Magic Dust

I love stories. We use them to work through our context in the world, they serve to transform lives and some of them are even true. I have worked in leadership development for a number of years and like many others I have used the metaphor of the frog remaining in a pan of water... Continue Reading →

PISA 2018

PISA (the Programme for International Student Assessment) is funded by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The programme started in 2000 with tests happening every three years. PISA is the most rigorous project ever undertaken to assess what makes schooling effective. PISA tests are computer-based, administered to a sample of 15-year-olds in each... Continue Reading →

The Importance of Reflection and Stillness

In the PGCE courses here at Buckingham we create excellent reflective practitioners. The design of the course requires it. The weekly readings and stimulus questions direct our trainees to consider a particular area of research or focus of pedagogy and reflect systematically on this in relation to their own teaching. They are encouraged to consider... Continue Reading →

Is Finland really so great?

The story of Finland is a good example of the complexities of understanding the causes of school success. When the PISA 2000 results were released in December 2001 Finland emerged as the top performer in the world. People flocked to the country to work out what it was that they did so well.  They looked... Continue Reading →

Navigating your Inclusive Compass

Every person has their own compass which we use to navigate the decisions we make in life and in our professional roles. I find that this can be a useful visualisation when faced with strategic and operational decisions with regards to the sensitive and wide-ranging understanding of inclusion and special educational needs. I have been... Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Problem

The biggest problem in our schools is the low level of education reached by about 30% of children – worse than in other rich countries.  Many of them (but far from all) are from poorer homes.  These children are behind by the age of 4 and few catch up.  In England, the latest data shows... Continue Reading →

Exam Malpractice

In September 2019 John Dunford published his malpractice in exams report for JCQ (the Joint Council for Qualifications).  JCQ is in fact run by the exam boards, but then they are responsible for detecting and preventing malpractice. In 2018 there were 2735 penalties for malpractice – a small number given that 11.5 million certificates were... Continue Reading →

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