Category Archives: Education

What should schools teach?

In the UK, decades of political meddling in the curriculum have resulted in endless lists prescribing what – and how – teachers should teach. How refreshing then, that unlike many educational policy prescriptions, What Should Schools Teach? does not offer a dazzling list of innovative academic hybrids, along with an interactively inspirational flowchart of how […]

Schooling goes back to the future

‘A young person loiters vaguely by your door. His mum wants him to check his targets again, so you go over his last report for the third time. He seems satisfied with your explanation and conveys himself back to maths. When you asked him if he enjoyed maths he said he was doing better this […]

Anthony Horowitz: ‘We’re afraid of our kids, and we’re afraid for them’

‘A child should be able to make up his or her own mind about an adult they are meeting without that adult having to wave a government-stamped piece of paper. The idea that the government can come in to the most fundamental of relationships – between an adult and a child – and somehow manipulate […]

Turning teachers into objects of suspicion

One of the most pernicious prejudices of our time is that adults, given half a chance, will abuse the children in their care. This is the prejudice that lies behind the UK government’s out-of-control, increasingly unpopular mass vetting scheme, in which adults who want to spend time with, or take responsibility for, children other than […]

Why pedagogy is in peril

Frank Furedi, author of Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating, talks to Jennie Bristow about the politicisation of education and the crisis of adult authority. Everyone has a view on the crisis of education. Politicians point the finger at outdated attitudes, mess about with the curriculum, prescribe new teaching methods and seek to involve parents in […]

Examination, examination, examination

‘The time for reform has come’, said Mike Tomlinson, leader of the government-commissioned working party on the future of England’s schools examinations system, as he produced his interim report on 14-19 education. What, again? Over the past few years England’s exams have undergone more reform than the pupils sitting them have had hot dinners. Each […]

Playing with truants

To boost our seasonal spirits, the UK government is entering the New Year with a new phase of its war on truancy. Not content with locking up parents whose children persistently play hooky from school, it has now teamed up with travel agents to issue £100 fines to parents who take their children out of […]

The work thing

If 1997 was the election of ‘education, education, education’, 2001 pushed the mantra ‘work, work, work’. Throughout the election campaign, Blair and co eulogised the wonders of the work ethic – the way work gives you dignity; the need to promote the business culture through education; the wonders of the New Deal youth unemployment scheme; […]