Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Non-published Guardian letter on education

If, as I suspect, Zoe Williams is correct, and there would be a need for 17,000 new headteachers by 2017 if the Tories are allowed to wage their "war on illiteracy and innumeracy", the damage done to schools would be enormous.(It is time ministers realised that teachers do want to teach,02/02/15) Presumably these new leaders will currently be deputies or high flyers in the classroom, so their promotion would leave gaping holes in staffing, in need of urgent filling, and yet more recruitment problems for the profession. Forcing some less successful schools to academise also seems ludicrous when the evidence suggesting academies have the best results is as dubious as Morgan`s "misleading" remarks about "one in three" being unable to "read or write by the age of 11"; however, being reprimanded for misleading the House of Commons seems to be a prerequisite in this government for ministerial posts! 
 Increasing the number of tests at the age of eleven sounds extremely suspicious, coming as they do from a political party with an ideological agenda to return education back to the 1950s; it`s only a short step to using these test results to determine the nature of secondary education each child should follow. 

   Developing educational policies on the basis of very spurious "international comparison tables" should be a last resort for any government, especially as these Pisa tests are themselves flawed, not even based on a common test, but on different students in different countries answering different questions! They have as much value in determining the success of education in a country as asking each country`s chancellor of exchequer, or equivalent, what eight times seven are!

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