A new blog, a new term, a new year

In true journalistic style, I thought it appropriate to start a new blog at the start of a new school year with a few predictions.


So here we go, a few of my thoughts for the year ahead.


GCSE Results controversy

Despite being a new school year, this academic year, 2012 – 13, will be overshadowed by the fallout from the previous year, most notably the ‘shifting’ of grade boundaries in GCSE English, which resulted in different outcomes for those who banked their results in January and those who cashed in in June.

I don’t think that anyone disagrees that GCSE exam creep has taken place over the last twenty years and that it needs to be arrested and reversed, but the way it has been handled – particularly in English – has not been Ofqual’s finest hour.

I fear that the debate will range long into the new (academic) year.  Some will be actively hunting for any of Mr Gove’s fingerprints in the debacle – I doubt they’ll be found, but if they are …


Teachers v Government

There is a significant number in the profession who have very little time for the Government. The gov. is in a weak position at the moment:  growth has stalled, they seem bereft of ideas and flip-flop more than an Aussie’s footwear on Bondi Beach.

The unions sniff blood. Pensions remain a significant fault line. I don’t think that that argument has yet been fully settled. I think that there is a high probability of industrial action this academic year

Olympic Legacy

The Olympics. They were great weren’t they.  From the opening ceremony onwards, I found myself absorbed and moved by the stories and drama as it unfolded.

And then everyone started talking of the ‘Leg of Sea.’ At first I thought that it was describing the water off Weymouth were the yachting was taking place, but then it dawned on me – the Olympic Legacy was going to see us all running faster, throwing further and jumping higher and our schools would unearth and nurture the Olympic stars of the future.

And everyone thought this was a great idea. More sport in schools! Don’t sell another playing field. We’ll turn a generation of Wii athletes into real athletes.

Give it a few months and we’ll hear no more of this.  Its in “everyone’s” interest to let it quietly fade away: politicians of every hue have a somewhat murky record with regards to school playing fields – they won’t want that bringing up again. Schools and Head Teachers will continue to be assessed on how many GCSEs and A-Levels they win, not how fast Miggins-Minor can run, so I can’t see them (Head Teachers) giving up too many hours of curriculum teaching to PE at the expense of Maths, English, Science et al.

Everyone, except, perhaps, the children. But then, when you look at the tables – we’ve just come third in the world at games, and yet are languishing in 28th place in maths

The Children

Despite the political battles being fought over education, thousands of children will start the new year with hope and aspirations and will be inspired, in a thousand different ways, by an army of dedicated staff.

There will be blood (lots of scraped knees in the playground), sweat (its best to avoid the changing rooms after a year 9 PE lesson – a heady odour of smelly boys laced with Lynx deodorant and cheap aftershave) and tears (well, from the teachers at least) but 10 months on, they, the children, will emerge wiser, more rounded and more ready for their place in the world than ever before.

It is right that we discuss and we argue about education, but rest assured, that the difference a year’s schooling makes is enormous and a very positive force for good.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>