Depending on who you choose to believe, the news that Britain's 15 year-olds are outside the international top 20 for maths, reading and science is either a reason to lament our children's prospects in the oft-quoted 'global race'; to condemn teachers as underqualified, or overpaid; or to take aim at either this government or its predecessor on the verities of its education reform agenda.
It is crucial to look out there to turn around the learning if we are to re-calibrate the machine. If we as educators can't be open, radically re-learn from young people and collaborate with others out there to help fashion new digital tools and approaches to transforming the lives of marginalised young people, the queue will continue to be long and the cry that "Education, labour or the machine isn't working" will become ever louder.
You might not have guessed it from reading this week's education headlines, but schools in England are actually getting better. Nearly eight out of 10 are judged good or outstanding in the annual report from the schools inspectorate, Ofsted - the highest proportion in the watchdog's 20-year history.
This week I was struck down with what only can be described as 'The Worst Chesty Cough Anyone Has Ever Had'. It was really bad; phlegmy, disgusting and quite painful.
The answer seems like a straight-forward one to state but difficult to achieve, what we need is a multifaceted approach. Better teachers are not the only solution. We need a fairer system to judge the credibility of schools, and to help improve poorer areas as a whole.
We have a natural distaste for confidence, a distrust of feeling good in this way. We fear that confidence is actually over confidence and not healthy. It seems safer to struggle a bit in order to be sure that we are not committing the deadly sins of arrogance and laziness.
The UK produces fantastic yearly GCSE results and I don't believe, the Pisa study reflects our students' ability. It's the system that needs to change (and connect with ordinary enterprise communities, who could give a diverse view), and exactly how, we could improve and prepare our next generation of 15-year-olds educational achievements.
There has been a lot of press coverage recently for independent school Heads speaking out against private tutors. The language is coded in terms of an industry of hangers-on, opportunists, as if tutoring firms were simply taking advantage of middle-class foibles, creating extra work, distraction and pressure for their pupils.
When comparing UK students to students in Asian countries such as China and Singapore, we can see these leading countries place huge importance on the value of education, which is just not replicated to the same degree in the UK.
Stonewall is investing time, energy and money into normalising homosexuality amongst young people, particularly in schools. One of the key tenets of their initiative is to 'set the meaning straight' with regards to the word 'gay.' We can debate the evolution of language over a pint at the union to our heart's content...
It was heartening to see so many messages of support for Tom and sadly not surprising to read the various comments of hate that the faceless Twitter cowards immediately started shooting into the ether.I am thrilled for Tom that he has found love, long may it continue; he should be proud of who he is as an individual and for his achievements. I hope that in the coming days weeks and months we can all make his choice of partner the least interesting element of his life...
The relationship between sex and reproduction, and respect for one's body and for consent, cannot reasonably be considered contentious topics and therefore avoided. What is more, we're hearing from charities like TeenBoundaries, whose work strives to plug the current gaps in sex education, that a lack of basic information on sex is sending young people to pornography for the answers.
I don't use either of the degrees in my everyday work, and I remember hardly any of the information I studied so hard, and even less of it is ever useful. However, my year 12 marks got me into uni, and those two degrees still get me all sorts of unrelated jobs, along with a highly embellished resume.
Education is a process of providing structured information. It is accessible to every child for free in the developed world, so much so that it's almost taken for granted. The developing worlds are still striving to gain easily attainable education systems like ours, because education is seen as a platform whereby children can greaten themselves.
What groups that call for tackling the use of such words constantly fail to realise is that, over the course of time, language changes. Just as gay used to mean someone filled with joy or happiness, it has changed to refer to homosexuals and to describe something in a negative way. Language evolves with society.
The Church of England's clear intention here is to ramp up the evangelisation, not only in Church schools, but also in non-faith schools. They realise that the indoctrination of children, however subtle in its execution, is absolutely critical to its survival.