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Friday, September 28, 2012

How to give us the world's best education system AGAIN !

  My latest post is up on ThinkScotland. It is largely based on a previous post of mine. Please put comments on ThinkScotland.

"It’s pretty well accepted among those who study education that schools can be fixed – or at least doubled in effectiveness – by the simple expedient of firing the 10% least competent teachers and not replacing them. Just allocate their students to the other teachers. As to who are the 10% least competent, you will find by and large that everyone knows who they are."

Most Scottish political debate is on which party is most committed to reducing class sizes. This is code for employing more teachers even as school rolls fall. However, below class sizes approaching 50 there is no real evidence that size has a serious influence on outcomes. What does is having good teachers.....

I am not calling for less money to be spent on education, quite possibly the opposite, so long as it is spent providing the promised results. We can have about £1600 per pupil (including 15% increase since 2009) if we keep basic spending down to the UK level or 10% of teacher's salaries, if we make that 10% cut, or both, to invest.

Lets put that into prizes. Institute graded prizes for those getting above current average results, particularly in the real sciences. If the average pupil in the top 50% got £600 a year for passing exams, the teacher got £500 and the school got £500 I think we would see some pretty spectacular motivation. among all 3.

Prizes do work. Sometimes as much as 33-100 times better than conventional funding.

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