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Parents and social media: Is it always good to share?

Parents and social media
We all know someone who has embraced social media a bit too enthusiastically. Most of us politely press ‘like’ and move on, but who hasn’t occasionally wished for a button that expressed ‘enough already’, ‘too much information’ or, ‘your children really won’t thank you embarrassing them like this’? Janita Clamp for one.
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COMMENTS  |  DECEMBER 2017


Mindfulness

Mindfulness
What’s it all about and do our children really need lessons in it? Janita Clamp investigates. I have seen mindfulness and it is mainly blue. Type ‘mindfulness’ into the Amazon book section and 21,000 titles come up (although by the time you read this it’ll probably be closer to 30,000). Almost every one has a blue cover..
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COMMENTS  |  NOVEMBER 2017


‘Mum, the removal van is here again!’

Moving house
Emma Lee-Potter has moved house 12 times in 25 years. She explores the effect that moving can have on children. I have a serious moving house habit. It dates back to my childhood, when my father was in the RAF and we moved houses (and sometimes countries) every year. It meant that I was always the new girl at school..
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COMMENTS  |  OCTOBER 2017


Educational Dilemmas

Education dilemmas
Question: Our son is bright and sporty and we would like him to go to the local comprehensive. But he may not get in as it's over-subscribed and we live near, but maybe not near enough. The other local school is poor. We could try for the local independents but we would need help with the fees, for example, a scholarship.
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COMMENTS  |  SEPTEMBER 2017


As others see us

Starting primary school
More than 600,000 children will start primary school this week. Nothing unusual in that. Yet, when one particular little boy - his name's George - will start school, the event will be front page news all over the world. How do we know this? Last week, the people who follow such things woke up to fact that 4 year old Prince George was about to set his first polished..
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COMMENTS  |  AUGUST 2017


A guide to children and young people's mental health – the role of education

Mental health
The House of Commons Education and Health Committees report, Children and young people’s mental health — the role of education, released on 2 May 2017, is a mixed bag. The authors state: "The decision to hold an early election has meant that we have been unable to go into the depth that we would have liked in this report."
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COMMENTS  |  MAY 2017


Scholarships and Bursaries: We've come a long, long way....

Scholarships and bursaries
In only four years, The Good Schools Guide has transformed the approach of both schools and parents in relation to Scholarships and Bursaries. When we began, parents had no way of knowing what kind of fee assistance might be available at any individual school - or from the sector in general.
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COMMENTS  |  FEBRUARY 2017


Hail to the Halle

Orchestra
One of the UK's top orchestras has announced a truly brilliant initiative. It is a genuinely liberal, educationally pioneering, project which could do more for social mobility and the spreading of happiness than any number of grammar schools. The Halle wants to open an all-through school in Stoke-on-Trent in 2020.
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COMMENTS  |  FEBRUARY 2017


For 'Grammar Schools' read 'Fee-Paying Schools'

Grammar schools
One criticism of grammar schools is that they take a disproportionate number of children from privileged backgrounds. A far smaller number of grammar school pupils receive the pupil premium than pupils in comprehensive schools. Whatever the reasons for this, we now learn that grammar schools are expecting to ask parents for "donations"..
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COMMENTS  |  JANUARY 2017


The end of free education?

Free education
We’ve got used to the school newsletter imploring cash contributions: The requests for donations for various school projects; the pleas to buy something undesirable where profits will go to the school; the ever more frequent non-uniform days with their £2 levy. But last weekend’s had whole new tone.
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COMMENTS  |  NOVEMBER 2016


Grammar schools are they really what’s needed?

Grammar schools
It’s hard to believe that a politician “accidentally” left details about grammar school proposals on view to a long lens. But it’s about time we had an honest debate about the privileged snapping up the best school places at all types of schools. Yes, the sharp-elbowed middle class is disproportionately represented at grammar schools..
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COMMENTS  |  SEPTEMBER 2016


400 years on

When I was thirteen my father bought me a ticket to the RSC production of Julius Caesar. I had no idea what to expect. Two and a half hours later I left the theatre with a sense of walking on a pavement several feet above everyone else. The first scene had confused me - what was that all about? But the second scene - in which the jealousy-racked Cassius, in a furious attempt to persuade Brutus to join him in a conspiracy to kill Caesar - thrilled and transported me throughout the rest of the complexities of the play. (June 2016)

A listening government

So, no forcing of schools to become academies after all. This is what Nicky Morgan said in a BBC interview: "This is about being a listening government and I would consider myself to be a listening secretary of state....Better to have reforms than have none at all." (June 2016)

Academy Chains - a clear-eyed appraisal

Academy Chains - a clear-eyed appraisal. The free standing academy is so yesterday – today's academy has to be part of a chain, the bigger the better, to enable economies of scale and to propagate the parent school's desirable attributes as widely as possible. (June 2016)

Breducation

Over the last extraordinary ten days we have been rung by education journalists expecting us to opine on what Brexit will mean for education. There is, of course, only one honest answer at present - "who knows?" (July 2016)

Headship by degrees

A very important part of any Good Schools Guide review is the profile of the head. We generally find that most heads are happy to answer all our questions - even the more personal ones. We also hear on the grapevine that this part of our reviews is often used (presumably as background) by candidates applying for headships at other schools. (June 2016)

Jeremy Hunt and The Doctors

Getting in to a medical school to study medicine is not easy. Most medical schools and universities require a minimum of three As at A level, usually specifying science subjects. (June 2016)

School reports

 

Back to school this week. It's the term of public exams, sports days, school trips, expeditions and tours, art exhibitions, tennis and cricket, summer concerts and plays, charity events, end of year reports and - we hope - sunlit fun. (June 2016)

Still under covers?

Viewers tuning in for the Downton slot on Sunday night will have got something of a jolt – instead of cosy escapism, they were confronted by a brutal tale of death row executions and family betrayals, (Undercover, BBC1). (June 2016)

Time and places

The initial furore over National Offer Day is over - although, of course, the next one - Primary School Offer Day - is only six weeks away and we'll have to go through the whole miserable experience again. We, at The Good Schools Guide, along with everyone else, get worked up on behalf of children who are not allocated their first choice school or, far more worrying, children who get offered none of their six choices. It isn't good enough and shouldn't be happening. (June 2016)

What to look for in a new academy

Guest blog by Declan Spinks, editor of the EduStaff blog. EduStaff are jobs in education specialists and recruitment partners of the new teacher training graduate scheme Premier Pathways. (June 2016)

Why not sell off our children?

Why Not Sell Off Our Children? Students who wish to stay in the sixth form of their own school may be compelled to move elsewhere if the local authority can find a cheaper option. Are you shocked and wondering why you don’t know about this? Perhaps it’s because this only applies to special needs students. (June 2016)

 


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  • Moving the desks won’t make the results better

    Bernadette John, our Director of Special Educational Needs, despairs at yet another pointless idea from The Department of Education. The school admissions system is, apparently, now taking the blame for the lack of social mobility which is blighting opportunities and depriving the nation of much-needed talent.

  • About the number one UK trusted school guide.

    The Good Schools Guide is the UK’s number one school guide, helping parents in every aspect of choosing the best education for their children. Trusted by parents for over 30 years, the guide includes unbiased and candid school reviews and in-depth articles on education-related issues. It is available in print, online to subscribers or through GSG’s expert consultants. Uniquely, each school is selected on merit alone. No one can buy their way into the GSG’s good books. And from famous names to local treasures, their writers visit every single school, interview the head, speak to pupils and parents, analyse academic…

  • For 'Grammar Schools' read 'Fee-Paying Schools'

    One criticism of grammar schools is that they take a disproportionate number of children from privileged backgrounds. A far smaller number of grammar school pupils receive the pupil premium than pupils in comprehensive schools.

  • Sad stories of wasted opportunities for children in need

    Buttle UK is a charity which supports disadvantaged children. One of its more imaginative and bolder initiatives has been to fund places at boarding schools for children who are thought likely to benefit from the opportunities this would provide. The project has been sensitively designed so as not to create divisions between children and their own families and social milieu.

  • Time and places

    The initial furore over National Offer Day is over - although, of course, the next one - Primary School Offer Day - is only six weeks away and we'll have to go through the whole miserable experience again. We, at The Good Schools Guide, along with everyone else, get worked up on behalf of children who are not allocated their first choice school or, far more worrying, children who get offered none of their six choices. It isn't good enough and shouldn't be happening.


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National School Offer Day 16th April 2019. Didn't get the school you wanted? 'Don't panic': download our helpful pdf. Click here