FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 52 Number 3 2010

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

 

Clyde Chitty. Editorial. Lies, Exaggerations and Half-truths, pages 275‑277 doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.275 VIEW FULL TEXT
Susanne Wiborg. Learning Lessons from the Swedish Model, pages 279‑284
Melissa Benn. A Comprehensive Response to the Coalition: how should we approach current government policies on education?, pages 285‑289
Stewart Ranson. From Partnership to Community Governance, pages 291‑298
John White. The Coalition and the Curriculum, pages 299‑309
Martin Allen. Education’s ‘Credibility Crunch’: the upper secondary years, pages 311‑316
Roz Stevens. Ever Reducing Democracy? A Comparative View of the Legislative Events Surrounding the Introduction of New-style Academies in 2010 and Grant-maintained Schools in 1988, pages 317‑335
Colin Richards. What Has Been, What Is and What Might Be: the relevance of the critical writings of Edmond Holmes to contemporary primary education policy and practice, pages 337‑348
Paul Dash. Theorising African Caribbean Absences in Multicultural Art Education, pages 349‑371
Alison Peacock. The Cambridge Primary Review: a voice for the future, pages 373‑379
Jane Turner. Primary Science: are there any good reasons to be cheerful?, pages 381‑393
Carl Parsons. Achieving Zero Permanent Exclusions from School, Social Justice and Economy, pages 395‑404

BOOK REVIEWS doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.405 VIEW FULL TEXT
The Pendulum Swings: transforming school reform (Bernard Barker), reviewed by Clyde Chitty, pages 405‑407
Susan Isaacs: a life freeing the minds of children (Philip Graham), reviewed by Mary Jane Drummond, pages 408‑413
The Staff Room (Marcus Orths), reviewed by Patrick Yarker, pages 414‑416


 

Learning Lessons from the Swedish Model

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.279

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This article is a contribution to the debate in England about the Coalition Government’s policy to encourage interested parties to set up Swedish inspired Free Schools. The article argues, that in order to understand how Free Schools in Sweden operate, it is important to see them in the context of the Swedish school system. The article presents findings from research on performance, segregation and cost.

 

A Comprehensive Response to the Coalition: how should we approach current government policies on education?

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.285

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In this article the author offers a few interim thoughts on how those of us campaigning for a comprehensive future should think about, and publicly respond to, the education policies of the current Coalition government and the new direction of the Labour Party.

 

From Partnership to Community Governance

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.291

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If learning is a journey between worlds, school governing bodies have a crucial role to play in mediating them. By establishing a public space for the voice of different communities to be expressed and deliberated governing bodies enable schools to understand and engage the cultural sources that motivate young people to learn. This article draws upon recent research which describes how leading authorities are creating a framework of governance to support the creation of such a learning community.

 

The Coalition and the Curriculum

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.299

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The UK’s new Coalition Government looks as if it will make the narrow, traditional school curriculum we have now even narrower and more rooted in the past. The Labour government made timid moves to improve the National Curriculum, not least by equipping it with a few general aims, even though these meshed poorly on to intra-subject aims. Michael Gove and Nick Gibb have both produced justifications for a traditional curriculum, but these do not stand up. This article suggests an unacknowledged rationale for it; and concludes with a critique of the Coalition’s notion of a ‘fair’ educational system.

 

Education’s ‘Creditability Crunch’: the upper secondary years

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.311

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While the policies of the Coalition Government will divide learners and limit opportunities, education for the upper secondary years will continue to experience a more systematic ‘credibility crunch’ with schools and colleges facing a crisis of legitimacy and posing major challenges for reformers

 

Ever Reducing Democracy? A Comparative View of the Legislative Events Surrounding the Introduction of New-style Academies in 2010 and Grant-maintained Schools in 1988

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.317

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In terms of reform of domestic policy, the Conservative election campaign of 2010 was predicated on the idea of citizen (or consumer) power and a reduction in the role of the government in decisions effecting people’s lives. The Academies Act appears to be taking this idea in the opposite direction. In comparing and contrasting the provisions of the Education Reform Act (ERA) 1988 concerning grant-maintained schools with the Academies Act’s introduction of new style academies in 2010, this article traces the growing disconnection between constitutional and democratic values and notions of how Parliament should scrutinise legislation and how schools should be held accountable by their local communities.

 

What Has been, What Is and What Might Be: the relevance of the critical writings of Edmond Holmes to contemporary primary education policy and practice

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.337

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Edmond Holmes was His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Elementary Schools from 1905 to 1910. No full biography of Holmes has been published nor any detailed critique of his contribution to the theory and practice of education. Yet his post-retirement observations on education were widely quoted and, in some quarters, very influential. They remain pertinent today in an accountability climate which bears some resemblance to that pertaining in 1911 – the year in which Holmes’ most influential book, What is and What Might Be, was published. Following a brief account of Holmes’ career this article focuses on some particularly memorable passages from his educational writing where he criticized policy and practice which he traced back to the period of the Revised Code and its successors and to the shadow it continued to cast a decade or so after its formal abolition. The article also attempts a brief personal commentary on the relevance of Holmes’ critique to issues in contemporary policy and practice in primary education – the twenty-first counterpart of elementary education with which he was so closely concerned.

 

Theorising African Caribbean Absences in Multicultural Art Education

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.349

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This article looks at the learning of African Caribbean pupils in art and design classrooms in the United Kingdom. It proceeds from the proposition that African Caribbean pupils, as the descendants of enslaved peoples whose cultural lineage has been blurred by the skewed relationship with the white majority group, are uniquely disadvantaged in the classroom.

 

The Cambridge Primary Review: a voice for the future

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.373

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The Cambridge Primary Review, the most comprehensive study of English primary education for forty years, is now becoming widely disseminated. This article describes ways in which schools can begin to take action immediately to implement the aims and principles offered for discussion by the Cambridge Primary Review. There is a call for the profession to become re energised and empowered through a collective endeavour to seek the best possible learning opportunities for all teachers and children through a demand for excellence in all areas of the curriculum.

 

Primary Science: are there any reasons to be cheerful?

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.381

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During the last decade, science in the Primary curriculum has been squeezed from different directions. The literacy and numeracy strategies restricted time for science enquiry, and the perceived importance of the science SAT restricted teachers’ imaginations and confidence. The end of this SAT was announced shortly after the publication of the Rose review, which had been widely reported as recommending dropping science as a core subject. These events combined to damage the perceived profile of science in primary schools. The coalition government is now promising further curriculum review and an overhaul of primary assessment regimes, alongside stringent financial cuts in local government and higher education. This article reflects on the challenges facing primary science at such a critical juncture and asks: should we be worried about primary science? Are there any reasons to be cheerful?

 

Achieving Zero Permanent Exclusions from School, Social Justice and Economy

doi:10.2304/forum.2010.52.3.395

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Zero exclusion schools are possible. More realistically, clusters of schools, with support, coordination and brokering by the local authority (LA) or through local partnerships, can organise and sustain an inclusive educational community. Exclusion from school is a quiet mockery of Every Child Matters. Even with the coalition government’s abandonment of the requirements for local attendance and behaviour partnerships (due to be in place from September, 2010) and even with the Academies Act in place, it still makes sense in terms of social justice, educational and child support and saving money to reduce exclusions. This article looks at the social justice case through secondary data and reports research and action about how committed local authorities along with their communities can successfully reduce or eliminate permanent exclusions. All political persuasions can sign up to this and prevent harm which is experienced disproportionately by some groups.

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