Education & Arts Blogs

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.

No such thing as a free lunch?

No such thing as a free lunch?

Policy Exchange’s recently appointed Head of Education, Jonathan Simons, responds to the Lib Dem’s announcement that all five – seven year olds will receive free school meals from next year. Jonathan argues that although there are some benefits attained from more children eating school lunches, the £600m cost of this scheme could be better spent increasing the pupil premium to provide better quality education to the most deprived youngsters.

The importance of teaching

The importance of teaching

Jonathan Simons, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, examines Michael Gove’s recent speech to Policy Exchange on ‘The Importance of Teaching’. Jonathan notes how the teaching force is becoming less homogenous and increasingly differs in its views on education reform to those held by trade union leaders and the ‘education establishment’. Gove may well find that talking over the heads of the self proclaimed intermediaries means he needn’t expend so much effort attacking future rounds of union strikes and some findings of ‘progressive’ academics.

A few thoughts on the Government’s tax-free childcare scheme

A few thoughts on the Government’s tax-free childcare scheme

Lucy Lee, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, offers a few thoughts on the government’s proposed tax-free childcare scheme. Whilst expressing support for greater support for working parents, Lucy voices concerns that the scheme will favour wealthier parents when it is poorer families that need the support most. On top of this, families earning under £10,000 will not be eligible for the scheme, nor for the proposed increase in working tax credits that would increase childcare assistance.

Childcare isn’t just a women’s issue

Childcare isn’t just a women’s issue

Harriet Waldegrave, Education Research Assistant at Policy Exchange, argues that International Women’s Day is a good time to challenge the idea that childcare is a just a woman’s issue. Harriet notes that childcare is an economic issue and a child development issue, and should be seen as a women and a men’s issue.

Let’s focus on high quality technical and vocational education

Let’s focus on high quality technical and vocational education

Dr Owen Corrigan, Education Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, sets out findings from his report on vocational education Technical Matters. Dr Corrigan argues that students should be offered an alternative route through the education system that focuses on high quality technical and vocational provision to help meet the needs of pupils better suited to practical subjects.

The coalition needs to improve the quality of childcare, not just the cost

The coalition needs to improve the quality of childcare, not just the cost

Lucy Lee, Head of Education at Policy Exchange, argues that the government needs to address the quality of childcare in the UK. Citing upcoming research by Policy Exchange, Lucy shows that there is a huge discrepancy between the quality of childcare in wealthier areas compared to deprived parts of the country.

Why for-profit companies should take over weak schools

Why for-profit companies should take over weak schools

James O’Shaughnessy, author of recent Policy Exchange report Competition Meets Collaboration on ways to tackle failing schools in the UK, argues that failing schools should join successful Academy chains to drive up standards. If this is ineffective, then he suggests education management organisations, including both profit and not-for-profit, should take on the running of these schools.

Latest Tweets

RT @AndrewBowie_MP Fascinating start to the week listening to @mikepompeo at @Policy_Exchange giving reflections on his time as US Secretary of State and his views on China, Iran, NATO and the future of Western Foreign Policy. pic.twitter.com/VmuT…