Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture 2014

Caroline Benn   1926-2000

Caroline Benn 1926-2000

Selina Todd will give this year’s Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture in November. The lecture will be on ‘The golden age of the grammar school: exploding the myth!’. It is open to all but to ensure a place please write to us at

Dr Selina Todd Lectures in Modern British History at St Hilda’s. Continue reading

Change of tone from Nicky Morgan and Ofsted

Nicky Morgan Education Secretary of State

Nicky Morgan
Education Secretary of State

Many teachers must have been extremely surprised to read a recent letter from Education Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, in which she asserts that ‘Teachers are best placed to make decisions about how and what they should teach; we trust them to exercise their professional judgement, and we want to free them up to focus on what matters in their jobs.’ This change of emphasis from the government was in the context of new guidance from Ofsted about what they did and what they didn’t expect from teachers when their schools were being inspected. Continue reading

Heads face hard sell on academy status, say teacher unions

Chris Keates General Secretary NASUWT

Chris Keates
General Secretary NASUWT

The BBC has reported that Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary has told the education select committee that Primary head teachers in England are being cold-called by “brokers”, urging them to convert to academy status. They are often being offered a certain amount of money, never actually quantified, if they convert to academy status.  The BBC adds that ‘Concerns have been raised in the past of potential conflicts of interest among individuals contracted to work as advisers in the government’s free schools programme in England. ‘ You can read the full story by clicking on the following link:

What should be in the ideal manifesto for education?

The SEA has beReclaimingEducationen in partnership with like-minded groups such as Comprehensive Future and CASE for some years now. After a series of conferences and much deliberation the group has distilled its objectives for the next government into seven key points. They can be found here: General election leaflet final 28 07 14  The NUT has also developed a manifesto for education which you can read by clicking on the following link: NUT election manifesto

What do you think should be the priorities for education? Do let us know your views by posting a comment on the website.

Is the Future Comprehensive?

Owen Jones - one of the panel of speakers

Owen Jones – one of the panel of speakers

To judge by the extremely well attended Labour Party conference fringe meeting celebrating the achievements of state education, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ 150 enthusiastic delegates crowded into a large room in a Manchester hotel on Sunday evening to hear Fiona Millar,  headteacher Patsy Kane, Simon Barrow from Accord and Owen Jones highlight how comprehensive education has improved the educational attainment of working class youngsters Continue reading

Labour Conference 2014 is Over

AnnConf2014The Labour Party Annual Conference ended on Wednesday 24th September. This is the last Annual Conference before the General Election next May. The policies it signed off will be those that form the basis of the Labour Party election manifesto 2015. Continue reading