Gifted Phoenix Twitter Round-Up: Volume 7

This is the Seventh Edition of my monthly review of @GiftedPhoenix Twitter activity, covering the period from 5 April to 9 May 2012 inclusive.

My Twitter feed is almost exclusively dedicated to gifted education, wider English education policy and associated topics. I am to make these posts a fairly comprehensive record, incorporating all those Tweets that carry a hyperlink to an online resource while discarding those that are merely badinage.

I haven’t rechecked all the hyperlinks, so apologies if any are broken.

The categorisation I’ve used on this occasion is slightly revised. There are three sections on:

  • Gifted Education Worldwide, with sub-sections for each of the five continents and, separately, for the UK;
  • Gifted Education: Thematic, with sub-sections for Twice-exceptional; Creativity and Innovation, Intelligence and Neuroscience; and, finally, Commentary and Research;
  • Related Educational Issues, which is focused predominantly on developments in England and is broken down into several thematic subsections – several more than I have used previously.

The final section covers some material of interest to gifted educators but also extends into wider areas of domestic education policy. It should provide a fairly comprehensive overview of most of the live topics in English education policy, though with a significant bias towards the schools sector

The vast majority of these are my own Tweets, but a few are modified tweets or retweets of originals sent by others. I have removed addresses and hashtags – except where these are integral to the tweet – and corrected a few typos. The Tweets in each section are broadly in chronological order, though I have grouped some together where that makes sense.

Otherwise this is largely an unadulterated record of proceedings, though with added fish! I hope you find it useful.

Gifted Education Worldwide

The 2012 Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Awards:

The WCGTC 2013 Conference blog, including part of the speaker line-up:

Free webinar series: Supporting Gifted Students with 21st Century Strategies:

Brief report of the APEC Future Scientist Conference in Java: 120 gifted learners from 16 (or 9?) countries involved:

Mother’s Day SENGinar on mother/daughter relationships of profoundly gifted girls  – early am 11/5

WCGTC marketing for 2013 conference in NZ: – I love the geographical optimism of slide 2!

Round-up of summer professional development in gifted education:  Mostly US but includes @Begabungs SL events

#gtchat transcript from last week on Adult Giftedness:

The transcript for tonight’s chat on Role Models For Gifted Children:

Gifted Underachievement with @Josh_Shaine, transcript 18/4 has been chirpified!

Transcript for last Sunday’s #gtie, “Cyberbullying and Gifted Education”:

Transcript from tonight’s #gtie: 5 Give-away Signs of Giftedness for Teachers


Kenyan pupils call for ‘a curriculum review to incorporate competences, skills and talent development at all levels’:


FICOMUNDYT IX Congreso Iberoamericano de Superdotacion, Talento y Creatividad, October 2012:

Puerto Rico Legislature Considers Laws to Boost Gifted Children

Gifted trivia: what’s the connection between Francoys Gagne and Star Wars? Answer: (I should do more of these!)

National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT) in US has College Board agreement to run SAT test in summer school:

Gifted Jobs: Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts needs a Director of Admissions and Outreach

NYC gifted kindergarten entry articles: and  and

More about gifted kindergarten admissions in NYC: and and

Another one on NYC gifted kindergarten admissions: – It’s not called Gotham City for nothing!

Coaching and private tuition strengthen their fiendish grip in NYC:

Rundown of gifted and talented schools in NYC including hyperlinks to their websites:

Study calls for NYC to test all kindegarten pupils for giftedness since many poor families don’t use service:

Yet more on the impenetrable mystery that is NYC gifted education policy:

Belin-Blank outlines its summer professional development programme:

Online gifted education as an option in Minnesota:

A second US blogger posts on distance learning for gifted kids: ttp://

Are gifted learners informationally fluent? CTD is aiming to ensure they are:

Updated links to test scores for all major talent searches – plus other test score percentiles

Valerie Bostwick, a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara, plans an economic evaluation of gifted + talented magnet schools:

Upcoming Duke Conference featuring Project Bright Idea, applying gifted education approaches for all learners

Carolyn Callahan appears for defence in US gifted lawsuit; contests Donna Ford’s testimony for prosecution

A second report on the Elgin gifted education lawsuit:

Gifted jobs: DC Public Schools (no less) is looking for a Director of Gifted Education: ($89-97K)

Petition to Vermont Commissioner of Education to provide adequate public education for gifted children:

Deb Delisle confirmed as nation’s new assistant secretary of education

Education acceleration bill heads to Gov. Rick Scott FL

Norwich (Connecticut) plans 40th anniversary reunion for participants of 1973 elementary gifted programme:

On Native American gifted education:

Whitworth University confirms who is sponsoring their $3m dollar endowed chair in gifted education:


Taiwan has reviewed its talent development policies and will produce a White Paper in the next year:

Taiwan moves to improve quality of English, especially in rural schools:

Oman follows Taiwan in declaring need for a National Talent Development Plan  Can we have one of those?

Philippines’ Department of Education increases SPED funding (including gifted education) by 56%

On this otherwise quiet gifted news day I bring you the results of the aforementioned Philippines run for gifted kids!

Questions asked in Singapore Parliament today about the impact of their Gifted Education Programme (GEP):

Malaysia’s worried about failure to progress to Harvard places: a target for the Permata Pintar gifted programme?

Upcoming HKAGE Professional Development Seminars by messrs Porath, van Tassel-Baska and Chandler:

Hong Kong’s 2012 Biennial Gifted Education Conference in May is another van Tassel-Baska/Chandler show:

Who’s in the running to establish a new university campus on a premium Hong Kong site?

The pressure’s on to secure a place at one of Vietnam’s High Schools for the Gifted:

English medium teaching in Vietnam’s High Schools for the Gifted runs into difficulties:

Vietnam is experiencing a brain drain of gifted students, but only from urban areas:

Wow! Israel’s Education Ministry has a ‘super gifted’ programme comprising 15-18 students a year:

Two reports on giftedness and gifted education from Bangalore India: and

Looks like ICIE is planning a January 2013 gifted education conference in Chennai India:

Arab News carries a short article highly critical of the Saudi gifted programme (Mawhiba):  Brave!

Gifted jobs: teaching posts in trilingual (Kaz, Rus, Eng) Kazakhstani Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools:


More on Jill Bevan-Brown’s work on gifted Maori learners:

Access the presentations from the recent giftEDnz conference in NZ:

ERO Report on science in the NZ Curriculum: – notes that gifted learners get favourable treatment in a few schools

Two Sydney Morning Herald pieces on giftedness and gifted education: and

The line-up for Australia’s 13th National Conference on Gifted Education, July 2012:


A report (in sub-standard English) of recent developments in gifted education in Russia:

Russia’s Ivanovo Region is opening an orphanage for gifted children: with Medvedevian support

El bachillerato de excelencia: igualdad o equidad?

8 razones por las que atender la Alta Capacidad y el Talento

Mi hijo tiene alta capacidad, se lo digo?

“Mama, no quiero ir al cole, me aburro!”

Desarrollar el talento, promover la excelencia: dos exigencias de un sistema educativo mejor

Gifted education in Spain – @Begabungs interviews @jtoufi

The Netherlands Education Ministry on transport for gifted students (in Dutch):

The fissure within the Leonardo Foundation, supporting Netherlands gifted education, is made public (in Dutch)

Talent I Skolen: – gifted education in Denmark

On gifted education in Norway (in Norwegian):

Stortingsmelding 22 og ‘De hoyt presterende elevene’ (in Norwegian):

PISA 2009 data on the proportion of high-achieving learners in Ireland:

Interview with Colm O’Reilly of Center For Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI):

The speaker line-up at yesterday’s MENSA Greece Conference on Gifted and Talented Children and their needs:

CBO is setting up a school for gifted children in Flanders:


Pauline Dixon, a UK specialist in development education, including support for disadvantaged gifted learners:

More ‘genius children’ coverage from the BBC:

A superb Heroes and Heroines Comic produced by Southwark’s gifted kids:

Hoping to find out more this morning about IGGY’s future plans:

Michelle Obama as ambassador for gifted education:

Shami Chakrabarti supports the gifted programme at her old school in Stanmore:  – a potential  GT Voice ambassador?

Gifted Jobs: IGGY Warwick requires a Sales and Marketing Manager: – Up to £45K, deadline 7 May

DfE want your summer schools top tips: – Mine is of course to run them for gifted learners

Competition to encourage more UK students to study in Hong Kong: prize is HK summer school:

Lampl says (at 53mins) Sutton Trust report on gifted education due out in June (Smithers qualifies):

Welsh Government’s launch of a new Training Pack for More Able and Talented equals a press notice but no pack:

Raising attainment of more able cited as area for improvement in 8 of sample of 30 primary inspection reports:

TES report on the School Games:

London Zoo Fish 1 Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

Gifted Education Thematic

Twice Exceptional

Meet the Dugents: a twice-exceptional family:

Express article about a 2e learner in Wales: – unusually sympathetic for the Express!

NAGC chat transcript on the intricacies of 2e learners

Twice-Exceptional Newsletter 16 April 2012:

Twice Exceptional Newsletter, 22 April edition:

SEN Support Staff Scholarships can presumably be used for 2e training, if suitable courses are available

Free Asperger Syndrome and Giftedness Fact Sheet on our website (direct link)

The Saudi version of 2e ‘The Koran Memorisation Competition for Disabled Children’: – Words fail me….

Creativity and Innovation

The Creative Thinking Myth:

Douglas Eby on Jane Piirto:

4 Steps Towards Enhancing Our Own and Students’ Creativity:

The Seelig Innovation Engine Model to unleash creativity:

Guardian Review pulls no punches in demolishing Lehrer’s book ‘How Creativity Works’:

Adobe Report on the ‘creativity gap’ in 5 leading economies (including UK and US):

Who Creates the Innovator – A review of Wagner’s latest book (including intelligence/creativity relationship):

Helping A New Generation Nurture Creative Thinking and Innovation: The Creative Mind

Can Innovation Skills be Learned?

Intelligence and Neuroscience

Check out Cognitive Atlas: a work-in-progress knowledge base for cognitive science:

A post that rightly warns against the tendency of some gifted educators to misuse IQ stats:

Brain injury data used to map intelligence in the brain:

Excessive worrying may have co-evolved with intelligence:  (Complete with enlargeable photo of female person worrying)

Project ENIGMA ‘We found fairly unequivocal proof supporting a genetic link to brain function and intelligence

Heritability of IQ

Can you make yourself smarter? (An extensive NYT article):

@sbkaufman: “Brainy” is What “Brainy” Does (Psychology Today):

Time to put on your thinking caps (aka ‘mini-transcranial direct current stimulation devices’):

Willingham on Working Memory Training:

Shortcomings of the IQ-based construct of Underachievement

New centre at Oxford aims to understand how intelligence arises from brain’s circuits.

Neurobonkers blog (great name) on how UK media misrepresent neuroscience research:

Eysenck (1916-1997) Bad ass of assessment? 50 blogs on learning theorists in 50 days)

Gardner Multiple Intelligences or school subjects mirrored?

The limitations of IQ:

How fluid is intelligence? Hambrick inthe NYT:

Why Are We So Obsessed With Improving IQ? Psychology Today


Commentary and Research

Pushing the gifted adult conversation forward :

Social Reactions to Overconfidence  – Peers tend to believe they have superior social skills!

Stoeger and Ziegler: Deficits in Fine Motor Skills and their Influence on Persistence in Gifted Elementary Pupils:

Text anxiety in gifted learners:

Gifted education advocates should be more focused on equity issues says this blogger:

Check out this presentation : Raising Gifted Children

Belle Wallace: Who Are The Gifted? Where Are They? 1st of 6 articles:

Can ‘Genius’ be Detected in Infancy? – a helpful counterbalance to the wilder press coverage

New blogspot Goal Increased advocacy for culturally and linguistically diverse gifted learners

Read about teaching innovation through the arts in the Spring issue of CTD’s Talent Newsletter:

Evidence on Ability Peer Effects in (English) Schools: Lavy, Silva and Weinhardt:

Fascinating gender differences in impact of having many fellow pupils in top and bottom 5% by KS2 attainment:

Don Ambrose markets two forthcoming co-publications, one with Sternberg:

Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth have produced a retrospective 5-year Report:

Unwrapping Gifted: Differentiation LiveBinders

Final part of Borland’s ‘Problematising Gifted Education’:  Restatement of a position rather than anything new

The importance of increasing AP entry and success amongst minority student populations:

Busting one of the silliest but most common myths:you only use 10 percent of brain

More about the benefits of online learning for gifted learners:

First in a new series on Misdiagnosis and Giftedness:

Why Kenyans Make Such Great Runners: A Story of Genes and Cultures

Can you instil mental toughness (aka resilience)?:

Serving Gifted Students from Poverty, Part 3 of 3:

The value and impact of praise on [gifted] school achievement:

Stephanie Tolan: Who or What?

Gifted Parenting Support: Gifted Learners in Rural Areas:

An Evolutionary Perspective on Giftedness:

Going with the Flow: Student Engagement and Beyond:

Lots of excitement being generated about the potential of TED-Ed videos for gifted education:

The evolution of the geek infographic:

Elite Soccer Players’ Brains Excel At Planning And Problem Solving

How Geniuses Think – The Creativity Post

Being Black and Gifted is Nothing New: – on the work of Martin D Jenkins

Thanks to @MaryStGeorge for her thoughtful contribution to gtchat via her blog post “The Gifted Label”

Not All Highly Intelligent People Are Arrogant Pricks

Giftedness and liking…history from Innreach’s Blog:

Wise words on Creating Online Community for Gifted Advocacy:

“Eat it, Mills” – or how talent development adds to the underachievement problem

Excellent blog post on the gifted label: What’s in a Name?

@GingerLewman: Wanted to share my livebinder – iPad Apps for Gifted & High-Ability Learners

Red herring du jour: defining giftedness:  Broadly sympathetic with that position

Gifted Resources May Newsletter can be read online at

Gifted Exchange on incentives for early high school completion/college start:

Worried about identification for early-years gifted programmes? You will be after reading this!

US NAGC Conceptual Foundations Newsletter featuring article by Wenda Sheard, expat and UK NAGC trustee:

“It is not about intelligence. It’s not about talent, but the motivation to learn.”

Research questions Bell Curve: a few top performers typically carry the rest:  and

Post questioning long-held assumptions about the link between early US gifted education and the space race:

Coincidentally, a post on historical development of US gifted education that cites the influence of Sputnik:


The rapid expansion of AP courses isn’t entirely a good thing:

Delisle opposes Olszewski-Kubilius positioning of US NAGC  They must hold giftedness AND talent development in balance

Still a Square Peg and a Round Hole:

Moving Beyond Achievement: Nurturing Skills Necessary for Success in a Global Environment:

New blog post on acceleration for gifted

Just what is gifted and talented:  – Curate’s egg

London Zoo Fish 2 Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

Related Education Issues

Fair Access to HE

GiftedPhoenix: HEFCE boss Langlands continues to highlight threat of AAB policy to social mobility despite BIS pressure:

DfE has published details of the Dux events at RG universities:  – schools have only until 27 April to register

OK I’ve been on my Dux Tour: Wish I could say all 20 RG universities had really pulled out all the stops…

Are your students thinking? How can I choose my “Dux” from Year 9?  – Thanks for the mention!

Revealing post by @xtophercook on relative chances of rich/poor admission to Oxbridge

New research on elite college admissions in the US:

Steven Schwarz says fair access is all about schools: Disagree. It’s a cross-sectoral issue

The Economist on Teach First HEAPS provision supporting HE progression for disadvantaged gifted learners:

Announcement on AAB cap in 2013-14 due by 30 April:

Apropos AAB cap, Willetts must catch up with Gove’s plans to make A level grades more demanding

Willets defines fair access as meritocracy, admitting ‘those who can perform best at any given university’

National Scholarship Programme guidance for 2013-14 to be released by HEFCE tomorrow (19 April):

BIS writing to HEFCE and OFFA seeking ‘a shared strategy for widening access’ to secure VFM: – some co-ordination then!

Overall, the Willetts treatment of the fair access issue manages to beg more questions than it answers:

RussellGroup: Our view on David Willetts’ HEFCE speech: liberated (AAB) places must go further next year

Mail continues to deride the Willetts line on fair access: probing at the fault line between DfE and BIS

Oxford’s UNIQ scheme:

HEFCE’s Provisional Allocations and Guidance for the 2013-14 National Scholarship Programme:

OFFA’s guidance on producing Access Agreements for 2013-14:

Anti-Willetts piece opposes his support of potential-driven fair access:  Worse, it was institution-specific potential!

Article on Cambridge University SU support for fair access:

When I found this website in development I thought PL might be developing a separate existence to the ST:

Become part of the Russell Group by recruiting lots more AAB students from independent schools:

Treasury fears have delayed announcement extending AAB market to ABB from 2013:

SecEd/ASCL guide for schools on meeting new ‘impartial and independent’ careers advice and guidance’ duty:

Sutton Trust release on Oxbridge advice: – Why are schools less likely to advise Oxbridge than 5 years ago? Mmm

Sutton Trust research begs question (again) whether staff should ‘advise’ or ‘discuss’ Oxbridge application

A whole gamut of non-educational reasons why children from poor backgrounds may never make it to Oxbridge:

Rather unedifying that schools blame HE and HE blames schools over Oxbridge applications issue. WORK TOGETHER!

Today is deadline for Dux awards registration: If you have reservations, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Stanford psychologist explains why meritocracy and diversity can be reconciled in HE admissions:

BIS on expanding uncapped recruitment to ABB HEFCE on same  NB ref to cautious estimates

What part should universities play in fostering academic talent?   A big one, jointly with schools and colleges

There may be trouble ahead – @guildheceo on what the latest student number control policies might mean:

Looks as though Stirling as well as Keele has joined US Common Applications system: and

Target Oxbridge to mentor African/Afro-Caribbean students in Years 11 and 12. Will poor benefit?:

Teach First HEAPS programme continues – though somewhat under the radar:

Are state schools biased against Oxbridge?

Social Mobility

British Sociological Association conference papers on social mobility: (pp37-38) All resoundingly negative

A new social mobility strategy from Clegg? – Don’t we already have one of those?

Interview with Alan Milburn on social mobility ahead of his Spring Report:

Milburn’s interview on social mobility in HE in the GMT e-newsletter: – with commentary by @tessa_stone

Preview of cross-party social mobility committee’s interim report out Tuesday: Doubt there’s anything new

So this interim report from the All-Party Parly Group on Social Mobility: – My verdict? Distinctly iffy

All-Party Social Mobility Group chaired by Hinds but members include the sainted Estelle, Field and Hodge

All-party Social Mobility Group has called expert witnesses including Barber, Lampl, Milburn, Woolf: (p3)

All Party Soc Mob Group convinced of importance of pre-HE attainment; dares not utter ‘contexualised’:

All Party Social Mobility Group sees nurturing outstanding talent as distinct area of focus (hooray!) (p9)

All Party SocMob Group priorities for nurturing talent : a. ‘needs blind/assisted places/selective’ (p32)

…and b.  ‘internships/HE exposure, Top Programmes (D of E etc)’ (p32) Latter is especially impenetrable

Before its final report, the All Party Social Mobility group should call on the #bridgegroup and #gtvoice for evidence:

Blears on the cross-party social mobility report:

More on the all-party social mobility report:

And a third treatment of the all-party social mobility report:

CYPN coverage of the interim report from the All Party Social Mobility Group on which I opined yesterday:

The Higher picks up on Lampl’s negativity re Government’s social mobility strategy:  Clegg won’t be happy

Narrowing Achievement Gaps

US post contemplating the case for ‘middle class studies’: – A topic in which England can lead the world!

DfE wants EoIs in the evaluation of the Summer Schools Programme for Disadvantaged Pupils: – deadline 17 April

Impact of the reduced subsidy for AP and IB exams on US disadvantaged gifted students:

Why does family wealth affect learning? Willingham:

DFE has published the technical spec for 2013 Schools Census: – the ‘ever-FSM’ Pupil Premium means increased complexity

Narrowing the gap targetry is needed in my view, but weren’t Coalition supposed to be anti-target? Dangerous precedent:

But effective Narrowing the Gap targetry must be differentiated by attainment, not just national benchmarks:

Children’s Society costing of FSM eligibility for all on Universal Credit omits cost of extra Pupil Premium funding:

Slightly worrying growth in attainment gap at Level 3 between FSM / non-FSM students

DfE SFR reports increase of 0.8% in FSM gap for 2+ A levels from 2010 to 2011: – Increasing A level demand will compound

Future First gets funding:

DfE to pilot Virtual Heads (a la looked after children) for Gypsy, Roma, Traveller children:

Academies Enterprise Trust will be spending Pupil Premium funding on online tutors – these in fact

Direct link to the SSAC Report on Universal Credit in which son-of-FSM options are explored: – Which is the least worst?

The Mayor London’s Mentoring Scheme for black boys seems to be in big trouble:

DfE Research: PISA 2009 How does England’s Social Attainment Gap compare with other countries and

JRF Review: ‘Widespread emphasis on raising aspirations…does not seem to be a good foundation for policy or practice’

JRF Aspirations report ultimately frustrates: more promising ‘area-based multi-strand interventions’ excluded:

JRF Aspirations-raising report raises important questions about the efficacy of interventions like Dux:

LKMCo blog post on the JRF Aspirations-raising report:

Performance-Based Scholarships: Emerging Findings from a National Demonstration (US):

Telegraph on the PISA social attainment gap:  – Data’s familiar but Telegraph accentuating the negative less so perhaps

The 80% of heads saying the Pupil Premium is being used to plug cuts will have to fabricate their published statements:

Twigg calls for clearer Pupil Premium accountability measures linking funding with achievement of specific pupils:

Evaluating the Pupil Premium – SecEd p9:

Australia is investing in pre-school tutors to tackle disadvantage:


Pupil selection and curriculum content: – Ultimately the issue was and remains progression to HE and beyond

On the beta of “Academies … can select pupils based on academic ability”

Bucks admits Truth that Must not be Spoken re 11+ bias: – Editor magics this into pro-academy spin

Love this grumpy report on a meeting of the Friends of Grammar Schools: – I see Mr Gove dropped in again…

Grammar schools help poor children to succeed? Hmmmm

Is it entirely a bad thing that Kent’s state GS are seen as a better option than any independent alternative?

That said, I still maintain that all GS should give priority to FSM-eligible candidates:

This answer on the criteria governing split site/satellite schools is as clear as mud: (Col WA427)

At last! The Great Expectations publication from David Jesson for the Schools Network via @dylanwiliam

‘Further work is in progress to extend these frameworks to more able pupils in all schools’ (Jesson):

Grammar schools vary considerably in quality. Some are outstanding, and some really rather mediocre:

Admissions and School Places

BHA Press Notice about its legal action against Richmond over that new RC secondary school:

Here’s the projections data I’ve found: (p16) Looks like births peak in 2014, then decline to 2030.

I’m posting this Fraser Nelson piece on school places because I’m genuinely unsure what to make of it:

Have you seen the full version of the GLA Projections Methodology they mention in the summary here (p1)?

I’m interested what happens when the numbers drop off again. I’ve been playing with this tool:


Welcome to the Academies ‘speed commission’:   though the commissioners are a bit usual suspectish and speed = 9 months!

This article on Left Foot Forward says the Commission will be independent: That should be in the remit

For me the biggest risk inherent in mass ‘academisation’ lies in wholesale disapplication of the National Curriculum:

Machin: ‘We do not yet have robust, academically rigorous evidence on [the impact of] coalition academies’:

Looks as though the enforced primary school battleground is shifting to Lambeth:

Not quite sure why the Government wouldn’t welcome the C of E as an academy sponsor with open arms? Indeed cherish it!

Ben Bradshaw questions due diligence processes for academy conversion citing West Exe Technology College: (Col 8)

More about due diligence over West Exe Technology College’s conversion to academy status in written PQ form: (Col 92W)

30 PFI schools have converted to academies – the list is here:  (Col 80W)

A fair amount of Downhills correspondence has been released in response to this FoI request:

A FoI has gone in requesting the Funding Agency report on financial management of the Lincoln Priory Federation:

Luton may or may not have three enforced primary academies: – The LA is denying it

In which @toadmeister ignores Machin’s plea – – and applies old research evidence to new contexts:

Blog on Academies Commission: – Wondering if proof’s in the pudding or the pie:

I must do my bit to advertise the reliance of Durand Academy on PR worth £200K: – Never believe the hype

More on the Seldon/O’Shaugnessy academies partnership  Positive Psychology’s worth £5m investment but SEAL is ‘ghastly’?

Dunford on middle tier For me the ideal model combines inclusive network and market elements; excludes new field force

EFA Framework Document para 1.4: ‘The EFA is not responsible for managing the performance of schools’:

A ‘failure to distinguish between the autonomy of school leaders as expert educationalists and organisational autonomy’

A Dover Academy HT has been appointed by DfE as a ‘short term intervention troubleshooter….superhead’:

Guardian coverage of News International’s aspirations to establish an academy: – they weren’t welcomed with open arms

Leveson has published the emails concerning News International’s interest in academies and free schools: (KRM21 + 22)

Will we see the emergence of more academy chains specialising in AP institutions, or will they join existing chains?

Cawley’s appointment as Secford Exec HT after chairing consultation raises questions for Seckford:

DfE has issued details and a statement of the financial investigation into the Priory Federation:

SOLACE Report: the Championing Role of English Councils in Education:

Director of Policy Exchange says phase two of the Govian revolution is all about chains

Michael Rosen twists the knife over accountability and transparency in relation to failing/problem academies:

DfE’s FAQs on academy chains with helpful powerpoint slides:

Have I read correctly? Seems to be no body overseeing complaints about academies?

128 academies will have to pay back an average £118K LACSEG by July: (TES)

Christine Gilbert thinks school collaboration can fulfil the missing middle tier role: – devil’s in the detail

NAHT has agreed a match-funded pilot with Government to support schools at risk of forced academisation: (at end)

More from NAHT about their planned role in school improvement: – conference has to agree first

More Downhills papers released by Haringey in response to FoI:  – interesting

Free Schools

The NUT’s free schools dossier: – presumably release of impact assessments is to inform potential judicial reviews?

Direct link to NUT’s analysis of free school costs: – which they will no doubt revisit quarterly

DfE Q and A: ‘The S/S would not automatically turn down a [free school] proposal simply to protect other local schools’

It’s the ubiquitous Rob Cawley again: – Will he soar to great things or, Icarus-like, plunge down in flames?

Do you have to be pregnant to get into Field’s free school? – Isn’t that selective?

Lisa Nandy: my response to Andrew Adonis on free schools in NewStatesman

Gibb say that data on FSM eligibility in free schools now in Commons Library (Col 805W) but not yet in deposited papers

Leveson has probably asked DfE for full access to papers on the proposed Murdoch Free School in Newham:

Rupert Murdoch reveals meetings with Michael Gove over free schools

NUT take umbrage at the idea of a News International-sponsored free schools – they want an enquiry:

More on the London Academy of Excellence: – Insufficient excellence; insufficient focus on disadvantage. Fail

Kerry McCarthy on FSM in free schools data now in Commons Library: It’s STILL not online however:

Seckford Foundation plan one manager for every 12 children. One Senior Leader per 30 children.

The State of the NYC Charter School Sector 2012:

In case you haven’t seen – Shanker blog on the test-based evidence on New Orleans Charter Schools:

More on New Orleans charter schools:

NEPC study of US charter school spending compared with public schools:

he influence and impact of founders on US charter schools’ performance: – Food for thought for free schools?

We should keep an eye on this combination of vouchers and charter schools in Louisiana: – it will surface here soon

Here’s the charter schools paper from the NZ Education Policy Response Group mentioned in the article:

The intro gives context. ACT (tiny minority party) has agreement with National to introduce charter schools:

For me Ch4 is more important than Ch6. The former’s criticisms could be extended to the latter:

The NZ Charter Schools working group has its own website here:

London Zoo Fish 3 Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

Independent Schools

Not sure what to make of this interview with Head of St Paul’s for Girls:  Is it a trifle smug and complacent?

Worthwhile (and much-needed?) HMC initiative to share schools’ pedagogical expertise with HE:

Martin Stephen says independent schools must evolve or face extinction:

Highlights of Independent Schools Council 2012 Census  As of now only 2011 census is on ISC’s site

Private sector being squeezed: poor schools close; better ones become enclaves of overseas students, or academies!:

Curriculum and Pedagogy

GiftedPhoenix: Willingham-style FAQs on learning styles:

OFSTED notes ‘increasing autonomy’ over curricular decisions ‘may present some contradictions’: (para 70)

RSA worries whether teachers are equipped to exploit their new-found curricular freedoms:

A necessary focus on support for gifted learners is still missing from debate on computer science in schools:

Isn’t Williams responsible for RE not being in the EBacc, since he failed to organise a Bishops’ ambush in the Lords?

A broadly pro ability grouping presentation on Slideshare:

Unusually sharp words from DFE on the decline in MFL GCSE numbers: ‘a national scandal’: National strategy forthcoming?

Is there a particular emphasis on local issues? – If you’re right, are we looking at early May announcement?

Why no answers on detail of the NC review process?

Paganism makes it on to the Cornish Agreed Syllabus for RE: – and why not indeed?

Flexible ability grouping:

NUT Guidance on the EYFS Statutory Framework:

Music education jobs under threat as announcement awaited on successful music hub bids, due early May:

Reaction to ICT disapplication exemplifies the downside of excessive curricular autonomy We need a ‘flexible framework’

Looks like the President of the ALL wants ICT-type curricular freedoms for MFL – Interestingly the ICT lobby is less sure

DfE is commissioning research on the effects of the EBacc: – EoIs to be submitted by Friday 27 April

A reminder of the weaknesses inherent in Chapter 8 of the Expert Panel report on mastery and NC levels:

The problem of preparing teachers to implement the Common Core State Standards: – Prophetic of upcoming issues here?

Sentamu returns to the charge over RE in the EBacc:  – High time the developed an alternative REBacc?

Direct link to the Tombs report for Politiea on the history curriculum: – Do not read if of a nervous disposition!

Reaction to lazy newspaper coverage of the Politeia Report on History:

DfE next steps for EYFS

If there’s such a thing as ‘maths anxiety’ is there an equivalent anxiety for each other subject? Unconvinced

John Holman says the Government won’t make post-16 maths compulsory – so what are the policy levers?

Interesting @theschoolsnet article showing they had an inside track on NC consultation: – Should publish full evidence

NC Review must reconcile contradiction between dumping primary NC levels + rectifying ‘lack of pace and ambition at KS2

Music education hubs due for announcement today. I’m assuming the details will appear here:

Music Hub announcement reaction in West Sussex: and Brighton:

Some of the new music hubs are more hubby than others:

Willingham on why learning to read English is hard (with map to prove the point):

Assessment and Qualifications

A conservative defence of A level reform built upon Robert Coe’s research:

EoIs for the administration of PISA 2015: – deadline 27 April

OFQUAL has published undertakings by the different exam boards to improve exam paper quality and reduce errors:

Harris Federation postpones IB for a year because of high cost and low take-up: – worrying sign

@mikebakeredhack asks the awkward practical questions about HE-led A level reform:

DfE’s Standards and Testing Agency seeks a ‘maladministration advisor’ ‘registrations by sole traders may be rejected’!

Julius Weinberg, VC of Kingston University, appointed to OFQUAL Board, along with Barnaby Lenon:

A whole mass of data showing the prevalence of qualifications equivalent to GCSEs in academies: (Col 535ff)

Background on the new KS2 Grammar Punctuation and Spelling Test for introduction in 2013:

FAQs on the 2013 Grammar Punctuation and Spelling Test: – includes provision for Level 6 (last Answer)

KS2 grammar, spelling and punctuation test under threat of NAHT boycott:

OFQUAL to impose partial ban on exam board seminars for teachers: – will that eradicate the content tips? Not sure

OFQUAL has published its report on Exam Board seminars but, mysteriously, it’s password-protected Why?

Direct link to Nuffield Foundation study of maths content in A levels:  – SCORE report not up yet:

@emoorse01: My take on Mr Gove at the Education Select Committee: Didn’t he imply ditching levels wholesale?

Glenys Stacey refers explicitly to A level grade inflation The Emperor’s now officially naked – there’s no turning back

The Stacey A level interview – Raises the question whether changing too much at once brings diminishing returns

KS2 English writing – moderation: Level 6 exemplification guidance:

@RealGeoffBarton: thoughts on the grammatical/stylistic characteristics of A* English students

Gove to Select Committtee Q225 ‘one area where I am very strongly persuaded…moving away from levels at primary school’

Ed Week report on US pilot of a PISA-based test for schools (using PISA 2009 instruments): – Is there an English pilot?

Whereas NUT would boycott phonics test if results go in league tables, NAHT would boycott if pass rate set too high:

NAHT also voted to disrupt new KS2 SPAG test: and (along with ASCL) oppose loss of of AS Levels:

Black & Wiliam: Formative feedback key to better learning (50 blogs, 50 days on learning theorists)


There’s no one correct way to rate schools:

Campaign for Science and Engineering suggests STEM kitemark for schools With gifted education element I hope

How might OFSTED react to a flipped classroom? – Perhaps we should ask them…

New blog on some league table findings, including progress measures, intakes, GCSE entries

The author of the US study exploring the possible import of OFSTED -style inspection responds to his critics:

Interesting parallels between this Harvard work in the US and the development of Destination Indicators here:

Jay Greene on PISA-type comparisons and the dangers associated with selection on an unvarying dependent variable:

DfE confirms publication of Destination Measures in July: so correcting what Gove said to Select Committee

DfE’s Destination Indicators brief fails to clarify if HE indicators will show RG/Oxbridge separately:

I’ve little time for ‘what right have they to inspect us’ sentiment re OFSTED, but hands off left-handed ticks!

Pearson on unlocking the power of education data: – Big questions as critical variables like FSM and NC levels disappear

309 schools inspected under new Framework 6-20 Jan 2012: 45% primary + 58% secondary inadequate/satisfactory (Col 1239W)

It’s not just GS that should be judged on A*/A GCSE grades as per Jesson Gibb told Sel Ctee DfE is considering

Pro-OFSTED leader in the Independent: – Not sure the system is right if it arouses this level of antipathy…

So, allowing for risk assessment, it’s clear new OFSTED inspection regime is tougher  – and set to become tougher still

HMCI Wilshaw continues his rehabilitation process with the profession by adopting a more emollient tone:

TES on the mysteriously invisible Jesson Schools Network Grammar Schools study:

Wow – TES editorial gets close to agreeing with what I just said about OFSTED: – wonders will never cease

NAHT on OFSTED survey results and plan for School View: – NB 90% unhappy with tone /content of OFSTED announcements

Progress on US national assessment instruments linked with the Common Core:

Strong government rides roughshod over opposition; becomes weaker, offers concessions: – opposition exacts revenge

China’s blocking publication of national PISA scores; Schleicher gives an over-simplified explanation of Asian success:

Teachers and Teacher Education

The new-style NPQH will have all the in-vogue bells and whistles: – but what about the CONTENT?

Don Foster asks if about evidence that graduates with 1st class degrees make better teachers: (Col 11) – Answer No-ish

National Scholarship Fund for Teachers Round 2 Handbook: – same priorities (why not let schools decide?) Apply by 17/5.

Regional breakdown of funded training places for the national SENCO award, Sept 2009- March 2012: (Col WA371)

NUT Survey of SENCOs:

Today’s School Workforce SFR has a really handy table (12) giving headcount of secondary teachers by subject and KS:

Given the state of graduate unemployment, it would be seriously worrying if teacher training places weren’t filled:

Useful account of current US debate on performance related pay for teachers

Interesting re Teach First costs, which I hadn’t seen before, via @jpjsavage

Interestingly Lampl’s just said a. teacher effectiveness is a priority and b. TF isn’t scaleable

Education Select Committee calls for more research into qualities that support effective teaching: (Para 42)

Education Select Committee misses a trick in not connecting prospective teacher spotting to social mobility  (para 46ff)

Education Select Committee parrots the universal but rather uncritical endorsement of Teach First: (paras 64-66)

Education Select Committee Report very supportive of universities’ role in ITE:  (Para 67ff)

Education Select Committee critical of CPD – much taken by what they saw in Singapore but few new ideas: (para 92ff)

Charlotte Leslie calls for a Royal College of Teachers: – aka a new engine of bureaucracy to replace the GTC?

One comment only on teacher performance pay: it’s a blind alley and a bonanza only for economists of education:

Teachers and Performance Pay – Big Practical Obstacles to Overcome

Sadly it was only a matter of time before payment by results made the Atlantic crossing: – I repeat, it’s a blind alley

OFSTED analysis of responses to its consultation on inspection of initial teacher education:

New blog post: @beckyallen and Simon Burgess argue that teacher selection is the wrong way round:

Here: Impact of Teach First on recruitment not very clear.

Evaluation of US pilot incentivising effective teachers to transfer to low-achieving schools:

Creating a Comprehensive System for Evaluating and Supporting Effective Teaching – Darling-Hammond et al:


First e-bulletin from the Education Funding Agency:

Is Administration Leaner in Charter Schools? Michigan study says they spend relatively more on admin; less on teaching

Will Mitt Romney endorse vouchers as Republican education policy? When will they resurface here?

I believe the capital constraints on free school expansion will help push school vouchers back on to the agenda:

Chapter and verse for DfE turning down the Truss idea of a funding premium for maths A level: (Col 16)

Various Year 5 Milwaukee voucher evaluations:  and various NEPC critiques of same:

Yesterday’s Westminster Hall debate on School Funding: (Col 189WH)

Education Funding Agency e-bulletin 2 –

Central Government

The YouGov survey for NUT highlights concern at limited consultation over – and evaluation of – Government initiatives:

Wilby bemoans the loss of what used to be called the ‘checks and balances’ in the education system: He may have a point

The post that says there will be no SEN White Paper (and what there will be instead):

If you make it into Michael Gove’s office, you can enjoy a painting by one Bernard Cheese: (Col 329W)

Direct link to new NAO Cross Government Review on Implementing Transparency:

Guido and his acolytes have got hold of the Gove balloon story:

So DCMS could go to BiS who could then had over universities to DfE?

Back to the Future, or the nostalgic strand of Coalition education policy:

The conclusions and recommendations of the Public Admin Select Committee on Strategic Thinking in Government:

HEFCE has given its website a makeover:

Lib Dem proposal that education policy should be devolved to a partially elected Educational Council: Bureaucracy-heavy

DfE has published an updated ‘Myths and Facts for Schools’ document:

The Economist calls Govian reforms ‘brave’, ‘novel’, ‘risky’ and ‘bold’ –  – Yes Minister

This handy Dods supplement to The House magazine covers the No 10 operation in detail, even including contact numbers:

Here’s the Teaching Agency Business Plan for 2012-13:

The National College Business Plan for 2012/13:

Here is the 2012-15 Business plan for the Education Funding Agency, just published by DfE:

DfE has published the 2012-13 Business Plan of the Standards and Testing Agency:

14 DfE Free Schools and Academies Education Advisers’ named contracts are now on Contracts Finder (search on DfE):

Prophetic piece in the Telegraph just ahead of today’s elections:  – Interestingly omits Johnson from ‘the NI crowd’

Uncorrected evidence – Gove to Education Select Committee 24 April:

Other Reviews, Research and Reports

AERA’s 2012 Annual Meeting has an interesting theme: – You can search online for papers here:

Eurydice Report on Entrepreneurship Education in schools across Europe:

New McKinsey study on Mobile Education:

A range of new ADCS studies on the role of local authorities in school improvement:

Twigg, Devolution and Schools and Labour’s consultation document:

Direct link to new OECD study on socio-economic stratification between public and private schools: – covers vouchers

IEA Study: Policy, Practice and Readiness to Teach Primary and Secondary Mathematics in 17 Countries (excludes England)

EU (EENEE) study on equity issues in the economics of education:

This Schott Foundation Report of inequitable education in NYC should inform the London Mayor’s Education Inquiry:

Social Research Unit series of cost-benefit reports for children’s services, Investing in Children:

London Zoo Fish 4 Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

Online and Social Media

Is blogging and tweeting about academic papers worth it? A UCL academic reports:

How to set up and run a MOOC: (Part 1 of 6)

A critique of the Minerva Project to create an elite online university from an unsurprising source:

Very useful list of 50 Best Sources of Free Education Online

Willetts speech today on open access research with support from Mr Wales: – More power to their elbows on this

Willetts pe-empts his speech later on open access to research:

The full Willetts speech on open access to research: – Sound, but he’s clearly not a Twitter user!

Willetts Speech on Open Access: Analysis

Why academic publishers’ days are numbered: – How close are we to open access educational research?

The World Bank and the EU lend their weight to the drive for open access academic research:

PA claims academic publishers earn their cut by ‘filtering’, ‘signalling’ and ‘amplifying’ research. No way Jose!

Google search education – help your students become better searchers:

EdX – the Harvard/MIT partnership that will provide free online courses worldwide:

The Virtues of Blogging as Scholarly Activity @mweller in The Chronicle –

The Edublogger is conducting a survey of the educational use of blogs:

A truly excellent and comprehensive guide to running a Twitter chat:


Progress on the RNCF’s Assisted Boarding Network: – placing vulnerable children in boarding schools

I keep forgetting to commend Donald Clark’s Plan B Blog for his very useful series on educational thinkers:

Done! 50 blogs in 50 days on learning theorists -Greeks to Marxists to present Psychologists

Deloitte offers to help HE provide a personalised student support service commensurate with higher fees:

Building excellence in education For me not necessarily teacher-led but essentially collaborative, networked, inclusive

I’m having trouble deciding whether this US article on university dress codes is a parody:

What’s the average admin cost of a truancy fine recouped via courts or child benefit? Bet it’s more than value of fine:

Academic repression of Emo subculture in Saudi Universities:  – Overly boyish female students thrown in for good measure

Shocked to see the great @DrPaulKelley has left Monkseaton – Parents unhappy new Exec HT wants to drop 2 GCSEs

At my school the be upstanding ritual was a superbly disruptive opportunity to scrape furniture across the floor:

Goading the Stodgy Middle:  – Applying this to education would bring on apoplexy in many of my acquaintance

Catholic Education Service in trouble for pushing anti-gay marriage petition on pupils

Brilliant Pink News editorial on the CES and anti-gay petitions including a telling ‘roles in reverse’ scenario:

Hope CES gay marriage investigations bring greater clarity on overlap between ‘religious’ and ‘political’ teaching:

Stiff Brook/FPA letter about CES anti-gay marriage petition:  ‘this naked attempt…to induce bigotry and intolerance’

The Welsh verdict on the anti-gay marriage petition circulated by the CES:  – schools not CES in the firing line

Educating Essex Deputy Head moves school…all the way to Brentwood:

BHA: no uncontested application for new school from a faith body rejected; just 6 of 39 non-faith applications approved

Direct link to NCB’s Beyond the Cuts report estimating children’s charities face cuts of £405m over 5 years:

This report on public sector delivery is well worth a read if you can see through the symbolic merry-go-rounds:

Brief report and a topping photo marking the first meeting of Camden’s Partnership for Educational Excellence:

Government has offered Sandwell £1m if it will drop its legal challenge over BSF:

The official position on BSF judicial review out-of-court settlements:  (Col WA426)

Priority Schools Building Programme announcement due this month (May): (Col 1239W)

Ever read a post and think – at last, a clear, succinct, balanced explanation? Try this on the economy by Colin Talbot:

US study on whether schools open too early: – Ironically undertaken in Wake County (North Carolina)

Saudi Arabia is planning an ‘independent higher authority to evaluate school education’: – A kind of OFSTED plus?

This makes an interesting read for Pearson watchers and education observers alike:

2011 CERP Literature Review on 1:1 Tuition online and offline:

Michael Rosen on schools for profit models: Asks questions re funding of Pearson School Model. Anyone have the answers?

Glatter reminds us of limited school effects and downside of a ‘no excuses’ culture: – prescribes various panaceas

Estelle Morris rehashes the ‘standards not structures’ mantra (which I too hold dear):

My alert system has only just picked up Twigg’s speech to the NASUWT:

Q: What ‘s the correlation between shared ‘religious culture’ of a church school and its performance? – A. Exaggerated

Q. Do students with water do better in exams because they’re hydrated?  A. It’s probably a proxy for wider preparedness

Interesting argument for the rejection of evidence-based practice  which misunderstands the nature of national standards


May 2012

One thought on “Gifted Phoenix Twitter Round-Up: Volume 7

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