Blog


At the chalkface: ‘Go on sir, tell us a story!’

8 May 2019

Story-telling is just about the most important thing you can ever do in English. It cuts across class, language, culture and even literacy. Children always want to hear (or tell) a good story. They think they’re not really working. Well, they’re so wrong.




Picture perfect? Rejecting fake perfection

30 April 2019

Social media and in particular Instagram has led to an obsession with perfection that Karen Sullivan fears is damaging our young people. She looks at how we might tackle this in the classroom



Gangs: A national emergency

3 April 2019

A vital safety net is lost when a child is excluded or off-rolled – and the likelihood of their involvement in gangs and knife crime increases, says Anne Longfield


The stress of the exams system

3 April 2019

The summer term places huge stress on exam officers with serious consequences – for them, for the students sitting exams, and for the system as a whole, says Andrew Harland


RSE: We have come a long way

3 April 2019

There are still challenges ahead, but the RSE and health education guidance is a step in the right direction to helping children grow up healthier and happier, says Anna Feuchtwang






Support staff are in crisis

20 March 2019

Support staff are the glue that holds a school together and yet are facing over-work, under-pay and redundancies as government funding cuts bite, says Dr Mary Bousted


At the chalkface: Certainties are toxic

20 March 2019

At first I took them on. Have you even read it? Why should we do what God says? When is obedience a good idea? Certainties are toxic. Complexities aren’t. We need doubt, we need humour. You burn books and you will end up burning people.


Progress 8: Is it time to tinker?

13 March 2019

There has been some debate about the inherent unfairness of Progress 8 towards schools with higher proportions of disadvantaged and SEN pupils. Dr Lesley Duff looks at the evidence...


There are many ways to build character

13 March 2019

In proposing his Five Foundations for Building Character, the education secretary has set out his definition of character and resilience – but young people build these traits in many others ways that deserve recognition too, says Deborah Lawson


At the chalkface: Talking proper

13 March 2019

For girls it was marginally worse. Those with pushy parents went to something called a Lucy Clayton Finishing School. There they got finished. They practised enunciating “how now brown cow” with a telephone directory on their heads...



Diary of an NQT: The countdown to GCSEs

13 March 2019

With exams on the horizon, the pressure to run extra sessions and interventions is mounting, but our NQT diarist is making sure to protect her work/life balance


Why are teachers quitting?

6 March 2019

Workload has been identified as a key factor behind the retention crisis and why so many teachers choose to quit. But Dr Valerie Butcher asks whether it is also down to the type of work we’re asking teachers to do?


When priorities clash...

6 March 2019

Recent events show that sometimes what parents, children and schools want doesn’t always match up, a fact that presents a particular challenge for school leaders, according to Sarah Hannafin


Diary of an NQT: Back from the school trip

6 March 2019

Exhausted and facing a pile of marking to catch up on, our NQT diarist is back from her first ever residential trip – and doesn’t regret taking it on for a moment


At the chalkface: A funny tinge

6 March 2019

He cites such things as “meaningless words”, “verbal false limbs”, “dying metaphors”, “exhausted idioms” and the sheer “lying”, consciously or not, of so much political speech


Ofsted and your wellbeing

27 February 2019

Consultation over the draft Education Inspection Framework will close in five weeks’ time. Philippa Stobbs considers the potential within the proposals to foster better teacher and pupil wellbeing


Bullying: A new approach?

27 February 2019

Research shows us that fundamental changes are needed to how we approach anti-bullying work – both in national policy and practice on the ground, says Dr Elizabeth Nassem

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