Ferrotype

£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

The Glacial Age

Most people think of the coming Age of Austerity, but those cheery people in the Audit Commission prefer to prepare us for a Glacial Age.

The Audit Commission knows that “all public bodies face a difficult and testing future” , that after the election financial resources could fall sharply, and  for some the strains this imposes could be too intense.In their experience, problems with money can be a symbol of wider difficulties

So they look at what organisations can do to help themselves prepare for the Glacial Age.

Continue reading

Advertisements

February 9, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , | Leave a comment

The smiley face of stats

Channel 4 is investing in a way of making Ofsted reports easy to understand by parents.

Report Card will “bring together multiple data sets to provide a newly accessible way of researching and comparing schools. This product will go beyond the idea of league tables to show schools in context and provide a meaningful interpretation of what they are really like – the atmosphere, internal organisation, teaching standards, facilities, discipline and much more”

Blimey!

An achingly cool design consultancy which takes blindingly innovative approaches to design has developed the concept to this stage. One example of their work is the curved map which includes both a 3D view and a bird’s eye view of a city

Curved Manhattan : click to enlarge

So what are they doing with Ofsted stats ?

Continue reading

February 5, 2010 Posted by | data, info tech, SMART goals | , , , | Leave a comment

£2bn wasted each year

“How £2 billion of the Further Education budget is wasted on useless activities – and how we should reform the system”  looks like something that I couldn’t pass by without comment! although it has taken a couple of weeks to digest what is being claimed.

Alison Wolf explained what and how on video here – and published the document here and – party political warning! on ConservativeHome .

In the week that most colleges in England have been told that their Adult Funding budget for next September is being  cut by 10%-20% is she talking sense?

Continue reading

January 28, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, further education, SMART goals | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart cut : pay teachers more

Teaching in small classes doesn’t do anything for learners – it has no effect on their outcomes.

Small classes are boring for students, and for teachers.

Small classes are not needed, because so few people need them.

Small classes take money out of the teaching budget, and stop teachers being paid more.

So in considering how to save money in colleges, we certainly don’t need to protect small classes.

Continue reading

January 22, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , | Leave a comment

Top Task: Innovate

Innovation is what good, effective teachers do; so it’s what college managers need to do.

I looked out  a PowerPoint from an old workshop on teachers and target setting.

My workshop always started with John Hattie’s work. He collated research from all over, involving huge numbers of students, and compared the size of any effect on learning. His heartening conclusion was that it is what teachers do in the classroom that makes the biggest difference.

Continue reading

January 19, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s keep it simple please

We do need to get smarter at running further education colleges, but lets keep it simple please.

I have been looking at the “Expert Advice” from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills [UKCES is the outcome from the Leitch report] on how to “build a more strategic, agile and labour-market led employment and skills system” from Autumn 2009

Much of it is about how UKCES sees that we should “simplify”  funding, qualifications etc , but some of their proposals desperately need to go through the reality wringer.
Continue reading

January 18, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , , | Leave a comment