More in this issue

Accountability vs autonomy

Autonomy vs accountability: education’s impossible paradox

We think of autonomy and accountability as being at opposite ends of a spectrum, but both are instruments of political power used to control schools, writes Ed Dorrell. He argues that it’s time for teachers to cut through the nonsense and shape the debate for themselves

Gender gap

Can split-gender classes narrow the attainment gap?

In an attempt to narrow the attainment gap between boys and girls, lead teacher Adam Riches introduced single-gender teaching groups. Despite initial scepticism, the tweaked and tailored lessons seem to be working

Back to the future car

GCSE resits: is a school-based approach best?

As the sector grapples with ever-larger cohorts of GCSE resit students, many colleges choose to employ teaching approaches very different to those of schools. The hope is that this fresh slant will re-engage disaffected learners. But some think the opposite is true and use familiar strategies such as streaming and a two-year programme of study – both more commonly found in secondary classrooms. George Ryan investigates

Elephant

How educational jargon is holding back learning

Teachers are taking the buzzwords they pick up in training and imparting them to pupils, claims primary teacher Shannen Doherty, who thinks the jargon is starting to crowd out the words that really matter

Musketeers: All for one!

Performance reviews ‘destroy human spirit’

The usual process of a single leader doing a team’s appraisals can be ineffective and even demoralising, believes executive principal Gary Handforth, who advocates a more collaborative approach

Contrasting privilege and poverty

The disturbing link between education and health

Doctors in a deprived town are unlikely to be blamed for the poor health of their patients. So why should teachers living in the same area be blamed for students’ lower-than-average exam results? Will Hazell explores the link between life expectancy and educational outcomes – and hears how the accountability regime is a burden on schools that face the greatest challenges to transform young lives

Conductor

Want pupils to pay more attention? Change it up

Getting and holding pupils’ attention is only half the battle – they also need to file it away in their memory. To achieve this, originality and unpredictability in the classroom is key, finds Zofia Niemtus