Skillz | suecowley

A dark rainy night. A shabby office at the DfE. Somewhere near Watford. 

Sir John: We’re thinking of rebranding knowledge post Brexit.

Jasper: [splutters] Rebranding knowledge? John, surely you’re not serious?

Rupert: Not enough workers, Jasper. No one wants to pick the fruit anyone. It’s rotting on the trees. We don’t need knowledge anymore. We need skillz.

Jasper: [takes a large swig of whisky] Skillz?

Sir John: We did it once before, when we rebranded skills to knowledge back in the day. No reason why we shouldn’t do it again. [he lights a cigar]

Jasper: [coughing] I don’t…

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Complicit | suecowley

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good (wo)men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

Erm, so what’s the thinking behind this? Anyone seen this before @MaryMyatt @nancygedge ?? http://pic.twitter.com/Ucxf8I9Aqv

— Cath Murray (@CathMurray_) October 17, 2017

As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’m quite happy to give Ofsted a hard time when I think it’s due. And the DfE for that matter. I’m not trying to make any friends in high places by writing what I write. But things that I’ve read and heard this week have reminded me that we all have a role to play in…

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The Blame Game | suecowley

When Michael Wilshaw was HMCI, he had a very bad habit of announcing his opinions in The Sunday Times. One particularly striking moment was when he called for a “Renaissance of Respect” in the nation’s schools, which first of all made me laugh, and which then made me so cross that I found myself using the words “a tidal wave of tripe” in a blog for the first and hopefully the last time. The new HMCI, Amanda Spielman, has been a lot quieter than her predecessor since she took up her post. Some might feel that this is evidence that she is thinking things through. Being of a cynical nature, I…

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The Blame Game | suecowley

When Michael Wilshaw was HMCI, he had a very bad habit of announcing his opinions in The Sunday Times. One particularly striking moment was when he called for a “Renaissance of Respect” in the nation’s schools, which first of all made me laugh, and which then made me so cross that I found myself using the words “a tidal wave of tripe” in a blog for the first and hopefully the last time. The new HMCI, Amanda Spielman, has been a lot quieter than her predecessor since she took up her post. Some might feel that this is evidence that she is thinking things through. Being of a cynical nature, I…

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A Tale of Two Cities | suecowley

Once upon a time there were two cities, which sat on either side of a wide river plain, with a yellow river running like a cross of gold between them. The city on the south side of the river was the first to develop, in the time when we first landed on this planet. That city has been around for hundreds of years – it is the original settlement, the one where we first made land fall in this strange new place. We grwmps were in charge of the settlement. We had to be, because we got here first, so we had to survive. Luckily, there were grwmps who knew how everything worked. We knew how to mend a…

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Astroturf | suecowley

Grass is an amazing plant. It thrives in the toughest of conditions, it doesn’t mind if you step on it, or if you cut it once a week, or even if you ignore it and let it grow into a tangle. (Although if you do let it grow into a tangle, you are going to regret it, because you will have to go through a lot of ripping up of long grass before you can actually cut it, otherwise it will tangle itself all around your mower or strimmer.) There are hundreds of varieties of grass – from the lawn grasses that are so familiar, to tall grasses with fluffy plumes at the top, such as Miscanthus. When you…

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Faultlines | suecowley

The subject of the relationship between teaching and learning, and behaviour, is so fraught, tangled and complex that I hesitate even to talk about it. Notions of blame and responsibility quickly get wound up together, and before you know it, if you even dare to talk about this subject you are accused of saying that it is ‘the teacher’s fault if the children misbehave’. Logically, if we stop to think for a moment, it cannot possibly be a teacher’s fault when a student misbehaves, because the behaviour is not situated in the teacher, it is situated in the child. The behaviour belongs to the…

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