Patrick Watson is Managing Director of Montrose Public Affairs Consultants and EdCentral's resident policy and research expert.

EBacc overview

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) was first announced on 6th September 2010 by the Secretary of State for Education. Further details were released through the Schools White Paper of November 2010. The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a performance measure, not a qualification, for schools in England. It was first applied in the 2010 school performa...
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Count us in: what is maths mastery and how can schools in the UK get involved?

In the latest international Pisa tests, carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 22% of 15-year-olds in the UK performed at the lowest level of mathematics proficiency. In practice, this means they may be unable to carry out simple tasks, such as recognising that travelling four kilometres in 10 minutes means going...
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Birbalsingh, tiger teachers and the Michaela way

Teacher Katherine Birbalsingh received a standing ovation at the 2010 Conservative Party Conference, when she said: "The [education] system is broken because it keeps poor children poor." She went on to condemn a "culture of excuses, of low standards"; "the chaos of our classrooms"; and a "sea of bureaucracy". Birbalsingh has since regretted her co...
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Changes to SEND policy: what teachers and school leaders need to know

As of January 2016, there were 236,805 pupils in Englandwith a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. This is an increase of 640 from 2015 – and equates to 2.8% of the total pupil population. Schools are still coming to terms with huge policy changes in this area. Following on from the Equalities A...
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Teacher textbooks are failing trainees. They peddle debunked ideas rather than evidence-based learning strategies.

Common sense suggests, scientific research tells you, and Pisa proves it; what makes the biggest difference to student outcomes is the teacher in front of the class. That means if you really want to improve the school system, you need to focus on teacher training and professional development. Teachers need the core knowledge to plan, deve...
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