General election 2019

Which party is tackling the injustice of grammar schools? None has the guts | Fiona Millar | Education

Whatever the outcome of the general election, one group of heads will have every reason to be content. The leaders of England’s 163 grammar schools have made it through another campaign with barely a word uttered about the bastions of privilege over which they preside. How different from 2017, when Theresa May’s retro idea to create new grammar schools ensured that the arguments for selection (slim) and against (substantial) were rehearsed frequently and loudly. In the end, the hung parliament…

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Free breakfasts to form part of Labour plan to ‘poverty-proof’ schools | Politics

Labour is to promise free, healthy breakfasts for all primary-age children as part of a multibillion pound plan to “poverty-proof” England’s schools and boost educational standards. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, will on Thursday pledge to recruit 20,000 more teachers, cap secondary class sizes at 30, and spend £7bn on repairs and upgrades to England’s crumbling school buildings. As well as expanding the provision of free breakfasts to all primary schools across England to help combat hunger, Labour would…

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Boris beware: students are angry and we’re ready to vote against you | Zamzam Ibrahim | Education

If 1.3 million under-34s voting in 2017 was a “youthquake”, what would you call the 2.6 million registering this time around? The surge in youth and student voter registrations is no accident. Students and their unions have been working tirelessly for months: we started registering students during freshers’ week because we were determined to be ready when a general election was called. All that organising wouldn’t be effective without the fuel for social change: anger, disillusionment, injustice, and hope. The…

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Teachers ask children to ‘tell the truth’. Voters would like the same from the Tories | Michael Rosen | Education

I don’t know what you did wrong, but the Conservative party team seem to have been be working hard to keep you off our screens as you all seek re-election. That’s a pity. I was looking forward to seeing you answer questions about such things as the expansion of grammar schools, the chronic underfunding of special needs provision and the just-as-chronic underfunding of school buildings maintenance. I was also hoping to see fact-checkers get to grips with whatever justification you…

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Labour’s broadband plan could radically change young people’s life chances | Education

Researching the digital lives of teenagers brings with it great highs and lows. The highs are realising that new doors are opening for young people as they expand their horizons beyond their everyday worlds. The lows are different. Our research revealed young people in deprived areas are struggling to get online and stay connected. Some schools have poorly designed and funded IT systems and there are colleges that all but choke off digital engagement. Sandra Leaton Gray. Often, school is…

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Teaching unions criticise Tory plan for snap Ofsted visits | Education

School leaders and teaching unions have reacted with dismay to the Conservative party’s plans for longer and more disruptive Ofsted inspections, with one warning the changes would “do more harm than good” if implemented. Boris Johnson denied that the changes – lengthening a standard secondary school inspection from two to three days and carried out at no notice – were “draconian”. But representatives of headteachers argued that the proposals were potentially damaging, forcing schools in England to divert energy into…

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Thatcher’s market era is over in education. This election could offer a time of hope to rival Attlee’s | Tim Brighouse | Education

Although there is a certain world-weariness – a Brenda from Bristol moment of “not another one” – associated with the prospect of this general election, for the optimistic in education it is hard to hold back a surge of hope. After all, teaching is about hope: tirelessly treating our children not as they infuriatingly are but as they might become. “Maybe,” you think, “education will once again be centre stage, with a realisation by politicians that a civilised society and…

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‘It hasn’t been easy being a Tory in education’: meet the teachers standing for election | Education

Mark Lehain, 41 Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) for Newcastle-upon-Tyne North (Labour majority 10,349) “It’s not been easy being a Tory in education over the last few years,” says Lehain, a former maths teacher, with a sigh. A torchbearer for the Conservatives’ academy and free school policy, he founded and led one of the first free secondary schools – the Bedford free school – then left to head up PTE, the Parents and Teachers for Excellence group, which campaigns for…

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Here’s an election idea: why not let anyone sit Oxbridge finals? | Laura McInerney | Education

Political parties are so busy suddenly falling over themselves to put money into education, it feels as if we’re living in a learning piñata. Bang! Boris Johnson promises more cash for schools. Boom! Jeremy Corbyn will fund six years of learning for adults. Womp! The Lib Dems are making lifelong higher education free-ish. It is not a second too soon. Schools and colleges are on their knees; adult education is in critical condition. When was the last time you met…

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Even last week Labour was still asking for education policy ideas. Well, here are a few | Fiona Millar | Education

This could be my last general election writing about education policy. If any party gets a big enough majority to last five years, I suspect I might be doing something else by the time it is over. It is not because I don’t find the subject endlessly fascinating but, after more than 15 years writing about schools, over 40 years actively involved in local and national politics and three decades as a school governor, I know most general elections don’t…

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UK academics face furious backlash for encouraging students to vote | Education

When Carrie Paechter, a professor at Nottingham Trent University, tweeted two weeks ago that students could register to vote at both their home and term-time addresses, she didn’t anticipate the tirade of anger it would unleash. She was reported to the police and the Electoral Commission, and someone wrote to her vice-chancellor calling for her to be disciplined. Prof Paechter, who is director of Nottingham Centre for Children, Young People and Families, posted what she thought was an innocuous tweet…

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University lecturers giving students time to register to vote | Education

University lecturers are giving students five minutes at the start of their lectures to register to vote as a nationwide campaign gets under way to ensure that students’ voices are heard in the forthcoming general election. The move was condemned by some on social media as “brainwashing”, but according to the universities’ regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), institutions now have a duty to facilitate the electoral registration of students. Dan Elphick, a music lecturer, was among those to flag…

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