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Blogs by 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.

  • Spending the 'pupil premium'

    Spending the 'pupil premium'

    | 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 ...
  • Education and the Economy: debunking the philistine myth

    Education and the Economy: debunking the philistine myth

    | Social Policy
    CPS Education Expert Tom Burkard explains why calls for investment in education for economic benefit often ignore the reality of vocational education. In the West, professional educators—what Chris Woodhead refers to as 'the blob'--share a set of assumptions completely at odds with Michael Gove and the reformers.  You simply cannot square ...
  • Labour's acceptance of military schools can help defeat teaching union self-interest

    Labour's acceptance of military schools can help defeat teaching union self-interest

    | Social Policy
    Tom Burkard, CPS education expert and author of 'Troops to Teachers' in 2008, reacts to the Shadow Education and Defence Secretary's call for Labour to adopt military academies. The Centre for Policy Studies first introduced the 'Troops to Teachers' concept to the UK in Feb 2008, and it was immediately endorsed by ...
  • Clegg's misguided outrage

    Clegg's misguided outrage

    | Public Services
    Nick Clegg has vowed to block the re-introduction of O-levels and CSEs. According to a Lib-Dem spokesman, " We are very, very hostile to something that looks like it is going to return to the two-tier system of the past". On cue, leaders of our teaching unions have joined the cry ...
  • Britain can't afford to drag down its best schools in the name of equality

    Britain can't afford to drag down its best schools in the name of equality

    | Social Policy
    It's hard to say whether Nick Clegg was playing to the gallery, or whether he honestly believes that universities should give preference to pupils from state schools.  If the Daily Telegraph poll is any indication, this kind of gesture politics won't even win over his Lib Dem constituents—over 88% agreed ...
  • Synthetic Phonics: Teaching Children to Read in 2012

    Synthetic Phonics: Teaching Children to Read in 2012

    | 2012 Policy Resolutions
    In the tenth of the CPS' 'UK Policy Resolutions for 2012' series, Tom Burkard, a CPS Research Fellow on Education Policy, explains how the Government could improve reading ability for young children. Yesterday, in the ninth in the series , Yorick Wilks looked at reforms to reinforce privacy and identity ...
  • We have our ways of making you happy

    We have our ways of making you happy

    | General
    Following David Cameron's Nov 2010 announcement that he considers it his duty to make us all happy, Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell has just announced that all Whitehall Departments will be instructed to consider the implications for people's happiness when drafting new policies. Children will now ...