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The future of education (if any)

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

#761 Postby Alan H » December 1st, 2016, 6:41 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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Re: The future of education (if any)

#762 Postby Alan H » December 2nd, 2016, 1:15 pm

Why indeed? British people don't want religious school selection – so why is the government pushing ahead with it?
Even if you think more religious schools is a good idea, there is no good reason to support dropping the cap. All the evidence points to such a move being actively harmful and increasing religious, ethnic and social segregation
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
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#763 Postby Alan H » December 3rd, 2016, 10:25 am

Faith school standards myth exposed by damning new report
A new Education Policy Institute reportpublished today concludes that lifting the 50% religious selection cap at faith Free Schools will undermine social mobility and not raise educational standards. In a detailed assessment of school standards at state funded schools in England, the report also finds that almost all the difference in attainment between faith and non-faith schools can be explained by the characteristics of the pupils that are admitted.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said ‘Opening new faith schools that can religiously select pupils will undermine community cohesion, harm the life chances of children from deprived backgrounds and not raise overall standards. We urge the Government to reconsider its plan to get rid of the current rule that prevents faith Free Schools not selecting more than half of their pupils on religious grounds, and instead move towards a non-discriminatory model, where state funded schools no longer discriminate against children and families by faith.’

The Government has faced a barrage of findings that undermine the key justifications for scrapping the 50% religious selection cap that have been put forward by the Prime Minister and by the Department for Education in its associated Green Paper. In September Accord Coalition member group, the British Humanist Association, revealed findings that getting rid of the 50% cap would lead to increased ethnic and religious segregation across England. The Prime Minister had argued that the 50% discrimination cap was ‘failing in its objective to promote integration.’

Meanwhile, in September national Sociology of Religion expert, Professor Linda Woodhead, criticised Ministers for believing at face value claims by the Catholic Education Service that cannon law prevented the Church from opening schools that were inhibited in the extent to which they can religiously prioritise pupils. Writing for the London School of Economics she noted ‘there is in fact no such canon’ and urged that ‘more critical discernment is urgently needed’ by government. An Accord commissioned opinion poll last month found 63% of British Catholics did not support state funded schools selecting pupils by faith.

The latest findings by the Education Policy Institute now undermine Department for Education claims that its proposal to remove the 50% cap will help towards improving social mobility and raising overall standards. Earlier this month a group of figures from across British civic life had published in The Times an Accord supported open letter urging that the cap be kept in place. Signatories included five theologians and a further sixteen clergy members; three national teacher trade union General Secretaries; the Chief Executives of two education and three community cohesion charities; along with Parliamentarians from across the party political spectrum.

Notes

The Education Policy Institute reports ‘Faith Schools, Pupil Performance and Social Selection’ can be found at http://epi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Pupil_characteristics_and_performance_at_faith_schools.pdf.
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)

#764 Postby Alan H » December 5th, 2016, 10:53 am

Casey Review on integration in Britain slams growing segregation in schools
December 5th, 2016

Religious discrimination in school admissions is ‘reinforcing ethnic concentrations’ and increasing ‘the degree of segregation’ in schools, a major review commissioned by the Home Office has found.

The review, which was conducted by Dame Louise Casey over the course of 2015 and 2016, examines a range of issues related to opportunity and integration in the UK, including immigration, the place of religion in society, the impact of the media on public attitudes, and the role of schools in contributing to social cohesion. Placing particular emphasis on the importance of social mixing in schools, which the British Humanist Association (BHA) raised in its response to the call for evidence, the report states:

‘When children being educated in segregated schools are also growing up in an area where all of their neighbours are from the same ethnic and/or faith background, it vastly reduces opportunities for them to mix with others from different backgrounds. It deprives them of the benefits – individually and to society as a whole – that are known to derive from mixing with people from different backgrounds.’

The review found that ‘some children’s experience of school [is] marked by segregation from wider British communities’, concluding that ‘where faith schools are over-subscribed [and therefore are able to religiously select pupils]… admission policies do seem to play a role in reinforcing ethnic concentration’. In one of its 12 recommendations, the report calls on Government to ‘work with schools providers and local communities… to ensure that children from different communities learn alongside those from different background’.

Despite numerous references to the need for ‘more social mixing, particularly among young people’, the report however fails to recommend that the Government drop its plans to remove the existing 50% cap on religious selection at free schools. Recent evidence published by a variety of groups has debunked Government claims that the cap has been largely ineffective at boosting integration, instead demonstrating that the cap has been hugely successful in promoting integration in the vast majority of religious free schools. Disappointingly, the review simply ignores this evidence and uncritically accepts the Government line and the misleading position taken by the Catholic Education Service. This contradicts comments by Dame Casey herself in the buildup to publication, raising questions about the independence of this aspect of the review.

Beyond the findings on segregation in the mainstream education system, the report also points to concerns frequently raised by the BHA ‘about the well-being of children in segregated, supplementary and unregistered, illegal faith schools’. Criticising the ‘lax regulation’ in this area, the review finds that ‘it is too easy for children to be raised in a totally secluded environment that does not provide a suitable education or sufficient protection from harm’. The report therefore recommends that ‘All children outside mainstream education [including those in home education] should be required to register with local authorities and local authorities duties’ to know where children are being educated should be increased’.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘This review is very clear in highlighting the growing problem of religious, ethnic, and socio-economic segregation in both the education system and society more widely. As is rightly pointed out, the religious discrimination employed by “faith” schools in their admission policies is only exacerbating this, but it is disappointing that the report lacks the courage to explicitly call the Government out for its incredibly divisive policies in this regard. We will continue to campaign for an end to these practices and will certainly build on the the many positive remarks and recommendations that the report makes in our conversations with the Government.’

Notes

For further comment or information please contact BHA Education Campaigner Jay Harman on [url=mailto:jay@humanism.org.uk]jay@humanism.org.uk[/url] or 07970393680.

Read the full report: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/574565/The_Casey_Review.pdf

Read the BHA’s previous news item ‘New evidence shows Government proposal to allow 100% religious selection in schools will lead to increased segregation’: https://humanism.org.uk/2016/09/30/new-evidence-shows-government-proposal-to-allow-100-religious-selection-in-schools-will-lead-to-increased-segregation/

See the BHA’s previous news item ‘Government published plans to allow full religious discrimination in school admissions’:https://humanism.org.uk/2016/09/13/government-publishes-plans-to-allow-full-religious-discrimination-in-school-admissions/

Read the BHA’s news item ‘Exposed: Catholic hypocrisy in calls for end to restrictions on religious selection in schools’: https://humanism.org.uk/2016/09/09/exposed-catholic-hypocrisy-in-calls-for-end-to-restrictions-on-religious-selection-in-schools/
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)

#765 Postby Alan H » December 9th, 2016, 6:28 pm

Tsk, tsk: Department for Education ordered to amend ‘misleading’ faith school figures by UK Statistics Authority following BHA complaint
December 9th, 2016

The Department for Education (DfE) has been forced to amend its education green paper by the UK Statistics Authority, following a complaint made by the British Humanist Association (BHA) over the ‘misleading’ figures it presents on the impact of religious selection at ‘faith’ schools.

The Government is currently consulting on proposals set out in Schools that work for everyone which, among other things, proposes to remove the current requirement that English religious schools leave at least half of their places open to all local children, irrespective of religion or belief.

One of the primary justifications for removing this so-called 50% cap on religious selection is that it has not been successful in boosting integration in religious free schools. However, the BHA complained that the figures presented in the green paper both masked the effectiveness of the cap and overstated the level of ethnic diversity in Catholic state schools, prompting the UK Statistics Authority to order the DfE to amend the consultation document.

Clarification of the figures comes just three days before the consultation closes, and in fact still fails to accurately reflect the impact of the 50% cap and the success it has achieved in boosting integration in the majority of religious free schools. The BHA will be further taking this up with the UK Statistics Authority.

Contrary to claims made in the green paper, analysis conducted by the BHA found that ethnic integration in schools has improved significantly as a result of the 50% cap being in place. Drawing on the same underlying data used by the Government, the figures show that at ‘other Christian’ free schools subject to the cap, nearly a fifth (19%) of pupils are Asian, while at ‘other Christian’ schools that are fully religiously selective, just 3% of pupils are from Asian backgrounds. A similar situation is seen in Church of England schools, where those subject to the cap admit 15% of pupils from Asian backgrounds, while those that are fully religiously selective admit only 6% of their pupils from Asian backgrounds. The DfE has failed to offer this comparison, which demonstrates that thousands of non-white pupils have gained access to their local schools where they haven’t had access before.

BHA Education Campaigner Jay Harman commented, ‘We’re glad the UK Statistics Authority has taken action on what was a clear attempt by the Government to massage the figures in a way that misleadingly presents the 50% cap as a failure. The idea that allowing schools to admit children from only one particular religion is in any way compatible with promoting integration was counter-intuitive to begin with, and it should come as a surprise to no-one that the figures demonstrate this.’
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
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#766 Postby Alan H » December 19th, 2016, 3:30 pm

Written in March, but still relevant: How my school is losing the battle with funding cuts
A headteacher opens the school books to reveal the true impact of six years of cuts to education spending – and the very personal toll that it has taken on students and staff
In my school, there are a dozen buckets positioned to catch the rainwater when it cascades through the leaky roof. Meanwhile, neither of our deputy headteachers, who have adjoining offices, can use a fan heater to compensate for the broken heating system – if they both use heaters at the same time, they will blow the electrics in the whole block. The electrics, you see, are broken, too.

In 2011, we lost 82 per cent of our annual recurrent capital grant, which was cut from £160,000 per year to £28,000 per year. Our building was astrologically predestined to fall apart with that reduced level of funding. And it has duly obliged.

If that had been it – if that was where the “austerity” ended – we might have got by. But, of course, that’s not what happened. That’s not what is happening. Austerity is now having a significant impact on the life chances of students: fewer teachers, reduced options and merged classes. And more.
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
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#767 Postby Alan H » December 20th, 2016, 4:00 pm

Fundamentalist Christian private schools downgraded by Ofsted for failing to promote British values
December 20th, 2016

Ofsted found that schools were failing to prepare children for ‘life in modern Britain’

A group of fundamentalist Christian private schools in England have been criticised by Ofsted inspectors and downgraded after it was found that they were failing to promote British values, including by failing to teach sufficiently about other religions and beliefs or to promote respect for LGBT people.

The ten schools visited by Ofsted are all affiliated with Christian Education Europe network, which oversees the Christian schools in the UK and across Europe that teach the controversial Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. ACE, which originated in America but is now taught in over thirty schools in the UK as well by a large number of parents who home-school their children, has been accused by former pupils of espousing a fundamentalist, creationist, homophobic, and misogynistic Christian ideology.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has met with the Department for Education (DfE) on numerous occasions to bring these issues to its attention, and earlier this year launched the blogging and whistleblowing website Faith Schoolers Anonymous which features testimony from a number of former ACE pupils. The latest blog on the site details the reaction of one former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, to the news of these inspections.

Despite this, and the frequent appeals of former pupils for a crackdown on these schools, Ofsted has historically rated the schools as good or outstanding. However, following direction from the DfE to re-inspect those settings using the ACE curriculum, the schools’ latest Ofsted inspections found that nine were either inadequate or required improvement.

Inspectors variously found that ‘Pupils are not well prepared for life in modern Britain’, the ‘curriculum is too narrow’ and pupils have a ‘limited understanding’ of scientific concepts like evolution, and ‘Pupils understanding of different religions and beliefs is very limited’. Some of the schools were also criticised for failing to allow pupils to develop ‘a comprehensive and coherent understanding of some subjects to enable them to access a broad range of further and higher education courses’.

In line with evidence previously highlighted by the BHA of homophobic teaching within ACE schools, inspectors also found evidence of a failure to ‘actively promote respect for people within the protected characteristics groups’. One report reads:

‘The school’s policy statement on personal, social and health education states: ‘Whilst we understand that the government has redefined marriage we will actively promote exclusive heterosexual marriage and celibate singles, as God’s gift and design; and as such the best way toward human happiness and fulfilment, but will discourage intolerance.’ This statement describes an approach that is too far removed from the active promotion of respect for gay and lesbian men and women.’

BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Jay Harman commented, ‘We have been raising concerns about these schools in the media and with government for years, and we’re glad that the authorities are finally beginning to realise how badly the children within them are being failed. The line Ofsted has taken here is absolutely right, and it is frankly astonishing that any school could accuse inspectors of unfair treatment while providing children with a narrow, doctrinaire, and homophobic curriculum. It is essential that inspectors do not become discouraged by these disingenuous claims and we will continue to support both Ofsted and the Department for Education as they rightly toughen their stance against this kind of teaching’.
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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Tetenterre
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#768 Postby Tetenterre » December 20th, 2016, 5:02 pm

This was recently in the Sunday Times; the religious group attempted to characterise "equal treatment" as being "unfairly singled out".
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/watch ... -hxm6zc53n
(Paywall alert)
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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

#769 Postby Alan H » December 20th, 2016, 5:13 pm

Tetenterre wrote:This was recently in the Sunday Times; the religious group attempted to characterise "equal treatment" as being "unfairly singled out".
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/watch ... -hxm6zc53n
(Paywall alert)

:sad2:
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#770 Postby Alan H » December 23rd, 2016, 7:10 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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Lifelinking
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#771 Postby Lifelinking » December 28th, 2016, 12:55 am

Thanks for sharing that Alan, really interesting link.
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

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Tetenterre
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#772 Postby Tetenterre » December 30th, 2016, 11:49 am

Indeed so. Will pass it on to a friend who volunteers in schools doing (very successful!) "Philosophy for Children" sessions.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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

#773 Postby Alan H » January 1st, 2017, 10:17 pm

Lords revolt over Government reforms to 'turn university world upside down'
The Government is facing a cross-party revolt over controversial reforms to higher education that make it easier for new institutions to be awarded “university” status.

Labour, Liberal Democrats and crossbench peers in the House of Lords have combined forces in an attempt to stop the Higher Education and Research Bill going through in its current form, stressing the move could lower standards and damage the reputation of British education.

Instead, the group has proposed a series of amendments they say would prevent providers from using institutions to make a profit, as well as underline universities’ right to criticise the Government and work autonomously.

Writing for The Observer, Lord Chris Patten, former Conservative minister and present chancellor of Oxford University, condemned the Government’s “ham-fisted” reforms, warning that ministers have little knowledge of the university system.

He said: “To give the impression that one goal is to inject a shot of entrepreneurial vim, so that universities can replicate the energy and outlook of – who shall we say, Philip Green? – seems unlikely to convince those who work in and study at our universities that ministers understand and care much about what they are doing.”

The backlash comes as the bill begins its committee stage in the House of Lords next week, with Tory members expected to join in voting against the planned reforms.
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
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#774 Postby Alan H » January 2nd, 2017, 12:43 pm

Children 'at risk' in Christian fundamentalist schools in the UK, warns government watchdog
A number of Christian fundamentalist schools have been downgraded by government inspectors following an investigation by The Independent which revealed children at some schools that follow the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum are taught that LGBT people are inferior and girls must submit to men.

The investigation also uncovered historic allegations of corporal punishment, exorcisms being performed on children and schoolgirls being “groomed” for marriage to much older men.

Inspectors say they fear “children are at risk” at some schools after finding in some ACE institutions safeguarding plans to be flawed or non-existent and that staff who come into contact with children sometimes have not undergone background checks to see if they are safe to work with children.
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#775 Postby Alan H » January 5th, 2017, 11:23 am

Increasing the number of faith schools could also increase social segregation and lower social mobility
Faith schools generally achieve better exam results than their counterparts. But how much of this success is down to their intake? Rebecca Johnes and Jon Andrews find that much of the difference can be attributed to social selection: faith schools on average admit fewer pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds than non-faith schools. Increasing the number of faith schools could therefore increase social segregation.
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#776 Postby Alan H » January 11th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Parliamentary Humanist Group hears evidence on ‘unthinkable’ faith school admissions proposals

It was a good meeting, but no one could comprehend the Tory Government's 'justification' for more religious schools and grammar schools as improving social mobility - against all the evidence.
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#777 Postby Alan H » February 13th, 2017, 4:07 pm

Of course they are, but will the Tory Government take any notice of the Education Select Committee? Grammars 'unnecessary distraction', say MPs
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#778 Postby Alan H » March 6th, 2017, 9:17 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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#779 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2017, 10:19 pm

Grammar schools are pointless when millions of children are still living in poverty
Successful educational attainment and social mobility is just part of the picture, and school experience is just a component. Until we consider it in relation to other areas and provide solutions that genuinely help and are not generated by meaningless statistics that suit a divisive government agenda, social mobility will not improve and getting into a grammar school will remain the least of poorer children’s problems.
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#780 Postby Alan H » March 14th, 2017, 10:38 am

'Too much paid' to build free schools
Too much money is being paid for the land and buildings needed for new government-funded free schools, the Commons spending watchdog has said.
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22915
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of education (if any)

#781 Postby Alan H » March 17th, 2017, 9:51 am

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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