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Building Schools for the Future (BSF)

August 20, 2009

Putting the cart before the horse A boy who had just left school was asked by his former headmaster what he thought of the new building.  “It could all be marble”, the young man replied, “but it would still be a bloody school!”  Significantly that was said neither this year nor last but was recorded […]

Will they take notice?

August 14, 2009

Being taken seriously I am having to take a short break from the tedium of “topping and tailing” letters to be sent out to every MP with the Briefing Paper in three days time.  After writing Dear so-and-so, and signing “yours sincerely” six hundred and sixty times, my writing is almost indecipherable.  Having to concentrate […]

The Initiative’s Theory of Change

For all those reading the Briefing Paper for Parliamentarians, or the Book Overschooled but Undereducated, it may be helpful to explain The Initiative’s understanding of what it takes to bring about change. These ideas will become ever more relevant as the country gets closer to the General Election.

“Teachers Matter”: Half the Story

Quality teaching involves subject expertise, and knowledge of child development A most helpful Report has just been published by the Think Tank Politeia about teacher recruitment, employment and retention.  The Report is edited by Sheila Lawlor the Director of Politeia, with additional comments from Professors Burghes of Plymouth and Howson of the Education Data Surveys, […]


July 23, 2009

Seeing beyond political correctness The English have a predilection for argument, and especially love those who challenge political correctness.  We like the underdog.  First it was the historian, Professor Raul Hilberg, denying the scale of the Holocaust; more recently it has been a stream of scientists (of whom James Delingpole in The Spectator is the […]

Political Swine Flu

In an article in The Spectator on July 11th the philosopher David Selbourne (author of “The Principle of Duty”) wrote that the present Parliamentary crisis is only one symptom of a larger corruption of public and civic institutions.  He argued that the greed of Parliamentarians is merely one manifestation of the subordination of civic virtues […]

Who Shapes Policy?

July 20, 2009

The sound of bat on ball; the excited cry of ‘how’s that?’ and the respectful clapping for the batsman for being dismissed without scoring a run, this is the archetypical sound of an English summer’s day.  That and strawberries and cream, and umbrellas for the inevitable rain!  Cricket, as only the English (or teams from […]

The Grand Old Duke of York

June 30, 2009

Every child in the nursery knows that the Duke of York marched his 10,000 men up and down the hill. Sometimes they were up, and sometimes down but, as the rhyme continues, “When they were only half way up, they were neither up nor down.” Children and adults alike smile at the absurdity of the […]

The Child is Father of the Man: How humans learn and why

Published in 1999 by Network Educational Press. Available at Amazon. Review of John Abott’s The Child is the Father of the Man by Gerald Haigh of The Times Educational Supplement (4 Feb., 2000). (c) Times Supplements Limited “Politicians and industrialists listened to Abbott’s plea for less emphasis on schools and teaching and more on community and […]

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