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A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning – Disraeli


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Reaction to the Government’s higher education reforms really got under the skin of my researcher, Tim Hewish, who launched into a passionate defence of the Government’s direction of travel. I asked him to write this post… — Steve Much has been said about the Browne Report on Higher Education and the subsequent Government response. Most falls into the category of diatribe and the rest is often socialist, reactionary non-thinking. The Government’s statement was sound. The reforms will actually help bright […]

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Education: a revolutionary act


In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act. — George Orwell

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This Sceptred Isle – pupils will now learn the history of the United Kingdom


N.B. The author is Tim Hewish – my Parliamentary Researcher. As a Historian, I welcome the Education Secretary’s announcement at conference today that History, as a discipline, will be at the core of the curriculum. For too long, Labour had been allowed to reduce the significance of our history, preferring to re-write it or worse simply ignoring it. That is why I fear for the current crop of young people who have been taught under New Labour. To have a world without […]

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A privilege to serve


N.B. The author is Tim Hewish – my Parliamentary Researcher. Against the media backdrop of the Chancellor’s announcement to rein in benefit expenditure, there is one important policy pledge that should be granted more air time: – subsidised university education for the children of soldiers, sailors and airmen killed on active service. David Willetts, Minister for University and Science, told the Conservative Conference today: There is one group of families to whom we have a special debt – the brave men […]

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How to create schools and alienate people


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N.B. The author is Tim Hewish – my Parliamentary Researcher – who is somewhat riled by opposition to the Government’s education reforms — Steve Baker. The largest powder keg in the Hundred Years’ War known as class warfare is surely Education.  Toby Young, writer and now somehow alienator of the people of Acton, has thrown his own grenade into the debate by embarking on the creation a flagship Academy school in west London. The documentary charting the realisation of his free school was aired […]

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Telegraph: “Middle class to lose its grip on best state schools”


I’m sure this will attract a mixed reaction: The Coalition is planning to allow hundreds of secondary schools to control their own entry policies and Michael Gove warmly praised the system, which allocates places according to academic ability and reserves many places for children with the weakest performance. “Fair-banding” admissions schemes are often seen as a way of breaking the middle-class dominance in the best-performing state secondaries since they prevent affluent parents from monopolising places by paying a premium to […]

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21st Century Welfare – DWP


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Via 21st Century Welfare, the Coalition seeks views on proposals for welfare reform. Since I gave time to work for the Centre for Social Justice, these reforms are close to my heart: we must take people out of the present intergenerational cycles of broad spectrum poverty. Iain Duncan Smith’s statement in the main paper is encouraging, particularly the central section: Too often governments have tried to tackle poverty but ended up managing its symptoms. The changes outlined here are based on […]

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‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops’ – Henry Adams


NB: The author is Tim Hewish, who I am glad to welcome as a local contributor. — Steve Buckinghamshire is blessed with having Grammar schools and is complimented by a large number of successful State schools; however not all parts of the country are so privileged. I was fortunate enough to attend the release of Policy Exchange’s latest education report, Blocking the Best, which focuses on the obstacles people face when trying to set up their own independent state school. […]

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Feeling upbeat


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Well, after visiting the magnificent Wycombe Abbey School yesterday to discover that they are very happy to share their facilities with the state sector, and after a great doorstep session this morning in Totteridge, where I found Labour voters coming over to the Conservatives, I am feeling rather upbeat, despite disquieting polling and despite agreeing with William Hague: And I say it is that most crucial election because I believe the choice for Britain is as stark as this: it […]

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The Conservative Party | News | Cameron launches our draft manifesto for schools


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David Cameron has launched the education section of the ‘Mending our Broken Society’ chapter of the Conservative Party’s draft manifesto, and is asking for your questions about it online. Read more: Cameron launches our draft manifesto for schools.

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