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Showing posts from April, 2013

Unions blast Michael Gove's education reforms

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(Originally published by Equal Times)
Translations:  Español | Francais

Meet the UK’s lost generation

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(First published on Equal Times)
Translations: Español | Francais

Finn Richardson is a near perfect embodiment of Britain’s growing youth unemployment crisis. At 19 years old he finds himself among 993,000 of his peers on the unemployment scrapheap, yet his determination to find work runs contrary to popular media portrayals of sedentary youngsters scrounging off the welfare state.
“I’ve been looking for work for almost two years,” he protests in a soft yet indignant voice, “I’ve handed out over 200 CVs and been to a few interviews but I don’t get any feedback and I’ve not really got anywhere with them.”
Finn has also attended training sessions at a youth charity near his home in Old Trafford, in the north of England. Rathbone offers support to young people across Britain – often with few qualifications - to help them become more employable in a difficult labour market. There is no doubt that Finn wants to work, his supervisor informs me. The problem is that demand for his services is …

Education policy should be guided by pupils' talents

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(Originally published by the Independent)

As a rule of thumb the least enlightened views on education tend to be expressed by people who thoroughly enjoyed their experience at school. Those who excelled in a traditional classroom environment are often unable to relate to those who didn’t (the majority). They typically ascribe the failure of their peers to bad teaching, individual laziness or the absence of an abstract concept like “rigour” or “creativity”.
It is a curious and unfortunate fact that whilst those who thrive academically are in a small minority of the population, it is their voice which invariably comes to dominate the entire discourse on how we should educate our children. Those on the right, like Michael Gove, argue we have lost our way and need to return to Victorian era values of discipline, rote learning and individual pupil responsibility. Liberal commentators and Labour party sympathisers shout back that we should be progressing away from repetition and rules, toward…