Articles by Laura McInerney
Laura was a full time teacher for six years in a comprehensive school in East London. She is currently completing a Phd in Education Policy & Leadership Analysis at the University of Missouri on a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholars award.
What I learned from writing about Grammar Schools
“…I genuinely believe the most important question is not whether or not grammar schools should exist but whether or not they should exist over and above other systems for improving social mobility.” Laura McInerney shares the insights that she has gathered from her recent musings on Grammar Schools.
Let the private schools take 25% at random
The FT’s Helen Warrell today ran a piece suggesting that momentum is developing behind a campaign to subsidise the cost of private school tuition for the poorest pupils. She wrote: Under the programme, the government would divert the average £6,000 spent on a pupil in the state system to a child from a lower income family entering an independent […]
Why sex education matters to “nervous” young people
With schools taking a vacation from the National Curriculum and a renewed focus on traditional ‘academic’ subjects, many schools have already laughed subjects like Sex Education off their teaching roster. “Teaching about condoms?” they say, “Ha! How quaint. These days we teach about real things like romantic poetry and royal history”. Except, however quaint it might seem, sex matters […]
#Blogsync: How would I improve the status of the teaching profession?
Teachers don’t need their status raised in the eyes of the public. Telling people that you’re a teacher, especially one who works in a secondary school, generally garners immediate respect. People will tell you that you’re brave, and how they couldn’t do it, and how important the job is, and that they take their hat […]
A further word on educational inequality
Yesterday I explained why inaccurate use of the term “educational inequality” makes me uneasy. But then I started thinking about a gross educational inequality that is hardly ever mentioned, and it made me madder and madder. Here is the school building that the teachers and pupils of Rugby School see when they arrive to learn: Here […]
Why teachers leave
“People will argue that every professional needs to consider their family but they don’t all leave their jobs – what makes teachers different? Simple: our job’s lack of flexibility.” Laura McInerney looks at why teachers leave the profession - and why the issue of 190 days matters.
“Nobody said it was easy, but no-one ever said it would be this hard” – Coldplay On my fourth day as a teacher I was assaulted by a pupil who came back after school to attack me. A few months later I suffered a rib fracture from a student who tried to punch another kid – […]
“The Coalition’s education ministers seem convinced that academy-chains are ‘the next big thing’. Money is available for academy sponsors to take over failing(ish) schools, and chains are an increasing player in upcoming ‘Free Schools’.” Laura McInerney outlines five things that could stop academies from scaling up.
“Imagine the wealth of information these online conversations would give to policymakers otherwise locked in their ivory towers and desperate to get the input of workers who might make their policies actually work.” Laura McInerney reflects on the possibility of professionals helping to inform better policy and where this is already starting to happen.
Whenever anyone asks for advice - whether about a policy, opening a new school, starting a business, using a new teaching technique, whatever – my questioning line is always the same: (1) What problem are you trying to solve? (2) What makes you think this particular solution will solve that particular problem? (3) If you’re […]
Michael Gove is no stranger to literature. Not only does he constantly quote classic authors in Parliament but in a recent Spectator interview Gove lamented that he’d “had it up to here” with people arguing working class kids should be ignorant of the canon. After all, his self-confessed new favourite book – The Intellectual Life of the […]
Tomorrow Michael Gove is in front of the Education Select Committee regarding the proposed reforms at KS4. If I were in the room, this is what I would like to know: Are the changes really justified on the grounds of this summer’s fiasco? 1. You have argued that problems with the GCSE in the summer […]