Freeman's Thinking

The news from Manchester will not surprise those who have even a general understanding of how local government finance has worked over the last two decades. The Formula Grant - the base central government funding for local authorities, topped up by the local Council Tax - takes account of many factors...

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Bac to the future

11 January 2011

Predictably, there is a row about the post facto changes to performance tables that will impact on published school performance before schools have had a chance to change their curriculum. The row is largely synthetic – there is no doubt that some schools have inflated their apparent success by cynical...

Now we have 10% of secondary schools running as academies and many more in the pipeline, the question is, when will the change become unstoppable? On the one hand, the GM movement never really took off, with most schools happy to stay with their local authority. On the other hand, with the number of...

 The effect of league tables and ‘high-stakes’ testing is always to focus attention on those activities that result in reported improvements. For primary schools, over many years, every part of the system has focused on improving the proportion of children reaching Level 4 at the end of Key Stage 2 –...

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A sporting chance

06 January 2011

One of the most surreal moments of the Christmas holiday was reading that the Queen was going to major on sport in her Christmas Day message. This led to thoughts about her potential direct intervention in the school sports debate, perhaps making a plea to the government for the continuation of school...