Comment is Free

Who’s afraid of state schools?
guardian.co.uk, Friday December 19 2008

Figures just released by the Audit Commission which show a sharp increase in the number of applications to state schools from parents who previously would have sent their children to private schools. A third of London boroughs have reported a noticeable rise in applications, with a further 20% predicting the figures to climb higher next year as the recession bites.
(Read it here)

Economic uncertainty spreads to education
guardian.co.uk, Sunday October 12 2008
Coming at the end of a week of turmoil for private capital, the news that Amey plc, a major services consultancy and sponsor of the Unity city academy in Middlesbrough is in talks regarding the “dissolution” of its sponsorship lays bare some of the key problems with giving private companies a controlling stake in our public services.
(Read it here)

The truth about our schools
guardian.co.uk, Saturday October 4 2008
If David Cameron were really interested in healing so called “broken Britain”, he could start by telling the truth about our schools. He should ditch the stale cliches about “all must-have prizes” or “dumbing down” and the populist cracks at the education establishment, all of which made an appearance in the brief section about schools in his leader’s speech this week.
(Read it here)

Off-target
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday April 30 2008
I can’t have been the only parent who felt a wave of exhaustion come over them when I read today’s Guardian front page article on proposals to include a raft of social indicators in future Ofsted reports. In addition to the information already included in the often controversial league tables, schools may now be judged on 18 separate social factors including rates of …
(Read it here)

Latest writing

Putting the special back into special needs.

I can still vividly remember Michael Gove’s first speech to the House of Commons as Secretary of State for Education in 2010. A blast of oratory in which he charged the outgoing New Labour government of failing poor children with talent. During Labour’s 13 years in office, Gove thundered, on average only 45 children on… Continue reading…

Latest news & events

Melissa Benn in zoom-free conversation with John Bercow

Saturday 24 April 2021 | 11:15am Order! Order! Former Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, talks candidly about his no-holds barred memoir Unspeakable with Melissa Benn. This event will be filmed in London in the days before it is shown on-line – so no zoomy-ness involved, just real people in real conversation. But… Continue reading…