Category: “Education

Gove needs to get a grip of his special advisors, and answer accusations of breach of FoI laws

Posted on 20 September 2011 | 10:09am

‘Maximum openness for maximum trust’ was one of the principles I tried to operate when heading up attempts to co-ordinate communications across government. There were risks attached to that, of course. But I think I can count on the fingers of one hand, for example, the number of times we suffered from a leak of […]

Gove’s team clearly very defensive re free schools

Posted on 10 September 2011 | 8:09am

Very much in ‘partner of’ role, I went the other evening to the launch of School Wars, a book on the current battle for the future of education policy, written by Fiona’s fellow campaigner for comprehensive schools, Melissa Benn. Melissa is a good writer and thoroughly nice person, so I overcame my general reluctance to […]

Il parait que les Francais acceptent que l’anglais est la langue mondiale

Posted on 31 August 2011 | 9:08am

It will be no surprise to regulars to hear that I am a Francophone. My year spent in Nice as an ‘assistant d’anglais’ was one of the happiest of my life. I love the French language, much of French culture, and am most definitely not one of those Brits who holds the view that the […]

Clegg needs to do more than fulminate. This is also about wealth, power and opportunity

Posted on 8 August 2011 | 12:08pm

Nick Clegg is right to say the violence in London has been unacceptable, and the thieving opportunistic, and the senior police officer put up to do interviews in the absence of a Commissioner right to say the rooters and looters do not represent their communities. But both are wrong if they see this purely as […]

Guest blog on Happiness – with a plea for female speakers on the subject

Posted on 1 August 2011 | 10:08am

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a Lecture on Happiness at Birmingham University. Today I give the blog over to KIRSTY MACK, the university’s head of stakeholder relations, so that she can ruminate on the theme, and also ask for your ideas on who might be a suitable (female) speaker on this theme next […]

That Nice airport blog in full — Cameron would have handled crisis better if he had gone to a comprehensive

Posted on 18 July 2011 | 9:07am

It is evidence of just how badly David Cameron has handled the News International scandal that he is having to cut short a planned – and important – trip to Africa. Indeed, amid all the talk of victims of phone hacking, the victims of the spreading famine can be added to the list. But for […]

The press furore won’t swing an election, but it will change the nature of the debate to Labour’s benefit

Posted on 12 July 2011 | 6:07am

Time for the blog to take a little breather from phonehacking, with three little scenes from yesterday which combined to lift my mood from the general media putrescence in which we have been swimming. First, I spent the morning at Eastbury comprehensive school in Barking, speaking to the sixth form induction group. Forty per cent […]

Whacking public services now a clear political strategy to match economic strategy of cuts

Posted on 24 June 2011 | 8:06am

I was surprised there were no ministers at the Local Government Awards organised by the Municipal Journal last night. It was one of those events at which, if memory serves me right, Labour always tried to ensure a ministerial presence. But I didn’t have to be there for long to pick up the feeling from […]

From Dream school to a real school making a real difference; and meeting Big Brother Lansley

Posted on 22 June 2011 | 3:06pm

Why did it have to be Piers Morgan who spotted the spelling error – I am OBSESSED about spelling – in my tweet from a school in Harrow? No, not that school in Harrow, but St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, a comprehensive not far from the well-known public school. Piers was quick to point out […]

In defence of politics – a lecture worth reading, from a rather lonely voice

Posted on 17 June 2011 | 10:06am

Welcome to what is surely the longest blogpost put up here since I started blogging some time ago. It certainly has the longest paragraphs, but bear with me – that’s what happens when you get academics involved. The academic in question is a politics professor from Sheffield University, Matt Flinders. I met him for the […]