Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Do You Have Faith in Nicky Morgan?

In February, the BBC reported here that former Archbishop of Canterbury the Right Reverend Lord Williams was among 28 religious leaders to sign a letter urging the government to allow students "the option of systematic study of humanism in GCSE".

The High Court later ruled that the education secretary made "an error of law" in leaving "non-religious world views" out of the new religious studies GCSE.
The government said it might apply to the Court of Appeal over the High Court judge's ruling that ministers made an error of law over the new religious studies GCSE, says the BBC.
But the government did not apply to the Court of Appeal.

Instead, according to the BBC Nicky Morgan just ignored the judgement. She said, "The guidance I have issued makes absolutely clear that the recent judicial review will have no impact on what is currently being taught in religious education. "I am clear that both faith and non-faith schools are completely entitled to prioritise the teaching of religion and faith over non-religious world views if they wish."

So, is it right that a Secretary of State for Education can ignore a ruling of the High Court?

Do you have faith in Nicky Morgan?

Should Nicky Morgan be able to impose her views on what our children are taught?
Is it "education" to teach children a partial account of what the population believe? Shouldn't we give them the full background and then let them make their own minds up?

Surely a Secretary of State for Education should know the difference between education and indoctrination.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

When Things Go Wrong at The Academy

When there is a problem at a Free School or Academy it is not the local council that has to step in. It is the DfE. Here is the standard press release that the DfE issues. You have all read it many times.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Academies and free schools operate under a strict system of oversight and accountability – more robust than in council-run schools — which means any issues are identified and swift action can be taken.”

We constantly get this press release from the DfE when anything goes wrong with an Academy or Free School.

I find this insulting to ALL schools and teachers.

 It implies that there is a lot of corruption going on in state schools but "we at the DfE" find out about it in Academies and Free Schools, and do something about it. In "council run" schools, all this corruption goes on and no-one does anything about it.

What other interpretation is there for this bog standard quote that keeps being trotted out?

I would love to see a follow up quote from an ASCL spokesperson.

"We are sick and tired of this DfE rhetoric which denigrates schools and teachers. It's about time the DfE showed some real leadership rather than playing these infantile games."

Have you ever seen an ASCL statement along these lines? Me neither.