Gifted Phoenix Twitter Round-Up: Volume 9


Here is my ninth monthly review of @GiftedPhoenix Twitter activity, covering the period from 8 June to 13 July 2012 inclusive.

My Twitter feed is almost exclusively dedicated to gifted education, wider English education policy and associated topics. These reviews provide a fairly comprehensive record, including virtually every Tweet that contains a link to an online resource. Sorry if any of the links are now broken.

The record includes three sections:

  • 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, concerned almost exclusively with developments in England and divided into several thematic subsections. There is some material of interest to gifted educators but this section also extends into wider areas of domestic education policy.

This is almost entirely my own work, though I have included a few modified tweets and retweets of originals sent by others. Addresses and hashtags have been removed unless they are integral to the tweet.

The pictorial interludes on this occasion are miscellaneous mystery landscapes – I’ll leave you to guess where they are!


Gifted Education Worldwide

Check out our shiny new #gtchat transcripts at

World Council Newsletter June 2012: Welcome interest in economics of gifted education

Registration open WCGTC 2013 conference in Auckland:  – NZ$ 999 (£500) is the earlybird rate for non-members

Gifted Resources July newsletter can be read online at



Storify transcript of US NAGC chat on informal assessment of gifted children:

NAGC chat Transcript: Preventing & Reversing Underachievement in Gifted

Feature on Gatton Academy:

Will Ohio introduce 16 regional charter schools for gifted learners?

Ohio decides not to proceed with those 16 regional charters for #gifted learners:

More – this time from Jay Matthews – about admissions to Thomas Jefferson HS (the US’s ‘most selective high school’):

Guiding gifted students – the Speyer Legacy School in Manhattan NY:

EdWeek article on CTY’s new Rural Connections programme for rural gifted learners:

Carolyn Callahan has again given supportive evidence in the Elgin gifted education case:

Historical Perspectives: The Javits Act 1988-2011

A Roeper retrospective for NZGAW:

Homeschooling Gifted Children in British Colombia Part 1

Homeschooling Gifted Children in British Columbia Part 2

Executive Committee of the World Council will visit international HQ at WKU

Thorough article on the current state of US gifted education:

Interesting insight into gifted and talented school choice, US style:



Evidence of Malaysia’s Permata Pintar gifted programme’s links to Mawhiba in Saudi Arabia:

HK Academy’s latest edition of its Aspire magazine: (NB Download seems a bit dodgy)

A brief feature on Bahrain’s Gifted Students’ Centre as the education minister visits:

The Filipino Education Department is providing extra support for the country’s mathematically gifted students

Preview of the 12th Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness



Final Report form the Victoria Government (Aus) Inquiry Into the Education of Gifted and Talented Students:

Press coverage of the damning Victoria (Aus) Government Report into gifted education  and

The speaker line-up at next week’s Australian national conference on gifted education:

New Zealand’s Labour Party presses the Government for greater support for gifted learners:

NZGAW starts today! Take a look at their blog tour here —>

Prime Minister Key gives NZ Gifted Awareness Week a hand  – literally!  What’s  that all about then?

New Zealand’s Green Party attempts redefinition of its gifted education policy to embrace all children #fail:

Meanwhile ACT’s spokesperson says NZ’s charter school pilot has potential to benefit gifted learners #fail:

Louise Tapper suggests NZ schools need to focus more on a conceptual framework for gifted education:

My contribution to NZGAW Where is New Zealand’s Excellence Gap? part 1  part 2

NZ Associate Minister Sharples confirms my point. Singles out Maori Pasifika SEN but not disadvantaged gifted learners

Do NZ gifted educators fear league tables, or league tables that don’t recognise gifted performance?



Modificaciones en el contenido curricular para los mas capaces

Modificaciones curriculares en los procesos para los mas capaces

Modificaciones curriculares en el ambiente de aprendizaje

Modificaciones en los productos para los alumnus mas capaces

El Optimal Match. Sabes que es?

El DT-PI, compaanero de viaje del Optimal match. Una version simplificada

DT-PI Un giro copernicano para la escuela

La investigacion al alcance de la mano: publicaciones en abierto, un ejemplo de servicio a la sociedad

Gracias por estos 6 meses, por esta Aventura conjunta que… ¡solo acabamos de empezar!

Researchers concerned about gifted learners in Norway:

Bade danske og svenske skolemyndigheter vil vite mer om evnerike elever:



GT Voice Bulletin – June 2012

Now we’ll have a great comparator for the Sutton Trust report on UK gifted education, if it ever appears!

Given Singapore’s influence on English education policy, will we see a gifted education programme like this?

Direct link to new and critical Estyn Report ‘Supporting More Able and Talented Pupils in Secondary Schools’:

‘On this side of the House we believe in stretching the most able students’ Twigg:

GT Voice Board meeting today. Summary of outcomes to follow on

GT Voice will be holding Government to a: ‘curriculum framework which supports and stretches every child’:  (col 181)

GTVoice Board agreed yesterday to plan towards a sequence of events and activities in Oct 2012. Details to follow on

At GT Voice Board meeting yesterday we developed an outline strategy for AY2012/13. More details to follow on

Extended feature on the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians:

Draft GT Voice Policy Statement on the National Curriculum Review

Delighted that @TheIFS has now made the Jerrim Excellence Gap study freely available:

I’m not sure who to blame most, Hannah Richardson for writing this garbage or John Bangs for his provocative quotes:

NACE’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31 August 2011:

8 months late + no consultation but here at last is Sutton Trust’s report on Educating the Highly Able

Sutton Trust report recommends focus solely on ability in school subjects Advantages and disadvantages to that

Sutton Trust said would be no follow-up to Highly Able report but are calling for project proposals by 30/9:

GT Voice will of course be undertaking a full analysis of and response to the Sutton Trust report on highly able:

Logging this NUT response to Sutton Trust Highly Able report: – though rather vacuous

NASUWT on Sutton Trust ‘This daily denigration of our education system by one self-promoting organisation after another’

Coverage of Highly Able report from BBC:  Mail:  Telegraph:

Sutton Trust Highly Able Report fails to contextualise proposals in latest NC review/qualifications thinking

Morning Star’s take on Sutton Trust Highly Able study:  – FSM incidence in G&T population is better than FSM attainment

Here’s my new Post analysing the Sutton Trust Report ‘Educating the Highly Able’:  and finding it sadly wanting

Warwick Mansell on the Sutton Trust’s ‘Highly Able Learners’ Report:

Imagine the Olympic Games is a competition for the academically gifted then re-read this Observer editorial:

To the Lighthouse Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

Gifted Education Thematic



Twice Exceptional Newsletter June 14 2012:

Twice-exceptional Newsletter 18 June 2012:


Creativity and Innovation

Is there a creativity crisis?  Doubt it

Evidence that there is a creativity crisis after all, at least in the US and Canada:

Interesting book proposal outlined here: Creatively Gifted Students Are Not Like Other Gifted Students:

On the relationship between creativity and sex:

Visual Spatial Learners and Creativity:

The complex relationship between pride and creative achievement:  – another fascinating article by @sbkaufman


Intelligence and Neuroscience

Big NYT feature on ‘The Risky Rise of the Good Grade Pill’:  – Scary

Cognitive neuroscience is in disarray:

Fascinating: Twins and the Question of Inherited IQ

Regional variations in the relative impact of nature and nurture:

Is General Intelligence Compatible with Evolutionary Psychology?

Prodigies have off the scale working memory. They might be autistic:

Willingham draws attention to a new study suggesting fluid intelligence is not trainable:

Problems with measuring very high IQ:


Commentary and Research

A serious case of deficit model thinking in gifted education:  – An affliction? That’s OTT

Support for minority ethnic gifted learners:  – latest from WeAreGifted2 Blog

Sue Breen from the NZGAW Blog Tour on the essential characteristics of a teacher of gifted students:

Latest post from the WCGTC 2013 Conference Blog – also out of New Zealand –

And completing the triumvirate of NZ posts: Parents of Gifted 3: Promote Sensible Risk-Taking  from Sonia White

4th offering from New Zealand today: Needs versus Merit in Selection for Gifted Programmes’ by @MaryStGeorge

Research study on self-concept of high ability students:  and Duke TIP summary of same:

@MaryStGeorge on Opt-in special interest groups for gifted and other learners:  – Part of the NZGAW blog tour

New blog post: The Value of Talent Search

Strategies for Working With Gifted Kids in Early Childhood

On the International Year of Giftedness & Creativity 2013

Great Stuff! 5 Wonderings on Gifted Education

Lehrer on Why Smart People are Stupid:

A second Blogpost: InnReach writes again: On Gifted nests and Birds of a Feather

Spatial skills are trainable (Willingham summary):

‘Persistent Poverty and Children’s Cognitive Development: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study

CYP Now article on that Poverty and Cognitive Development study I just tweeted (their link doesn’t work):

Part 3 of the Belle Wallace series: Turning Underachievement into Achievement:

On Giftedness and National Parenting Gifted Children Week-2012- July 13-21st

Interesting paper: Can Empathy for Gifted Students Be Nurtured in Teachers?

Not that Gifted:

Do we know how to teach highly able learners?

Is giftedness a designer label?

Interesting new paper on ability tracking available from this page (Session A1):

Gifted Chatter: 4. Teach Your Gifted and Talented Teens to Prioritise

Unwrapping Gifted: A Day in the Life

NZGAW BlogTour post from the UK, on motivation:

What do you know about learners’ reflections?  All comments valued

@MaryStGeorge on the significance and value of gifted education policies:

Where are all the gifted adults?

Gifted Chatter: 5. Have High Expectations of Your Gifted and Talented Teen

Gifted Adolescents and Alcohol:  from Duke TIP Digest of gifted Research:

Direct link to Renzulli’s Re-Examining Role of Gifted Education and Talent Development courtesy of @sbkaufman

Why Borland disagrees with Subotnik et al that ‘Eminence should be the goal of gifted education’:

NZGAW BlogTour – Creating an online PLN in gifted education –

InnReach writes again: On Giftedness & a close encounter with (mis) fortune…

A “Yes, but…” post about gifted kids from Rebecca in the UK:

The White Elephant in the Room: Gifted Education – A Real Gift, or an Empty Box?

New post at GPS, “Who Should Teach Gifted Education?”

Effective support for gifted black children:

The Drama of the Gifted Child:

More on the early identification of giftedness

I just like this post – about gifted children becoming gifted adults:

A study that claims to be the first to link measured genes to educational attainment:

The one percent that really matter: brains rather than billions

Response to Borland from Subotnik et al:  – not sure that entirely clears up objections to their focus on adult eminence

Exploring Alternative Strategies for Counselling Gifted Adolescent Males:

Another post from the ‘all kids are gifted’ camp: – at least he wants to eliminate all educational labels

Gifted children once again victims of political correctness.

Using Google+ Hangouts in the gifted ed classroom:

Gifted education is not therapeutic:

Great Rolling Stone Review of ‘Twilight of the Elites’: – Recognise the UK parallels? Me too

A defence of gifted school magnet programmes versus distributed enrichment classes in US:

A redoubtable Kiwi commentator exposes the downside of the ‘all children are gifted’ philosophy:

Part 4 of the continuing Belle Wallace series, featuring TASC this time round:

Almost Dusk Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

Related Educational Issues


Fair Access to HE

BIS published response to HE WP consultation and Advocate for Access report yesterday:

How does Oxford’s package for disadvantaged Scots students compare with its offer to their English peers?

I’m sure Mr Bols will talk sense about HE admissions, but the Telegraph version suggests something more eponymous:

Gove and Wilshaw should state explicitly whether they support agreed government policy on contextualised HE admissions

Steven Schwarz speech on social mobility and fair access to HE:

Lords Oral PQ on university applications: Hill doesn’t mention contexualised admissions; does mention Dux:  (Col 587)

Direct link to critical Formative Evaluation of National Scholarship Programme referenced in today’s Higher

Contextual data in admissions – It’s the evidence, stupid:

OFFA’s Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12:  – Lots of pictures, not much writing

The continuing stand-off over contextual admissions:  Time to find the compromise position?

Peter Scott is quite wrong to suggest all ABB students are ‘gilded youth’ in independent schools ‘and their hangers-on’

Direct link to OFFA/HEFCE Access Agreement and WP Monitoring Report 2010/11:

OFFA says fair access to Oxbridge stalled in 2010/11:  – Suggests FSM to Oxbridge won’t exceed 50 (was 45)

The full UCAS report on 2012 FT HE applications:

Most inevitable climbdown of the year: Ministers scrap latest attempt to introduce post qualification admissions to HE:

Full details of how Oxford’s Moritz Scholarships will work: – Now we need to improve the FSM admission rate


Social Mobility

@Director_IOE on the many faces of social mobility (and the schism in Coalition policy):

Roger Brown lays into the Government’s social mobility policy:

The Commons Library Standard Note on Oxbridge Elitism referenced in today’s Higher:

Thanks. Since I wrote, new social mobility indicators have included assessment of independent/state gap:

No surprise there then – Milburn to continue as social mobility tsar in new guise:

Hansard record of yesterday’s Westminster Hall debate on social mobility: (Col 139WH)

Here’s the full IFS Social Mobility special edition:

Inspiring the Future website:  – where you can register to give career talks in schools

Conor Ryan starting as Director of Research and Communications at the Sutton Trust in September.

Education Select Committee has a pre-appointment hearing with Alan Milburn a week today:

Social policies could spark class war, says Alan Milburn

US article by Mike Petrilli: Can Schools Spur Social Mobility?

Ironically and amazingly, the proposals in Sutton Trust Report on Highly Able Learners would REDUCE social mobility:

The Moritz scholarships offer the basis of a longitudinal study of the impact of tuition fees on social mobility:


Narrowing Achievement Gaps

Yesterday’s commons debate on free school meals in colleges:  (Col 71WH) Government will ‘keep the matter under review’

OFSTED to launch ‘major inquiry’ plus panel today on narrowing the gap:  – thought they were supposed to inspect schools

OFSTED Press Notice on review of access and achievement announced today:  plus Wilshaw speech:

How private tuition is widening the social divide:

Toynbee needs to understand that ‘more able’ and ‘disadvantaged’ are not mutually exclusive:

New Education Endowment Fund awards includes mindset work in Portsmouth and philosophy for children via SAPERE

Further details of the £10m literacy catch-up programme to be administered by the EEF: – back to the future

546 ex FSM-eligible students achieved 3 A*/A grades at A level in 2011 (4.1% against 10.6% of non-FSM):  (Col 35W)

PQ discussing the various cost estimates of extending FSM entitlement to post-16 sector: (Col 269W)



Naive pro-selection leader from the Independent:  – so depressing that this keeps on coming back like a bad penny

I doubt anyone knows how many non grammar schools now operate grammar streams:  but numbers are increasing

Comments on this? Selective school experience? I certainly recognise and value that model



First of 6 possible enforced primary academies in Stoke applies for Foundation Trust status:

Will there be a Downhills endgame?

DFE research report on KS4 attainment in academies in 2011: – some nuggets here for supporters and critics alike

Education Funding Agency is currently processing 13 complaints about academies (and 10 more on admissions): (Col 29W)

Bell reckons a future Labour Government won’t return academies and free schools to the fold: There are other options…

Start of a new naming and shaming strategy for LAs harbouring primary school targets for academisation?


Free Schools

Updated Commons Library Standard Note on free schools:

Jan 2012 census data shows FSM at 9.0% and 8.4% in primary and secondary free schools. National figures 19.2% and 16%:

Beccles Free School story is a classic example of ‘the biter bit’

This is the ICO ruling on the BHA’s request for free school information

When you think about it, it is fundamentally unreasonable to maintain secrecy over proposals to establish a new school:

Cloak and dagger secrecy over free school proposals is now seriously undermining the policy operation; needs reversing:

Around a third of 2013 free school bids approved – incidence in deprived communities isn’t the strongest


Independent Schools

Fiona Millar critiques the Sutton Trust Open Access Scheme:  – I did a much better job here:

Lampl continues to back Open Access: against all evidence that it’s a dead duck, less likely than a pig to fly

Lords Oral PQ on Sutton Trust Open Access reinforces what I said about it earlier:  (Col 1413)

It would though cost far less to let old direct grant GS rejoin state system than subsidise their fees a la Open Access

Government wants independent schools to ‘sponsor’ academies; the schools want Government to meet the cost. Deadlock:

Vibrancy Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix

National Curriculum Review

No NC Review previews this AM, but DfE has ‘updated’ its NC review pages (without significantly changing the content):

Curiously muted pre-announcement of NC review consultation. First drip of a drip-drip strategy or is that all there is?

Yes. Surely ditching levels would be the top story. And there’s all these cross-cutting issues (para 18)

Latest National Curriculum Review update:  – You’ll search in vain for anything about able pupils’ progression

NUT might equally have questioned the fit between ‘ready to progress’ and gifted pupils’ needs:

National Curriculum Review FAQs say the removal of NC levels applies to both primary and secondary phases:

So both a. grading primary attainment and b. able pupils’ progression are STILL not resolved in NC Review?:

Is the removal of NC levels ignored because it doesn’t fit the prevalent back to basics and traditional values theme?

Good background to primary MFL:  In 2010/2011 many primary mfl advisers lost their jobs.

Labour’s response to draft NC proposals: ‘we have to ensure there is a way of measuring progress during primary school’

Campaign for Science and Engineering is left ‘bemused’ by draft primary NC Programme of Study:

Apparently we now face a national crisis in maths teaching:   – Not sure I remember a time when we didn’t…

Andrew Pollard has broken ranks with the rest of the NC Review Expert Panel:  Ministers are reportedly fixated on Hirsh

Gove’s response to idea that all pupils must have ‘grasped core content before class moves on’ is cryptic:

Given loss of NC levels at least 3 of DfE’s key impact indicators will no longer be usable beyond 2013:

Given loss of NC levels, one of the Government’s new key social mobility indicators is already out of date

Bit of a tension between @mikebakeredhack ‘s latest –  – and his Trusteeship at @VilliersParkEdu

Can’t believe anyone with any knowledge who read Ch8 of the Expert Panel Report could find it ‘thoughtful and balanced’

Devastating critique from Andrew Pollard – distancing of Expert Panel from curriculum announcements

BERA publishes the background papers illustrating the schism within the National Curriculum Review Expert Panel:

We now have all 3 NC Review Expert Panel Members – Pollard, James and Wiliam – contesting Oates’ isolated position:

My new post: Removal of National Curriculum Levels and the Implications for Able Pupils’ Progression

NAHT’s guide to this week’s NC Review announcement:  (and mine in case you missed it:

IoE critiques the Frankestein approach to National Curriculum reform: (though I’d take issue with the PISA reference)

Nick Gibb on National Curriculum reform:  ‘important that we can measure progress and stretch the brightest’

ACME writes to M Gove re concerns about national curriculum review process:

FoIs already going in over who’s been involved in the National Curriculum Review:

Fancy crowdsourcing a new National Curriculum assessment and reporting model? Here’s an Aunt Sally to get us started

Check out how Dearing handled NC levels:  (7.1) and compare with the shoddy Ch8 of Expert Panel Report

Yes me too. Wiliam is critical of Dearing here  but his view isn’t fully adopted by the EP in Ch8 either

Gove dismissive of NC Expert Panel ‘A few professors and some individuals seeking to curry favour…’:  (Col 603)

Sounds like there won’t be a list of recommended authors accompanying the English programme of study:  (Col 601)

More bothered by reported abolition of secondary National Curriculum than shift to 2-tier exams:   – a retrograde step

A list of people consulted before draft primary PoS were produced will be published shortly says Lord Hill:

Yesterday’s Lords Oral PQ on School Curriculum which promises more details of draft PoS authors:  (Col 1766)

Gove seems to be backtracking somewhat on abolition of secondary National Curriculum; refers to ‘alignment’ instead:

I thought it was high time someone set out the implications of abolishing the secondary National Curriculum:

You get ‘a discredited curriculum and examination system’ by talking them down, for primarily political purposes:

Warwick Mansell on ‘England’s increasingly bizarre – and stunningly untransparent – national curriculum review process’

Time for a U-turn on abolition of secondary National Curriculum (The Mail couldn’t have got that bit of the leak wrong)

This new idea of a skeleton secondary National Curriculum leaves outstanding the huge issue of progression across KS1-4

SSAT’s Primary Headteacher Steering Group seems to have a special inside track on NC Review consultation: – Fair?

Here’s DfE’s list of people consulted on the primary National Curriculum programmes of study:

My analysis of last Friday’s National Curriculum abolition U turn is in the 2nd postscript to this Blog Post:

Weirdest bit of that secondary NC abolition U turn story is notion it’ll have only a 4 year shelf-life  (2nd postscript)

IPPR view on plans for a skeletal secondary national curriculum, from @jp_clifton

In TES Mary Bousted pulls no punches over the draft programmes of study for the primary national curriculum:

Here is DfE consultation page on KS2 MFL: – Impact assessment confirms no compulsory MFL at KS4

Out of interest, is anyone comparing the draft NC PoS with the Common Core State Standards?

Loughton on PE, including NC PoS: Looks like we could be about to see a mini-industry in new curricular kitemarks


Other Curriculum and Pedagogy

The Accord Coalition has renewed its call for RE to be part of the National Curriculum:

RE Council Survey and first meeting of All Party Group for RE mark continued pressure to defend the subject’s status:

Gibb speech to the ACME conference:  – nothing new that I can see

The Australian Curriculum Authority has several drafts out for consultation currently. Compare and contrast here:

Direct link to Eurydice Report on Citizenship Education in Europe:

Michael Rosen asks some pointy questions about phonics profits. Can anyone help him answer them?

The ACME paper on Increasing Provision and Participation in Post-16 Maths, referenced in yesterday’s Gibb speech:


Replacement for GCSE

How much will the switch back to a 2-tier exam system cost? Surely there were costings in that ‘leaked’ paper:

I wonder if the shift to 2-tier exams will incorporate the Singapore ‘go straight to A level’ idea floated last year:

Reading between the lines of this end of GCSE announcement, it’s clear that Singapore’s been a big influence:

Will the ideas from Gove’s secondary brainstorm session really raise standards for all?

Useful round-up of #govelevel issues:

If this new exam wheeze is postponed until after next Election what happens to secondary National Curriculum meantime?

I realise of course that DfE has to make up the answer to my previous question before a consultation paper can issue!

Am I the only one vaguely surprised that we now seem to be contemplating new high stakes end of KS3 tests?

Hansard record of yesterday evening’s debate on GCSEs – two tier or not:

@jeevanvasagar references ‘Gove’s aides’ on a simpler ‘stepping stone’ exam here:

Just came across this amazingly prophetic 2010 article on IGCSE by @mikebakeredhack:  Useful context for current debate

Yes. In Singapore pupils can take N level after 4 years then O level after a further year of study see:

The moral of the story is: don’t leak stories about complex education reforms to editors who don’t understand them:

GiftedPhoenix: Disappointing TES Editorial:  It’s still unclear how this new approach is an improvement on the status quo…

Would be nice to know more about why Sevenoaks is rejecting IGCSE except for the core subjects  Are they no good either?

Isn’t there a hair’s breadth between ‘National Syllabus’ and ‘National Curriculum’? Preferable to single board/exam:

Ofqual cautiously distancing itself from single exam boards and a 2014 timetable for replacing GCSEs?

Rather odd logic in this latest Gove speech:  ‘There’s already a ‘vale of tiers’ so it matters not if I perpetuate it’?

TES says pupils will be nationally ranked on basis of their scores in new-style O levels:

This TES story highlights the huge risks in simultaneous multi-layered exam reform  Risk register will go off the scale

Lords PQ reply says Government plans single tier exams for all abilities at age 16  (Col WA187) Not sure that’s feasible

Strong Ofqual hints of recalibration of GCSE A*/A grades. Must support progress measures from level-free KS2 assessment

Missed this reference to a ‘source’ saying that there will likely be numerical grades for the ‘new-style O level’


Other Assessment and Qualifications

Interesting dataset: Percentage of low achievers by country in reading, maths, science across PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS:

Here’s the comparable dataset for percentage at highest-performing levels by country across PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS:

Some weekend reading; OECD data piece around big cities and impact on education

@CurriculumFdn Actually PISA 2009 shows we have fewer high achievers than countries that lead PISA rankings:

Where does Schleicher claim that our ‘top 20%’ perform as well as the top 20% anywhere else? He’s wrong!

BBC’s review of the new Jerrim Excellence Gap study:

Handy PISA Level 5/6 data visualisation, courtesy of the Guardian:

OFQUAL consultation later will reportedly ask whether AS level should be scrapped:

Direct link to OFQUAL’s A level reform consultation document just released:

Three options in Ofqual consultation on future of AS level:  (para 54)

If AS levels are scrapped, that removes an option for post early entry GCSE progression by gifted students:

How will scrapping AS exams improve essay writing skills?

It’s not a. politically viable or b. desirable to drop all primary external assessment:  We need to find the middle way

NATE goes all confrontational and hyperbolic –  – reminds me of the good old days

How L6 of the new KS2 grammar punctuation and spelling test will be pitched (DfE FAQ):

Highly biased BBC report on KS2 L6 tests which illustrates everything wrong with gifted education reportage:

I find the Education Select Committee Report on Exams compelling, especially over national syllabuses v single boards:

Select Committee urges review of attainment and progression measures just as National Curriculum levels abolished:

As ‘the orotund Mr Gove’ moves bell curve rightwards, he mustn’t neglect needs of those already at the right extreme

Looks increasingly as though DfE is considering KS2-4 progression based on percentiles:  Are deciles too blunt a tool?

The 2012 KS2 Level threshold tables and – shortly – age standardised scores:

Exam results judgement day looms: I’m getting my whinge in early. Is it all a house of cards?

One Day Nearer the End of Our Holiday Courtesy of Gifted Phoenix


HMCI states unequivocally that every new inspection framework will increase the level of expectation on schools:

Ofsted first quarter stats are out. Half of schools grade 3/4  News report here:

Here’s a better analysis of Ofsted data courtesy of @xtophercook:

OFSTED’s Handbook for the Inspection of Schools 2012:  – reference to ‘highest attainers’ but not ‘gifted’

Ofsted September 2012 Grade descriptors: Achievement of pupils at the school

There is an argument that outstanding headteachers don’t make the best HM(C)I:

Updated OFSTED inspection data suggests the new framework is even more punitive than first thought:

DfE’s Open Data Strategy direct link:  – Opening up access to NPD is due ‘Summer 2012’ – nothing more precise

There a FoI on the weekend’s DfE/Rewired Appathon from an organisation called Privacy International:


Teachers and Teacher Education

Gove’s  teacher training speech, just given, at the National College Conference today:

Neat and pointed NUT response to the London schools section of yesterday’s teacher training speech from Gove:

DfE Press Notice on the teacher training reforms/announced/confirmed today:

Schools Direct Guide 2013-14:  – schools must register interest in applying for places by 7 Sept, so get your skates on!

Why do bursaried Schools Direct trainees get extra in schools with 25%+ FSM while for salaried trainees it’s 35%+ FSM?

DfE is seeking EoIs in conducting a 2013 Teacher Workload Survey:  – deadline 2 July

Teach First Impact Report: – Glad to read they’re commissioning fresh research of their impact on attainment

I see the Comino Foundation is now supporting Teach First:  and that James Westhead is one of the Foundation’s trustees



It’s an open secret that Spending Review 2013 is under way:  – Important context for all education policy intentions

Details of further changes to school funding arrangements for 2013-14 including shift to 6 IDACI bands:

TES on 6th form funding and whether they’ll be able to afford more than 3 A levels per student:


Central Government

DfE needs a new chair for its Bureaucracy Reference Group:  – was there too much paperwork for the old one?

Higher ambitions for higher education: @ChukaUmunna just finished at IPPR – read his speech:

Labour’s continuing education policy malaise:  – btw what came of cross-party consensus on national curriculum reform?

I don’t suppose one can double up as Expert Behaviour Adviser and Chief Exec of the Teaching Agency:

Elizabeth Truss sends Stephen Twigg on an extended world tour:  – Apparently Poland is the new Mecca for educationalists

Speaker Bercow deigns to correct Gove’s English during oral PQs:  (Col 593)

Adonis offers 3 lessons: maintain an active state, set targets and keep innovating –

Impending change of Comms Director at DfE:

Twigg has been reading Ken Robinson on creativity: – Land&Jarman’s study is suspect

This Fortnightly Review poster doesn’t think much of Twigg’s new-found interest in creativity:

Full list of the 72 consultation documents DfE has published since May 2010:  (Col 809W)

Hang on! This Twiggian ‘standards not structures’ mantra doesn’t fit at all with Squaddie Schools, does it?


Other Research, Reviews and Reports

Direct link to CBI Education and Skills Survey 2012:

CBI’s Press Notice on today’s Skills Survey:

Direct link to the Finch Report on open access to research:

Cabinet Office paper – Test, Learn, Adapt – Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials

Direct link to the European Commission Survey of Language Competences:

Portfolio DfE Research Report on what we know about pupil behaviour:

Final report from Ministerial Advisory Group on action research into evolving role of LA in education:

Critical Australian NAO report on its National Partnership Agreement strategy to support literacy and numeracy:

DFE Research Report: Evaluation of City Challenge:  – Broadly positive but not entirely so

DFE Research Report: The Impact of Sure Start Local Programmes on 7 year-olds and their families:

New DFE Evaluation Report on the Gaining Ground Strategy 2009-11:

Direct link to Boys’ Reading Commission Report:  – not much here about able boy readers

Government response to consultation on 16-19 study programmes:

New DfE Equality Impact Assessment on Study Programmes for 16-19 year-olds:

NAEP’s National Indian Education Study 2011:  – no significant improvement at advanced level

The Center for American Progress survey report which found extensive under-challenge in US schools:

Insightful post on the future of educational research:

I haven’t got time to read The Gobal Innovation index 2012 but here it is if you want to: (UK ranks 5th amazingly)


Online and Social Media

How will MOOCs make money?

GiftedPhoenix: Looking forward to ‘contestable policy-making’ and use of new media Twitter?) to widen access to policy debates:  (p15)

Nice BBC piece on edX:  gifted learners will be huge consumers of online HE

Don’t think I’ve so far linked to new Cabinet Office guidance on social media use by civil servants:

Why the internet is integral to education (a powerful riposte to that recent speech by the chair of the GDST):



The invitation to tender for the National Citizen Service 2013 is now live:

Plans to join up National Citizen Service with other programmes to create a ‘social action journey’ from age 10-20:

Norwich to get a 2nd university (and Bishop Grosseteste to win prize for the university with the most ridiculous name):

The path of least resistance – @markmleach on what yesterday tells us about the next step for HE reforms:

CPAG: Ending Child Poverty by 20202: Progress Made and Lessons Learned:

Yesterday’s DfE/DWP Report on progress towards the 2010 child poverty target:  – like pushing an elephant upstairs

Updated DfE Need to Know Timeline for Heads and Governors:

Yesterday’s Lords Debate on schools’ contribution to well-being and personal/social needs:  (Col 1459)

DfE is inviting EoIs in an evaluation of early education in England: – deadline 29 June

We may still need local authorities, but maybe not over 150 of them to oversee school improvement?:

Can’t see how Johnson can grab more powers over London education without a team (aka bureaucracy) to undertake them:

I’ve always thought referencing education’s moral purpose appears rather self-congratulatory: – a phrase to avoid imho

SSAT awards certificates to top 10% of member schools on %age of pupils achieving 5+ GCSE A*/A incl Eng + Ma

DfE ITT for proposals to support a military ethos in schools:  – Mysteriously I can’t track a reference on DfE website

Apparently Cameron announced cadet force expansion plans yesterday. Here are more details:

Labour’s reinventing specialist schools, military this time  This is the liquorice allsorts approach to education reform

The Murphy/Twigg explanation of their new-found interest in Services Schooling: – not even a 2nd order issue, surely

Apparently those Squaddie Schools are going to sort out social mobility: Of course they are!

Service Schools: the New Borstals: – doesn’t pull any punches

Extensive autobiographical post from Michael Rosen on schools in the 1950s:

Not another review of school food! – I put standards ahead of structures and structures ahead of lunchtimes!

BBC summary of the Evaluation of City Challenges recently published by DfE:  – accentuates the positive

Positive evaluation of BSF released after FoI: – rather meaningless now

TES article on Singapore’s education system:

According to TES, Schools Network management buy-out has left 1000 creditors out of pocket, including many schools:

Not to labour the point, a London Mayoral Middle Tier would be educational bureaucracy incarnate:

SFR on SEN in England January 2012:



July 2012


One thought on “Gifted Phoenix Twitter Round-Up: Volume 9

  1. Thorough as usual; stunning photos; greatly appreciate all references to Global #gtchat powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. We look forward to continued collaboration!

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