Tag Archives: Hello Mr Sparrow!

The end of progress (measures) | Hello Mr Sparrow!

After nearly four years as a school governor, this is a (quite long) attempt to challenge a few established beliefs which I’m not entirely sure hold up. My thinking and practice around these is still forming, so grateful for any rebuttals or clarifications, but this comes from a sense of a) not knowing quite why we do governing in a particular way and b) a feeling that with some notable exceptions, governors remain fairly invisible in the fascinating debates about how children learn, and therefore how teachers should teach. The latter seems to me to have significant consequences for governors…

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The end of progress (measures) | Hello Mr Sparrow!

After nearly four years as a school governor, this is a (quite long) attempt to challenge a few established beliefs which I’m not entirely sure hold up. My thinking and practice around these is still forming, so grateful for any rebuttals or clarifications, but this comes from a sense of a) not knowing quite why we do governing in a particular way and b) a feeling that with some notable exceptions, governors remain fairly invisible in the fascinating debates about how children learn, and therefore how teachers should teach. The latter seems to me to have significant consequences for governors…

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Calling out the bullies. | Hello Mr Sparrow!

About a year ago, Andrew Old published a blog warning about the efforts some supporters of “progressive” education would go to in order to close down debate. 

Social media has opened up the debate, and they do not like it. You may think your little blog or a few tweets won’t bother anybody, but if they see a chance to silence you, they will take it.

As the owner of this particular little blog (a couple of posts and a few thousand views in total), and a school governor who makes a point of not commenting on teaching methods, I was surprised to read about these tactics but didn’t see how it…

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Calling out the bullies. | Hello Mr Sparrow!

About a year ago, Andrew Old published a blog warning about the efforts some supporters of “progressive” education would go to in order to close down debate. 

Social media has opened up the debate, and they do not like it. You may think your little blog or a few tweets won’t bother anybody, but if they see a chance to silence you, they will take it.

As the owner of this particular little blog (a couple of posts and a few thousand views in total), and a school governor who makes a point of not commenting on teaching methods, I was surprised to read about these tactics but didn’t see how it…

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A beginner’s guide to the National Funding Formula for schools | Hello Mr Sparrow!

I was in a finance meeting last week and there was discussion around changes in the National Funding Formula (NFF) for schools. Although I was aware of the background and the criticisms of the original formula, I wasn’t up to speed with the latest changes and thought that many governors (and perhaps school leaders too) wouldn’t be either. So I hope the below helps; it’s a complex subject and I’d welcome any corrections/clarifications. Much of the below is a distillation of three long papers, which are linked to at the bottom and worth reading.

Background and context

The current NFF is the…

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A beginner’s guide to the National Funding Formula for schools | Hello Mr Sparrow!

I was in a finance meeting last week and there was discussion around changes in the National Funding Formula (NFF) for schools. Although I was aware of the background and the criticisms of the original formula, I wasn’t up to speed with the latest changes and thought that many governors (and perhaps school leaders too) wouldn’t be either. So I hope the below helps; it’s a complex subject and I’d welcome any corrections/clarifications. Much of the below is a distillation of three long papers, which are linked to at the bottom and worth reading.

Background and context

The current NFF is the…

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Things that go bump in the night | Hello Mr Sparrow!

The clocks have gone back, the leaves are turning red, the days are turning colder. Which can only mean it’s time for Halloween, and its persistent rise from children’s fancy-dress festival to corporate money-making extravaganza. But this year is extra special: it’s also the 25th anniversary of the BBC’s Ghostwatch, the now-infamous drama presented as a live broadcast from a haunted house in the suburbs of London.

There’s an excellent long feature in the New Statesman about the significance of the programme, and the many themes it intelligently and presciently wove together – psychological…

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