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The future of education (if any)

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#821 Postby Alan H » March 28th, 2018, 10:05 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Grammar schools don’t add any value. So let’s ditch them
Theresa May’s style, in her own words, circa two years ago: “I actually look at the evidence, take the advice, consider it properly and then come to a decision.”

Good stuff. Especially, you would have thought, for education reform, where – in comparison with other policy areas – there is a significant body of evidence, both in this country and overseas, on what is effective.

The UK has the national pupil database (NPD), which the Department for Education claims is “one of the richest education datasets in the world”. First produced a few decades ago, it now contains anonymised data on more than 20 million people, tracking their test results throughout their formal education alongside their key sociodemographic characteristics such as ethnicity, special educational needs, eligibility for free school meals, age within academic year, and much more.

This week, a team of academics from Durham University published research they had conducted using the NPD to demonstrate that the comparatively impressive GCSE results of grammar schools are a result of the pupils they admit, who have higher prior attainment and disproportionately come from more advantaged backgrounds.

Far from being bastions of social mobility, the average grammar school has fewer than 3% of their pupils on free school meals, compared to an average of 14% across the state sector. Once you factor in these differences in their intakes, grammar schools are no more effective than comprehensives. In other words, a typical grammar adds the same value to a child’s educational attainment than a typical comprehensive.

This research really ought to be the final nail in the coffin against grammar schools, championed so vigorously by the prime minister until she lost her majority last summer. Sentimental about their school history, advocates for the expansion of grammars are not really influenced by the evidence, but by their own personal experience and perceptions.

Grammar schools are, truthfully, outdated and unambitious for our children and our country
We already know that, in general, the poorest children in selective education areas do worse in their GCSE results than those in non-selective areas. We know now, thanks to this latest research, that those children who do go to a grammar school on average do no better than if they were at a comprehensive school.

So, not only do grammar schools harm social mobility in aggregate, they also do not boost the social mobility of participating children above and beyond what would have happened if they were attending a comprehensive school. This, then, is conclusive: grammar schools do not help the life chances of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In fact, they are harmful to a majority of them.
If the prime minister is after education reforms that are effective, she should look to the countless studies conducted and evaluated by the Education Endowment Foundation, a “what works centre” established by her predecessor in 2011. High-quality pre-school education and one-to-one tuition are, admittedly, expensive but boost the educational progress of children by several months, as do cheaper interventions such as phonics, peer tutoring, and social and emotional learning.

Current government policy is to enable existing grammar schools to expand. But, if she really examined the evidence, then the prime minister would be looking to phase them out altogether.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#822 Postby Alan H » March 29th, 2018, 9:49 am

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#823 Postby Alan H » April 19th, 2018, 1:01 am

House of Lords committee criticises move towards ‘greater social segregation within faith schools’
A House of Lords committee has expressed concern that Government proposals to lift the cap on faith-based admissions ‘could cause greater social segregation within faith schools’. In a report, published by the Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee, the peers also praise Ofsted for ‘sanction[ing] schools which fail to teach about LGBT people’, voices support for new legislation to clampdown on illegal faith schools, and says that faith schools must not be exempt from the requirement to promote British values.

Humanists UK has welcomed the findings and recommendations of the committee, stating that it further demonstrates the growing consensus that faith schools represent a threat to both social cohesion and children’s rights.

The report, entitled The Ties that Bind: Citizenship and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century, sets out to make a range of recommendations relating to the improvement of integration, mutual understanding, and social cohesion in the UK.

In a section on faith schools specifically, the report questions the extent to which some faith schools are promoting fundamental British values. Noting that ‘promoting discrimination has no place in schools’, it concludes that:

‘Faith schools, and other schools attended primarily by the adherents of one faith, should be no exception to the requirement to teach Shared Values of British Citizenship, still less the requirement to abide by the rule of law. We are glad to see Ofsted focusing on this important issue. They should not look the other way.’

Attention is also drawn to the fact that while race and sexuality are not explicitly covered under the current definition of British values, Ofsted has nonetheless been interpreting the values to reflect the importance of promoting respect for these protected characteristics. ‘For example, Ofsted has sanctioned schools which fail to teach about LGBT people. This is entirely right’, the report states.

On faith schools admissions, the committee adds itself to the growing list of individuals and organisations to criticise proposals to lift the 50% cap on religious selection. Recognising the ‘concerns that this could cause greater social segregation within faith schools’, the Committee stresses that ‘Any change in the rules governing admissions criteria to faith schools should ensure that they do not increase social segregation.’

Finally, support is given for the Government’s plans to crackdown on unregistered, illegal faith schools in line with recommendations made by Humanists UK for some time. The report states:

‘in the Integrated Communities Strategy the Government has undertaken to review its guidance to Ofsted and Local Authorities, and to consider whether Ofsted needs additional powers to tackle unregistered schools. This is a promising start. The Department for Education must ensure that unregistered schools are not used by communities as a way of avoiding learning about Shared British Values.’

Humanists UK Education Campaigns Manager Jay Harman commented, ‘This report reiterates what Humanists UK has been saying for decades: civic engagement and community cohesion in this country cannot be properly addressed until we have a very frank national conversation about the destructive role that faith schools play in a diverse, harmonious society. We hope the Government will consider this report carefully, particularly in its ongoing deliberations around the 50% cap, and we will continue to lead the campaign against the place of divisive and discriminatory faith schools within the education system.’
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#824 Postby Alan H » April 19th, 2018, 1:04 am

Public oppose faith school admissions cheating
A new YouGov survey has found that a majority of the public think it is ‘unacceptable’ for families to attend Church to get their child into a religiously affiliated school. The practice was considered ‘unacceptable’ by 56% of people, compared to 22% who viewed it as ‘acceptable’, meaning it is disapproved by a ratio of over 5 to 2.

The findings present a fresh blow to state funded faith schools religiously selecting their pupils. Research over recent years suggests religiously selective admission arrangements are being exploited on a massive scale. Though practices vary, awarding places to children from families with a record of Church attendance is the most common way religiously selective schools in England and Wales select pupils.

Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, the Reverend Stephen Terry, said ‘People are right to oppose school places being obtained through what is in effect cheating. However, public pressure should not be directed at families, but at authorities that permit admission arrangements which are known to incentivise parents in this way.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#825 Postby Alan H » April 19th, 2018, 1:05 am

NSS urges ‘no more faith schools’ as it launches national campaign
The National Secular Society has launched a new national campaign dedicated to ending state-funded faith schools, with backers including historian Dan Snow and the politician and former actor Lord Cashman.

The No More Faith Schools campaign will highlight the widespread concerns and myths that surround faith schools of all types and urge the creation of an inclusive, secular education system.

The NSS will use the campaign to demonstrate the problems associated with faith schools. These include the enabling of religious groups to use public money to evangelise to children, the undermining of social cohesion, the segregation of children on social, ethnic and religious lines and the undermining of freedom and equality.

The campaign's website and social media channels will encourage supporters to petition the government and write to MPs in favour of "an open and inclusive education system, free from religious discrimination". Supporters will also be able to share their stories and reasons for backing the campaign and get free campaign posters.

The NSS has produced a short launch video for the campaign.

Stephen Evans, the NSS's CEO, said faith schools "build division into society" and "segregate children on outdated lines of faith".

"Our campaign highlights the inequity they cause in our society. At the National Secular Society we ardently believe that no one should be marginalised or segregated on the basis of faith. We are proud to campaign for a fair and inclusive education system that creates a fair and inclusive society."


Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#826 Postby Alan H » May 4th, 2018, 4:30 pm

Church forces school to close rather than join secular academy trust
A primary school in Surrey is to close after the local Church of England diocese refused to allow it to join a secular multi-academy trust (MAT).

In May 2017 Ripley C of E Primary School was ordered to join a MAT or face closure after an inadequate Ofsted review. The church's Diocese of Guildford declined to join the school to its trust, the Good Shepherd Trust (GST), and blocked an educational trust's proposal to take over the school.

The National Secular Society understands representatives of the South Farnham Educational Trust (SFET) assured the diocese that Ripley Primary's religious character would be maintained, but were unwilling to have 25% of their own governance appointed by the church. In response the diocese blocked SFET from investigating the possibility of taking over the school.

A memorandum of understanding between the C of E and Department for Education allows dioceses to decide which trust any of 'its' schools join. When a C of E faith school joins a non-church MAT the diocese typically requires the trust to have at least 25% of the trustees (who oversee the governance of all schools in the MAT) appointed by the church. The NSS has repeatedly criticised this situation.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#827 Postby Alan H » May 10th, 2018, 6:04 pm

We are rapidly becoming a less religious society; more than half of youg people are not religious; churches are losing their influence - and adherents. What do the Tories do? Government plans to create 36 new religious free schools in England - National Secular Society
The government plans to create 36 new faith schools in England as it rolls out its latest round of new free schools, the National Secular Society has found.

An NSS analysis of the latest data from the Department for Education found that it plans to open 20 Church of England schools with a Christian faith character or ethos. It will also create nine other Christian schools, four Muslim schools, two Hindu schools and one Jewish school.

The C of E will also open three new schools which do not appear to have a faith character or ethos.

A number of the faith schools will discriminate on religious grounds in their admissions criteria. City Gates School in Redbridge says it "will admit up to 50% of our pupils based on their Christian faith if the school is oversubscribed".

The Church of England Wren Academy Enfield says "priority for up to half of the available places will be given to those who attend church regularly". It also says "all students, be they Christian, of other faiths or none, will be expected to attend events which celebrate our Christian ethos" - in defiance of the parental right to withdraw from collective worship.

Four of the proposed schools will be Islamic, including the Hujjat Primary School in Harrow. An article on Islamic education on the Hujjat.org website by Sister Tahera Kassamali makes clear that the goal of Muslim schools is to inculcate Islamic beliefs.

Kassamali writes: "In a non-Muslim environment the child struggles to belong, and often has to compromise what he/she believes in. Even when not compromising, it can become a continuous battle with the self, or parents, community etc." She says this battle can "…lead to skepticism [sic] and rejection of faith as the child has overwhelmingly witnessed beliefs and practices contrary to Islam".

She adds that "the environment in an Islamic school models what it means to be a Muslim".

"Children can see practical examples of Islamic behavior each day. This reinforces the behavior in them and encourages the child to follow the examples he sees. Seeing their friends and peers say the salaat, wear the hijab, fast . . . etc. creates a desire to do the same."

The other three Muslim schools are two boys-only secondary schools and one primary school run by Tauheedul Education Trust. Feversham Education Trust, which runs the Islamic Feversham College, will also open a new girls' school but this will not have a faith designation.

Two new free schools will be opened by Avanti Schools Trust, which is governed by iFoundation. This charity's purpose is to evangelise the Hindu faith, specifically the teachings of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), more commonly known as the 'Hare Krishna' movement.

The Kisharon Academy Trust will open a Jewish special free school in Barnet. Kisharon, whose tagline is "Jewish answers for learning disabilities," was rated 'requires improvement' by the Care Quality Commission in January due to unsafe recruitment practices.

NSS education & schools officer Alastair Lichten said: "Despite the government saying that it wants to build strong integrated communities, the number and variety of new religious free schools in the pipeline suggests that it is still unwilling to tackle one of the core causes of division in society: faith-based segregation.

"It is particularly disappointing to see that a number of these schools will apply faith-based criteria in their admissions policies, including Church of England schools. This flies in the face of the Church's common claim that church schools are inclusive.

"With the government proposing to drop the 50% cap on faith-based admissions for new free schools, it doesn't look like the situation is set to improve any time soon."

The faith schools will be among 318 new schools which open in total.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#828 Postby Alan H » May 11th, 2018, 12:03 am

Thank fuck for that. One small step but a long way to go. Humanists UK wins Government U-turn on 50% cap on faith school admissions
The Government, breaking a manifesto commitment, has announced that it will keep the 50% cap on religious selection by new religious free schools in England, in a move welcomed by Humanists UK, which has led the campaign against efforts to lift it.

The Government’s announcement comes after 20 months of steady campaigning from Humanists UK for it to retain the 50% cap. It means that all new and existing religious free schools must continue to keep at least half of its places open to all children, irrespective of their religious or non-religious backgrounds.

However, in a concession to religious lobbyists, the Government has signalled it will be making new funding available for religious groups to open fully selective faith schools outside of its free schools scheme. Humanists UK will be doubling down on its efforts for a fully inclusive education system, challenging new faith schools applications as they arise.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘The decision to keep the cap on faith-based selection is a victory for integration, mutual understanding, and the interests of children. It is also a significant victory for Humanists UK and its supporters, who have successfully led the national campaign against the removal of the cap and in favour of open, integrated schools.

‘If this vision is to be fully realised, then attention must now turn to preventing new, fully segregated schools by another means, which the Government has now unwisely created. The need for the Government to save face, or to appease a handful of religious organisations and their unreasonable demands, should not be prioritised over what’s best for children and society. Today’s u-turn makes clear that fully segregated school intakes are anathema to an open, diverse society, but the Government should now recognise this throughout the education system and not create new segregation.’

Notes

The 50% cap was introduced by Government to make sure that new state faith schools could no longer select 100% of their pupils by religion. Under pressure from Catholic and Jewish hierarchies, the Government promised to lift it in its 2017 manifesto. Humanists UK has campaigned for that not to happen and is delighted with today’s announcement.

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson on 07815 589636 or at richy@humanism.org.uk.

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.



Timeline of the 50% cap
September 2007 – The Labour Government introduces a 50% cap on religious selection at new Academy schools that did not replace a pre-existing state-funded school.

May 2010 – The Coalition Government keeps the 50% cap in place as part of its Free Schools Programme, effectively meaning that almost no new state faith school can select more than half of their places on the basis of religion.

November 2013 – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales announces that it will boycott the free schools programme, refusing to open any new state schools under the 50% cap.

April 2014 – Future Education Secretary Damian Hinds sponsors a debate in the House of Commons calling for the cap to be removed.

May 2015 – Following the general election, the new Conservative Government keeps the cap in place, stating that it ‘helps tackle segregation and ensures young people will experience the diversity of beliefs that make up modern Britain.’

September 2016 – Theresa May uses her first domestic policy speech as Prime Minister to announce proposals to drop the 50% cap. The proposals are justified on the grounds that it hasn’t boosted integration and prevents new Catholic schools from opening.

November 2016 – Humanists UK publishes analysis of official figures demonstrating that the 50% cap has significantly boosted integration in the majority of religious free schools, contrary to claims made by the Government.

November 2016 – Claims made by the Catholic Church that ‘canon law’ prevents it from opening schools under the 50% cap are exposed as disingenuous and misleading by Humanists UK, which briefs MPs.

December 2016 – The Department for Education is ordered by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) to amend the misleading figures on ethnic integration presented in its green paper, after Humanists UK lodged a complaint.

May 2017 – A poll commissioned by the Accord Coalition (of which Humanists UK is a member) reveals that 80% of the public want the cap to remain in place. This includes 67% of Catholics and 71% of Christians as a whole.

January 2018 – Education Secretary Justine Greening, who was understood to have privately opposed proposals to drop the cap, is removed and replaced by Damian Hinds. Humanists UK reveals that he had previously received donations from the Catholic Church in return for placing an intern in his parliamentary office.

March 2018 – Over 70 religious leaders, parliamentarians, education experts, and public figures, spanning from Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson through to former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, write an open letter organised by Humanists UK calling on the Education Secretary to keep the cap in place.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#829 Postby Alan H » May 11th, 2018, 1:07 am

Then... Grammar schools in England to get £50m expansion fund
Grammar schools in England will be given tens of millions of pounds to expand, after the education secretary, Damian Hinds, unveiled a fund for selective schools that agree to improve applications from disadvantaged children.

The £50m fund will potentially allow the creation of new “satellite” campuses of grammar schools away from their existing sites, although the Department for Education said there would be a “very high bar” for such expansions.

“By creating new schools where they are needed most and helping all great schools to grow, we can give parents greater choice in looking at schools that are right for their family and give children of all backgrounds access to a world-class education,” Hinds said.

The announcement is the latest effort by the government to resuscitate grammar schools in the face of fierce opposition from educationalists and policy-makers, and few signs that the policy is popular with parents.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#830 Postby Alan H » May 11th, 2018, 9:55 pm

Government to offer funds for new fully selective religious schools out of free schools pot
Today, while the Government announced it will not allow the opening of new 100% selective religious free schools, it also announced it will allow the opening of new 100% selective religious voluntary aided schools. This morning it has further announced that the funding for this will come from the pot of funding previously available for free schools.

Reacting to the news, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘New 100% selective religious schools are not popular and if this new scheme is subject to local democracy (unlike the national free school scheme) then it may be that some of these proposals get stopped. But if it’s nationally decided, as seems likely, then this is very bad news.

‘Either way, however, it means that local authorities will now be expected to open new 100% selective state religious schools while being legally banned from opening new inclusive community schools. England stands alone in Europe in seeking to expand such discrimination when the Republic of Ireland – one of the few other countries that allows it – is preparing to largely abolish it. This is utterly incoherent and the Government urgently needs to think again.’

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme those morning, Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds said that he expects few faith schools to open under the new scheme. Humanists UK has questioned in that case why such an expensive new policy is needed.

Mr Copson continued, ‘The reality is that the Government has lost the argument on this one. The majority of the public and a huge range of civil society organisations came together with us to oppose the lifting of limits on discrimination for new religious free schools. The mainstream view is now against state-funded selective faith schools. Today’s dirty little workaround is simply the Government attempting to appease religious hierarchs against the better interests of cohesion, integration, and fairness.’
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#831 Postby Alan H » May 31st, 2018, 12:32 pm

Irish Citizens’ Assembly could debate ending church control of schools
The Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, told the lower house of the Irish Parliament on Tuesday that he was happy to consider a debate in the Citizens’ Assembly on ending church patronage of schools in Ireland. The move was originally requested by the leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin, who said the option of using the Citizens’ Assembly was, ‘significant for many who want choice in the education they provide for their children’. The Citizens’ Assembly was founded in 2016 and produces reports that are then considered by the Oireachtas, the Irish Parliament. It has previously been used to consult on abortion, climate change, and other major policy issues.

Humanists UK, which campaigns against the state-funding of faith schools, has welcomed the opportunity for the role of the church in education to be debated.

Currently, the Catholic church controls around 90% of the state primary schools in Ireland, leaving parents with limited options if they wish to avoid a faith school education for their children. Irish Labour senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is pushing for total reform of church patronage in the education system, stating that:

‘We have 4,000 schools in the State and there are ongoing issues such as access, employment rights for non-religious teachers, school ethos, sex education and so on. The Citizens’ Assembly could deal with these issues together rather than tinkering with existing laws.’

This news follows the recent announcement by the Irish Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, that the government are going ahead with plans to remove the so-called ‘baptism barrier’ for admission to Catholic primary schools. That legislation is to be debated this week. The Education Minister also launched a survey on Monday consulting parents in sixteen areas of Ireland on whether they support religious patronage in schools or wish to see it removed and control given to multi-denominational patrons.

The progress made by the Irish government in tackling the power of faith groups in the state education system is in marked contrast to the actions of the UK Government. Far from announcing steps to challenge faith schools, the Education Secretary has instead made funds available for new 100% religiously selective voluntary aided schools.

Humanists UK Education Campaigns Manager Jay Harman commented, ‘Schools are for education, not indoctrination. For too long religious organisations have been granted undue control over schools around the world, and for the benefit of children, parents, and society more broadly, that needs to change. Governments throughout the UK should take heed of Ireland’s progress and offer the chance for the continued existence of faith schools in the UK to be debated.’

A long way to go in Ireland, but at least that's the right direction, unlike the UK where the Tories are doing cartwheels to hand over schools to all sorts of religions.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#832 Postby Alan H » June 9th, 2018, 6:48 pm

Academisation of state education has reduced freedom and autonomy for schools
The rapid conversion of state schools to academies since 2010 has resulted in the majority of such schools having less freedom than before, according to new research from LSE and a leading education lawyer at Matrix released today, (5 June 2018).

Almost a third of state schools have become academies since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition expanded the academies programme in 2010, with a key aim to give schools more freedom. However, the policy has resulted in over 70% of academies having less freedom than they had before, as they are run by Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and no longer exist as ‘autonomous’ schools, unlike schools maintained by local authorities.

The report’s authors, Professor Anne West of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and Dr David Wolfe QC at Matrix, highlight the lack of transparency in the way academies are run. In contrast to maintained schools, where decisions are taken by governors appointed through an open process, academies are run by ‘trustees’, whose opaque appointments are not subject to openness rules which apply across other areas of public life.

‘Freedoms’ of academies include not having to follow the national curriculum – potentially reducing educational opportunities for pupils – and not having to adhere to the national school teachers’ pay and conditions – raising concerns about teacher retention in maintained schools.

The financial accounts of academy trusts must be audited by external auditors, but the accounts themselves do not provide a detailed account of how (public) money is spent, in contrast to maintained schools. This opens the door to possible abuse of funds.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23273
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#833 Postby Alan H » June 25th, 2018, 11:40 am

‘Rotten to the core’ flagship Steiner school to close, as it emerges concerned parents were sent gagging letters
A flagship Steiner school is to close amid fears over child safety, after it emerged that parents who tried to raise the alarm about safeguarding lapses had been sent gagging letters.

The Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley (RSSKL) has told parents that it will shut down at the end of this term, following a string of damning Ofsted reports.

Steiner schools, which are favoured by liberally-minded middle-class parents, base their curriculum - which emphasises creativity and imagination - on the spiritual philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.

Parents have accused the school of attempting to "cover up" the full extent of its failings by trying to intimidate those who sought to voice their unease about the goings-on at the school.

When parents tried to raise concerns about the behaviour of Denis McCarthy, a teacher at the school, they were sent threatening legal letters.

In a letter from solicitors in 2014, the parents were told that they must agree to sign up to a series conditions and failure to do so would result in their child being removed from the school.

Parents were warned not to make any further “unfounded allegations” about Mr McCarthy, with lawyers adding that if they did, their child would be asked to leave.

Anonymous threatening letters were also sent in the post to parents who raised concerns about the teacher’s conduct, saying: “We know where you live. We know your children and where they go”.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Tetenterre
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Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: The future of education (if any)

#834 Postby Tetenterre » June 25th, 2018, 3:23 pm


[McCarthy] has denied any wrongdoing and told The Sunday Telegraph the complaints “had no basis in reality” and said the school settled his claim for unfair and wrongful dismissal “as they had no case.”

Case No: 3324923/2017:
The proceedings are dismissed following a withdrawal of the claim by the claimant.

I know nothing about this case, but I am aware of instances where the cost of successfully defending a case ran to significantly more than settling out of court would have done, so settling is not necessarily an acknowledgement of fault.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#835 Postby Alan H » July 2nd, 2018, 10:50 am

It's very troubling not only that there are private schools teaching Steiner nonsense, but there are now four tax-payer funded schools - even though one has just been shut down amid serious child safety concerns: Steiner book raises grooming concerns
A Steiner school handbook that suggested teachers visit children at home and give them chocolate has raised concerns about the potential for grooming.

The handbook, published and endorsed by the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, tells teachers that parents’ evenings should be followed by “home visits”, where the teacher can spend time with the pupil.

There are 35 Steiner schools in Britain and Ireland, all private apart from four academies. They follow the methods of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher who advocated creativity and free thinking in education.

In the handbook, which combines supposedly lighthearted musings with advice, teachers are told that “class pet names can be enjoyable”. It adds: “Rewards, for example chocolates (especially if the school rule is no chocolate), should be awarded to indicate how pleased you are with the individual.”

The handbook goes on to recommend that teachers “cultivate the strongest leaders in the class so that they see you as their special ally, the only adult who understands them”.

Another section advises: “Tell the class that they are a very special group (they must be to have you as a teacher) and let them know implicitly and explicitly that you are the only person able to teach them. Alongside this, it helps to hint that no one else could handle them as you do.” Its author, Kevin Avison, an executive officer and adviser of the fellowship, has written many Steiner books. He describes the handbook as a “humorous exploration” of Steiner teaching but adds that all the points have “something positive”.

Mike Tomlinson, former chief inspector of schools, told The Sunday Telegraph that the handbook “raises serious questions about the philosophy of the schools and the way in which they choose to see the teacher’s role”. He added: “I suspect that this may well be a call to arms to the Department for Education and Ofsted.”

It has recently emerged that the Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, is set to close amid concerns for child safety and reports that parents had been prevented from speaking out. Ofsted found that safeguarding was not strong enough.

A spokesman for Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship said the handbook had been misinterpreted. He said: “The text was always intended to be an ironic caricature and this is clearly signalled. Child protection and safety are the top priorities for the Steiner Waldorf Schools’ Fellowship and for the author.”

A spokesman from Ofsted said: “Ofsted does not hesitate to inspect certain independent schools when concerns are raised and when commissioned to do so by the Department for Education as the registration authority for these schools.”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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