Four reasons why textbooks can improve our schools

There is a pernicious dogma in our schools, largely thanks to the 2005 Steer Report and poorly trained Ofsted inspectors, that lessons should contain ‘jazzy’ and ‘whizzy’ exercises designed to engage students in their learning. A failure to do so, the conventional wisdom suggests, will inevitably lead to poor behaviour amongst pupils (and this is entirely your fault as a … More Four reasons why textbooks can improve our schools

Obstacles to getting character education right

Last Monday I attended the launch of the Demos report ‘Learning by Doing’, hosted jointly with The Scouts Association, in the majestic surroundings of the State Rooms within the Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster. This was an event on ‘non-formal learning’ and the role it can play in character development. Alongside Dweck’s growth-mindset, character traits such … More Obstacles to getting character education right

How to ensure ‘smart new teachers’ stay in the schools in which they are most needed

Last Saturday I witnessed my first speech day at Wellington (watch this trailer by the student-run TV station, WTV, for a glimpse of what the day had in store). Singing, dancing, poetry, speeches and prizes, made up a breath-taking 3 hour(!) spectacular in a ‘big-top’ hired out specially for the event. One could only marvel … More How to ensure ‘smart new teachers’ stay in the schools in which they are most needed