Education & Arts Blogs

Spielman is right to move Ofsted’s focus onto curriculum – but can the school system step up?

Spielman is right to move Ofsted’s focus onto curriculum – but can the school system step up?

Policy Exchange’s Head of Education welcomes Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman’s powerful statement about the quality and content of the school curriculum in England. Ofsted says there is too little discussion of curriculum planning and too few teachers and school leaders understand what this means. With a decade’s teaching experience, including as a curriculum creator for one of England’s most successful school trusts, John Blake argues in the TES that schools need to look to Britain’s cultural institutions to find the support they need.

Nicky Morgan on character education

Nicky Morgan on character education

Policy Exchange hosted the launch of “Taught Not Caught”, Nicky Morgan’s new book on the necessity of character education in our schools. John Blake – Policy Exchange Head of Education and Social Reform – explains how Morgan makes a powerful case for ensuring that our children are raised at school with the values we want and know that they will need.

School superunion offers even more power to the far left

School superunion offers even more power to the far left

The merger of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has created the largest education union in Europe. The National Education Union (NEU) clearly believes it is a force for good but experience suggests the far-left elements of...

Beware the aftershocks of the youthquake – it’s a bit more complicated than that

Beware the aftershocks of the youthquake – it’s a bit more complicated than that

John Blake — Policy Exchange’s Head of Education and Social Reform — enters the ongoing discussion about the ‘ever-vexed’ topic of university access. He argues that, regardless of the rising number of young people going on to higher education, ‘an 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background, indeed from any background, should face a choice beyond either a university place they may not really want (even on the generous loan terms we have) and nothing’.

Thing to cut before the school curriculum: Call for Evidence

Thing to cut before the school curriculum: Call for Evidence

School budgets are now a matter of urgent concern — but in seeking savings, are schools making the best choices? Are school and system leaders thinking radically enough about how their organisations can change to meet the core needs of children in education? John Blake and Mark Lehain of Policy Exchange’s Education Unit — former teachers with two decades of front-line experience between them — offer suggestions, and seek the views of parents, teachers, governors, and other interested parties.

‘Free schools should be valued – they are changing education for the better’

‘Free schools should be valued – they are changing education for the better’

Responding to comments by former Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, John Blake — Policy Exchange’s Head of Education and Social Reform — discusses the intention and impact of the free school programme. In an article published by the TES, he argues that ‘seeking innovative practice was not an afterthought, but a core aspect of the programme, and one that has yielded enormous dividends for not just those children attending the new free schools, but the whole system’.

The real questions behind Vice Chancellors’ pay

The real questions behind Vice Chancellors’ pay

Rebecca Lowe Coulson — Policy Exchange’s State and Society Research Fellow — reflects on the way in which the escalating rate of VC pay seems neatly emblematic of the pressing questions the Higher Education sector is facing. Policy Exchange is currently undertaking work on this topic, with a report due out in the autumn to coincide with the start of the new academic year.

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