'School Report' series 1 - Failing schools

Poverty invades the classroom

The Guardian, September 14 1999

This is the moment. The teacher with the Bleeper has legs like an ostrich and takes the stairs three at a time. Within 30 seconds, he has reached the classroom which has called for help and there, he wades into the confusion. The trouble is Terence.

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Poverty and education: the evidence

The Guardian, September 14 1999

This is the secret that everyone knows: the children of poor families are far less likely to do well in school than those whose parents are affluent. For the last ten years, this has been almost buried in denial. "Poverty is no excuse," according to the Department for Education. Neverthless, it is the key. As everyone knows.

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How the government used and abused educational research

The Guardian, September 14 1999

The greatest dream of all good experts is to find a government who will listen and turn their research into reality. Some succeed. Peter Mortimore did. But the greatest frustration for any expert is to have found a government who finally listened - and ended up misunderstanding.

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The killing of the comprehensives

The Guardian, September 15 1999

Once upon a time, in the late 1960s, well-meaning politicians accepted the
...

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Critical Mass: the research that supports the ideal of comprehensive education

The Guardian, September 15 1999

At its root, the idea of a comprehensive school rests on the possibility of using bright middle class children as an asset for the educational system, to be distributed like fertiliser to help the poorer children grow. But does it work?

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The former education secretary admits all

The Guardian, September 16 1999

Lord Baker is laughing . He is recalling the dark suspicions he aroused when he ran the department of education in the late 1980s. He dismissed them at the time as the whining of an establishment that couldn't cope with change and he went ahead and rewrote the rulebook for Britain's schools - standard assessment tasks, league tables, national curriculum, parental choice, local management of...

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Chris Woodhead and his unreliable facts

The Guardian, September 16 1999

They really don' t know . The world of education is rather like the world of the Fortean Times, the journal of strange phenomena. A few years ago, the magazine totted up the number of reports which they had been sent from around the world that year describing bizarre and inexplicable events. They compared the total to the number of similar reports which they had received the previous year...

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PS: Ofsted praised the school which the government condemned

The Guardian, November 1 1999

Abbeydale Grange, the Sheffield comprehensive which featured in the Guardian's recent series on schools, has confounded its critics by passing an Ofsted inspection with flying colours.

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