Education & Arts Blogs

A tale of two education announcements

A tale of two education announcements

Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, Jonathan Simons, contrasts recent announcements on education policy from the Labour and Conservative Parties. Jonathan sets out how the varied reactions to these announcements provide an interesting illustration as to the current state of education political communications.

The advantages of scale

The advantages of scale

Annaliese Briggs, Policy Exchange’s Education Research Fellow, explains the thinking behind our recently published report, Primary Focus. The report highlights how a “perfect storm” of challenges could see 1 in 5 primary schools falling below the government’s tough new minimum standards in 2016 and proposes grouping schools together into formal academy chains, building capacity and capability.

Doug Lemov at the annual Policy Exchange / Teach First Lecture (II)

Doug Lemov at the annual Policy Exchange / Teach First Lecture (II)

Natasha Porter, Policy Exchange’s Deputy Head of Education, covers our inaugural Annual Education Lecture, which was delivered by US education reform expert Doug Lemov. Doug called for greater opportunities for teachers to learn from one another, highlighting that there is no achievement gap that some teacher hasn’t already crossed.

Better with their hands: Getting rid of the stigma around vocational education

Better with their hands: Getting rid of the stigma around vocational education

Policy Exchange’s newly appointed Deputy Head of Education, Natasha Porter, sets out what needs to be done to ensure that the Technical Baccalaureate carries as much weight as the A-Level. The Technical Baccalaureate must have tougher entrance criteria, be sufficiently difficult to stretch the most able students, and allow access to some of the best higher education institutions. Only then will it offer a genuine alternative to A-Levels for young people.

The Future of Sure Start

The Future of Sure Start

Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, Jonathan Simons, writes welcoming Lucy Powell MP’s sensible position on Sure Start centres. Jonathan highlights how the proposals mirror calls from Policy Exchange’s Centres of Excellence? report, looking at how to improve children’s centres at a time when money is tight.

Primary Assessment and Accountability Reform

Primary Assessment and Accountability Reform

Annaliese Briggs, Policy Exchange’s Education Research Fellow, responds to the Department for Education’s recent publication detailing reforms to primary school assessment and accountability. Annaliese argues that we are likely going to see a wholesale change to the structure of measuring pupil progress over the next couple of years, because current National Curriculum levels are vague, subjective and unreliable.

Watching the Watchmen – an update

Watching the Watchmen – an update

Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, responds to comments made following our recent report on Ofsted, Watching the Watchmen, and reflects on Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech at the ASCL Conference. Jonathan reiterates some of the recommendations of the report, such as the need to maintain lesson observations in certain cases. In addition, he calls for more transparency and for schools to be given more power over decision-making.

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