Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teaching in schools

Economist article #3:

ALLOWING teachers, parents, charities and religious groups to open new schools funded by the state, but independent of local authorities, is a central plank of the government's plans for improving education in England. Despite the enthusiasm of the education secretary, Michael Gove, for such radical reform, take-up has been lacklustre: he has approved just 25 "free-school" proposals so far. Likewise his bid to encourage existing state schools to become academies—again, funded by the state but independent of local authorities—has failed to take off.

On November 24th Mr Gove unveiled his latest plan for curing ailing schools, this time by changing what is taught in them, and who does the teaching. He is thus revisiting the policy terrain on which the previous Labour government focused (arguing that "standards, not structures" were what mattered) until its final term in office.

Britain's best independent schools attract pupils from around the world. But most British families cannot afford the steep fees such schools charge. Just 7% of British children are educated privately; the rest attend state schools, where standards are generally much lower. The Labour government doubled school spending in real terms during its 13 years in power; despite the splurge, the attainment gap between the two systems has widened.


Teaching in schools

At the chalkface

Michael Gove wants to change how and what schools teach, as well as how they are organised

Nov 25th 2010 | from PRINT EDITION

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