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)
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)
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)
Where did Great Britain's Olympic medallists go to school?
Rio 2016, the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, opened with a bang on the August 5th 2016. We look at the schools attended by the Team GB medal winners. (September 2016)
Where did Great Britain's Paralympic medallists go to school?
Summer Paralympics 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, running the 7th to the 18th September. The Good Schools Guide looks at the schools attended by the ParalympicsGB medal winners. (August 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)
Read our thoughts, reflections, irritations, congratulations and fulminations on all things educational - topical, ethical, practical or simply hilarious.
From government policy to new interventions, campaigning activity to local authority inactivity, we scrutinise all that's afoot in the SEND world - and often get angry.
Want to be an accountant or zookeeper or have no idea what to do after school? We look at what's out there, where it is and what to put in your backpack to make sure you can navigate the whole wide world of opportunities.
Search for a specific topic or just enjoy a browse through our archive of blogs. Gifted and talented children? Academy chains? Getting in to medical school? Whatever your education interest, this is where you’ll find what we have to say about it.
Some special needs are easy to spot, others are only determined once a child has experienced considerable difficulties, frustrations or social and emotional problems.
Over the years, diagnosis of and provision for SEN have improved, but both can still be a minefield.
Identifying different kinds of special educational needs
Few children fit a condition perfectly – if they do, we tend to say they are a ‘classic’ case. Most will not be straightforward: perhaps a dyslexic with dyspraxia and a touch of ADD, or a child with ASD who also has Down’s syndrome.
Just as special needs are hard to…
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☑ Catchment maps for English state schools by…
There are currently around 164 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.
How to find a state grammar school
Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have 'grammar' in their…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe or Charlotte Church standing. And sometimes, just sometimes, parental pride is justified.
If you think your child would benefit from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may find that a state boarding school is the answer. Read more...
State grammar schools
Counties such as Kent or Buckinghamshire are ‘selective authorities’ and most families will have at least one grammar school close to where they live. Elsewhere, for example in Reading or Kingston-on-Thames, there are just one or two grammar schools and competition for places at these is ferocious. Grammar schools are located in 36…