Author Archives: Chris Hall

Beyond the inner-city: underperformance in the UK education system

West Berkshire is one of the most affluent local authorities in the country. On the Indices of Deprivation it ranks as the 287th most deprived out of 326. Yet in 2012 only 21.9% of pupils eligible for free school meals … Continue reading

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Where are the dividing lines on free schools?

With just over a year until the election it is worth considering exactly where the dividing lines are between the major political parties on education. Identifying them is tricky. This government has pursued an ambitious agenda, including overseeing the most … Continue reading

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The RCTs have landed – but has anyone noticed?

Last month the Education Endowment Foundation published their first set of evaluation reports. The six studies involved 238 schools and 6,800 pupils and represented the first stage in a process that aims to deepen our knowledge of what works in … Continue reading

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The tragedy of widening participation

Imagine a social problem which is widely documented. Imagine that policy-makers, having noted its existence and broadly decided that it’s a bad thing, set out to address it by spending vast sums of money on a range of solutions. Imagine … Continue reading

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Educational inequality: a report card

Is the attainment gap narrowing? Given the consensus across the political spectrum about the need to reduce it and the number of policies ostensibly directed to that aim this is an important question. Last week the Institute of Education published … Continue reading

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The schools we need (and how to get them)

As well as providing some pretty entertaining viewing Tough Young Teachers also provides a brief snapshot into life in our schools. In last week’s episode one of the participants was reprimanded for not keeping on top of her marking. One … Continue reading

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It’s all in the track record: judging the success of the free school programme

Natalie Evans of the New Schools Network (the charity that helps with the establishment of free schools) thinks that there is ‘no question’ that there will be more failures associated with the programme. In one sense she is right. It … Continue reading

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