News and Updates

  • Going, going Larkin for OCR

    I could go on and on about the poems that OCR might choose to illustrate and explore the human (rest of) nature relationship, but I'm just adding one before I stop. What to choose?  Something by a dead white bloke...

  • Poetry across time at OCR

    The fuss over OCR's decisions about which poets to feature in its English Literature GCSE seems to have died down since I first wrote about it last week.  In the light of the changes made (fewer poems now by dead...

  • OCR, Hopkins and the Windhover

    Gerard Manley Hopkins has been excluded from the OCR GCSE English Literature list.  Happily, Hopkins wrote brilliantly about nature and so is a good candidate to be part of the new natural history GCSE syllabus.  One possible choice would seem...

  • DfE puts OCR on the naughty step

    It's quite something for a secretary of state for education to accuse an exam board of cultural vandalism, but that happened yesterday when Nadhim Zahawi commented on OCR's decision to update its poetry anthology by  dropping its only examples of poems by...

  • Hoodwinked by the civil service

    Another astonishing story about DfE civil servants and my second of the week.  A Schools Bill (about the work of academies) is currently meandering its way through the parliamentary process.  Conservative peers have tabled a motion to delete the first...

  • Drinking the Kool-Aid at the DfE

    An example of DfE civil servants drinking the Kool-Aid was reported the other day.  It seems that rather than referring to girls or female students, DfE advice on free sanitary products in schools referred to "pupils who menstruate", "young people menstruating” and...

  • FE and ESD

    Thanks to a recent NAEE weekly news round-up for alerting me to news that the Education and Training Foundation [ETF] has issued Professional Standards for teachers and trainers in the further education and training sector. Under the heading of Professional Values and Attributes,...

  • Should we elect the DfE's curriculum team?

    The UK government launched its sustainability and climate change strategy in April.  This applies to schools in England. I've written about this initiative a couple of times already but I'm now writing following a bit of reflection after scrutiny of other responses. Although...

  • The manifesto with a hole at its centre

    Thanks to SOS-UK for alerting me to the Manifesto on Quality Climate Change Education for All! [subtitled: Teach for the Planet] from Educational International.  EI is the "Global Union Federation that brings together organisations of teachers and other education employees from across the...

  • The Westminster Forum Green Fandango

    I did not to the latest Westminster Education Forum event on May 18th.  It was a tour d'horizon of "green and climate education in England – sustainability and action on climate change in the curriculum, outdoor learning, and priorities for...