Archive for the ‘Blog related’ Category


Top Blogs of the Week : Schools Week (October 2015)

November 18, 2015

I appear to have forgotten to share this last month, so I’d better do that now. A few weeks back, Schools Week  published my review of the best blogs of the week.

Andrew Old picks his top blogs of the week 23 October 2015

Is there such a thing as a crap school?

By @SurrealAnarchy

Sometimes it is the most obviously true statements that are the most controversial. To say that some schools are terrible can lead one to be accused of attacking teachers or children.



This Blog’s 9th Birthday

October 24, 2015

Today is the 9th anniversary of the first post on this blog. It’s been on this site since 2009, but had three years before that in a couple of other places. I don’t know if this makes it the longest running UK blog by a teacher, I suspect that this depends on what kind of break is allowed before you say a blog has ceased to run and how you define “teacher”, but it is definitely one of the oldest.

My regularity in posting has declined this year mainly because inspiration and time have never been consistently available due to the nature of teaching, and after a couple of years of quite dramatic growth in hits, this year has been one of less frequent posting and activity. A lot of that comes down to a greater priority being given this year to blog-related projects outside of the main blog. In particular:

The last of these has been the most time-consuming, and I am hoping to make some changes to make it more manageable. Hopefully, then I will have the time to post more regularly on this blog.

Despite the smaller number of posts, there have still been some highlights of blogging this year. I’ll mention a few of them:

  • This week’s controversy over green pens and other marking policy nightmares;
  • Raising awareness over the education establishment’s take over of the proposed College Of Teaching;
  • An analysis of the arguments progressives have jumped on in the last couple of years (Part 1 and Part 2). The second part in particular identified two ludicrous arguments that have now become standard for shutting down debate.
  • A guest post about some very misleading research on P4C that was widely publicised;
  • Pointing out how wrong phonics denialists were about the accuracy of the phonics screening check;
  • A fairly heavy couple of posts about disagreement between traditionalists. (Part 1 and Part 2). Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have sparked the debate I was looking for;
  • A summary of the Daily Mail’s hypocrisy on school discipline stories;
  • On “just teaching” and in praise of explanations explain my teaching philosophy.

I have no great plans for the next year beyond trying to increase the amount of blogging, but I’m hoping to keep debate going and traditionalist opinions out there. Thanks to all my readers for staying with me, and I hope you stick around to see me complete my first decade of blogging.


A Guide To Scenes From The Battleground

September 6, 2015

I have updated this guide for the holidays.

This blog is about the state of secondary education. There is an introduction to it here:

And some reflections on it here:

Here is a summary of my main points:

Here are a few posts written purely for a laugh (although some of them perhaps make a point at the same time):

The following posts sum up what is typical in schools these days in various respects:



Teachers and Managers:

Special Needs:

School Life:


As well as the advice for teachers included in many of the other posts, I have written advice specifically for new teachers:

These deal more directly with my own personal experiences, or the experiences of others:

I have also written a number of posts exploring and explaining how this situation came to be, discussing the arguments in education and suggesting what can be done.


Apologia and arguments:

Progressive Education:



Education Policy and Current Affairs:


The College of Teaching:

Teaching and Teachers:

Educational Ethics and Philosophy:

Education Research and Academics

Here are some videos I found on the internet which I thought were interesting, or relevant, enough to present in a blog post. Some will probably no longer be available, I hope to correct this where possible when I get the chance.

I wrote about some of the myths that are spread to teachers, often in INSET or during PGCEs:

I have also outlined what I would expect from schools willing to do put things right:

Here are my book recommendations:

This may be of interest if you are considering writing a blog:

You may also have found me…

I have also written sections in the following three books:

Please let me know if any of the links don’t work.

Finally, I can be found on Facebook (please “friend” me) or Twitter (please “follow” me).

If you want to keep up with education blogging other than mine, or to see some of these same concerns discussed by others, then you should follow my sister blog, The Education Echo Chamber. The blog is here. The twitter feed is here. The sister blog to the sister blog is The Echo Chamber Uncut which automatically shares all UK education blogs. The blog is here. The twitter feed is here. There are details of some “mini Echo Chambers” here. I’m also the editor of the Labour Teachers blog, which can be found here.


My Other Blogs

September 2, 2015

I do apologise for the lack of blogging in recent weeks. I’ve been a bit distracted by my other blogging related projects. Hopefully, normal service will soon be resumed. However, I thought I’d just mention those other projects here.

Firstly, I’m still editor of the Labour Teachers blog, so if you are a Labour supporting teacher who can write 700 words, please get in touch.

Secondly, if you are a blogger, please make sure that you are listed on the spreadsheet of blogs. This is a good way to make sure people know about your blog.

Thirdly, and finally, I have helped set up a series of Echo Chamber blogs on particular themes, to help people keep track of the blogs they think are relevant. These Blogs are (largely) automated and (usually) based on the spreadsheet of blogs mentioned above. They blog posts consisting of the first few words and a link to each new blog post from a selected category of education bloggers. The current list is below and a version that will be updated can be found here.

I hope you find something here useful.

The Echo Chamber Blogs


Subject blogs (i.e. collecting all the education blogs written by teachers of a particular school subject, or about a particular subject).

The Art Echo Chamber  Maintained by @pennyprileszky

The Business and Economics Echo Chamber Maintained by @MintSpies

The English Echo Chamber  On Twitter:  Maintained by 

The History Echo Chamber  On Twitter:  Maintained by @teach_well

The ICT and Computing Echo Chamber  On Twitter:  Maintained by @eaglestone

The Literacy Echo Chamber  On Twitter: @LitEchoChamber Maintained by @ThinkReadTweet

The Maths Echo Chamber On Twitter:  Maintained by @Just_Maths

The PE Echo Chamber  On Twitter:  Maintained by @ImSporticus

The RE and Philosophy Echo Chamber  On Twitter @REEchoChamber Maintained by @iTeachRE

The Science Echo Chamber  On Twitter: @sciechochamber Maintained by @A_Weatherall


Sector Blogs (i.e. collecting all the blogs from a particular sector of the education system).

The FE Echo Chamber  On Twitter: @FEechochamber Maintained by @clyn40


Role blogs (i.e. collecting all the blog posts from bloggers with a particular position)

The Governor Echo Chamber  On Twitter:  Maintained by @5N_Afzal

The Headteacher Echo Chamber  Maintained by @bekblayton



The Echo Chamber International (My personal selection of blogs from around the world, not actually based on the spreadsheet.)  On Twitter: Maintained by @big_mean_bunny

Echo Chamber Uncut All the education blogs by bloggers in or from the UK. On Twitter:@EchoChamberUncu Maintained by @oldandrewuk


Top Blogs of the Week : Schools Week (May 2015)

May 11, 2015

Schools Week have published my review of the best blogs of the week.

Andrew Old picks his top blogs of the week 04 May 2015

Do you want a learning revolution?

By @greg_ashman

A teacher reflects on the times he has encountered attempts to revolutionise teaching and learning by removing the walls of the classroom. The first he recalls from his own childhood, and the last from a recent newspaper story.

Continued in


Top Blogs of the Week : Schools Week (March 2015)

March 27, 2015

Schools Week have published my review of the best blogs of the week.

Andrew Old’s blog picks 23 March 2015

How can we motivate reluctant readers?

By @katie_s_ashford

An English teacher (and director of inclusion) discusses how best to get those who don’t want to read to become motivated and successful readers. She draws an analogy with her own efforts at a cycle spinning class.


Top Blogs of the Week : Schools Week (February 2015)

February 27, 2015

Schools Week have published my review of the best blogs of the week.

Andrew Old selects: 27 February 2015

Consultants: the obscene quantities of cash, the confidence tricks and riding the merry-go-round of failure

By @Bottoms_bray

A teacher recounts the activities of consultants who are paid to give advice to desperate school leaders; how this advice has often been harmful and is usually expensive. “They are unaccountable…

Continued in

Andrew Old selects: 27 February 2015

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,667 other followers

%d bloggers like this: