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Why Have Children?

November 19, 2009

Who learns from whom? The Chief Rabbi hit the headlines earlier this month when he accused Europeans of caring more about shopping than spirituality, and being too selfish to accept the responsibility of becoming parents.  “Parenthood involves massive sacrifices; money, attention, time and emotional energy (and in today’s European materialistic society) there is no room […]

Imagination; Fact or Fiction?

A personal reflection The wedding of a son or daughter stirs parental memories as nothing else can.  As guests congregate you come face-to-face with different chapters of your child’s life, and you are reminded of your own early life together.  Being a story-telling species our minds struggle to draw all these pieces together into a […]


Going on with your own education Whether Ed Balls at the Labour Party Conference, calling for greater parental support to improve the behaviour of young people was doing this as a political strategy to attract voters or not, is largely immaterial, for the reality on the ground is often dreadful.  The behaviour of young people […]

It’s Really Very Simple … The Solution to England’s Education Problem

The solution to England’s education problem will be very simple once the country comes to appreciate the damage still being done by two Victorian myths that haunt everyday thinking.

Health and Safety

Safeguarding without safeguards My friend is a remarkably fit and shrewd 85-year-old still able to make most valuable comments at the governing body of a secondary school.  A General Practitioner for more than 40 years he has ‘seen it all’ but is never judgemental yet always full of sound advice, particularly on general health issues […]

The Philosophical Baby

Foundations of Intelligence Queen Victoria created a most dangerous myth when she told the English that “little children should be seen and not heard”.  That myth lives on today in school budgets which allocate more money to older children than younger children so resulting in larger classes for the youngest, and smaller classes in the […]

Not all that it Seems

Emotional immaturity Despite the recession, visitors continue to flock to Bath, my hometown.  “You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place,” said the Japanese lady at the end of an exhausting day of sightseeing.  She was right; Bath is a wonderful, civilised place in which to live, at least until about 9 […]

Essential Biology

The grain of the brain There is not much that today’s children don’t know about human biology, but there is an awful lot about the neuro-biology of human learning that politicians don’t seem to understand… simply to teach a child something is no guarantee that it will be learnt. To appreciate the difficulties experienced in […]

The 9:13 to London Paddington

Inquisitive Children The 9:13 is the first train on which cheap day family returns are available from Bath.  Those of us wearing smart suits as we head for late morning meetings are, midway through the summer holidays, outnumbered by enthusiastic families off to see the sights of London.  The 9:13 is a happy train. As […]

Strike while the Iron is Hot

Taking children’s questions seriously Last week, writing about Amelie’s question as to whether flat and level were the same thing, I slipped in a shorthand phrase that probably meant little to many of you – I spoke of the Zone of Proximal Development.  I need to explain this. In the most general sense the contemporary […]

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