What should we do with difficult students? The ones who distract everyone else in the class, and don’t care how they are punished? Some schools exclude struggling pupils because they are worried that their exams performance might drag down the class’s grades. But children have a right to an education, says Sophia Waugh, so we need to find a solution. Former teacher Hannah Glickstein agrees, but argues that new Ofsted rules have been put in place by bureaucrats with no experience of teaching. It might not be the sexiest of subjects, but it’s certainly an important one.
Talking of exams, Ross Clark takes a look at the rise in unconditional offers to university. As someone who was offered one himself, he thinks that they are a terrible idea. After all, he says, if universities are going to hand out places which are not reliant on good results at A-level, then what is the point of sixth form at all?
Elsewhere in this issue of Spectator Schools, Laura Freeman goes behind the scenes at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park’s White Lodge to discover what goes into the foundations of a prima ballerina. Harry Mount remembers discovering his naughty side on a boyhood school trip to Amsterdam. And Eleanor Doughty interviews Peter Green, headmaster of Rugby.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Camilla Swift, Editor