It's Time to Question If the Ofsted Grade Is an Accurate Indicator of Quality at Nurseries

Jane Smalley | Posted 04.11.2015 | UK
Jane Smalley

There is no denying that having a baby is perhaps the most life changing and defining time in any person's life. At some point during the pregnancy, ...

A Conveyor Belt Age? Ofsted's Apprenticeship Report and the Need for a 'Year of Service'

Sophie Livingstone | Posted 26.10.2015 | UK
Sophie Livingstone

Young people hear so much about the need to do well in their exams but virtually nothing on the need to invest in themselves as people, and yet that's what will set them up for success in the workplace--and in life. Young people face so many challenges during their transition to adulthood and employment. Giving them the tools to do that successfully is surely the responsibility of our society. Ofsted's report should be a wake-up call to make that a reality.

David Cameron: We Will Send In Experts To Take Over Failing Social Services Departments

The Huffington Post UK | Owen Bennett | Posted 07.10.2015 | UK Politics

Poorly performing social services departments are set to be taken over by Government-appointed hit squads, David Cameron announced today. In an ech...

An (Ofsted) Inspector Calls...

Catherine Roche | Posted 30.08.2015 | UK
Catherine Roche

Official figures estimate that one in 10 school-aged children and young people have a diagnosable mental health issue such as anxiety or depression, but other more recent surveys place that figure much higher. This is above and beyond the sorts of knocks and challenges that we all encounter in life - this is a diagnosable mental health problem and requires professional support.

Ofsted Chief Calls For Bigger Fines For Term-Time Holidays

The Huffington Post UK | Ellen Wallwork | Posted 20.07.2015 | UK Parents

Parents who take their children out of school for term-time holidays should face larger fines, says Ofsted's chief inspector. Sir Michael Wilshaw s...

PSHE: The Missing Link

Fiona Smith | Posted 17.07.2015 | UK
Fiona Smith

The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.

Play Is Back, Long Live Play!

Penny Tassoni | Posted 16.07.2015 | UK Parents
Penny Tassoni

Whilst Sir Michael Wilshaw in his address to launch Ofsted's report into early years didn't actually use these exact phrases, I am sure that many of us within the early years were rejoicing that play is clearly being seen as a central ingredient in promoting early years.

Teach Last: Are Retirees the Answer to Our Teacher Shortage Crisis?

Rae Duke | Posted 16.07.2015 | UK
Rae Duke

With 4 in 10 teachers leaving the profession within their first year there's no denying that UK schools are finding it harder and harder to recruit st...

How Parents Are About to Get a Much Bigger Chance to Influence Ofsted's Rating of Their Children's Nursery

Purnima Tanuku | Posted 02.07.2015 | UK Parents
Purnima Tanuku

From September, nurseries will get a phone call the day before inspection, as part of the new Common Inspection Framework. Schools have always had this courtesy, so that they can call in necessary governors, as have childminders, due to the practical need to be home when an inspector calls.

Child Protection Must Be at the Heart of Ofsted Inspections

Meg Munn | Posted 27.05.2015 | UK Politics
Meg Munn

The new government must act to place the protection of children at the centre of Ofsted's work when inspecting schools.

Why We Should Focus on Well-Rounded Young People - Not Exceptional Grades

Charlie Rigby | Posted 15.05.2015 | UK
Charlie Rigby

If we are to avoid further developing a production line of exam-passing robots then serious consideration must be given to a more balanced education experience. Yes, children should be pushed in the classroom, but they should also be pushed as hard outside of it.

Why Families Should Get Free Childcare During School Holidays to Celebrate the Birth of Kate Middleton's Second Baby

Sarah Tetteh | Posted 23.06.2015 | UK Parents
Sarah Tetteh

The new royal baby is set to come in time for the May half-term school holidays. So why not give something back to the doting British public who are rushing out to buy souvenirs to celebrate the birth? Last time more than £250million was spent in shops when baby George was born.

Ofsted Criticism Shows Growing Importance of Anti-Radicalisation Provision for Our Young People

Charlie Rigby | Posted 20.05.2015 | UK Politics
Charlie Rigby

Ofsted has received criticism from two committees of MPs this week, who have slammed its failure to highlight the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal and the 'Trojan Horse' plot in Birmingham schools, after allegations of attempted takeovers by individuals looking to impose a view of radical Islam on the students.

Better Integration Needs Bold Decisions - Banning Independent Faith Schools Is One of Them

David Churchill | Posted 01.04.2015 | UK
David Churchill

In the same way it is necessary to have limits on freedom of speech, we must too have limits on tolerance of intolerance. Too many independent faith schools break this threshold, perpetuate division and prevent meaningful cross-faith contact. In the interests of better long-term integration, we should gradually ban them.

Ofsted Is Measuring the Wrong Things

Michael Mercieca | Posted 18.02.2015 | UK Politics
Michael Mercieca

Last week saw the publication of the annual Ofsted report which looked at the outcomes of schools' inspections in 2013-14. The report's headline-grabber was that progress in secondary schools in the UK 'has stalled', with 29% of state secondary schools now rated as less than good.

Muscular Liberalism and the Witch-Hunt of Muslim Schools

Dilly Hussain | Posted 23.01.2015 | UK Politics
Dilly Hussain

With such harsh intolerance towards Islam under the façade of preventing extremism, this will no doubt have a knock-on effect on community cohesion and how Muslims are perceived by the wider non-Muslim public.

Elite Schools Should Support Academies or Lose Charitable Status

Charlie Rigby | Posted 02.12.2014 | UK
Charlie Rigby

Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, said recently that private schools should be stripped of their charitable status for failing to sponsor academies and struggling state schools in poor areas. Through my personal experience of the private education system and my current work to provide academies with cost effective extra-curricular programs, I couldn't agree with him more.

Teachers Shouldn't Be the Victims of Religious Discrimination

Stephen Evans | Posted 15.11.2014 | UK Politics
Stephen Evans

Parents with children at a primary school East Sussex expressed outrage this week, when it became clear that the school's popular headteacher, who was drafted in to save the failing primary, could not stay on permanently because he isn't Roman Catholic. The school of course, is a faith school.

How Should We Judge the Success of a School?

Julie Booth | Posted 01.11.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Julie Booth

Families will always seek out information, and many will undertake detailed research, when they are choosing a school for their child. An inspection report or league table may help, but most parents recognise that they can only ever provide a snapshot of the education on offer.

Dispelling the Dark Clouds of Section 28: Flying Into Blue Skies Through the Leadership of New Teachers

Claire Stoneman | Posted 28.10.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Claire Stoneman

I write this in the last week of the six week summer holiday, teetering on the brink of a brand new school year brimming with all its hope and possibility. 2014-2015 academic year, for my school - Dame Elizabeth Cadbury in Bournville, Birmingham - is a very exciting one.

What I Learned From Visiting Reach Academy Feltham

Oliver Beach | Posted 02.09.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Oliver Beach

I asked one Year 8 girl what she is going to achieve in her GCSEs in 2017, to which she replied with utmost certainty: "A*s in EVERY subject;" refreshingly aspirational... There was no despondency about 'being rubbish at Maths' or 'not enjoying English'.

Ofsted's Latest School Inspection Was Really, Really Dumb

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 23.06.2014 | UK

Ofsted wasted two days and taxpayers money on a "baffling" two-day inspection of a school that was due to close permanently in just a few weeks. Fr...

Michael Gove's Quest for British Values in Education

Adrian Hilton | Posted 10.08.2014 | UK Politics
Adrian Hilton

Perhaps it is time for Ofsted to start assessing schools once again on the extent to which their daily assemblies are 'broadly Christian', and also on the amount of RE which is dedicated to teaching our national Christian history, culture, traditions and values...

'Trojan Horse' Controversy and British Muslim Children's Education

Muhammad Abdul Bari | Posted 09.08.2014 | UK Politics
Muhammad Abdul Bari

Many in the British Muslim community genuinely feel they often come 'under siege' by the right wing media, and are not helped by our political class. The protracted sensational depiction of the Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' concern, widely believed to be fake, has aggravated the situation further in the last few months.

Gove Blocked 'No-Notice' School Inspections Claims Ofsted Boss

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 10.06.2014 | UK Politics

Education Secretary Michael Gove blocked the introduction of "no-notice" inspections of schools two years ago, the head of Ofsted has claimed. The ...