I loved learning about lungfish. But I don't want to force them into the curriculum. Schooling is an area of government policy subject to a peculiar ...
At the heart of Twigg's oratory was a depressing reaffirmation of Labour's support for neoliberal education policies and the choice agenda. Chastising Michael Gove for seeing academies as a panacea, Twigg has plumped instead for a 'whatever works for you' approach
Put plainly, Michael Gove's free school project is a damaging and unnecessary step towards greater segregation within an already lamentably unequal state system.
Before we all start manning the barricades, please can we react to reality, rather than propaganda?
Britain is experiencing the Age of the Amateur. Qualified experts, specialists, practitioners operating within established, well-regulated trades; these professionals have had their day. True integrity and nous belong to the volunteer, the have-a-go hero. At least, this seems to be the accepted wisdom of the Cameroons. And the result is a crisis of professionalism that threatens to undermine Britain's public and private sectors.
"Human nature is not like a machine that is built like a model and set to the do the work exactly proscribed for it, but, should be seen as a tree that uniquely grows depending on the diverse and inward forces that make it a living thing".
There's been a lot of attention paid to the Phoenix Free School in Oldham, for instance, which will be run by a group of ex-servicemen when it opens in 2013, with a focus on discipline and zero-tolerance for bullies and other malfeasants.
Remember Tony Blair's three priorities for government? They were 'education, education and education'. Talking to prospective free school principal David Perks, I became convinced that his 'three priorities for education' would be 'science, science and science'.
Last week Michael Gove gave a speech on the future of adoption. He challenged head on the belief that taking children from damaging home situations into care was itself damaging. As a foster carer myself I strongly welcome this clear and unambiguous statement. It is great to hear him say that care is a positive outcome for some children. Over the years, my wife and I have cared for significant numbers of children where we strongly felt that the rights of parents had come first, when decisions over whether to take children into care were being made.
As plans for the first state-funded Free School, staffed entirely by ex-soldiers, begin to take shape, the UK's current love affair with its armed forces seems to be moving in a worrying new direction.
In 2009 the Guardian newspaper published an article based on a report which warned private schools would have to increase their class sizes in the fut...
Teach sometimes marriage works, teach sometimes marriage doesn't. Teach sometimes single parents are stable family homes, teach sometimes LGBT couples are stable parents. Replace Religious Studies with Philosophy so that children are not taught pseudo-theology but how to critically think.
The Government is right to make education a top political priority, even if some of the rhetoric about complacency and Facebook is a bit ridiculous.
Since Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, debate has been reignited regarding the policies Labour should be taking forward. No policy suggestion, though, has received anywhere near the backlash of Stephen Twigg's proposal that the Party should embrace the Government's free schools agenda.
To revisit briefly, the germ of this debate and Twigg's latest article: last Friday, an interview appeared in the Liverpool Daily Post entitled 'I will back free schools, says Labour's new shadow education minister Stephen Twigg'. This was a significant (and extremely welcome) shift.
I imagine you'd find it odd going back to work after a six week hiatus in which arson, looting and the total breakdown of society have been laid at the door of your profession, in not so many words.