Our brightest children are falling behind their peers in other countries

22 February 2013 10:19

Today’s jobs market is highly competitive and globalised. It is no longer enough simply to see if we are doing better than we did last year, or the year before,… Continue reading

This image, from the film 'Waiting for Superman', hangs on Gove's office wall. "The fate of our country won't be decided on a battlefield," runs the slogan. "It will be determined in a classroom."

Yes, Gove has lost a battle. But he’s winning the education war

8 February 2013 9:59

Michael Gove’s enemies will have savoured his defeat yesterday, and enjoyed every second of his Commons speech admitting that his pet project, the EBacc, was ‘a bridge too far’. Gove… Continue reading

Jade Goody with her sons. Picture: Getty

Michael Gove: My debt to Jade Goody and the future of school reform

6 February 2013 11:44

In shaping education policy I have been influenced by many people… But two particular individuals have influenced me more than any others. The Italian Marxist thinker – and father of… Continue reading

Cambridge University Term Starts As Top Up Fees Debate Looms

The Unbearable Self-Pity of Britain's Rich and Privileged - Spectator Blogs

26 January 2013 16:09

Is there anything more pathetic, more risible than rich and privileged Britons whining that their cadre fails to receive a fair shake in the matter of admissions to this country’s… Continue reading

A student receives their exam results. The government today announced reforms to A-levels. Picture: Getty

Why meddling with A-levels won’t work

23 January 2013 14:07

Conservatives will, no doubt, welcome the government’s announcement about A-levels today. Modules will be abolished. We will return to one tough exam at the end of the two years of… Continue reading

Anthony Seldon wants schools to teach good character. Picture: Getty

Schools can teach good character and the 3 Rs

22 January 2013 16:44

Education debates are riddled with false choices, as Michael Barber notes in his recently published essay Oceans of Innovation. It’s academic or vocational; it’s best practice or innovation; it’s the… Continue reading

Tim Loughton giving evidence to the Education select committee.

Tim Loughton vs the Department for Education, round 2

22 January 2013 14:57

The battle between Tim Loughton and the Education department rumbles on, with new foot soldiers joining the fray. The latest shot fired in the war comes from Labour’s Stephen Twigg,… Continue reading

Britain Basks In Sunshine As The Easter Holidays Get Underway

Correction of the Year - Spectator Blogs

21 January 2013 10:34

Courtesy of Time magazine: This article has been changed. An earlier version stated that Oxford University accepted “only one black Caribbean student” in 2009, when in fact the university accepted… Continue reading

Tim Loughton on a visit as Children's Minister. Picture: Getty

Tim Loughton vs the Department for Education

17 January 2013 14:39

In a week where the inner workings of Whitehall have rarely been out of the news, Tim Loughton’s evidence to the Education Select Committee has made a particular splash. As… Continue reading

Tim Loughton giving evidence to the Education select committee.

Children and families ‘not a priority’ for Michael Gove, former children’s minister argues

16 January 2013 13:34

Of all the sackings in September’s reshuffle, two of the most surprising came from the Education department. So it was fascinating to hear those two victims of the purge, Tim… Continue reading


Exclusive: John Nash is the new schools minister

10 January 2013 15:00

The new schools minister is John Nash. He succeeds Lord Hill who has gone off to replace Tom Strathclyde as leader of the House of Lords. Nash, a venture capitalist,… Continue reading

Michael Gove

Michael Gove’s plans for profit-making schools

10 January 2013 8:50

Coffee House readers won’t be surprised by the Independent’s report that Michael Gove has been telling friends he has no objections to profit-making schools: he explained his position on the… Continue reading

The teaching unions are threatening further industrial action this year. Picture: Getty

Teachers are demoralised, but parents are protesting

2 January 2013 17:17

The school holidays are nearly over, so here’s a cheery tale for those returning to the classroom next week. Teachers are demoralised, says a poll [PDF] for the NUT which… Continue reading

A clip taken from Gounod's opera Faust. Mephistopheles tempts Dr Faustus across the illuminated pages of a book of the Classics. Image: Getty

Why Dr Faustus’ dark obsessions still resonate

17 December 2012 10:43

Faustus to Helen of Troy from Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make… Continue reading

Enthusiasts Take Part In The Annual Reenactment Of The Battle Of Hastings

The History Kids

13 December 2012 15:28

Martin Kettle has a column in today’s Guardian lamenting the inadequacy of the teaching of English history in schools today. He suggests that “the English people are increasingly cut off… Continue reading

The Conservative Party Annual Conference Concludes With The Prime Minister's Keynote Speech

Michael Gove: an adult in a parliament of toddlers - Spectator Blogs

16 November 2012 15:10

Michael Gove, the most important and successful Aberdonian politician since, well, since I don’t know actually, is also that rarest of things: a grown-up cabinet minister. He knows the importance… Continue reading

David Cameron was confronted this morning by an audience of pesky school kids, one of whom asked him about educating his children in the state sector. Image: Getty

No playing fields of Eton for Arthur Cameron

12 November 2012 18:40

The Prime Minister chose his words carefully earlier today when asked if he would be sending his children to private school. Sky News’ eagle-eyed Sophy Ridge reports that Cameron was… Continue reading

Pupils at the West London Free School. Picture: Getty

Swedish study: free schools improve everyone’s results

9 November 2012 15:48

What will free schools mean for the quality of education — in the new schools, and in the old ones they compete with? In Sweden, they don’t have to guess.… Continue reading

Children learn to bake at a Steiner school. Picture: Getty.

MPs push for more children to be taken into care

7 November 2012 10:52

As the number of inquiries into allegations of child abuse in institutions from the BBC to the NHS grows, a cross-party committee of MPs has today recommended that more children… Continue reading

Ofqual's final report on GCSE English marking found teachers over-marked coursework. Picture: Getty

How teachers felt forced to ‘cheat’ on GCSE English marking

2 November 2012 15:55

Ofqual’s final report, published today, on the GCSE English marking row, underlines why the qualifications need an overhaul and makes extremely awkward reading for the teachers who were so upset… Continue reading

Labour argues that the government's reforms to teacher training are inconsistent with the decision to allow schools to hire unqualified teachers. Picture: Getty

Is the government being inconsistent on teacher training?

26 October 2012 13:01

To be fair to Kevin Brennan, he seems to have updated his attack line on Michael Gove since his ‘don’t-call-teachers-names’ press release that Labour sent out overnight. The party’s shadow… Continue reading

Michael Gove has announced tougher tests for trainee teachers. Picture: Getty

Michael Gove to toughen up teacher training

26 October 2012 8:45

Michael Gove is announcing tougher tests for trainee teachers today, with calculators banned from maths assessments, and the pass mark in tests for English and Maths being raised to the… Continue reading

Former Downing Street policy chief James O'Shaughnessy argues that weak schools should be turned over to education management organisations. Picture: Getty

Why for-profit companies should take over weak schools

17 October 2012 14:49

The basic question in my report for Policy Exchange on school chains, out today, is simple: we’ve got a big education problem in this country and what can we do… Continue reading

Deprived Areas Of Inner City Glasgow

Devolution has failed Scotland's children. Can independence change that? - Spectator Blogs

15 October 2012 12:24

Yesterday Fraser asked: Scotland has a tragically long list of problems (especially with inner-city poverty) and [the No campaign] can ask: which of these problem would independence solve? This is… Continue reading

Image: Getty

David Cameron is the leader battling inequality

12 October 2012 15:39

The great paradox of British politics is that the left moan about inequality, but it’s the right who will remedy it. Ed Miliband is proposing the restoration of the old… Continue reading