Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ofsted visit to Steiner Academy Hereford

OFSTED inspectors find evidence that a later start to learning does not disadvantage pupils' academic progress and achievement The recent section 5 OFSTED inspection of the Steiner Academy Hereford (July 2013) found that: ‘Pupils achieve well throughout the school, reaching above the expected levels in English and mathematics and in the other subjects that they take in Year 11, despite their later start with the formal teaching of such subjects.’ Their findings are borne out by the school's GCSE results this summer: 80% of Year 11 pupils achieved 5 GCSEs (including maths and English) at grade C or above and almost half of the grades achieved were A or A*.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Too Much Too Soon


We're too young to fail

 The new SCM Early Years Education (EYE) Group has now been established and is launching its first major campaign to challenge the early years being seen primarily as a preparation for school, rather than a unique stage in its own right, together with what it sees as a succession of developmentally inappropriate policy interventions in the English approach. We are arguing that this issue is too important to get wrong and that policy-making should be be put in the hands of people who really understand the extraordinary learning capacities and developmental abilities of young children.

In the long-term the group would like to see the formation of a multi-disciplinary National Council on the Science of Child Development, similar to that established in the USA by Harvard University This body would aim to make the child's best interests paramount and to bring an understanding of the science of early childhood and early brain development to political decision-making. We would also like to see the development of Child Wellbeing Impact Assessments for all new policies (in accordance with Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

The Campaign has just been launched with an Open letter that has been signed by 127 eminent academics, early years leaders and senior figures.
See the Open Letter
See the Press Release
See the Comment Piece

The Telegraph has now run a poll on what age its own readers think is best with the following results. You can still participate in through the article page here.

Three 4.24%  (277 votes) 
Four 7.15%  (467 votes) 
Five 20.91%  (1,366 votes) 
Six 38.57%  (2,520 votes) 
Seven 29.13%  (1,903 votes) 
Total Votes: 6,533

Sign the Petition
and please help share this with others

Stand up for the Natural Developmental Rights of the Child
Put an end to developmentally inappropriate policy-making
Make your banners and book your coaches!

We are planning a sector-wide Day of Action for Wednesday 30th October and invite everyone to join us to show just how important we think these issues are. We will soon be providing resources such as posters and banners on the website but you can also make your own and promote your own related campaigns. We think it is only by coming together that we can really make a difference.

So whether you are a parent, childminder, playworker, early years teacher or headteacher, academic, lecturer, author or anyone else who really cares about the welbeing of children, please join us on the day. Let us know if you are coming though, especially if you are organising coaches, and we will share your details on the website.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Exeter Steiner Academy Opens

Exeter Steiner School starts as new wave of schools open

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Exeter Express and Echo

A “FREE” school in Exeter will be among the second wave of the coalition Government’s flagship education policy to open this week.

In total, 93 free schools are due to admit pupils for the first time this week, the Department for Education (DfE) said, bringing the overall number of open free schools to 174.


They include the Steiner Academy in Exeter, two in Plymouth – the School of Creative Arts and the Marine Academy Primary – Sparkwell All Saints Primary on the outskirts of the city and Route 39 Academy at Higher Clovelly, north Devon.

The Steiner Academy will initially open in a temporary premises in Gloucester Road , while it intends to move to a permanent home in Thomas Hall, a former university halls in Cowley Bridge Road.

Free schools are semi-independent schools set up by groups including parents, teachers and charities. Of the 93 schools opening this month 35 are primaries, 42 are secondaries, 11 are all-age schools and five will cater for 16 to 19-year-olds.

When these schools are full, they will provide an extra 46,000 places for pupils, the DfE said.

Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that free schools “are one of the most important reforms to education in this country for a generation” and are “allowing people with a passion for giving children the best start in life to set up schools and making sure teachers in those schools have more freedom to do what they think is best”.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said these schools were “an integral part of the growing success story of state education in England”.

There are also 12 universal technical colleges (UTC) and 13 studio schools opening this term, including the Devon Health Studio in Torbay and UTC Plymouth.

From next September, Exeter University is to help open a new free school specialising in maths. The university will jointly run one of the government's flagship free schools with Exeter College, with a fifth of pupils will be able to stay at the university between Monday and Thursday in a bid to attract youngsters from across the South West.

Cornwall already boasts a new private catholic secondary school at Camborne, called St Michael’s, a free school.

Free schools are established by groups including parents, teachers, faith groups and charities and have powers to decide how they spend their budgets and set their own curriculum, teaching hours and term-times. Teaching unions have claimed that they adversely affect neighbouring schools.

Read more:

Follow us: @thisis_exeter on Twitter