South Korea’s never ending schooling.

Another round of PISA tables puts the educational establishment on the defensive about the UK’s mediocre performance.  It’s certainly true the way the comparisons are made is open to dispute (www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10191157/International-school-league-tables-utterly-wrong.html) and it’s also right to argue that Michael Gove’s policies continue to undermine teacher trust and lower morale still further. It’s equally the case … Continue reading South Korea’s never ending schooling.

Education has become like running up a down escalator

http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/19169                                  Think Piece' for National Union of Teachers .                                                       Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley While most teachers rightly consider that education has an intrinsic value and isn’t just about passing exams, for most of their students and invariably their parents, a ‘good education’ enables you to ‘get on’ in life and to pursue … Continue reading Education has become like running up a down escalator

Doing it the German way?

  It is often difficult to be in agreement with Andrew Adonis, but the one-time New Labour schools minister, now a cheer-leader for Michael Gove’s academies programme, does make some creditable comments about apprenticeships. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/01/youth-unemployment-not-age-lack-of-skills  As Adonis observes, just 1 in 10 school leavers are able to sign up for an apprenticeship and many of … Continue reading Doing it the German way?

National Apprenticeship Week : but do employers really want them?

As part of  national apprenticeship week, David Cameron has called for apprenticeships to become the  "new norm" for school leavers who decide against going to university -wanting work-based training to sit "at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy"  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21734560) Wanting the UK to emulate Germany –or at least post-war Germany! – Cameron … Continue reading National Apprenticeship Week : but do employers really want them?

Here comes the Baker-laureate

Lord (Ken) Baker who, in another life as Margaret Thatcher’s education minister brought us the National Curriculum and more recently the University Technical Colleges (UTCs); has been busy again – this time upstaging Ed Miliband, (https://radicaled.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/milibands-proposals-for-training-without-jobs/) by announcing plans for a new Technical Baccalaureate and also warning that Michael Gove’s English Baccalaureate  is a ‘huge … Continue reading Here comes the Baker-laureate

‘Hard Times for education in England’ (Educational Futures, BESA Journal)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  'Hard Times for education in England' Patrick Ainley & Martin Allen, Educational  Futures  Journal of the British Educational Studies Association,                                                                                 http://www.educationstudies.org.uk/journal/ef_vol_51 “Unrealistic hopes have been repeatedly invested in English education. First, that selective state secondary schooling would sustain traditional industry in the 1940s and '50s and then in the 1960s and '70s that comprehensive … Continue reading ‘Hard Times for education in England’ (Educational Futures, BESA Journal)

Education in a declining economy

Martin Allen Many assumptions about education continue to be unchallenged. Most education policy makers still operate with a ‘human capital’ model of education. This assumes the higher the level of education enjoyed by the population, the greater the national economic benefit. During the early post-war period, the content of education was largely left to teachers, … Continue reading Education in a declining economy

Running up a downwards escalator…..

Patrick Ainley and Martin Allen Paper to British Sociology Association  Youth Study Group Seminar  November 4th Widening participation to higher education has approached New Labour’s target of 50% of 18-30s (for women at least). Presented as a professionalisation of the proletariat, in reality it represents a disguised proletarianisation of the professions – for which HE … Continue reading Running up a downwards escalator…..

Wolf Review of Vocational Education

Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley Education minister    Michael Gove has commissioned Professor Alison Wolf to carry out a review of vocational education. As Wolf notes in her letter ‘calling for evidence’ the review is part of a new government   approach   to qualifications, but it won’t be examining the detailed content of vocational qualifications but on … Continue reading Wolf Review of Vocational Education

What should we teach young people about work and economy?

    Education for Liberation conference   November 14th 2009 : Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley   Most schools now provide ‘vocational alternatives’ to conventional academic courses but, even in FE colleges, these are largely classroom and textbook based ‘applied’ courses which, with a few notable exceptions, develop little in the way of any practical skills … Continue reading What should we teach young people about work and economy?