Blogs by Tom Burkard

Tom Burkard

Tom Burkard

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure. In June 2015 he was awarded a DPhil by Published Works by the University of Buckingham.

Learning the facts about maths

11 February 2016 - Education

Early in 2005 Nick Gibb asked to see me after reading my CPS publications advocating synthetic phonics. At the time he was serving on the Commons Education Committee, and he understood that our primary schools were sending vast numbers of pupils to secondary school with literacy skills that would be ...

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Ofsted and the exam boards: The unholy alliance that Michael Gove forgot

03 December 2015 - Education

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw delivered his annual report this week.  He rightly concluded that too many teachers are either leaving the profession or taking up posts in independent schools. He proposed that we need “golden handcuffs” to stop the drain.He is naïve if he thinks money is the ...

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Sure start doesn't work - but synthetic phonics can

27 October 2014 - Public Services

A report just released to the House of Lords found that the Sure Start nursery programme has failed to make an impact on educational disadvantage. Although children who participated between 2002 and 2007 made modest gains by the time they started school, by 11 these had disappeared completely.Considering the American ...

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Incivil society

12 September 2013 - Public Services

It is flattering that China is sending a high-ranking delegation to the UK - and to the Centre for Policy Studies - to explore how they can foster the growth of civic institutions. As a historian, I am aware of how much Britain's phenomenal growth during the 18th and 19th ...

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Unite union's risible brainwashing videos: the weirdest suicide note in history?

22 August 2013 - Public Services

There was a time when teachers believed it was wrong to bring politics into the classroom.  There were exceptions such as the 'little red schoolhouses' of the 1970s, but most teachers aren't really political animals. Mostly they're too busy to care.However, we shouldn't be too surprised that our leading teaching ...

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Let's embolden teachers to expose our children to dangerous radical ideas

11 July 2013 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is an education expert, CPS author, Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby and co-founder of the Phoenix Free School. So it's to be kings and queens again: but will the next generation understand the Sellar and Yeatman masterpiece, 1066 and all that? Michael Gove's instincts may ...

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Gove GCSE reforms mean pupils will no longer be working to make politicians look good

12 June 2013 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is an education expert, CPS author, Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby and co-founder of the Phoenix Free School. For years, educators have been attacking our GCSEs, and many of their criticisms were spot on. Beyond a doubt, the target-setting mania that flourished when Sir ...

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Finally the Phoenix Free School will get the chance to show that 'something can be done'

30 May 2013 - Public Services

Tom Burkard, Education expert, author of 'Something Can be Done' and co-founder of the new Phoenix Free School, blogs on the hard slog to get the school approved and why he believes it can inspire the Department of Education to follow the example across the country. Needless to say, we are ...

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Shorter summer holidays? Spending more time in the schools failing our children will not help

22 April 2013 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.We count ourselves among the staunchest of Michael Gove's supporters: after all, his ...

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Michael Gove's Ebacc-down is a disaster for disadvantaged pupils

07 February 2013 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove's U-turn on the EBacc is nothing ...

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School vouchers for Special Needs pupils

02 January 2013 - 2013 Policy Resolutions

With the new year here, six authors connected with the CPS outline a policy resolution they would like to see adopted by the government in 2013. Today, CPS education expert Tom Burkard writes on the Special Needs racket and how to best serve pupils. Previously, Professor Jeremy Jennings wrote on scaling back ...

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Sir Michael says relax! All's well with British education, apparently

28 November 2012 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.If Sir Michael Barber and Pearson International are right, Britain's schools have made ...

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Despite Michael Gove's reforms, OFSTED is permeated with New Labour's tick-box ethos

30 October 2012 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.John McIntosh, the former head of London Oratory, is a key member of ...

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The 'blob' strikes back: Teaching Unions react to 6+ reading results

01 October 2012 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby.  He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.Teaching unions are baying for blood over the 6+ phonics test - only ...

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Spending the 'pupil premium'

20 September 2012 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby.  He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.Ofsted chief Michael Wilshaw has taken schools to task for spending the 'pupil ...

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