To kick off the new school year, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Education and Emile Education are hosting an evening to discuss how UK schools can best innovate Computing. Pro-vice chancellor Professor Richard Greene and Emile director Glen Jones are specifically keen for “as many teachers from Innovate My School’s community to attend as possible.” The evening of inspiration will take place on Thursday the 28th September, and tickets are available free-of-charge to teachers and school leaders.
When the English GCSE exam was described as ‘not fit for purpose’ four years ago by then education secretary Michael Gove, a widespread concern about GCSEs was reported by the national press. In fact, many educators already believed that traditional GCSEs were dull and insufficiently challenging, and a few independent schools had been developing their own Middle Years curricula and examinations, including Bedales, Malvern College and Sevenoaks School.
Measuring value for money isn’t easy, but for school leaders it has become essential. According to a shake-up announced by secretary for education Justine Greening, £1.3 billion is to be reallocated within the schools’ budget over the next two years. Nonetheless, school leaders around the country have many tough decisions to make about how and where to allocate budgets for the year ahead.
There is no denying that digital technology is transforming the way we live our lives. From financial services, to hailing a taxi, to how we interact socially, tech seems to have infiltrated most aspects of our day to day lives. Why then, have we not seen the same level of transformation in education?
In my work I get to hear children discuss subjects like gender identity, vegetarianism, doping in sport and free speech. On the one hand, controversial topics like these can stir up, provoke, and engage. On the other hand, they can trigger a defensiveness in students that stifles thoughtful inquiry. Is there a way to keep the benefits without the downsides? Is there a way to support honest inquiry where children can reevaluate their ideas and avoid intellectual stasis?
As a school leader, I know that the key to any student’s success is often their teacher. If this is true, would having two teachers mean double the chance of success? We decided to test this idea in a reorganization of the Business Studies programme at VRG. Working from our strategic vision, we began to brainstorm, prioritize and plan.
A couple of weeks back, I went to the first meeting of a new book group. I’d been thinking for ages that I wanted to join one and then, while my little lad Arthur and I sat waiting for our Saturday morning haircuts in the barber’s, one just sort of presented itself to me in a poster stuck to the antique dresser they use as a reception desk. It was for men only, it was to be held in a pub and the first book was a cracker, ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, a shatteringly bleak post-apocalyptic vision I’d taught to some dream Year 9s about 4 years previously – how could I not go?