School Report

Today’s report from Policy Exchange was bound to catch the headlines – recommending that schools are “fined” for failing to get students a grade C in English and Maths. In fact, the recommendations in the report are far more nuanced than this headline suggests – essentially recommending that schools...

With proper oversight, free schools and academies could help to create a vibrant and dynamic school system. But there is a danger that the government’s approach is prioritising quantity at the expense of quality. Over 90 new free schools have opened their doors this term, bringing the total number...

The Department for Education has published the secondary school performance statistics for the last academic year (2011/2012). This is like the annual report on how the school system has performed. The full data is available from the department’s website, but here is a roundup of the key points: ...

On Friday, Education Secretary Michael Gove gave a very warm reception to IPPR’s proposal for a graduate fast-track programme in children’s social work. He promised to get the scheme – known as ‘Frontline’ – up and running as soon as possible. Something certainly needs to be done to tackle problems...

After a week of speculation and leaks, last Friday’s TES provided a clearer picture of how Michael Gove proposes to reform the national curriculum and exam system. It appears the national curriculum will be abolished for every subject except maths, science and English, though even the curriculum in these...

This week the government approved the creation of a further 15 University Technical Colleges (UTCs), bringing the total to 34. These are state secondary schools for 14- to 19-year-olds that will focus on technical and applied learning. Backed by universities and businesses, they include an engineering...

According to latest league tables, English universities have slipped down the world rankings. Over the last year, the UK has gone from having 12 universities in the top 100 to just 10. Meanwhile, Oxford and Cambridge remain the only British universities in the top 10 in the world. Some commentators...

I'm just back from the launch of a new report by Policy Exchange, which calls for profit-making companies to be allowed to use government money to run state schools. The report has generated quite a bit of attention in the press, so I thought it was worth examining their claims in more detail. 1....

This week we've seen more gloomy announcements on the economy - with unemployment still rising and forecasts that the economy is tipping back into recession. More than a million women are now unemployed, the highest for 23 years. As the chancellor admitted in his autumn statement, the public finances...

Yesterday Michael Gove gave an impassioned defence of his programme to convert more schools into academies. This has been the biggest shake-up of the English school system for decades - with 1,529 secondary schools now being free from local government control and many primary schools following suit....