An arts degree isn’t a waste of time. But neither is an apprenticeship

28 February 2014 16:42

A friend and I joke that there are two types of jobs: fun ones, and school fees ones. We (penurious journalists) say this to our friends (pecunious lawyers, bankers, consultants),… Continue reading

First Aid Kit: IES free school alumni

How to repair a free school – the next stage of Michael Gove’s reforms

28 February 2014 15:36

Any government can set out on a journey of reform – the question is whether they can stay on course upon hitting turbulence. The coalition is entering this phase now.… Continue reading

Gamekeepers Prepare For Launch of Red Grouse Shooting Season

Whatever happened to Scotland’s timid posh folk?

25 February 2014 13:57

Whatever happened to Scotland’s upper-middle class? That’s one of the questions asked by Hugo Rifkind in his characteristically interesting column this week. Why, more to the point, are they so… Continue reading

Most of us aren't as bright as Socrates

Katie Hopkins: A liberal arts degree is a waste of time

14 February 2014 10:58

Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t all that bright. Sixteen per cent of us have an IQ below 85 – that’s about the level of intelligence you need to… Continue reading

Is this an offer that Simon Cowell can refuse? (Images: Getty)

Michael Gove offers Simon Cowell guided tour of ‘hundreds’ of state primary schools

12 February 2014 13:27

Michael Gove has been practising one of his favourite sports: winding up Simon Cowell. Last year, the education secretary lambasted the music mogul for encouraging youngsters to live the X-Factor… Continue reading


Feminism must pay attention to the boys let down by our education system

4 February 2014 12:39

The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) has released its latest admission statistics, and they aren’t pretty. Of the 580,000 people that applied for places at British institutions, 333,700 of… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Michael Gove’s speech on improving schools – full text and audio

3 February 2014 12:52

This morning Michael Gove gave a speech at the London Academy of Excellence on improving ‘bog standard’ state schools. Here’s what he said:- listen to ‘Michael Gove’s speech on improving… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Liberal arts education has been under attack – we need to rediscover its profound wisdom

30 January 2014 15:17

England did so deplorably in the Ashes in part because of an obsession with data, including minutely detailed plans on diet and exercise. Excessive bureaucracy can squeeze the lifeblood out… Continue reading

Meritocracy appears to be an impossible dream, which means that we need more social democracy. The Left should take this opportunity. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Meritocracy doesn’t work. It’s in the Left’s interest to recognise this

30 January 2014 14:15

At the end of Coming Apart Charles Murray mentions, rather enigmatically, that our assumptions about society will soon be blown out of the water by new discoveries about human nature.… Continue reading

Toffs and toughs. Image: Getty

Take note, Fiona Millar – you can’t close the class divide by closing private schools

30 January 2014 11:19

If there was a coalition to keep the poor down in Britain, Fiona Millar would be its chairman. If a wicked emperor were to seize Britain and want to make… Continue reading

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Tristram Hunt needs to do his homework

17 January 2014 14:31

As part of Ed Miliband’s modestly-titled plan to ‘rebuild the middle class’, shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt this week set out Labour’s new policy for raising standards of teaching. A… Continue reading

Caught Smoking

Ten things that went badly right in Britain in 2013

20 December 2013 14:59

This was supposed to be the year of strife, strikes, misery and more. Instead, to the surprise of Britain’s politicians, things have instead gone badly right. I look at them… Continue reading

Michael Gove, fighting for tougher teaching in schools. Photo: PA.

Education reform works. Who knew?

19 December 2013 13:50

Education reform that actually works is one of the noblest, but most thankless, tasks in politics. Noble because it’s necessary, thankless because it doesn’t earn much in the way of… Continue reading

Ignore this women. Image: Getty

Ignore Margaret Hodge and the BBC – free schools are working

11 December 2013 16:58

Today’s NAO report on free schools has recognised the ‘clear progress’ we have made opening 174 schools in three years with significantly lower costs than Labour’s school programmes. But, as Isabel… Continue reading

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The psychosis of the PISA report and best practices

10 December 2013 15:44

The enemies of school reform have something of a champion in Finland’s Pasi Sahlberg. In a recent comment piece for the Guardian, he discusses his self-invented bogeyman, the ‘Global Education… Continue reading

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The PISA rankings have exposed Labour’s policies on education

3 December 2013 13:52

Michael Gove wants to blame Labour for today’s PISA rankings, in which the UK has fallen five places to 26th, and Labour wants to blame Michael Gove. So in this… Continue reading

General Election - Education

PISA rankings are a shot in the arm for education reformers

3 December 2013 10:52

Like measuring water by the handful, calculating the success of the education system at a time of rampant grade inflation is an impossible task. If exam results go up every year… Continue reading

Boris Johnson has got into hot water for mentioning an unmentionable truth: some people are not very bright.

Untold truths – how the spirit of inquiry is being suppressed in the West

28 November 2013 14:56

It looks like Boris has offended lots of people by suggesting that some folk are where they are because they’re not very bright, something Nick Clegg calls ‘unpleasant’ and ‘careless’.… Continue reading

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Failing free school to be shut

22 November 2013 11:56

The Department for Education is determined to show that it’ll deal quickly with any failing free school. This morning it has announced that the Al-Madinah free school in Derby will… Continue reading

Former Prime Minister John Major And Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband Give Evidence At The Leveson Inquiry

Sir John Major is right about education and privilege in modern Britain

12 November 2013 12:18

Sir John Major is, of course, correct. It is depressing, though perhaps not surprising, that the British upper-middle-classes – that is, those educated privately – still dominate what he termed… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 14.00.57

Rebutting #govevreality — a video of untruths and lazy thinking

11 November 2013 14:39

The blob strikes again. A video called Gove vs Reality is doing the rounds, taking pot shots at Michael Gove’s education policies, or ‘challenging his assumptions and the evidence he… Continue reading

Sir John Major has been doing a lot of talking recently.

Should state education be abolished?

11 November 2013 14:09

These days I find myself so drifting away from the bounds of acceptable opinion that I don’t even shout at Radio 4 for being biased, because I don’t even understand… Continue reading

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Gove’s school choice can end social segregation. The old system entrenches it

29 October 2013 17:47

Like most foreigners who move to Britain, I was struck when I first arrived by how much people worry about which school their children go to. Even couples who don’t… Continue reading

Labour Attempt To Hold On To Stoke As The BNP Target The Seat

Tristram Hunt tries to needle Lib Dems with troublemaking teacher debate

29 October 2013 13:09

Opposition Day debates from Labour are often rather boring, with a frontbencher getting very angry about energy bills (one of their favourite topics for opposition day debates), and three backbenchers… Continue reading

Will Tristram Hunt tackle the education blob? Photo: Getty Images.

Bring back EMA — another unfunded Labour policy

28 October 2013 16:24

Tristram Hunt is on a crusade — to find Labour an education strategy. In today’s Daily Mirror, the new shadow education secretary takes a punt by offering up some fresh… Continue reading