Coalition education policy

Children at blackboardSince May 2010 it has been hard to keep up with the stream of innovations emanating from the Department for Education. Away went the cheerful rainbow logo of Labour’s Department for Children, Schools and Families, in came Michael Gove’s more traditional and sober heraldic one.

In July 2010 the guillotine fell on the Building Schools for the Future programme and by December the £3,290 cap on university fees had been raised to £9,000. Against a background of cuts, the Pupil Premium gave looked after children and those on free school meals an extra £488 per head in 2011, rising to £623 in 2012 and £900 in 2013. The Coalition abolished the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), which had given sixth formers from poor families some £30 a week to help them continue studying, replacing it with a much more limited bursary scheme.


The system
Starting school You may need to book a place soon after birth in the private sector; for the best state schools you have three or four years to move into the catchment area. If you...

Schools to watch
The Good Schools Guide generally gives new schools plenty of time to bed down, create an ethos and generate a track record before we review them. But there are so many new schools...

Cognita – controversy continues Educators come in all shades of opinion, from finely nuanced to highly colourful. Few, however, can match Sir Chris Woodhead, former chief...

Independent v state school education
If an independent school education features heavily on your wish list then you'll need a nest-egg in the region of £150,000 - the equivalent of  small mortgage - per child,...

Choosing a school - thoughts for parents
What is your child really like? This is your starting point for finding a school to suit him/her rather than you. Having decided what your child is really like, ask yourself: What...

What parents look for when choosing a school
Academic achievement, proximity.... but forget religion. A survey of parents by The Good Schools Guide has revealed that parents’ top criteria in choosing a school for their...

From embryo to eighteen - how to survive the education highway
A lively look at education planning for children of all ages and their parents! We guide you through the schooling stages from 0-18 in both the independent and state sectors, and tell...

Shortlisting and visiting primary schools
Before deciding where to send your child take time to visit potential schools to see where you think your child will thrive.  We offer hints and advice on class-size and structure,...

My ideal school – where is it?
State school, faith school, grammar school, independent, London or country school...whatever your choice: Prior preparation and planning are essential if you are to find the ideal...

Free schools - how do you choose?
Is someone near you putting together a Free School?   It's a very tempting prospect: a school that is created by its community,  that you can play a part in shaping,...

Sussing out independent schools and horses for courses
  You've identified possible schools, now what? Every single reference book on schools indulges in advice on how to find and choose the perfect school. Lists of questions...

Do girls do better in girls' schools?
A study of Value Added scores by the Good Schools Guide shows girls really do learn better in girls’ schools than in co-ed ones. Yet co-ed schools thrive in areas where...

Questions to ask when visiting a school - academic matters
Will they enthuse, inspire, encourage?  Don't rely on league tables  - look beyond the headlines. Check-out our detailed analysis of results to uncover how well a school...

Questions to ask when visiting a school - beyond the classroom
  Will the extra activities hit the right note?   Will you find a welcome on the mat, team-talk and an abundance of activities? Will the school give your child a sporting...

Questions to ask the staff when visiting a school
What matters is what is important to you. Avoid disaster by asking the right questions before you sign-up but... ask even half these questions and you will probably never be invited...

Visiting a school - questions for pupils
If you get the chance, chat to pupils; they are the ones who really know what's happening both inside and outside of the classroom. Try not to ask leading questions, similarly don't...

Questions to ask when visiting a school - financial factors
Money matters Increasingly it does... Most schools openly advertise their fees and are increasingly candid about added extras. Many schools offer bursaries to needy families and...

London schools in The Good Schools Guide
Need to find a school inside the M25? There are very many good schools in central and outer London but, with a population of 8.1 million, places at good schools can be in short supply....


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