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Episode 120: An agenda of the superlatives

Well we are back after our longest summer break ever! Matthew has started a new job in a new area of Scotland and as a result has been separated from his beloved bandwidth due to temporary midweek digs. Matthew is now using a wireless broadband card and tonight was our first experiment with it.

The episode naturally started with a love-in between the two old podcasting lags who had missed each other…awww!

And finished with recollections of Graham Finnie explaining CFE and Scottish Education to Steve as an “agenda of superlatives”:

Image from Meer on Flickr under Creative Commons.


Actual content was eventually forthcoming:

The OECD and PISA bringing worrying news of literacy levels to English educators:

Boosting skills essential for tackling joblessness and improving well-being, says OECD

England’s young people near bottom of global league table for basic skills. OECD finds 16- to 24-year-olds have literacy and numeracy levels no better than those of their grandparents’ generation:

Education in England: sliding down the class
Guardian Editorial


Some new Scottish approaches to data comparison for secondaries:

A pair of Free-School disaster stories reinforcing Steve’s concerns:

Al-Madinah free school threatened with closure By James Meilke in the Guardian

London free school headteacher with no teaching qualifications quits
By Rajeev Sayal

A piece about the parts of the Finnish experience that don’t fit our governmental agenda:

Paradoxes of educational improvement: The Finnish experience, Pasi Sahlberg: Scottish Educational Review[1]

The pain of glow 2 delivery continues for Mike Russell and the Scottish Government:

Guy Claxton challenges Scots Curriculum on “primitive language”:

Episode 119: Which Authority Matthew?

Matthew begins in fine style with a senior moment when he momentarily forgets which authority our esteemed guest is a Director in. We are delighted to be joined by Margo Williamson,”Strategic Director of People” for Angus who  shares her wisdom about leadership in general.  A delightful conversation that could have gone on longer.

A couple of news items that are linked through the theme of rethinking structures and systems: plans to let schools decide holiday and term dates in England, various links to the story:

Also discussed: should schools start lessons for some pupils at 10 am?


Episode 118: “I for one welcome our new leaders”

A really stimulating and highly enjoyable conversation tonight as Matthew and Steve are joined by the enormous collective wisdom of our guests: Literacy Adviser, Bill Boyd, The Real David Cameron, and Laurie O’Donnell.  Amongst the wide ranging big picture conversation on current education policy and learning, we get to discuss the report: “By Diverse Means” link here

Bill’s blog is really worth following up; item on New York Times look at Scottish Education: link here

Some of the other item links can be found at:


Episode 117 A Few Good Podcasts

Tonight we join Radio Edutalk for a live programme.  A fascinating conversation about education podcasting and what Edutalk and insidelearning are trying to do.  The programme went out live on Edutalk, we recorded it for our podcast.

John’s blog: “World Wide Wall Display” here

Episode 116: Driller killer

The hosts of insidelearning decide they are not good with calendars and mess up again with dates -our fault.  Edutalk live is next week! Never mind, a stimulating conversation ensues about this week’s news items.

Schools Direct -changes to teacher education.  Links here and here and here.  Plus link to Scotland’s review of teacher education here

Of course the big news is the GCSE reforms: “Michael Gove unveils GCSE reforms” Richard Adams in the Guardian, BBC story: GCSEs: “Gove pledges ‘challenging’ exam changes’ by Sean Coughlan

David Wolfe’s “Can of Worms” blog

“Bring back polytechnics, argues higher education report” By Judith Burns

Emily Duggan in The Independent: “Wave goodbye to another parenting myth: Children whose mothers go out to work do not suffer academically”

Twit Triangulation netcast with Howard Rheingold


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