Tuesday, March 30th The Master and his Emissary. I promised a while back to write something about a “fascinating book”, not directly related to education, I was reading which had some implications, I thought, for what has been going on in schools. So here goes. The book is “The Master and his Emissary” by Iain McGilchrist. It is, I think, a staggeringly ambitious work, and one I feel slightly daunted even trying to summarise (especially since one of the central concepts is that representation and abstraction of ideas is of itself problematic, but maybe I shouldn’t go there… yet.) McGilchrist is a former neuroscientist, whoRead More →

  Monday, March 29th Sir Richard Sykes’s review of qualifications for the Conservatives received mixed – at best – reviews in Friday’s TES, and I, too, have my reservations, despite my respect for the experience of members of the commission who contributed to the report. However, I also think that some of its observations about what is wrong with the current regime, which have not received much press attention, should be noted and dwelt upon for a moment. They are, after all (and I would say this, wouldn’t I?), fairly in line with some of the arguments in my book. Sykes says: “The commission considersRead More →

Tuesday, March 16th Reading more about the debate surrounding Ofsted’s latest inspection system over the past couple of weeks has encouraged me to dig some more into how the inspectorate works. And one observation that I probably should have posted a while back was prompted by an inspection report which was written up in a few newspapers before Christmas. Harris Academy Crystal Palace was lauded in the press for being the first school in the country to score an “outstanding” verdict in all of Ofsted’s inspection categories. I have not visited the school, and am not in a position to offer a view on how good it is.Read More →