Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Schools”

Laboured Lessons in Communication

The UK Labour Party have today made an announcement about their education policy (“our fantastic new education policy that will give the next generation the best chance”).

Before commenting on it, I am intrigued by the way it is being communicated to their supporters’ list. I am puzzled by the paucity of the announcement – given the above objective. Read more…

Meating the Challenge

Meat eating appeared again on the Today programme today (1 September 2014 BBC Radio4). The essential argument is that using animals as part of the processing chain to turn the nutrition available from plants into food for humans is inefficient in terms of both energy use (and CO2 emissions) and land use. It is unsustainable – it is far more efficient if we cut out the animals and eat plants directly.

Research from Cambridge and Aberdeen universities estimates greenhouse gases from food production will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate.
BBC News Website 1 September 2014 : Greenhouse gas fear over increased levels of meat eating

It’s an uncomfortable – but compelling argument. Read more…

Head Teachers Sanctioning Parents

The Chief Inspector of Schools and Michael Gove, the Education Secretary seemed to have decided that you can “sanction quality in”:

Head teachers in England should be given powers to fine parents who fail to support their children’s education, the chief inspector of schools says.

Sir Michael Wilshaw says parents who allow homework to be left undone, who miss parents’ evenings or fail to read with their children should be punished.

Currently parents receive a £60 penalty notice if their child plays truant.

But Education Secretary Michael Gove wants tougher penalties for those whose children are not “ready to learn”.
BBC News Website 17 June 2014 : Fine ‘bad parents’, says Ofsted boss

Quality Inspectors in manufacturing learnt decades ago that you cannot “inspect quality in” but have to find and tackle the root causes of problems. Perhaps if Mr Gove had a wider education he would have learnt this historical lesson and be applying it. Read more…

Budget Cooking and Celebrity Chefs

Julian Ware-lane in a blog post Look at me, I’m wonderful: helping the poor whilst helping yourself ponders:

what are the motives of those making a good living selling advice to the poor? Are those that are seeking a top ten spot for their advice in it for the good they tell us they are doing, or for less selfless reasons?

Presumably he is thinking of the Pucker Jamie Oliver? Read more…

Gove Grades

The Labour Party are making much of Gove retaking his examination of examinations at 16+.

In changing the grade structure, I think he is either being foolish or cynical.  In either case he should be failed and allowed to try again. Read more…

Do you want Sugar or (Branson) Pickles with your Careers Advice?

Young people in Wales become less keen to start their own business the longer they are in the school system, a study has found.

While a third of 11-13 year-olds wanted to become the next Lord Sugar or Sir Richard Branson, that fell to 18% by the time pupils had reached 17 and 18.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales research aims to show the need to nurture young entrepreneurs.  BBC News Website 20 May 2013 Youth business: Nurture entrepreneurs at school – FSB Wales

Now one has to be careful when commenting on Lord Sugar, but I do wonder why almost half of those who at 11-13 want to be the next Lord Sugar or Sir Richard Branson no longer want to by the age of 17-18.  Wanting to be the next Sugar or Branson is different from wanting to be an entrepreneur. Read more…

Flapping about Flapjacks

Canvey Island school bans triangle-shaped flapjacks – BBC News website 25 March 2013

This story has been updated during the day so I presume that it was not a mistake published a week too early.  I am not convinced that the school has done a proper risk assessment and they may be making the situation worse. Read more…

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