FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


Other issues available | Journal home page | Publisher home page

Volume 52 Number 2 2010

Archive

CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

SPECIAL ISSUE
How Did We Get Here and What Does the Future Hold?

Clyde Chitty. Editorial. Education plc, pages 131‑134 doi: 10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.131 VIEW FULL TEXT
Derek Gillard. Hobson’s Choice: education policies in the 2010 General Election, pages 135‑144
Patrick Yarker. Representative Refusals: what comprehensives keep out, and what ministers keep to themselves, pages 145‑149
Michael Armstrong. The Cambridge Primary Review: a reply to R.J.Campbell, pages 151‑153
Stewart Ranson. Returning Education to Layering Horizons?, pages 155‑158
John Wadsworth. The Simple View of Education or Education Policy for Dummies, pages 159‑162
Colin Richards. Education Policy and Practice ‘under’ New Labour: an epistolary critique, pages 163‑180
Clive Griggs. Education and the Private Finance Initiative, pages 181‑204
Warwick Mansell. Has New Labour’s Numbers Drive Done Lasting Damage to State Education?, pages 205‑212
Trevor Fisher. The Death of Meritocracy: exams and university admissions in crisis, pages 213‑232
Peter Flack. Another School is Possible: developing positive alternatives to academies, pages 233‑239
Jeff Serf. Bringing Them Together: what children think about the world in which they live and how it could be improved, pages 241‑253
Clyde Chitty. Brian Simon and FORUM, pages 255‑259

BOOK REVIEWS, pages 261-271 doi: 10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.261 VIEW FULL TEXT
The Death of the Comprehensive High School? Historical, Contemporary and Comparative Perspectives (Barry M. Franklin & Gary McCulloch, Eds), reviewed by Clyde Chitty
Home is Where One Starts From: one woman’s memoir (Barbara Tizard), reviewed by Michael Armstrong
Education and Social Integration: comprehensive schooling in Europe (Susanne Wiborg), reviewed by Clyde Chitty


 

Hobson’s Choice: education policies in the 2010 General Election

doi: 10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.135

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This article summarises the policies relating to families, children and education which were presented to the electorate by the three main parties in their manifestos, together with the policies listed in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. The author concludes with a few observations on the future of state education in England.

 

Representative Refusals: what comprehensives keep out, and what ministers keep to themselves

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.145

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This article restates the needs for a comprehensive system of education to be intolerant of ‘ability’-thinking, and wonders why so few government ministers are prepared to reveal the type of school to which they send their children.

 

The Cambridge Primary Review: a reply to R.J. Campbell

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.151

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The author was disappointed by R.J.Campbell’s sour critique of the Cambridge Primary Review in FORUM Volume 52 Number 1 2010. His description of the Review’s proposals on curriculum and pedagogy as ‘backward-looking, cumbersome and partial’ is such a bizarre misjudgement that it calls for some response. The author comments in turn on R.J.Campbell’s criticism of the Review’s twelve aims for the primary curriculum, his doubts about the curriculum domains outlined, and his discussion of pedagogy.

 

Returning Education to Layering Horizons?

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.155

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The author considers the prospect that the new Liberal-Conservative coalition Government will use the crisis of the largest public debt since the Second World War to contract and restructure education and public services, and discusses what cuts and changes are likely to happen.

 

The Simple View of Education or Education Policy for Dummies

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.159

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

In November 2009 the current Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, gave a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies in which he set out the Conservative Party’s priorities for education. This article explores some of the proposals in his speech, with particular references to initial teacher education and his attraction to Nordic and US models, and suggests that he has a limited grasp of his subject and the potential cost of his proposals.

 

Education Policy and Practice ‘under’ New Labour: an epistolary critique

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.163

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

Since the election of 1997 New Labour’s education policy has been subject to variety of forms of critique – in this journal and others. One of the sources for such critique has been a barrage of letters unleashed for over a decade by Colin Richards in the Times Educational Supplement. Here are reproduced a self-edited selection of his published and unpublished letters, many of them informed by his belief that a sardonic sense of humour is perhaps the most potent weapon against an insensitive and professionally uninformed officialdom.

 

Education and the Private Finance Initiative

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.181

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This article reviews the development of Private Finance Initiative schemes in the United Kingdom, and reflects on how profitable opportunitees for private financiers and construction companies were created at the expense of the public sector.

 

Has New Labour’s Numbers Drive Done Lasting Damage to State Education?

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.205

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The last government’s emphasis on results statistics – implicit in its systems for holding teachers to account – as the be-all-and-end-all of a good education, reflected the largely undebated victory of one set of possible aims for schooling over another. Pragmatism beat idealism, as schools’ priorities were reshaped along similarly calculating lines to those of New Labour. Education policy seemed to become about raising schools’ results to appease sceptical parents who might otherwise depart to the private sector, just as the party fought the Conservatives by trying to appeal to middle-class voters in marginal seats. But the policy has had major flaws, which may undermine state education in the long run.

 

The Death of Meritocracy: exams and university admissions in crisis

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.213

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

The author argues that the debate on declining social mobility has neglected the role of the examination and testing system. At all levels of education working class children are failing and middle class children achieving whatever ability levels are involved. The article focusses on the A-Level examination and the controversy over the way the expansion of higher education has benefited the middle classes. The author argues the expansion of higher education in the 1980s and changes to examinations benefited the middle class. Further, new Labour reforms of A-Level, and 16-plus examinations to include vocational subjects, paradoxically undermined their own desire for meritocracy. Coupled with wider changes, notably tuition fees and the power of elite universities to control their admissions policies to favour the privileged, A-Level reform threatens to turn higher education back to the Brideshead Revisited state of affairs of the 1930s.

 

Another School is Possible: developing positive alternatives to academies

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.233

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

Low-attaining schools have been targeted by government for closure and transformation into academies. This article argues that opposition to academies is necessary but not sufficient. It is vital to do more than simply defend the status quo. In the city of Leicester an alternative vision for high-quality education, local authority led and grounded in community comprehensive schools, is being actively pursued. Its hallmarks are innovation, creativity and collaboration between schools and their teachers. The successes already achieved in Leicester under this new approach reveal the government’s policy of academisation’ to be ‘last year’s model’.

 

Bringing Them Together: what children think about the world in which they live and how it could be improved

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.241

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

Attitudes towards environmental issues are influenced by many factors, including what is learned in formal educational settings such as schools and more informally, through such sources as the media, interaction with family and friends and our everyday lived experiences. This study investigated children’s ideas about the environment and their perceptions of their future world. The initial stimulus for the discussions was a television advertisement for a soap detergent and in total 51 children aged 10‑11 years old discussed what actions could be taken to make ‘a nicer world’. The concept of global learning, which draws on aspects of environmental and development education, provided the framework for the discussions and the analyses of the outcomes. The children demonstrated their awareness of environmental issues as well as some confusion, whilst also revealing their appreciation of media strategies.

 

Brian Simon and FORUM

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.1.255

VIEW FULL TEXT | BACK TO CONTENTS LIST

This is the text of a talk given at a special one-day conference held at the Institute of Education on 26 March 2010 with the title ‘Brian Simon and Educational Change: biography, history and politics’.

line

© SYMPOSIUM BOOKS Ltd
PO Box 204, Didcot, Oxford OX11 9ZQ, United Kingdom
info@symposium-books.co.uk
www.symposium-books.co.uk