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Wendy Jones

Freelance writer

Freelance writer, journalist, comms person. Formerly education correspondent and various other things at BBC. Founding trustee of National Numeracy, board member of VLV and 26 writers' group.
What I Learned From My Trip To

What I Learned From My Trip To Iran

When I told people I was going on holiday to Iran, the most common response was: 'Why?' Some were more positively curious and some knowingly envious, but for many my holiday choice was downright perverse.
23/11/2016 10:54 GMT
Missing Teeth and Other

Missing Teeth and Other Failings

She knew who she was, who I and other relatives were, but not where she was exactly or why. Memories and knowledge laid down long ago remained. Current experiences were hard to fathom. Hospital was difficult. Her cognition got worse with each stay.
25/01/2016 16:27 GMT
Pre (And Post?) Welfare

Pre (And Post?) Welfare State

I have a new favourite museum. Tucked away in a quiet little square in central London is a museum that tells the story of one of the most poignant social experiments borne of the industrial revolution - and that may have resonance for today.
08/07/2015 22:57 BST
Why the BBC's Worth

Why the BBC's Worth It

As the corporation gears up to negotiating the renewal of the Royal Charter and defending the licence fee (why Ian Fletcher was brought in, after all), <em>W1A</em> is a reminder of why the BBC is worth it. Ok, there are a few other reasons, like BBC News and Radio 4 and live music and (now) the World Service.... You don't have to like them all, just enough of them.
13/04/2014 23:12 BST
Radio Maths is

Radio Maths is Fun!

We already knew that poor numeracy was more widespread than poor literacy and that around half the population of working age had only primary school-level maths skills (too many power naps at secondary school?). We also knew that poor maths was linked to lower earnings (even more so than poor literacy is) and possibly to wider wellbeing. But now the new economic research put a figure to the estimated overall cost.
20/03/2014 15:14 GMT
Shocking News - Schools Are Improving

Shocking News - Schools Are Improving (Slightly)

You might not have guessed it from reading this week's education headlines, but schools in England are actually getting better. Nearly eight out of 10 are judged good or outstanding in the annual report from the schools inspectorate, Ofsted - the highest proportion in the watchdog's 20-year history.
13/12/2013 15:05 GMT
Story-telling in the Land of My

Story-telling in the Land of My Fathers

Tracing family history always throws up stories because people make stories. It doesn't really matter that these people are related to you - I still maintain that - but mining your own family for stories is as good an option as any.
23/09/2013 13:15 BST
Observations of a Slightly Republican (Lower Case 'R')

Observations of a Slightly Republican (Lower Case 'R') Tourist

A couple of weeks ago I was congratulated (yes, personally congratulated) on the birth of 'the new royal prince'. I wasn't sure at first how to respond. After all, I don't believe I put much personal effort into the affair, unlike the births of my own children. But I realised I was being congratulated as a citizen and subject and I managed a gracious 'thanks'.
27/08/2013 13:52 BST
No maths in

No maths in business?

I half-watched The Apprentice last night while going through the email backlog - both experiences made slightly more bearable by the other. But my attention was suddenly caught by a Maths Problem.
09/05/2013 11:48 BST
Try Again, Mr

Try Again, Mr Gove

Ever since Kenneth Baker first introduced a National Curriculum for schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1988, governments have periodically had a bash at improving it. It's one of those cyclical things.
26/08/2012 20:27 BST
Diary of an Olympic

Diary of an Olympic Convert

Who'd have thought it? Me, the most reluctant of sports fans, whose disdain for the subject was, I thought, unparalleled, who times the weekly supermarket run to coincide with any major TV sporting event so that I have the place to myself - me, actually getting excited by the Olympics?
06/08/2012 15:54 BST
Too Many Children Leave School Without Maths Skills for

Too Many Children Leave School Without Maths Skills for Life

Too much teaching is seen as getting students through tests rather than giving them a real understanding of what maths is about and so preparing them for the next stage of education, work and life. Teachers have become more aware of the need to improve students' problem-solving and investigative skills, but rarely integrate that into the way children learn.
23/05/2012 17:28 BST
Doing the Sums With Britain and

Doing the Sums With Britain and Numeracy

Nearly 17 million people in England - almost half the working-age population - have the numeracy skills expected of children at primary school. That means they may not be able to check pay and deductions on a wage slip, understand bus timetables or pay household bills.
05/03/2012 12:47 GMT