Tag Archives: education

Not so bad

Those of you who regularly read this blog will see I stood for Secretary of Lewisham Deptford Labour Party as part of left/momentum slate, and those of you who follow Momentum Exposed will know we lost. This was quite disappointing and we have had some difficulty in working out how to develop Labour’s campaigning beyond the electoralism & careerism practiced by the Labour First influenced majority. I think, and many of my allies agree that one of the differences is that on the Left we want to empower and engage our members and our voters; it’s been hard to do that and get the Deptford Labour Party via its General Committee (GC) to express its views when we are in contention with the new MP, and the Council majority. There would also seem to be a desire to exclude the ideas and enthusiasm of many of the new joiners. It was when looking back at what we as members had achieved, that I came to the conclusion that we haven’t done so badly and you can make a difference by joining the Labour Party. Over the last four years, we i.e. ordinary members of the Labour Party have made a difference, most recently on the New Bermondsey Development aka the Millwall CPO but also we have moved forward the national trade union campaign against blacklisting,  the Council’s initiatives on welcoming refugees, on Education and have even won a commitment to return the Anchor to the High Street.

While at times the Labour Party’s procedures seem strange, and exceptionally ill-tempered, belonging to the Labour Party makes a difference. These decisions have involved us debating with and winning other members to our point of view and ensuring that our Councillors take this forward.   … » Read more …

What Europe has to teach the anglosphere

In my article, at http://blog.davelevy.info/remain/, I asked why we wouldn’t want to be in a union, a political union with the other members of the EU. I offered three stories and suggested there were 27 stories as to what we could and should take. In a piece of good timing, Michael Moore’s latest film, “Where shall we invade next?” is a whistle stop tour of Europe (& Tunisia) looking at the better life that solidarity & social democracy offers.  … » Read more …

Out of Sight with the Fabians

I attended my first South London Fabian Society earlier tonight. This is part of my search for a place to think and refresh my enthusiasm for ideas and electoral politics. The speaker was a man called
Richard Brooks, who had worked as a senior policy adviser to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. He is the author of the award wining for his Fabian booklet, Out of Sight, “How we lost track of thousands of NEETS, and how we can transform their prospects”.   … » Read more …

Don’t (British) girls want to code?

Among the debates about the UK’s futures is how to ensure that there are enough high wage jobs and skilled labour to perform them for our future. The need for effectively skilled people today & tomorrow requires a clear education and skills supply policy. Furthermore there is a lack of clarity as to where these jobs might come from, with some arguing that we need to ‘rebalance’ the economy, usually away from the financial services industry, others that we need stronger copyright laws in order to allow our ‘creative’ industries to grow. Carlotta Perez and her acolytes, with others suggest that the IT revolution is not over and that it and its multiplier effects are the source of future work and wealth.  … » Read more …

The GCSE Farce

Over the month it has become clear that a grave injustice has been done to a number of GCSE students. These exams are marked by a number of different examining boards and it would seem that advice issued by OFQUAL has led to harsher marking than those marked in January and a number of students not achieving their predicted grades.  … » Read more …

ICT in Schools

Last month, I reflected on the debate about the school curriculum for Information Technology, it seems that even the government are listening. Michael Gove the Secretary of State is making a speech later today, in which it seems that he plans to “abolish the national curriculum” for ICT and “set teachers free”.

I don’t think this’ll be enough. If the exam boards don’t change their exams, and we don’t make/train better skilled teachers, it won’t change.  … » Read more …

Program or be Programmed, it starts at school

It would seem that even the IT industry is fed up with England’s IT education syllabus. A number of IT companies, most of them US subsidiaries have issued a “report” seeking to influence the quality of IT teaching in England. In an article, called “Coding the New Latin”, the BBC report,

Today, the report is dated 28th Nov, the likes of Google, Microsoft and other leading technology names will lend their support to the case made to the government earlier this year in a report called Next Gen. It argued that the UK could be a global hub for the video games and special effects industries – but only if its education system got its act together

  … » Read more …

Good British Universities, again

I don’t want to get into a row with David Blanchflower,who takes issue with the QS University Ranking results 2011 and have no argument with his assertion that Cambridge is not the best University in the World, but unless the U. of Shanghai  (UoS) have revised their methodology since I last looked at it while on the EU’s NESSI steering committee, in early 2009 , they

  • overemphasise Science (& specifically Medicine)
  • overemphasise US publication (& hence English language research)
  • have no teaching quality metric ( apart from alumni citations)
  … » Read more …

Where are the new developers coming from?

My final note from the Water’s Power:09 Conference; Robert Johnson, a development manager at one of the London based banks stated that of the people he’s looked at in recruitment,

Many… developers don’t have a computer science background…

which makes it hard for them to write code for both distributed computing platforms and multi-threaded CPU systems.

It seems this is a reflection of the trends I have written about at on my old sun blog, tagged ‘university’ and more importantly at this site, in an article called British Higher Education. Given a choice between studying something easy or something hard, now that they have to pay a lot, students and their families choose the easy route. A further cause is the dead hands on the school IT curriculum design and the gestation period to make changes.  … » Read more …

Good British Universities

Why is the LSE not one of the top Universities in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities? I scattered some thoughts on the UK Higher Education system in an article on my blog the other month and promised to look and see what Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s methodology thought of, what I thought to be three highly competitive British Universities, i.e. LSE, Sussex and Warwick, which had failed to make the top 100 of their 2007 ranking. I have come to the conclusion that what seems to me an anomaly, illustrates either a flaw in the methodology, or a misuse by me as the ranking’s design goal does not meet my needs.   … » Read more …

Does knowing stuff help?

How important are Universities to the software industry productivity. One would hope fairly high. For various reasons, I have been considering this question and some collaborators pointed me at the Academic Ranking of World Universities which is referenced at Wikipedia as well and I first referred to in this blog last November. This is produced by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in China. I know that a discussion on ranking methodology may not be very helpful when considering economic growth issues, but there are some quite interesting and surprising results.   … » Read more …

Open Source in the Public Sector

I attended Kable’s “Open Source in the Public Sector” 2009 conference and captured and published my notes at my original Sun now Oracle blog, the hyperlinks are listed below. I have reproduced and edited the articles here. This is backdated to the date of occurrence. The main changes are to repair some lost hyperlinks i.e. those that disappeared when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. Interestingly Liam Maxwell, who became the Deputy CIO for the UK Government spoke on Government and procurement but I didn’t consider his points worth recording. Shame on me. DFL 25 Jan 2014  … » Read more …

And on to Budapest

Just back from Budapest where I attended a training event for Sun’s EMEA, Government, Education and Healthcare team. My work on NESSI has opened my eyes to the tremendous innovation occurring in parts of these sectors  … » Read more …