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Our Children, Time to Talk

September 10th, 2007


Today Ed Balls, Secretary of State for the Department for Children, Schools and Families announced a new ‘national consultation’ called Our Children, Time to Talk.

Am I wrong to be cynical? While I am sure that there is much good that can be done by the government for the children of this country, I don’t believe that they will take on board ideas about reforming the educational system.

When it was mooted that A-Levels be abandoned in favour of a Baccalaureate system, one headline from the Daily Mail saw the policy publicly abandoned. The adoption of a Baccalaureate was a progressive, exciting proposal worth serious consideration. It was abandoned at the first sign of reactionary scepticism. Hockerill Anglo-European College is a model of how adoption of the International Baccalaureate over A-Levels can dramatically inprove academic achievement.

I can’t help having the impression that when a government says it “wants to listen”, it already has a very strong idea about what it wants to hear. I have no doubt that the government will listen to anyone with a safe, mediocre idea that can be sold as change. I really hope that I am proved wrong.

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