We are calling on you to let us know what you think about how the government propose action on improving mental health provision for young people. Read more about it here.
We have a deadline to respond to this, so please get your comments in by Monday 26th February.
Rescue Our School’s co-founder, Madeleine Holt, will be talking to Ed Miliband on Monday 19th February in his much-listened to podcast. Madeleine will be talking about how we are becoming international outliers in developing such a narrow and uninspiring curriculum. She is joined by headteacher Jez Bennett, who is pioneering a broader, English baccalaureate, and the playwright James Graham.
To hear this united call for greater creativity in schools, tune in next Monday.
Christmas is approaching, and schools across the country are making preparations for shows, parties, and fundraisers. But as we approach the end of term there is a distinct lack of Christmas cheer for our pupils and teachers, and indeed for anyone interested in making sure that all children, regardless of their circumstances, access the education they need to thrive. The autumn budget brought no relief from the rising cost pressures affecting our schools, and last weekend the Social Mobility Commission resigned en masse, on the grounds that there is no capacity in government to actually deliver on improving outcomes for the poorest children in our society and narrowing the gap between the best and worst off.
Many teachers, especially in primary schools, dig into their pockets to buy their pupils a little token at Christmas. But these same teachers are now also having to pay for pencils and other essentials in their classroom on a regular basis, and there is no sign of that coming to an end. These are the same teachers who have endured 7 years of what the government euphemistically calls ‘pay restraint’ (in other words, a pay cut after inflation). Some of these teachers, like their pupils, are having to turn to food banks to get through the day. Yet again, the government has passed up the opportunity to invest in our children’s future, and instead continues to rely on the generosity of public sector workers to deliver public services. The government has cast itself as Scrooge, so far without redemption. Let’s hope the spirit of Christmas future visits before it is too late.
Rescue Our Schools would like to recommend some Christmas reading/possible presents for education enthusiasts like us?
Education Forward came out a few weeks ago: it is a collection of essays arguing that our education system is stuck in Victorian times, and needs a total rethink to prepare children for the 21st century.
(Rescue Our Schools’ co-founder Madeleine Holt has written an essay on More than a Score, the campaign for alternatives to high stakes testing, esp SATs.)
Another great book is Cleverlands. Secondary school teacher Lucy Crehan goes on a grand tour of countries that Gove/Gibberish praise for their PISA results. She discovers how much they trust teachers, don’t link scores to judging schools, generally don’t set kids etc. A fascinating and easy read.
Finally, a firm favourite: the Truth abour Our Schools by Melissa Benn. A handy summary of the key facts you need when you have to argue against grammar schools/academisation, name your topic!
Pearson uk’s president, Rod Bristow, agrees with NEU joint General Secretary, Mary Bousted, that high stakes testing has harming our education. Rescue Our Schools was at the debate to launch Testing the Water, a report by education thinktank LKM Co on alternatives to high stakes testing. They suggest dropping the EBacc measure, which squeezes outs the arts, no longer linking student test results with teacher pay, and introducing national sampling as an alternative to high stakes tests.
Jonny will be chairing a fringe event on school funding at The Green Party conference in Harrogate on Sunday 8th oct at 6pm. Panel includes Kevin Courtney, a rep from FFFAS & Green Party education spokesperson, Vix Lowthion.
Thanks for taking a copy of our manifesto Angela, we hope you like it and will pledge your support. We would love to meet with you – we have loads of ideas !
Madeleine Holt- Rescue Our Schools co-founder spoke to a packed room at this festival today, alongside Melissa Benn and Christine Blower about the National Education Service. A four day festival of politics, art, music and culture across nine different venues in the heart of the city.
The World Transformed organises political events. But they don’t look like any you’ve seen before. We mix big names with the most inspiring grassroots voices. We tackle topics others overlook.
Madeleine then moved onto the National Women’s Conference, which brings together hundreds of Labour women, politicians, stakeholders and activists from across the country.
We hope that whoever picked up our manifesto today will pledge their support and we promise to deliver it to the people we think need to see it.