalism.”

Suffer the children: Christmas UK, 2020

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dr Pam Jarvis summarises the anger within our schools over the government’s chaotic response to the pandemic. Many schools are now shut for Christmas, having just been told they’ll be responsible for delivering testing to schoolchildren in the new year. And this follows months of poor and inconsistent advice.

What now for England’s children? Controversial appointment may raise issues

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dame Rachel De Souza has been a controversial character in the education world, since hitting the national press in an argument over whether she had received advance notice of OFSTED inspections. She has also been in the public eye over the behaviour policies, staff management policies and ‘strategic’ exclusions (particularly with respect to special needs) that operated within the schools that she oversaw as chief executive at Inspiration Trust, and for her close links with the Conservative Party.

Bradford’s school for storytelling

Yorkshire Bylines

Bowling Park School in Bradford has a storyteller in residence. It seems that the school is ahead of the curve as the science, education and business worlds are talking about the benefits and potential of storytelling, many more are putting it into practice.

Beyond the headlines: education in England post-lockdown

Dr Pam Jarvis

So, according to the popular media, England’s children have forgotten to eat with a knife and fork and have regressed into nappies during lockdown. These were apparently the most important findings made in a series of reports by the government schools inspection body OFSTED, according to a range of news outlets. But beyond the clickbait, […]

Education by gaslight

Dr Pam Jarvis

In a week that has been packed with outrage against the Johnson government, it might have been easy to miss the fact that not only have they voted against providing food for deprived children during the half term holiday, despite claiming heavily on subsistence expenses for themselves, they also backtracked on a promise to provide […]

A tale of a three Yorkshire teachers

John Cornwell

‘Billy’ was something of a school treasure, but when I was in his history class in the fifties, he was well past his best. He had gone straight from his school’s sixth form in Bradford to serve on the Western Front and was badly gassed: an experience that left him with a permanent, persistent cough. […]

Boris through the looking glass

Dr Pam Jarvis

In this upside-down, looking-glass world, Johnson plays the role of Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty to perfection, attempting to deceive an increasingly confused and anxious population that only he can correctly interpret his past statements. The prime minister has a track record of bending the truth, fabricating quotes and spreading disinformation about the EU, as well […]

Leeds Trinity lecturer recognised for her work in challenging stigma against sex workers

Emily Horner with Yorkshire Bylines

Dr Kate Lister, course leader for creative and professional writing at Leeds Trinity University, inews columnist and published author, has been shortlisted for the ‘most innovative teacher of the year’ award at the Times Higher Education Awards 2020.  She was nominated in recognition of a project in which her students worked with Basis Yorkshire, a […]

Mum’s the word?

Dr Pam Jarvis
blue jeans

Childcare for working families is one of those perennial problematic societal issues, such as youth unemployment and domestic violence, which has not been created by covid but simply exacerbated by it, as it relentlessly picks at existing fault lines in our society. Antonia Bance, head of communications at the TUC, recently picked up the baton […]

Beyond lockdown: what now for schools?

Dr Pam Jarvis
alphabet class conceptual cube

The debate about returning to school continues in England, while Scotland’s schools have already returned. Boris Johnson claims that there is a “moral duty” for schools to fully re-open in September, but as ever, appears to be covering a lack of detail with his familiar, flowery rhetoric. Some media sources cite psychological problems in children […]

The bigger picture beyond the exams fiasco

Mary Boothman
happy student throwing papers in air in park

Might the resignation of the chief regulator, Sally Collier – followed swiftly by the sacking of Jonathan Slater, permanent secretary to the Department for Education – draw a line under the exams debacle of recent weeks? I very much doubt it, nor do I believe they should have been the ones to take the hit. […]

Might community learning hubs solve our schooling crisis?

Andrew Milson

Isn’t it amazing how simple many things appear until you really start to look into them? I remember my first time playing on a full-sized snooker table, confidently expecting to saunter round the baize dispatching the perky spheres into the hungry pockets. Maybe, just maybe, my opponent wouldn’t even get a chance to come to […]

Slaves to the algorithm: our four-year-olds are next in line

Dr Pam Jarvis
multicolored abacus photography

So, after three days of insistence that their algorithm was appropriate, and following its enthusiastic endorsement by Michael Gove, the Department for Education capitulated and agreed to let Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) stand as A-level and GCSE students’ final grades. However, many questions are left to ponder. The shadow attorney general maintains that in allocating […]

The computer says “no”

Professor Juliet Lodge

The computer says, “No, you Josh from a community comprehensive in Mexborough shan’t go to Oxford”. Nor shall you, Amber from Bransholme, Hull’s largest council estate. But the computer says “yes” to Harry from Rishworth and Olivia from Ampleforth. As for grades, the computer says “yes” to downgrading Josh’s and Amber’s and “yes” to inflating […]

Testing (and tracing) is not just for schools

Jane Thomas
adorable blur bookcase books

It may only be August, but as far as Covid-19 is concerned, it’s now all about autumn and winter. In particular, what is concerning for children, parents, educators and employers is how prepared the country is to reopen schools and what impact this will have on the pandemic. Will it be safe enough for our […]

Masking the communication

Daphne Franks
crop man putting medical mask on face of ethnic child

When I explain that my job is teaching student doctors and other healthcare professionals to learn how to communicate with patients, there’s one response I often receive: “But surely that’s just common sense?” Frequently, and without awareness of any apparent contradiction, they immediately follow up the “common sense” remark with an anecdote about when some […]

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