Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Addresses MIT Graduates

Don’t blame good results on grade inflation. Blame the teaching

22 April 2014 7:58

I was delighted to read that my university is apparently over-generous when it comes to awarding top degree classes. Oxford is among 21 universities accused of grade inflation after a Higher… Continue reading

The intimate family supper is key to any child's intellectual and emotional development. (Photo by Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images)

Mr Gove, after-school clubs need to learn from family life

20 April 2014 11:23

In news to warm Michael Gove’s heart, a new survey carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has found that children as young a four are now routinely… Continue reading

Euston Arch before it was knocked down in 1961. Photo: PA.

Elizabeth Truss: look at Wales to see what Labour would do with education

3 April 2014 17:56

Want to see what Labour would do with Michael Gove’s reforms? Just look at Wales, says Elizabeth Truss. At the Spectator’s schools conference this morning, the Childcare Minister used the… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt at the Spectator schools conference this morning.

Why Tristram Hunt is wrong about free schools

3 April 2014 10:09

‘I’ve come to exorcise you lot,’ said Tristram Hunt cheerfully, as he turned up to deliver the keynote speech in The Spectator’s schools conference today. He had come to explain… Continue reading

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt.

Michael Gove attacks Tristram Hunt for not knowing difference between education and health

24 March 2014 16:23

Education questions is always interesting in the sense that the main players are quite energetic and keen for debate and there is a genuine divide now between the two main… Continue reading


What I’d like in the Budget: more support for teachers

15 March 2014 16:29

To start on a glamorous note: subsidised bus fares for those in full-time education outside London. I turned 16 in the same year my dad turned 60, and just as… Continue reading


It’s time for the Tories to rally to the aspiration agenda

13 March 2014 17:59

School reform is economically essential for Britain’s future success, morally necessary for a fairer, more socially mobile society and politically essential for a centre-right party that wants to show that… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt – enemy of choice. Image: Getty

Tristram Hunt should worry about failure in council schools, not free schools

13 March 2014 12:10

Tristram Hunt seems delighted today that Britain’s first profit-seeking school has been deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted. The scores of council-run failing schools, several in his Stoke constituency, don’t seem to… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Gove, Cameron and the myth of ‘state vs private’ schools

10 March 2014 12:51

Will David Cameron send his kids to a state secondary school, as Michael Gove is doing? Today’s papers are following up James Forsyth’s suggestion that Cameron will slum it as… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Don’t reduce class sizes: the OECD’s lessons for education in the UK

5 March 2014 17:34

So much of the education debate is about how UK schools perform relative to those in other countries – this week Liz Truss reported back from her visit to Shanghai… Continue reading

The value of an arts degree? Illustration: Michael Heath

Should you take a degree to earn money – or to learn how to live?

5 March 2014 15:28

The motion ‘An Arts Degree is a Waste of Time and Money’ was roundly defeated at last night’s Spectator debate, after a lively debate in which Will Self took on… Continue reading

Image: Getty

The coalition has stabilised childcare costs – so why do headlines suggest they’re rising?

4 March 2014 16:10

You may have heard about the Family and Childcare Trust’s survey today, about the costs of childcare. You wouldn’t know it from the headlines but it actually found that in… Continue reading

History of Art is more than just a subject for nice girls with nice hair

History of Art shouldn’t just be a subject for posh girls

4 March 2014 15:48

There’s a campaign running at the moment to rebrand History of Art and clear up some of the myths surrounding the subject. It’s seen as a posh subject, studied by… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Does Tristram Hunt think that choice in education should be only for the rich?

2 March 2014 13:48

At last – Labour has made its intentions over education clear. Throughout his interview on the Sunday Politics today, Tristram Hunt showed that Labour has switched allegiances to adults, not… Continue reading


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

Image: Getty

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