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Children Education

Scotland’s new transgender guidance is a safeguarding nightmare

On Thursday, teachers planning residential trips were told that it was just fine for teenagers of the opposite sex to share a room. 

Categories
Education

Don’t blame teachers for this year’s grade inflation

Today’s A level results are unprecedented, but not unexpected. On Friday, Professor Alan Smithers  of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham said, ‘The early signs are that it will be another bumper year for grades.’ He went on to suggest that this might be, ‘justified as compensation for all the disruption suffered’.

Categories
Education

As a teacher, I believe calls to put cameras in classrooms are wrong. But it’s right to worry about the dangers of indoctrination

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s push for recording lessons is misplaced – it would be better to tackle the lobby groups that are driving absurd, divisive and dangerous policies into our schools.

Categories
Education

Stonewall’s worrying school guidance

Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ programme appears to have been haemorrhaging members since an investigation by the university of Essex found that the organisation had been preaching ‘Stonewall Law’ rather than the actual law.

But it is not only corporations, councils and government departments who have been persuaded to part with good money to receive questionable advice. Stonewall’s similarly named ‘Schools and Colleges Champion Programme’ seems to have sucked places of education into the charity’s web as well. As a teacher I know how tight school budgets have become in recent years, but it seems that several schools have still found money to hand over to Stonewall.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Why aren’t exams going ahead?

When Boris Johnson talked about trusting teachers, I suspected that the government must be desperate. Trust is not a word I have head much in my 25-year teaching career. I am no longer trusted to go into a GCSE exam hall to look at the paper that my class is sitting in case I somehow manage to undermine the integrity of the exam.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Sorry Boris, school’s out for summer

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a disaster for children. But calls to extend the school year are not the answer. Obviously, teacher unions will object if their members are instructed to work more days and longer hours in the summer without a pay deal to compensate. However, if their protests have scuppered those plans so quickly, the government needs a better strategy. Besides, children need a new approach now, not later.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Lockdown learning is no match for the joys of the classroom

Schools in January are usually full of life, but not this year. At the start of my day, I walk alone down silent corridors to an empty classroom. There are no children lined up outside; the bustle of school life is gone and the only voice I hear is my own.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Why Williamson’s u-turn won’t affect all GCSE students

The future became more uncertain for hundreds of thousands of youngsters this week when Gavin Williamson cancelled their GCSE exams. But pupils at some of Britain’s top public schools were affected less than their contemporaries in state maintained schools.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Closing schools was inevitable. But cancelling exams is a mistake

On Sunday morning, Boris Johnson told us that schools were safe but, tellingly, did not rule out further closures. By Monday evening he had shut every school in England to most pupils. By then, of course, many primary schools had opened for just one day. Children mingled – as they do – and went home not to return. But after those bubbles were mixed, fewer grandparents may be willing to look after them.

Categories
COVID-19 Education

Only once teachers are protected can we get back to the classroom in confidence

Teachers and education support personnel must be prioritised in the roll-out of the vaccine.