Manchester: betrayal and belonging in a welcoming city

Kathryn Riley

One of my favourite photographs shows two handsome women, elegantly dressed in black, with mantillas draped over their heads. They’re talking animatedly to a smiling male figure dressed in white. He’s wearing a skull cap. A sense of warmth and ease radiates from the photograph. The three figures are clearly enjoying their conversation.

Visitors are drawn to this picture. ‘It’s the Pope,’ they say, ‘Pope John Paul’. ‘It’s the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Manchester’, I retort. ‘My Aunty Winnie and my Mum, Agnes´. And the Pope, of course. ‘It’s because of them’ I explain, ‘that the Pope came to Manchester in 1982.’ If you look at the picture carefully (yes, Aunty Winnie was the Lord Mayor), you can see that it would have been hard for the Pope to resist the petition of these two outgoing Mancunians – Agnes and Winnie, Winnie and Agnes – Manchester’s formidable delegation to Rome.

Like so many others, my family had left their distant homes and travelled to Manchester to find a new place for themselves. As a child of the Irish and Jewish Read more ›

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Posted in Leadership and management, Social sciences and social policy

Priorities for a new Government: advice from our academics part 3 – school leadership, ICT and educational psychologists

The IOE blog has asked colleagues from across the Institute what’s at the top of their wish list. We are publishing their replies during the run-up to the election. 

School leaders and leadership   

The new Secretary of State faces a potentially combustible set of issues in England, especially if they are a Conservative charged with introducing more grammar schools. The new funding formula, piled onto the tight funding situation already facing many schools, will also occupy the headlines. Behind these issues sit some fundamental questions about where the system is heading – Local Authorities have been decimated since 2010, but the new model of Regional Schools Commissioners is far from established and less than half of schools are yet academies.

The emerging Multi-Academy Trusts are facing serious challenges, with limited evidence of impact overall and a continuing stream of bad news stories about the Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, ICT in education, Leadership and management, Special educational needs and psychology

Cyber attack: 7 tips to help you vanquish the Shadow Brokers

Rose Luckin. 

Earlier this year I blogged about how our education system needs to be an important part of our defenses against a growing risk of cyber attack. I highlighted the fact that we all need to understand enough about computers and the internet to ensure that we don’t leave the virtual door open to our private property for anyone who wants to come along and misuse it. We can’t merely rely on our software to protect us from problems, because there is a small army of hackers who will always be trying to exploit any weaknesses in our software systems.

As a society we have a responsibility to provide people with the knowledge and understanding to protect themselves, and as individuals we must take responsibility for doing our bit to protect ourselves and our families, because no system will ever be completely bullet proof.

The ransomware behind the cyberattack that caused cancelled hospital operations, Read more ›

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Posted in ICT in education

Call for regulation on securing children’s data in personalised reading

While children’s reading experience is being transformed with digital reading formats, personalised and interactive books allowing for more personalisation, there are risks around the data this releases. Natalia Kucirkova and Rosie Flewitt identify four main areas of concern and call for regulation. Natalia is Senior Research Associate, and Rosie is Reader in Early Communication and Learning, both at University College London, Institute of Education. This post is republished from the LSE blog.

Digital reading formats mean a child’s reading experience can be ‘personalised’ at many levels. Their name can be added into a popular fairy tale, or they can even add their own drawings to a story, make their own voice-overs or replace the main characters’ names with their own (e.g. Mr Glue Stories). Personalised books are now available as interactive digital books downloadable on touchscreens (e.g. Put Me In The Story®) as well as classic printed books (e.g. Lost My Name). This can make reading more enjoyable for young children, and the personalised data that is generated can be used to create adaptive algorithms to match texts to each child’s reading level, language scores or genre preferences (see the iRead project).

Key concerns

On 16 March 2017 we hosted a meeting with some of the UK’s key players in the children’s app and print publishing industry, international researchers and representatives from Book Trust and National Literacy Trust… Read the full post here

[Header image credit: B. Flickinger, CC BY 2.0_08] Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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Posted in ICT in education, Language and literacy

Priorities for a new government: advice from our academics part 2


The IOE blog has asked colleagues from across the Institute what’s at the top of their wish list. We are publishing their replies during the run-up to the election.

Primary Education

The new government should take a new approach to primary education that sees this stage as a unique time in children’s lives. This will require them to look again at the purposes of primary education.

The current statutory assessment system is not fit for assessing children’s learning and needs radical change. The government should:

  • Move to national sampling.
  • Abolish the current SPAG test and phonics screening test and replace with more appropriate measures.

When it comes to the National Curriculum, the government should: Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Evidence-based policy, Further higher and lifelong education, Language and literacy, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment
This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.


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