Author Archives: rogertitcombe

North-south schools divide not supported by evidence

This is the title of a Guardian article which appeared on 11 September 2018. The following (in italics) are excerpts. Major study of 1.8 million pupils also challenges ministers’ claims children do better in academies and grammars. Claims that schools in … Continue reading

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Some consequences of GCSE grade inflation

GCSE is the ‘common exam at 16+’ created by the merging of the GCE and CSE systems. I entered university in 1965 on the basis of the national ‘matriculation’ entry requirements. These required GCE passes (C+) in five subjects including … Continue reading

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Exclusions and extreme punishments are becoming the norm in the English education system

The Guardian of 2 September 2018 carried this story from which I quote as follows (in italics). Parents have criticised the use of isolation booths at secondary schools across the country, after concerns were raised about the “zero-tolerance” behaviour policies … Continue reading

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Social interaction combined with mixed ability teaching can produce large cognitive gains – an accidental breakthrough

Shortly to be published research by Professor Michael Shayer reveals an accidental breakthrough in how highly significant cognitive development in school students can be contagious through student and staff social interaction, but only where mixed ability teaching takes place. Whereas … Continue reading

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Potential for Success – response to Sutton Trust article by Dr Rebecca Montacute

Dr Montacute’s  article is linked to a Sutton Trust media release of 31 July 2018, purporting to show that high attaining disadvantaged pupils are under-performing at school. Considerable mainstream media coverage resulted, none of which was in any way critical. … Continue reading

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OfSTED and ‘Outstanding schools’ are harming national educational attainment

Consider these quotes from this recent Guardian article. The system is now pushing schools and their heads to prioritise “the interests of the school over the interests of groups of, usually more vulnerable, children”. Some schools were found to be … Continue reading

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It is the attainment gap fallacy that is damaging the life chances of FSM children in the north of England and elsewhere

The ‘north/south attainment gap’ claimed to exist by The Sutton Trust, The Social Mobility Foundation, the DfE, the National Schools Commissioner and virtually the entire English educational establishment is a fallacy. The actions taken by the government to ‘close the … Continue reading

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