GCSE + AS Education: Free Schools

Image result for gatwick free school

Free schools are a good example of a recent educational policy:

What are free schools?

Free schools are funded by the government but aren’t run by the local council. They have more control over how they do things.

They’re ‘all-ability’ schools, so can’t use academic selection processes like a grammar school.

Free schools can:

  • set their own pay and conditions for staff
  • change the length of school terms and the school day

They don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

Who can set them up?

Free schools are run on a not-for-profit basis and can be set up by groups like:

  • charities
  • universities
  • independent schools
  • community and faith groups
  • teachers
  • parents
  • businesses

https://www.gov.uk/types-of-school/free-schools

Why were they set up?

  • greater choice for parents
  • it is hoped that the schools will reflect the needs of a modern day student
  • greater flexibility in learning
  • increases competition and drives up standards

Why are they criticised?

A recent Public Accounts report has stated:

“While the department is spending significant funds in creating 500 more free schools, even in areas with no shortage of places, existing schools struggle to live within their budgets and carry out routine maintenance,” .

To summarise:

  • they are being built in areas where they are not needed
  • they are costing much more than previously estimated
  • current schools need lots of funding but free schools are taking away this money

Ofsted to investigate schools ‘gaming system’ to move up league tables

In Year 10 lessons we have been discussing some of the advantages and weaknesses of league tables. Coincidentally, it has recently been announced that Ofsted will investigate schools ‘gaming system’ to move up league tables.

Some schools are doing this by:

  1. Moving out students from some subjects because they will drag down results.
  2. Entering children for easy, non-academic qualifications so that grades will improve
  3. Entering students for subjects with overlapping content

 

 

 

GCSE and AS Education: Poorer white pupils underperform in later academic choices – study

Children on free school meals less likely to go to top universities than better-off peers with similar GCSEs, says mobility watchdog

Read on: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/dec/05/poorer-white-pupils-underperform-in-later-academic-choices-study?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Email

 

Essay writing: critical links

#In addition to discursive markers, critical links help you evaluate the previous point/views/theories/evidence (A02 at A level). These will illustrate that you are attempting to evaluate. You could also use some of the following expressions to help you structure your essay answers:

  • An alternative theory to…view…was developed by…who…stated that…..
  • A major criticism of the…view is….
  • A major weakness of the…theory is….
  • Whereas the…view focuses on…the…view explores….
  • Analysis may stretch further when examining….
  • Although the…theory is supported by a variety of evidence, certain evidence contradicts the theory
  • A different explanation of…. Has been offered by…
  • A major strength of the…theory is….
  • Once a paragraph has been introduced, the following points may help you structure the paragraph. A paragraph must contain the following features…..
  • It should be attempting to make one point
  • It should begin with an opening sentence, which expresses the main point; the opening sentence might well link with previous paragraphs.
  • Support sentences should follow. These support sentences should include…. An example if applicable. In addition, a brief mention of further examples could be included to broaden the scope of the main point.
  • Finally, the paragraph should end with a concluding sentence. This may well clarify your main point and can help lead into the next paragraph.