Education & Arts Blogs

Paying first-class teachers what they are worth is way to educate Yorkshire

Paying first-class teachers what they are worth is way to educate Yorkshire

Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, highlights how performance-related pay will improve the quality of teaching by attracting more high flying graduates and encouraging the professional development of teachers. The effects of performance-related pay on the teaching profession were explored by Policy Exchange recently in our reportReversing the ‘Widget Effect’.

Performance pay won’t lead to teachers hoarding resources or refusing to collaborate for fear of losing out

Performance pay won’t lead to teachers hoarding resources or refusing to collaborate for fear of losing out

Jonathan Simons, Head of Education at Policy Exchange, writes backing the introduction of performance-related pay (PRP) for English teachers. Simons shows that, despite what teachers’ unions might say, teachers overwhelmingly want to be paid on the quality of their teaching, that it is possibly to measure teacher effectiveness, and that PRP has demonstrably improved pupil outcomes. He does, however, stress the hard work that schools will have to put in to designing systems that are reliable, have credibility with teachers and reward collaboration and pupil progress.

12 reasons why the NAO’s report is a boost for free schools

12 reasons why the NAO’s report is a boost for free schools

Following the publication of the National Audit Office’s report on Free Schools, Jonathan Simons, Head of Education at Policy Exchange, argues that much of the coverage of the report has been ideologically motivated and ignored the general tone of the report. In response, Jonathan highlights 12 positive findings from the report.

PISA 2013 and English Schools – First impressions

PISA 2013 and English Schools – First impressions

Jonathan Simons, Head of Education at Policy Exchange responds to the publication of the PISA 2013 figures which compare literacy and numeracy for 15 year-olds across the OECD. Jonathan argues that there is much to learn from other countries, including those that use performance-related-pay to drive up standards.

Re-Extending Schools

Re-Extending Schools

Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, examines Ed Miliband’s recent childcare speech. Jonathan welcomes the fleshing out of Labour’s commitments in this area, but argues there are still real questions as to the practicalities of they will implement free childcare measures and wraparound primary school care to give parents a concrete offer for their children and reassure schools that this will not turn into a bureaucratic exercise.

Nick Clegg’s Alternative Speech

Nick Clegg’s Alternative Speech

Jonathan Simons, Head of Education at Policy Exchange imagines what Nick Clegg should have said in his speech on education today. Jonathan examines the progress on education the Lib Dems have made in Coalition and finds that they have a strong story to tell.

Lessons from Al-Madinah – What we can and can’t learn

Lessons from Al-Madinah – What we can and can’t learn

Following Ofsted’s investigation into the Derby free school Al Madinah, Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education argues that while there are wider lessons to learn from this failure, particularly in implementation, it cannot be used to condemn the principle of the free school programme.

A new Labour position on free schools

A new Labour position on free schools

Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, examines new shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt’s policy on free schools. Jonathan praises Hunt’s approach, which is supportive, but notes three key details to watch for: how Labour define the “areas of need” they want new schools to operate in, planning issues for new schools and whether or not free schools will retain their preferred status when a local authority is seeking a new school.

In public policy, relative priority matters – will new data from Save the Children mean we see a greater focus on primary schooling?

In public policy, relative priority matters – will new data from Save the Children mean we see a greater focus on primary schooling?

Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, comments on new data from Save the Children showing that 78% of the difference in attainment recorded in literacy and numeracy at age 16 is already present at age 7. Jonathan notes the significiant pivot from the organisation from their previous focus on living standards to the schools space, and asks whether this might see policymakers likewise refocus their efforts to this area.

Early intervention is good in theory, now we have to make sure it’s good in practice

Early intervention is good in theory, now we have to make sure it’s good in practice

Harriet Waldegrave, Education Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, sets out the importance of preserving early years interventions for children in deprived areas, calling for the lowering of the income-threshold for tax-free childcare to £60,000, saving £238 million for reinvestment. She also highlights the inadequate state of data-collection on the effectiveness of programmes run by Children’s Centres and makes recommendations for how this should be improved.

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