Confessions of a Political Animal

November 14, 2008

Academies: selecting for easy success

Inside the Ashcroft-Vardy Creationist Academy for Boys (formerly the Plato Academy)

Inside the Ashcroft-Vardy Creationist Academy for Boys (formerly the Plato Academy)

In September The Animal wrote about the increasing lack of local authority control over secondary schools in London partially as a consequence of the inexorable march of academies, particularly in the most deprived boroughs.

Part of my concern about this was the deep-seated worry, expressed well by Fiona Millar here, that academies have far too much independence in terms of their selection policies for a state-funded school and are becoming increasingly well versed in finding ways around what rules they do have to abide to keep ‘difficult’ students out. An unwillingness to take children with statements of special educational needs and a tendency towards very high rates of expulsions (8.7 per 1000 pupils in 2006-07 compared to 3.2 per 1000 in comparable community schools) are examples of this. If you (more…)

September 8, 2008

Education – first, some good news

Filed under: Education,Labour Party,Media — Political Animal @ 12:05 pm
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Roedean School, Brighton

Roedean School, Brighton

I am working on a post about secondary school diversity (upcoming pretty map alert!) which is making for rather depressing going, so it was good to see two slightly happier pieces of news for the education sector.

Firstly, from today’s Evening Standard we learn that:

Rodean [sic!] [Now corrected by Standard] Roedean head slams Brown for ‘hostility’ to fee-paying

Not that I’d noticed. After all, no-one can accuse Brown of following the Kinnock line that under a Labour government people who wanted to buy an education would be welcome to do so, as long as it was overseas. But no, apparently Brown’s government is pursuing a dangerous socialist plan to destroy private education:

Mrs King [head of Roedean] said: “I sense that he [Gordon Brown] has got a very clear political agenda within which independent schools do not really feature … He is coming (more…)

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