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The future of education (if any)

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Nick
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#721 Postby Nick » September 14th, 2016, 7:55 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Nick wrote:...... and will be writing to my MP.
Here it is...
Dear Ms Tolhurst,

I am most alarmed by one particular aspect of the government's apparent plans for education. It is utter folly to allow an increase in so-called "faith" schools, and even worse to allow them to increase their power to discriminate on religious grounds in pupil selection. It is difficult to think of a more socially divisive policy, or one which perpetuates and encourages divisions within society, than to separate children by the religion of their parents. We can see the tragic results of this in Northern Ireland, where children have, on occasion, to be escorted to school to protect them. These are not "faith" schools, but sectarian schools.

I would urge you to do everything you can to persuade the government to abandon this appalling policy.



Yours sincerely,

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#722 Postby Alan H » September 14th, 2016, 8:14 pm

U-turns at the DfE are coming thick and fast today... Sex education could become compulsory as minister confirms policy change being considered
Sex education looks set to become compulsory in every secondary school in England after Justine Greening, the new Education Secretary, revealed she is considering the move.

Ms Greening indicated the issue was near the top of her “in-tray” since taking the role and said the government had a “real opportunity” to improve teaching about sex education.

The comments mark yet another policy change from Mr Cameron’s administration, given Nicky Morgan, the previous education secretary, ruled out making it compulsory earlier this year.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#723 Postby Alan H » September 14th, 2016, 8:14 pm

Nick wrote:
Nick wrote:...... and will be writing to my MP.
Here it is...
Dear Ms Tolhurst,

I am most alarmed by one particular aspect of the government's apparent plans for education. It is utter folly to allow an increase in so-called "faith" schools, and even worse to allow them to increase their power to discriminate on religious grounds in pupil selection. It is difficult to think of a more socially divisive policy, or one which perpetuates and encourages divisions within society, than to separate children by the religion of their parents. We can see the tragic results of this in Northern Ireland, where children have, on occasion, to be escorted to school to protect them. These are not "faith" schools, but sectarian schools.

I would urge you to do everything you can to persuade the government to abandon this appalling policy.



Yours sincerely,
+1 It'll be interesting to see what she says in reply.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#724 Postby Alan H » September 14th, 2016, 8:56 pm

Theresa May’s grammar school meritocracy is a deluded idea
If the government's vision of a new raft of selective schools to create a meritocracy comes true, it will cement the UK's dire inequality, says James Bloodworth

By James Bloodworth

When a politician talks about “meritocracy”, they don’t really mean it.

UK prime minister Theresa May and her party have been doing a lot of this to bolster their call for a new generation of grammar schools. But a meritocracy is as impossible to create as ice cream that doesn’t melt.

By definition, it is a society where the most talented rise to the top and are allowed to enjoy the plentiful rewards once there. It would invariably be grossly unequal, which creates its own problems.

We already know that the bigger the gap between rich and poor, the less conducive a society is to equality of opportunity. The developed countries with the best rates of social mobility also happen to be the most equal (think Norway, Sweden and Canada). Meanwhile, in the unequal UK, a child’s future earnings are more likely to reflect their father’s than they are in any other developed country.
Meritocracies are unequal


Even if a meritocracy were practicable, it would be a deeply unpleasant place. Aside from the negative impact that inequality can have on the health of a society – people live longer in nations with less inequality – a meritocracy would psychologically devalue the lives of the poor by implying that they get what they deserve.

Grammar schools illustrate this on a micro level. They are fundamentally based on an elitist premise: that schools ought to concentrate on selecting a handful of pupils for greatness while condemning the rest to a second-rate education.

Do we really want history to repeat itself? When Labour education minister Anthony Crosland set out to abolish grammar schools in the 1960s, there was no eruption of public outrage. There was, in fact, widespread concurrence with Crosland’s wish to “destroy every fucking grammar school” in the country.

Gender inequality in grammar schools was rife – with more places for boys than girls – and there were increasingly prominent examples of adults who failed the 11-plus exams when children yet went on to demonstrate ”merit”.
Short memories


So why might grammar schools sound like an attractive proposition in 2016? Perhaps it is because parents of today’s pupils are too young to remember the old system as it actually existed.

A romantic penumbra surrounds selective schooling based on the idea of a golden age of social mobility from the end of the second world war to the 1970s. Examples of working-class children ascending the ranks of society and entering the professions are bound up with the idea of the grammar school.

In reality, it had more to do with structural transformation of the economy at the time – the professions were rapidly expanding, creating more room at the top.
Modern ills


You don’t need to go back to the post-war period to find evidence of the failure of grammar schools to create opportunity based on merit rather than privilege.

Selective education still exists in several places including Buckinghamshire, but the evidence is that poorer children lose out to wealthier peers and attainment gaps between them are bigger than in areas without grammars. A recent study found that private-school pupils in Buckinghamshire were two-and-a-half times as likely to pass the 11-plus as their state-school peers.

Across the 36 local authorities where selection at 11 still exists, just 3 per cent of pupils who make the grade get free school meals (such pupils comprise 18 per cent of all pupils). In contrast, on average almost 13 per cent are from the fee-paying sector but in some grammar areas that rises to 33 per cent (private pupils make up just 6 per cent of all school children). The hiring of private tutors is also rife among better off parents of state pupils.

It should be clear, then, that grammar schools are not vehicles of social mobility. There is no reason to think that a new generation of them will be any different.

It would be far better to concentrate on improving the comprehensive system where, until recently, results for poorer kids were steadily improving.

From Brexit to the Corbynistas, British political life is currently enthralled by a meretricious politics of the past. The nostalgic desire to return to a 1950s-style education system is no different.

James Bloodworth is a London-based writer and author of The Myth of Meritocracy (Biteback Publishing)
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#725 Postby Alan H » September 15th, 2016, 3:35 pm

Perhaps the right answer is not to teach integration but practice it? Teach integration to prevent extremism, Government-backed review expected to say
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#726 Postby Alan H » September 15th, 2016, 3:37 pm

Who'd have thought it? (Both the Catholic Church misleading and the Government for falling for it.) FIVE WAYS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH MISLED THE GOVERNMENT INTO A U-TURN ON FAITH SCHOOL ADMISSIONS
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#727 Postby Alan H » September 22nd, 2016, 9:49 pm

Oxford head rejects sponsoring schools
The head of Oxford University has rejected calls from the government to sponsor schools.
Louise Richardson says Oxford was "very good" as a university, but had "no experience" of running schools.

The call for universities to help set up schools was part of the proposals to expand grammar schools.

But Prof Richardson said to become involved in the government's plans for changing schools would be a "distraction from our core mission".

The government's Green Paper on grammar schools proposes that universities should have to either sponsor a school or help set up a new school - otherwise they would not be able to charge higher tuition fees.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#728 Postby Alan H » September 24th, 2016, 12:18 am

More Tory madness: Government approves yet more religious free schools just days after faith school admissions announcement
September 23rd, 2016


Take action! The principle of integrated education is under attack like never before in this country following the Government’s announcement that it will introduce a new generation of state schools that can religiously discriminate against children for all of their places. We are encouraging everyone to write to their MPs to speak out, and we’ve provided a facility through which it’s possible to do so.

Education Secretary Justine Greening

In line with its ambition to deliver 500 new free schools by 2020, the Government has given the green light to 11 new religious schools in its latest wave of 77 free school approvals. The schools are the first to be approved since the Government announced that it will move to scrap the requirement that new ‘faith’ schools keep at least half of their places open to local children, irrespective of religion or belief. If these plans go ahead, all 11 schools will be able to religiously select 100% of their places. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has stated that the latest free school approvals are yet another sign of the Government’s backward approach to improving integration in the education system.

Of the 11 religious schools given approval, nine are either Church of England or Christian in character. They are:
  • Derby Cathedral School, a Church of England secondary
  • A Level Sixth Form School, Bury St Edmunds, a Church of England school for pupils aged 16 to 19
  • The Trinity College, an all-through Christian school in Colchester
  • Bishop Arden Church of England Free School, a secondary in Hillingdon
  • Emmanuel Community School, a Christian primary school in Waltham Forest
  • Cathedral Free School, a Church of England primary in Liverpool
  • Cathedral Enterprise School, a Church of England secondary in Bristol
  • East Village C of E Academy, a primary school in Swindon
  • Middle Wichel CE (Primary) Academy also in Swindon

In addition, two new Hindu schools have been approved, the Avanti Leicester School and the Avanti Brent School. Both are being set up by the Avanti Schools Trust which currently operates five other existing Hindu schools in England.

The approval of these new religious schools comes just days after the Government announced the removal of the so-called ‘50% cap’ on religious selection, meaning that both new and existing free schools may soon be able to religiously discriminate for all of their places when previously they have only been able to do so for up to half. The move has been strongly criticised by a range of individuals and organisations, with Conservative Party grandee Ken Clarke MP asking the Education Secretary Justine Greening to ‘reconsider pretty fundamentally the announcement’, and Professor Ted Cantle CBE of the Institute for Community Cohesion Foundation calling the move ‘retrograde’ and ‘deleterious to integration’.

The Catholic Education Service, which has been largely responsible for encouraging the Government to drop the 50% cap, has already announced its intention to open 35 to 40 new religiously selective free schools. This follows the Church of England’s announcement over the summer that they would establish more than 100 new schools in the next four years, equivalent to a quarter of the Government’s target number.

BHA Education Campaigner Jay Harman said, ‘In the last few days the Government has stated unequivocally that it wants to tackle segregation in our education system and ensure that children from different religious and non-religious backgrounds are able to learn with and from each other as they grow up. Unfortunately, it has also set out that it intends to achieve this by allowing religious schools to become even more mono-cultural than they are, and approving new religious schools that will divide communities and discriminate against local families. This is quite remarkable.

‘If these policies continue to be pursued by the Government, our education system and our society will become a great deal more divided than they already are. All those who would rather see schools be inclusive, fair, and open to all children, must join us in opposing this entirely counter-productive approach.’
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#729 Postby Nick » September 27th, 2016, 8:35 am


Has it occurred to you, Alan, that by tying it to "Tories" you are yourself making a division where there need be none? Which, in the circumstances is a tad ironic! :wink:

The BHA is very careful to refer to "government" and leave (rather silly) party political snipes well alone. Very wise.

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#730 Postby Alan H » September 27th, 2016, 9:53 am

Nick wrote:

Has it occurred to you, Alan, that by tying it to "Tories" you are yourself making a division where there need be none? Which, in the circumstances is a tad ironic! :wink:

The BHA is very careful to refer to "government" and leave (rather silly) party political snipes well alone. Very wise.
It's a Tory Government, doing things Tory Governments do. How the BHA wish to say things and for whatever reasons is up to them - I don't have to meet with Tory Ministers.

But I'm surprised by your attempted reproach at what you perceived as my sniping: you frequently point out the role of previous Labour Governments in propagating religious, schools, don't you?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#731 Postby Nick » September 27th, 2016, 10:13 am

Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:

Has it occurred to you, Alan, that by tying it to "Tories" you are yourself making a division where there need be none? Which, in the circumstances is a tad ironic! :wink:

The BHA is very careful to refer to "government" and leave (rather silly) party political snipes well alone. Very wise.
It's a Tory Government, doing things Tory Governments do. How the BHA wish to say things and for whatever reasons is up to them - I don't have to meet with Tory Ministers.
So you are more concerned with "kick a Tory" than with humanism...? :sad2:

But I'm surprised by your attempted reproach at what you perceived as my sniping: you frequently point out the role of previous Labour Governments in propagating religious, schools, don't you?
Look again, Alan. My posts are entirely consistent. In each of the posts you refer to, the point of my post was to highlight the fact that the promotion of "faith" within state education is not just a Conservative policy, but common across the (more moderate) political spectrum. Which is exactly the same point I am making here. That if we are to make any progress on "faith" in schools we need a more united front, rather than alienating half the group you hope to influence by linking you desired outcome to your dislike of them. Not quite what Dale Carnegie would recommend! :wink:

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#732 Postby Alan H » September 27th, 2016, 10:25 am

Nick wrote:Look again, Alan. My posts are entirely consistent. In each of the posts you refer to, the point of my post was to highlight the fact that the promotion of "faith" within state education is not just a Conservative policy, but common across the (more moderate) political spectrum. Which is exactly the same point I am making here. That if we are to make any progress on "faith" in schools we need a more united front, rather than alienating half the group you hope to influence by linking you desired outcome to your dislike of them. Not quite what Dale Carnegie would recommend! :wink:
If you say so.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#733 Postby Nick » September 29th, 2016, 2:05 pm

Response from Kelly Tolhurst, just received. Warrants another letter....!

Dear Nick Burton

Thank you for contacting me about faith schools. I can appreciate local people's concerns about this issue.
The Prime Minister has made clear that the Government is dedicated to making Britain a true meritocracy and that education lies at the heart of that mission. The Government has recently published a consultation that asks for views on a range of proposals aimed at creating an education system that extends opportunity for everyone, not just the privileged few.
At present, the stark reality is that demand for good school places only continues to grow, and too many children in this country still do not have access to a good school. The proposals that have been put forward look to deliver an even more diverse school system that gives all children, whatever their background, the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Faith schools have a strong record of high pupil attainment and are often very popular with parents. Current rules, however, stop more good faith schools from opening, without succeeding in promoting integration. The proposals would see the current cap on the number of pupils who can be admitted on the basis of faith when the school is oversubscribed removed, as the cap is preventing new Catholic schools opening, and has little impact on many Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu schools because they tend not to appeal to parents of other faiths.
This rule will be replaced with more effective requirements to ensure faith schools are properly inclusive, and allow more good schools to open. I can assure you that the Government will ensure that safeguards are in place to promote diversity and inclusivity in faith schools, so that pupils of all faiths and none are able to play a full part in the life of the school.
The Government's consultation is asking for views from teachers, children and parents. If you would like to make your views known, you can do so online before 12 December. Visit https://consult.education.gov.uk/school ... r-everyone.
I will of course continue to monitor this issue. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Kelly

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#734 Postby Alan H » September 29th, 2016, 4:56 pm

Nick wrote:Response from Kelly Tolhurst, just received. Warrants another letter....!

Dear Nick Burton

Thank you for contacting me about faith schools. I can appreciate local people's concerns about this issue.
The Prime Minister has made clear that the Government is dedicated to making Britain a true meritocracy and that education lies at the heart of that mission. The Government has recently published a consultation that asks for views on a range of proposals aimed at creating an education system that extends opportunity for everyone, not just the privileged few.
At present, the stark reality is that demand for good school places only continues to grow, and too many children in this country still do not have access to a good school. The proposals that have been put forward look to deliver an even more diverse school system that gives all children, whatever their background, the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Faith schools have a strong record of high pupil attainment and are often very popular with parents. Current rules, however, stop more good faith schools from opening, without succeeding in promoting integration. The proposals would see the current cap on the number of pupils who can be admitted on the basis of faith when the school is oversubscribed removed, as the cap is preventing new Catholic schools opening, and has little impact on many Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu schools because they tend not to appeal to parents of other faiths.
This rule will be replaced with more effective requirements to ensure faith schools are properly inclusive, and allow more good schools to open. I can assure you that the Government will ensure that safeguards are in place to promote diversity and inclusivity in faith schools, so that pupils of all faiths and none are able to play a full part in the life of the school.
The Government's consultation is asking for views from teachers, children and parents. If you would like to make your views known, you can do so online before 12 December. Visit https://consult.education.gov.uk/school ... r-everyone.
I will of course continue to monitor this issue. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Kelly
Good grief. The cognitive dissonance is astounding.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#735 Postby Alan H » September 30th, 2016, 9:53 am

Who'd have thought it? Increased segregation causes increased segregation - despite what May claims: New evidence shows Government proposal to allow 100% religious selection in schools will lead to increased segregation
Analysis by the British Humanist Association has found that figures provided in the Government’s green paper show that allowing free schools to choose all pupils on religious grounds will lead to increased ethnic and religious segregation across England.

Using the same data, the BHA found that 100% religiously selective Christian schools are less diverse and admit a far higher proportion of children classified as ‘of white origin’ than schools which operate under the 50% cap on religious selection or do not select on religious grounds at all.

The Government announced that it was proposing to drop this so-called ‘50% cap’ on religious selection, because it claimed it was failing to boost integration in schools.

On the contrary, BHA analysis reveals that ethnic integration in schools has improved as a result of the rule requiring religious free schools to keep at least half of their places open to local children, regardless of religion or belief.

For instance, in existing Church of England free schools that are bound by the 50% cap, the Government found that 63% of pupils are classified as ‘of white origin’, but in Church of England secondaries that religiously select all of their places, 78% are white.

Similarly, in ‘other Christian’ free schools opened under the cap, 55% of pupils are white, but in fully religiously selective ‘other Christian’ secondaries, 85% of pupils are white.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#736 Postby Nick » September 30th, 2016, 10:05 am

Alan H wrote:Good grief. The cognitive dissonance is astounding.
Indeed, Alan! The more I read it, the more stunned I become! I have tried to reply several times, but got carried away each time! I need to be concise. I'll try again!

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#737 Postby Alan H » September 30th, 2016, 10:17 am

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Good grief. The cognitive dissonance is astounding.
Indeed, Alan! The more I read it, the more stunned I become! I have tried to reply several times, but got carried away each time! I need to be concise. I'll try again!
Maybe point out the BHA's findings to her?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#738 Postby Alan H » September 30th, 2016, 2:59 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#739 Postby Alan H » October 2nd, 2016, 12:02 pm

School colour-codes pupils by ability
A secondary school has divided its students by ability, complete with different uniforms. Innovative way to lure the middle classes, or worrying segregation


One commenter:
Such a shame that this school appears to value market forces above learning. Perhaps they should consider the research of the likes of Carol Dweck, Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas and put these old myths of brightness in the shade.

The inconvenient truth is that there is no scientific rationale for this sort of approach - just deep rooted ideological bias and elitism. Do we really want to be remembered as the generation of educators that measured, sorted and divided our children or the generation that helped them all to learn and to develop whatever the starting point?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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coffee
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#740 Postby coffee » October 2nd, 2016, 1:53 pm

It is said that humanism is currently out of date, what will the BHA ganna do now? What will humanists gonna do now?

https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2016/09/2 ... more-31581

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#741 Postby Alan H » October 2nd, 2016, 2:40 pm

coffee wrote:It is said that humanism is currently out of date, what will the BHA ganna do now? What will humanists gonna do now?

https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2016/09/2 ... more-31581
The thesis is wrong:
Humanism is based on the notion of individuality and the fundamental tenet that each and everybody’s feelings and experiences are of equal value, by virtue of being human.
At least, the author is using a different meaning to that used by, say, the BHA or possibly most members of this forum.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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