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Category: Blog

Nine to one – not as easy as ABC

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Conor Ryan on the dangers of an increasingly complex accountability system Back in 1995, I helped David Blunkett commit a heretical act – at least in the eyes of the teaching unions. With the help of the late David Frost and a closely argued column in The Times, we embraced the need for school performance… Read more »

Where are they now?

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Ellie Decamp on the socially mobile Sutton Trust alumni who are bucking the trends. An MP, a barrister and a physician walked into a bar and…discovered they had all been on a Sutton Trust programme. I like bragging about our alumni. There are 25,000 of them now, and with 4,500 young people joining a Sutton… Read more »

Is the Bananarama Principle Dead?

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Lee Elliot Major asks whether schools are now ‘livin on a prayer’ In the earliest days of presenting the then pupil premium toolkit, I would entertain audiences of teachers by playing a famous song by a 1980’s girl band. “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)” may seem an odd… Read more »

Methodology matters

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Kathy Sylva on how different methods in early years education research can draw different conclusions.  We know that educational inequalities set in before children start school. At age five, there is already a 19-month difference in school readiness between the very richest and the poorest children, a gap that only widens and becomes more entrenched… Read more »

Admitting the problem

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Carl Cullinane on the background to the Selective Comprehensives report. Today, around half a million families across England will discover which secondary school their child will be attending from September. As application rates have increased in recent years, this process has become more and more competitive, with many schools, particularly the better ones, increasingly oversubscribed. While… Read more »

The data deficit effect

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Conor Ryan on how a dearth of data helped the Sutton Trust make news in Scotland. A funny thing happened with our Global Gaps report a couple of weeks ago. John Jerrim’s excellent look at the different performance of highly able 15 year-olds from different social backgrounds gained some good – but not spectacular –… Read more »

Summer school successes

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Sir Peter Lampl reflects on twenty years of UK Summer Schools. It’s hard to believe the first Sutton Trust summer school took place twenty years ago. In the summer of 1997, 64 teenagers from across the UK came together for a residential at Oxford. Participants spent a week living as an undergraduate. They went to… Read more »

Comic Strip Presents

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Lee Elliot Major on a tale of privilege to coincide with our new Global Gaps report For many it’s the perfect portrayal of the cumulative impact that privilege can have on someone’s life. Two weeks ago I posted a link to a simple cartoon strip created by an illustrator in New Zealand. It sums up… Read more »

Science specialists

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Binda Patel looks at what a lack of specialist science teachers could mean for the growing UK STEM industries.  Science lessons on a Friday afternoon were always challenging, more so for my teacher than for me! I often wondered what inspired an Oxford graduate with a first-class degree to become a teacher. He could have been… Read more »