Thought for the day

On a recent discussion on pensions and retirement, Newsnight chose, rather ingeniously, to flag up the age of every speaker in brackets after their name. A joke? A way of putting content in context? Both, perhaps.

It certainly made me think, if I am ever involved in an education discussion on that same programme, I will suggest that they put the name of the school each participant send/sent their child/children to after their name. No, not the name of the school they went to, interesting as that is. But their choice of school as a parent, a better indicator of their preferences/values etc. Yes, of course, I see the complications; children switch schools; siblings go to different schools etc

Let’s say we could reduce that technical difficulty, reduce the description of choice to essences, I doubt that the programme makers or some others taking part on the programme would agree to it, for a whole host of reasons.

However, I still think it would be worth doing and including the presenters. School choice is interesting. It’s also rather revealing. If the Main Presenter starts laying into a head teacher, say, about the poor performance of urban state schools and yet we see after his/her name ( Cheltenham Ladies College) just to use a random and most unlikely example….is that not a useful, qualifying fact for us to throw into the equation; one that might provoke a momentary ‘ hang on a minute, what’s going on here..’ kind of response? Similarly, if a leading liberal commentator advocates comprehensive education for the nation’s children but we see they sent their own children to a fee paying school…. and so on.

I’ll let my loyal blog readers know if anything comes of this idea….

One Response to Thought for the day

  1. Hello Melissa. I wondered if you might be interested in acting as keynote speaker at the Centenary meeting of the Workers’ Educational Association’s North East Region in Newcastle upon Tyne on Friday 29 October 2010? I’m not sure how else to contact you, but I could send you more details of what should be quite a high profile education event – and therefore a good platform for progressive education – if you wanted to contact me via the following:

    Nigel Todd
    Regional Director
    Workers’ Educational Association – North East Region
    21 Portland Terrace
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 1QQ

    tel: 0191 212 6100 (office) 079 196 911 69 (mobile)
    fax: 0191 212 6101



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    The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) is a Charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SC039239) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England
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