Education, Education, Education

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geraldinecarter
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Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:17 pm

I'm starting a separate thread on Andrew Adonis' book - it gives such an insight into the mindset of our society, unions, civil servants - all so plainly told, without a hint of ego - if there is a more revealing book about post 60s education in this country this year, I'm in the queue to read it - it's a good antedote too to the sometimes turgid minutiae of detail we get ourselves it. This is taken from from an interview with the Huffington Post:

"The individuals who intervened in my life, transformed it, didn't do so in a vacuum," he says. "One was a manager of a children's home, a whole string of them were teachers. What they had in common was that they worked in successful institutions. The reason why I'm so passionate about turning around failing schools is that children who have the misfortune to go to unsucccessful institutions are far less likely to come across the individuals who can transform their lives."

But there is a barely-concealed anger which runs through Adonis' book; anger at the teachers' union leaders who refused to allow any reforms for decades, at the hapless local authority bosses who saw no point in giving kids a proper education because there were no jobs locally anyway, the politicians who tore up the grammar/secondary modern system but essentially ensured the new comprehensives were secondary moderns in all but name. None are spared what is often a surprisingly pithy and merciless takedown by Adonis. Is it accurate to say this mild-mannered man is secretly furious at the generations of wasted opportunity?

"What I find so depressing is that this is where you get the do-nothing left and the do-nothing right coming together," he says. "The do-nothing left who want to excuse the fact that schools are under-preforming by blaming it all on the parents. And the do-nothing right that say it's just a reality that children from poor backgrounds are not going to succeed. This unholy alliance between the two is one of the big things that's been holding back education reform."

As JAC says, they book is so full of 'quotes' - I hope the DfE are reading it - the unions too if they care a fig about children and their future.

JAC
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by JAC » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:28 pm

I'm glad you have started a separate thread Geraldine. Here is a link to a comment from SEA, someone who hasn't actually read the book but is commenting on reviews in other journals! I predict there will be huge debate on this book!
http://educevery.wordpress.com/2012/09/ ... s/#respond

There are many assertions in Adonis' book for which the references are lacking or lightweight, unfortunately, but he does put the 'comprehensive' school in its historic context. He is a historian and writes well - it could be a very dry and dusty topic but I'm finding the book quite absorbing.
What I also like is the shift away from seeing and debating the provision of state education in terms of left/right politics. The polarities are rather conservative (of either side) and radical (also of either side)
I've only read 40% on my kindle so far!

elsiep
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by elsiep » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:38 am

I'm waiting to read this book too. What I have read about the same period is Michael Barber's 'Instruction to deliver'

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Instruction-Del ... pd_sim_b_1

Michael Barber was 'Mr Targets' in Tony Blair's Delivery Unit. Although he had experience in education (history teacher and Hackney councillor) his book reveals serious shortcomings in his understanding of management. Although well-intentioned, he clearly hadn't got his head round the problem of 'sub-system opitimisation at the expense of system optimisation' - that if you tweak one bit of the system, there are likely to be unintended and unwanted outcomes elsewhere. Many people who have worked in organisations are well aware that if you set targets and attach rewards and sanctions to them, without ensuring that the resources are available to meet those targets, people will focus on the targets and ignore performance indicators that aren't inspected. John Seddon does a demolition job on his target culture here

http://vimeo.com/11896519

I'll be interested to see what Andrew Adonis has to say.

geraldinecarter
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:19 am

I'm also converted to Performance Indicators via my US 'boss' - but they haven't taken off here or in the Education World in general.

The book is shorn of all the DfE educationalese (is that a word?), it's partly a polemic. Easy to pick holes in by those who are complacent about the past but nevertheless a riveting account of what one man can do on such a huge scale to confront injustice

elsiep
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by elsiep » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:24 pm

'Here' being the UK? Don't understand... performance indicators have been driving public sector services including local authorities and schools in UK for many years now. Not necessarily in the right direction, mind.

elsie

geraldinecarter
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:18 pm

We rely on progress in years - months, which is useful as a rough indicator of progress and for allowing comparison year by year but these tests that are the important indicator of progress don't actually tell us anything about the bottom 20% . We need a laser-like focus on instruction - whether what has been taught has actually been learned. Average RA improvement of 2 years in 12 months doesn't tell us anything about those who are getting behind. The reliance on standardized tests don't actually tell us anything about exactly where this 20% are. I'll fish out a couple of links to papers when I have time but I am in a minority here and don''t want to go over this ground again.

geraldinecarter
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:58 pm

Lots of great reviews for the Adonis book - this from John Rentoul, Independent, I've just read. It's a pity he puts blame totally on the Labour Party. I think that the indifference to literacy, schools, opportunity is endemic throughout our society. I blame Harold Ma\cmillan and his infamous saying 'I'm alright, Jack' for the start of something deeply depressing in our refusal to address the problem intelligently:
Buy the book. Buy it for your mother. Buy it for everyone you know. It is such a clear analysis of what went wrong with British schools and how to put it right. It was the dominance of the “secondary modern comprehensive” that was the problem and independent sponsors that were the solution. Adonis noted, at an early stage of his interest in schools policy, that typically the best state schools had an historic trust or foundation, and/or one of the churches, standing behind the school and its governance and ethos.

I always feel a lump in my throat when I read the Mossbourne Academy story, which I know is sentimental, but Adonis tells the story of the academy programme with such impatience and clarity that it is hard to avoid tears of frustration that this visionary and noble plan was obstructed by so many in the Labour Party for so long.

geraldinecarter
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:10 pm

There are many insights in Andrew Adonis' book which throw light on why there is so little social mobility and why children from deprived backgrounds have been so let down. Extracts from a few of the reviewsd. His passion for changing the system all stemmed from his very deprived background:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09 ... 80993.html
But there is a barely-concealed anger which runs through Adonis' book; anger at the teachers' union leaders who refused to allow any reforms for decades, at the hapless local authority bosses who saw no point in giving kids a proper education because there were no jobs locally anyway, the politicians who tore up the grammar/secondary modern system but essentially ensured the new comprehensives were secondary moderns in all but name. None are spared what is often a surprisingly pithy and merciless takedown by Adonis. Is it accurate to say this mild-mannered man is secretly furious at the generations of wasted opportunity?

"What I find so depressing is that this is where you get the do-nothing left and the do-nothing right coming together," he says. "The do-nothing left who want to excuse the fact that schools are under-preforming by blaming it all on the parents. And the do-nothing right that say it's just a reality that children from poor backgrounds are not going to succeed. This unholy alliance between the two is one of the big things that's been holding back education reform."
Labour Uncut labour-uncut.co.uk/.../the-sunday-review-education-education-educat.
So both parties have their heroes and villains. Adonis is clear about wanting to take the politics out of education so this is perhaps not surprising. If there is a default setting then the left has a tendency to support the status quo and producer interest over innovation and the consumer – kids and parents. The right too often sees educational advancement in a social Darwinian fashion – useful only for a minority beyond a certain level. Yet, despite the noise surrounding the debate, reform has been consistent for two decades or more now. There seems to be a critical mass of reformism; a radical centre of educational improvement.
And this –(Sorry – cannot find the link):

Code: Select all

Decades of damaging theory, poor management, weak teacher training and wrangling between governments and trade unions had led to a situation where fewer than half of state comprehensives achieved a decent school-leaving standard for more than one in three of their 16-year-olds. Adonis obviously felt deeply about this scandalous waste of potential. His background as a youngster in care made him aware of the malign effect of bad schools on working-class children. Perhaps, too, he understood that Labour had betrayed its own people by imposing Leftist dogma on schools.

elsiep
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by elsiep » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:27 am

Some years ago, I read another book by Andrew Adonis, the one he wrote with Stephen Pollard A Class Act: Myth of Britain's Classless Society. I got about a third of the way through before giving up - it was like reading a series of op-ed pieces back-to-back.

This book is different. It has a good deal of factual content, but the content doesn’t really reflect the title (Education, Education, Education) or the sub-title (Reforming England’s Schools) so much as the quotation from the Times on the front cover “New Labour’s action man”. This is a book about Adonis’ one-man crusade to propagate academies. As a record of the rise of the academies programme, it’s interesting and a useful book to have for reference. As a book about educational or school reform it's pretty shallow.

Although Adonis presents academies as a runaway success story, I had reservations about his idea. Three main ones: first, Adonis’ view of education; second, his weak analysis of the problems in secondary education and his simplistic interpretation of the evidence he presents for his claims - especially puzzling because Adonis is an historian by background; lastly, his model for rolling out his project in order to ‘reform England’s schools’.

View of education

In the Foreword, Adonis frames education itself in terms of ‘social mobility, skills and citizenship’. Clearly, education contributes to those things, but it isn’t necessarily about them. How people think about education isn’t just a personal matter, because there is and always has been, considerable disagreement about the purpose of education - and disagreement alone has led to poorly designed policies and educational systems, and worthy projects never getting off the ground.

Also, Adonis sees educational success in terms of academic success. There’s no doubt that a successful school is likely to have good exam results, but Adonis doesn’t seem aware that a significant proportion of young people are not interested in academic success because that’s not where their talents lie. Apprenticeships aren’t even mentioned in the index. He doesn’t seem to have got his head round the idea that the economy actually needs motor mechanics, IT engineers, carpenters, plumbers and hairdressers and that the traditional seven-year apprenticeship is long enough to produce an expert. In the meantime, the young person in question is both earning and contributing to the economy.

Analysis of the problems

Adonis identifies the root cause of failing secondary schools as what he calls the ‘secondary modern comprehensive’ mentality. Adonis hates secondary modern schools (and further education colleges) with a vengeance, and sees comprehensives as essentially being secondary modern schools with an all-ability intake. He sees low expectations and the lack of sixth forms as supporting evidence for his view, and blames poor governance, poor headship and poor teaching for it. His response is to replace failing comprehensives with academies modelled on successful independent schools.

There’s little doubt that a school with a wealthy, successful sponsor, well-designed building, good governance, a visionary head and excellent teachers is likely to do better than one that doesn’t have those things, so it’s hardly surprising that Adonis’ academies have been more successful than their predecessors in terms of exam results, university entrance and popularity with pupils and parents.

How successful is a moot point. My paperback copy of the book contains a graph comparing performances in different types of school that is almost unreadable because the original was in colour, and another showing that although academies achieved improved exam results, they were on a par with the national average ten years previously.

How viable is the academies project?


My last reservation is about the viability of Adonis’ model. There is clearly not a limitless pool of successful entrepreneurs with both the ability and will to set up an academy. Hence Adonis' proposal for chains of academies and his urging independent schools to sponsor them too. Nor is there a limitless pool of excellent headteachers (or headteachers per se, come to that) or of excellent class teachers. If there were, it’s unlikely we would have any failing schools. Lastly, there isn’t a limitless pool of money for swanky new buildings. Some of the early academies were eye-wateringly costly – and one was malfunctioning; Adonis soon learned his lesson about schools as architectural statements.

In some respects, Adonis did the easy bit. He had a precedent (City Technology Colleges), sponsors, successful heads who were up for a challenge, schools that were so bad no one wanted to send their children there and architects spotting a new market. Once this low-hanging fruit is picked, the going will get tougher. Sponsors die, trusts don’t always have entrepreneurial flair, heads retire, standards drop, and buildings fall into disrepair. And government policy changes. Ironically, given Adonis modelling his scheme on the lines of independent schools, he opens his first chapter with a cautionary tale about Hackney Downs School, founded in 1876 by the Grocer’s Company, transferred to the local authority in 1906 to become a very successful grammar school, changed to a comprehensive in 1974, and closed, after a long and controversial battle, by direct government intervention. Adonis would doubtless argue that Hackney Downs being a ‘secondary modern comprehensive’ was the problem. Others might disagree http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educa ... 19352.html

The reasons why some schools succeed and others fail are complex and if the reasons for failure aren’t dealt with then it’s likely that failure will continue. It’s not enough to put children in smart uniforms, in a smart building and focus on targets. If it were, then school failure would be a rare phenomenon. Adonis essentially brushes aside the issue of accountability, framing it in terms of parental choice, and referring to a legal test-case challenge as if it were simply opposition for the sake of it. He seems to judge the effectiveness of parental choice solely by his own experience of having several secondary schools within walking distance. (Adonis lives in Islington). Although 80% of the UK population lives in an urban area, that doesn't necessarily give them a real choice of school.

One last comment. I mentioned in an earlier post that I’d read Michael Barber’s book Instruction to Deliver. Adonis’ career as a government adviser paralleled Barber’s and they both provide insights into what’s been called ‘sofa’ government; basically somebody has a bright idea and if it’s supported by the PM it gets carried forward. Many of these 'somebodies' are drafted in from journalism or think-tanks and have no substantial research background, hands-on experience or electoral mandate. They are simply movers and shakers who are sympathetic with government policy, such as it is. No sign of a coherent model of governance that’s evidence-based, trialled and sustainable in the long-term. And it isn’t just Blair’s government either. We’ve shifted from ‘Yes, minister’ to ‘The Thick of it' and neither safeguards an infrastructure that allows us all to get on with what we’re doing. What was shocking was the way trial and error is seen as a perfectly reasonable way to find out whether an idea will work - not in terms of a small-scale trial carried out under the supervision of researchers, but more 'suck it and see'.

As for 'not a hint of ego' - I'm not so sure. There's a lot of name-dropping - inevitable in a political biography - but I did get the feeling that Adonis found the whole thing a bit heady. And some mention of name-calling, Ted Wragg's epithets included, which Adonis dismisses as not even witty - although I note he omits the wittiest. There are a lot of references to 'no-nonsense' approaches and 'wrong-headed' attitudes as if Adonis' view of nonsense and right-headedness is self-evident to the rest of us. And lines like 'I was on an Easter break in the chestnut hills above Lucca at the time...' did nothing to enhance my view of Adonis as a man of the people.

elsie

geraldinecarter
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:40 pm

Thanks, Elsie, for this very thorough review. There are certainly elements of this review that I'd agree with but I wish that you wouldn't nit-pick at times. It diminishes your arguments. In a 270 page book you've managed to hit the pseuds' corner button just once.

Over 40 years we've watched, battled, suffered from the DfE and LEA Authority initiatives. It's not that DfE isn't full of people who genuinely want to do good - but it is dysfunctional. A lack of ‘joined-up’ thinking between the Early Years department (an embedded culture of over-assessment and recording), the department implementing synthetic phonics, and the department dealing with ‘catch-up’ programmes (an emphasis on mixed-method instruction). This lack of consistency is very serious. Adonis overcame this. Yes 'The Thick of It' rather than 'Yes Minister'. Those who nit-pick about the phonics check, the extraordinary progress of the ARK academies- or Academies like the one I saw early this year in my old neck of the woods, Stockwelll- completely transformed in an area of high drug culture - don't seem to have any answer themselves.

Yes, I agree that implementation has dangers and Gove is now rolling out Academy programmes as if he's selling cakes at a jumble sale, and I agree that since Baker's CTCs and since Tomlinson there hasn't been nearly enough attention paid to skills- based education. But are you suggesting that kids should deliberately be held back? It reminds me of the Militant friend, on seeing my children's primary school maths homework, commented why on earth do children need to be taught to that level?

I want an answer - long sought - to the question - how many schools in deprived areas - with teachers themselves taught in a physics,chemisty free zone, a grammar free zone, a spelling free zone, a reading instruction free zone, a second language free zone (balanced by endless edicts from the Local Authority ie insisting that all school displays should be backed by 2 coloured card) ... are serving their children? Sorry, I could go on for ever.

elsiep
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by elsiep » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:51 pm

geraldinecarter wrote:Thanks, Elsie, for this very thorough review.
Thanks, Geraldine, for recommending the book. It was an interesting read.
There are certainly elements of this review that I'd agree with but I wish that you wouldn't nit-pick at times.
You don't say what you're referring to, but I think your 'nit-picking' might be my 'accuracy'. I'm not quibbling about him getting someone's name wrong or that he's a few percentage points out on his stats.
It diminishes your arguments. In a 270 page book you've managed to hit the pseuds' corner button just once.
Again not sure what you're referring to.
Over 40 years we've watched, battled, suffered from the DfE and LEA Authority initiatives. It's not that DfE isn't full of people who genuinely want to do good - but it is dysfunctional. A lack of ‘joined-up’ thinking between the Early Years department (an embedded culture of over-assessment and recording), the department implementing synthetic phonics, and the department dealing with ‘catch-up’ programmes (an emphasis on mixed-method instruction). This lack of consistency is very serious. Adonis overcame this.
How? What did he overcome?
Yes 'The Thick of It' rather than 'Yes Minister'. Those who nit-pick about the phonics check, the extraordinary progress of the ARK academies- or Academies like the one I saw early this year in my old neck of the woods, Stockwelll- completely transformed in an area of high drug culture - don't seem to have any answer themselves.
What you seem to be saying is that if an academy is successful at doing something for a specific population then the academies programme is justified.

You could probably argue exactly the same thing for many independent schools, early elementary schools, secondary moderns, grammar schools and early comprehensives; they probably all changed the lives of some local populations for the better, but there were significant issues with all of them as integral parts of the education system. In other words, just because something works for a small number of people, it doesn't mean it's going to transform the system as a whole.

What puzzled me was why, if Adonis was right about the reasons for secondary moderns and comprehensives failing - poor governance, poor leadership, poor teaching and low aspirations - why not tackle those issues, because if they are not tackled, then the education system as a whole won't improve. After all, there have always been good schools about - but their example hasn't been enough for the system as a whole to bootstrap itself up to a good standard throughout.
Yes, I agree that implementation has dangers and Gove is now rolling out Academy programmes as if he's selling cakes at a jumble sale, and I agree that since Baker's CTCs and since Tomlinson there hasn't been nearly enough attention paid to skills- based education. But are you suggesting that kids should deliberately be held back? It reminds me of the Militant friend, on seeing my children's primary school maths homework, commented why on earth do children need to be taught to that level?
Of course I'm not suggesting they should be deliberately held back; what I am suggesting is that we need a careful analysis of why, throughout its entire history, the English education system hasn't lived up to expectations. I think there has been a significant problem from the word go with teacher training, but Adonis hardly mentions it - he's just so besotted with Teach First that he doesn't appear to see the need for a rigorous evidence-based training programme at all levels of the system,
I want an answer - long sought - to the question - how many schools in deprived areas - with teachers themselves taught in a physics,chemisty free zone, a grammar free zone, a spelling free zone, a reading instruction free zone, a second language free zone (balanced by endless edicts from the Local Authority ie insisting that all school displays should be backed by 2 coloured card) ... are serving their children? Sorry, I could go on for ever.
That is exactly what I'm talking about. There's something fundamentally wrong with a teacher training system that's not evidence-based. There's also something fundamentally wrong with educational initiatives that aren't evidence-based either. I don't begrudge the children in academies a good education (assuming that's what they get), but I simply don't think Adonis' 'no-nonsense' approach is thought through enough and I think it will end in tears.

If he had been a local businessman who had set up a school because he was so appalled at what was on offer locally, good luck to him. But Adonis wasn't a local entrepreneur, he was a government advisor and minister. It's not the job of government to cobble together temporary fixes for problems - even though that's what it tends to do - but to ensure that the infrastructure we all rely on is in good working order. The government doesn't even have to design and run the infrastructure, it just has to make sure it works, by making the resources and expertise available to those who are running it.

geraldinecarter
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:32 pm

You don't say what you're referring to, but I think your 'nit-picking' might be my 'accuracy'.Mainly the question of structuring for those who don't want an academic path.
No it's the vanity thing - i.e. holidaying in Italy when the news - I think it was Tony Blair's resignation- broke. We'll have to differ - to me it was a book remarkably free of vanity. I just think, too, that if one of the SP proponents could have broken through the DfE stranglehold what a difference this would have made. Instead, we are firefighting a. the Early Years (pity because most us want children to explore trhe world, not be tied to desks, phonics mechanics etc. Just a little proportion of the day to enable reception children to make the alphabetic code connection and start on the road to blending and segmenting automaticity. It wouldn't seem too much to ask if it helps the underbelly of child underachievment b. national curriculum who keep bowing to different pressures c. failure to implement good practice in ITTs.
One other point - the Wragg quote criticism. Those who had dealings with the late Ted Wragg were upset by his refusal to take onboard the fact that standards were falling, amd spelling accuracy had plummeted from the 70s-90s and his refusal to undertake rigorous testing - like Boris, he was a hero in other respects.

I don't often point these things out as it could be considered self-promotion but if you have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMrUpUPVf8Q and read case studies of i.e. the child with IQ of 37 and multiple problems, you may get an idea of why little carpings at the phonics check are so difficult to stomach. All those involved in synthetic phonics instruction have stories of those children, basically, left to rot.
It diminishes your arguments. In a 270 page book you've managed to hit the pseuds' corner button just once.
that was the Italian holiday reference - yes, it did sound a bit pretentious but not worth point out in a 270 book remarkably free of pretension, imo.
Over 40 years we've watched, battled, suffered from the DfE and LEA Authority initiatives. It's not that DfE isn't full of people who genuinely want to do good - but it is dysfunctional. A lack of ‘joined-up’ thinking between the Early Years department (an embedded culture of over-assessment and recording), the department implementing synthetic phonics, and the department dealing with ‘catch-up’ programmes (an emphasis on mixed-method instruction). This lack of consistency is very serious. Adonis overcame this.

How did he overcome this - you ask. Legitimate question.
He circumnavigated the DfE, LEAs.
We get one step forward, one step back - for instance in the Rose 2006 provisional report, I believe that Rose stressed the words 'systematic synthetic phonics instruction'. By the time of the final report this was apparently watered down to 'systematic phonics '[ which effectly allowed the 'bit of phonics with lots of mixed methods' to be included ie almost a return to the 1999 situation and the birth of PIPs.
So, I believe that the strangelehold had to be broken. The Civil Service never achieved this - and what I find extraordinary is that one man and his phone and a part-time secretary managed to achieve this. No longer can the education elite say that the fault lies with feckless parents, deprivation, underpaid teachers, large classes and all the excuses that have been trotted out for years.
What you seem to be saying is that if an academy is successful at doing something for a specific population then the academies programme is justified.
Well, yes. One of the most voracious opponents to synthetic phonics objected to my saying that he considered the semi-literate/illiterate 20% were mere detritus. There's a strange middle-class malaise that doesn't take account of how important this 'specific polulation' is. It's the mark of a civilised society imo. And that society bridges the gap between privilege and rotten beginnings... this is what Adonis set out to demonstrate.
What puzzled me was why, if Adonis was right about the reasons for secondary moderns and comprehensives failing - poor governance, poor leadership, poor teaching and low aspirations - why not tackle those issues, because if they are not tackled, then the education system as a whole won't improve. After all, there have always been good schools about - but their example hasn't been enough for the system as a whole to bootstrap itself up to a good standard throughout.
But I think he has tackled these very problems. Schools like the Brixton school my children attended, had high aspirations for ~ALL children but it was effectively destroyed by a very disapproving LEA. This story was repeated over and over again. I haven't been able to see a solution - and this, although fraught with danger - has given hope to thousands and proved inspirational to thousands of others. There will be failures - but I believe the proportion is small?
Of course I'm not suggesting they should be deliberately held back; what I am suggesting is that we need a careful analysis of why, throughout its entire history, the English education system hasn't lived up to expectations. I think there has been a significant problem from the word go with teacher training, but Adonis hardly mentions it - he's just so besotted with Teach First that he doesn't appear to see the need for a rigorous evidence-based training programme at all levels of the system
I agree. But over the last 40 years, the DfE has appeared impotent in the face of ITTs asserting their academic independence.
If he had been a local businessman who had set up a school because he was so appalled at what was on offer locally, good luck to him. But Adonis wasn't a local entrepreneur, he was a government advisor and minister. It's not the job of government to cobble together temporary fixes for problems - even though that's what it tends to do - but to ensure that the infrastructure we all rely on is in good working order. The government doesn't even have to design and run the infrastructure, it just has to make sure itworks, by making the resources and expertise available to those who are running it.
Thoughtful point - but I'm not sure what other avenues were open and I don't think that it is a temporary fix. US, Australia, UK Education Authorities - have presented intractible barriers for generations - helped by an unscrupulous publishing industry (look what happened to Rudolphe Fleish's Why Children Still Can't Read).

Most great reforms surely come from Government ?( I may be in deep water here!) This one isn't going to come from LEAs, the vast DfE, people power - so where else is it going to come from.

JIM CURRAN
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Re: Education, Education, Education

Post by JIM CURRAN » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:04 am

Private schools are becoming 'increasingly exclusive', says former schools minister
Many private schools are becoming increasingly exclusive and failing to live up to their original charitable purpose, according to Lord Adonis.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... ister.html

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