FORUM
ISSN 0963-8253


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Volume 57 Number 3 2015

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

 

Where Are We Now? Taking Stock after the General Election

Editorial. Where Are We Now?, pages 259‑261 http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.259 VIEW FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS

Sally Tomlinson. The Future Is Not What it Used to Be, pages 263‑276

Derek Gillard. Gove v. the Blob: the Coalition and education, pages 277 293

Richard Hatcher. Building a Social Movement for Education in England: policy and strategy, pages 295‑312

Patrick Yarker. Brian Simon: his life and legacy. A Special Centenary Event, pages 313‑315

Michael Armstrong. Humanism in Education, pages 317‑324

Tony Booth. Is ĎLearning without Limitsí a Framework of Values?, pages 325‑332

Melissa Benn. Why Bringing Back Grammar Schools is not Proving a Popular Idea: two successes for the comprehensive argument in recent student union debates, pages 333‑335

Margaret Tulloch. Grammar Schools: where are we now?, pages 337‑342

Nigel Gann. The Business of Governing Schools, pages 343 353

Martin Allen. Mr Cameronís Three Million Apprenticeships, pages 355‑360

Paul Pettinger. How to Get into a Faith School: a case of malpractice and cheating, pages 361‑362

Jane Martin. Building Comprehensive Education: Caroline Benn and Holland Park School, pages 363‑386

Bernard Barker. Learning English in London, 1946-1964: a personal account of a comprehensive education, pages 387‑417

SOSS Open Letter. What is the School Revolution? Can it Be Sustained?, pages 419‑421

BOOK REVIEW
Living on the Edge: rethinking poverty, class and schooling (John Smyth & Terry Wrigley), reviewed by Derek Gillard, pages 425‑429 http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.425 VIEW FULL TEXT


 

The Future Is Not What it Used to Be

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.263

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This article briefly overviews the likely future of education as planned after the 2015 Conservative election success. Although education was not a major item in election manifestos or in subsequent discussion, the Department for Education claims that it is rolling out one of the most ambitious education reform movements in the world. How the break-up of a national public educational system is being achieved, primarily through an academies programme and a changed assessment system, and a requirement that all educational institutions, including universities, become competitive businesses, needs far more debate and understanding than any political party is currently willing to undertake.

 

Gove v. the Blob: the Coalition and education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.277

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The author provides a year-by-year account of events during the period of the Conservative-led coalition government from 2010 to 2015 and concludes with some observations on the damage done to Englandís state education system.

 

Building a Social Movement for Education in England: policy and strategy

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.295

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This article addresses the programmatic and strategic choices facing the progressive and left movement in education after the May general election. It draws a critical balance sheet of the education policies in Labourís election manifesto and of the strategy of attempting to influence them in a more progressive direction. An analysis of the education policies of the four Labour leadership candidates reveals that only one, Jeremy Corbyn, marks out a new and radical direction. The article argues that a new strategy is needed, based on building a popular social movement for education, in order both to develop resistance to the policies of the Conservative government and to transform those of the Labour Party as the only governmental alternative. The article ends by offering examples of the resources on which the project of a radical social movement for education can draw.

 

Brian Simon: his life and legacy A Special Centenary Event

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.313

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This is an outline of the celebration held at the UCL Institute of Education, London, on what would have been Brian Simonís one hundredth birthday.

 

Humanism in Education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.317

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This is the text of Michael Armstrongís address to the Brian Simon Centenary conference, held at the Institute of Education on 26 March 2015. Michael Armstrong celebrates the humanism that underlay Brianís belief in a common system of education, democratic and non-selective, and finds its counterpart in the creative practice of schoolchildren.

 

Is ĎLearning without Limitsí a Framework of Values?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.325

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In this article the author connects his own work with Brian Simonís writing on IQ (intelligence quotient) testing and selection and with the Learning without Limits project. He discusses the significance he gives to a values framework in the development of education and asks whether ĎLearning without Limitsí, in part, stands for a similar framework. He sees the work of the Learning without Limits team as a bright light. It is powered by renewable energy, in a murky educational landscape itself powered too often by the same dubious energy sources that may destroy this planet unless we stop using them. This work matters.

 

Why Bringing Back Grammar Schools is not Proving a Popular Idea: two successes for the comprehensive argument in recent student union debates

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.333

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As moves grow once more to expand selective education in the United Kingdom, this is a short report of two lively and well-attended debates at the universities of Manchester and Cambridge in the early part of 2015. Both debates were resoundingly won by those arguing against a return to a divisive system based on the 11+. Instead, audiences accepted arguments that what is needed now is consolidation of the comprehensive system drawing on the extensive work, and many successes, of the past fifty years.

 

Grammar Schools: where are we now?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.337

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Apart from one amalgamation there are as many grammar schools in England as when Labour took office in 1997. Selection at age 11 still influences English education and unless there are changes its effect is likely to increase. Legislation introduced in 1998 which could have ended selection had no effect. The pressure from the right-wing minority for more selection continues while the case for ending selection becomes even stronger. Ending selection could be achieved without any school closures. What is lacking so far is the political will.

 

The Business of Governing Schools

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.343

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In September 2015, the Secretary of State for Education asked for more business involvement in schools, and in particular for business leadersí help to improve failing schools. This article questions the twenty-year campaign by all governments to engage business expertise and values in the governance of schools.

 

Mr Cameronís Three Million Apprenticeships

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.355

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In the 2015 general election campaign David Cameron celebrated the success of apprenticeships during the Coalition and promised another 3 million. This article argues that the Ďreinventioní of apprenticeships has neither created real skills nor provided real alternatives for young people and that the UK schemes fall far short of those in Germany, for example. Apprenticeships can only be improved, it concludes, if there are alternative economic policies to support them.

 

How to get into a Faith School: a case of malpractice and cheating

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.361

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This article looks at the extent of parental cheating to get their child of primary-school age into a local faith school.

 

Building Comprehensive Education: Caroline Benn and Holland Park School

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.363

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This article is based on an inaugural professorial lecture given by Jane Martin at the University of Birmingham on 3 December 2014. It grew out of research in progress on the life and work of the leading educational reformer, Caroline Benn, wife of one of the most prominent and controversial post-war socialists in Britain, Tony Benn.

 

Learning English in London, 1946‑1964: a personal account of a comprehensive education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.387

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This account of the authorís learning to read, write, speak and listen was inspired by English teachers in a post-war democracy, and by the discovery that Eltham Green School, the original of his comprehensive experiences, had ceased to exist. The author believed the theme of learning English would help him write more coherently than before about the tensions in post-war education between innovation and tradition. The story extends beyond secondary lessons and their supposed consequences, however, and explores the complex interactions of parent, family and teacher influences. The author concludes that teachers often underestimate the scale of the task before them because they so much wish to overcome the social and cultural differences between children.

 

What is the School Revolution? Can it Be Sustained?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2015.57.3.419

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The Symposium on Sustainable Schools (SOSS), an independent publishing operation, has contributed several pamphlets critical of Coalition policy in specific issues. The alarming lack of serious debate about education in the May election, and the radical Conservative programme operated as soon as the election was over, demand a wider perspective. This Open Letter is a contribution to an analysis of the big picture of education policy as it is now developing.

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