The most recent study from the Stanford Centre for Research on Education Outcomes (Credo) meticulously details the impact of US free schools, known as charter schools, on young people's achievement. By comparing students in each charter school with similar students attending a local traditional school, researchers measured the impact that attending each institution had. The 2013 study shows that the effect of school type is largely negligible when looking across students as a whole. But for poor students, especially poor minority ethnic students, charter schools bestowed substantial learning benefits. … [Read more...] about What’s the big difference between charter schools and free schools?
Philadelphia academy charter school
Worse was to follow when the school’s finances came under scrutiny. An investigation by the Department for Education’s funding agency was leaked, containing charges against senior management. The published report eventually concluded that the agency “found serious failings in financial management”. … [Read more...] about Dixons Kings academy: a school with a troubled history
The school, as reported here, had been approved by ministers despite Suffolk having spent nine years getting rid of the middle-school system. It was due to open in September but will not now do so until 2017 at the earliest, after furious protests from local heads. The academy trust behind the school said its application for 2017 remained under consideration by the DfE. … [Read more...] about Government presses on with plan for all-academy England
The surge in births – now tailing off – has been a factor since 2000. This autumn there will be 370,000 children starting school, many in schools that Labour party research suggests are already over-capacity. Over the next 10 years, official statistics predict an extra 900,000 new places will be needed. Local councils have a duty to ensure that there is room for everyone, and they have, in theory, funding to create extra places at existing schools. But they are – they estimate – £5bn short of the £12bn that those extra places will require. Councils, already raiding other budgets to make up the shortfall in what they need for schools and faced with more cuts to come, are now predicting that their budgets will be at breaking point. … [Read more...] about The Guardian view on the shortage of school places: Michael Gove’s reforms should be reversed
How does the expansion of religious schools fit in? May also announced that new faith schools would be able to select their entire intake on the basis of religion, abolishing the current 50% cap on the use of religious tests in admissions. This will be warmly welcomed by Catholic educationalists and Orthodox Jewish groups, who opposed free schools because of the cap. Because Catholic schools have a good academic track record, May must hope more of them will be opened. But new grammar schools are likely to attract the brightest pupils from Catholic families as well. … [Read more...] about Who will open new grammar schools and will they boost social mobility?