This seems topical. Politicians should not prescribe on these issues if school autonomy has anay meaning
GROUPING BY ABILITY
Does it help the equity agenda? Look at international practice.
Jo Boaler, formerly Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University, now Professor of Education at Sussex, in her paper ‘The ‘Psychological Prisons’ from which they never escaped: The role of ability grouping in reproducing social class inequalities’ asserted that the ability grouping policies that new Labour encourages in schools would not be entertained in most other countries in the world and goes some way to explaining the inequities in the UK system. She writes ‘England strides forward, encouraging extensive ability grouping practices at the youngest possible age. It is only the rarest and bravest of teachers who have managed to resist the pressures to group by ‘ability’ from the current Labour government, thereby maintaining a vision of schooling that promotes equity and high attainment for all. ‘ In Sweden ability grouping is illegal because it is known…
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