Last night we were delighted to host a debate on “What is our biggest blindspot in education?” Attendees will be receiving an email next week to vote on which of our four speakers’ proposed blindspot is deserving of our research team’s attention.
We were particularly excited to announce that we are starting work on a new research fund to allow us to do more of this type of work, so watch this space and contact [email protected] if you’d like to find out more
‘Teaching multiple subjects in 13 different classrooms each week’
Problems with teacher recruitment and retention are driven by poor working conditions according to Becky Allen (@DrBeckyAllen) and colleague Sam Sims (@Sam_Sims_). Although research (including our own) has tended to highlight workload, Becky pointed out that if working conditions, including leadership and management, allocation of teachers to subjects and access to professional development were better, the workforce might stay put longer. So is a lack of focus on working conditions our biggest blindspot in education?
Young people in care
‘Limited life-chances and a huge long term cost to society’
With only 6% of children in care progressing to university and only 1% of those who grow up in children’s homes doing so, Emmanuel Akpan-Inwang (@Inwang) argued that a failure to address these vulnerable children’s needs is our biggest blindspot. He explained that 50% of the prison population and 70% of prostitutes have been in care, yet outcomes for comparable young people in other countries are far better. Could the need to better support such young people be our biggest blindspot?
A strategic approach to disadvantaged pupils
‘We might think we pay attention to disadvantaged pupils but they are hiding in plain sight’
We spend an enormous amount of time talking about disadvantaged and pupil premium pupils, but in our attempt to give these pupils special treatment and endless interventions are we failing to give them equal opportunities? Claire Heald (@Claire_Heald) argued that even though we think we are focused on disadvantaged pupils we are blind to a more strategic, horizon-broadening approach.
Unifying British values
‘Why did pupils from Bethnal Green Academy run away to Syria?’
Our last ship event was focused on schools’ role in social cohesion and our final speaker, Luke Tryl (@LukeTryl) picked up on that theme, arguing that we cannot keep turning a blind eye to the failings of our liberal democracy. Education is one of the last few unifying structures in society he says, so is it time we did more to cultivate British Values in our schools?
What do you think? Which do you think is our biggest #EdBlindSpots?
At the end of the night, guests also took away a copy of our latest annual social impact report covering our activity in 2015-16. You can download your own copy here