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Opinion / Education

During my professional career, I have from time to time found myself newly responsible for an unfamiliar area of work. It's always seemed sensible to me to start by talking to expert colleagues, and to read around the subject to gain a general understanding. That process has always included going back to the original source material and reading the underlying legislation. I have on my bookshelf a variety of Acts of Parliament with post-it notes showing the evolution of my ignorance into some degree of knowledge on topics as varied as school admissions and inspections.

Every now and then, I think about writing a satirical column on education, but before I get round to it, the world has proved that my most extreme ideas are too tame.

As titles for white papers go, Educational Excellence Everywhere is certainly brimming with optimism.

One of the more effective school improvement strategies of the last five years has been the threat of forced academisation.

One of the problems of democracy is that leaders have views on many issues, and citizens don't always agree with all of the policies of "their" party or their government. So, I find myself supporting the principle of the new national funding formula for schools while deeply opposing the academisation programme.

The fundamental flaws in academisation plans

By Derren Hayes |

29 March 2016

On 17 September 2015, the Scottish Parliament passed the British Sign Language (BSL) Bill. The public gallery was packed with Deaf BSL users, many of whom had been banned from signing as children and forced to lip read. It had been a long, hard battle and it was difficult for many to hold back the tears and keep their emotions at bay.

Children and young people normally find it intensely embarrassing when adults in positions of authority try to talk sensibly about sex.

Schooling's reality check for social care inspection

By Derren Hayes |

16 February 2016