Welcome to my website. I set up this site as a way of storing reports, articles and other publications that I’ve worked on in the past as well as displaying my media appearances. I have also included a short biography and a contact form, should you wish to find out more.

TRUST ISSUES

It would have been hard to imagine back in 2002 when the first ‘city academy’ opened that such a small, targeted scheme aimed at replacing failing schools in urban areas would end up becoming one of the most contentious educational debates in living memory. The situation we are left with almost two decades later is…

A STEP BACCWARD

Ever since its retrospective introduction in 2010, the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) has generated considerable debate. Despite its confusing name, the EBacc is a ‘performance measure’ for schools that records the percentage of pupils who enter and pass their GCSEs in all the following subjects: English language and English literature; Mathematics; Either history or geography; A…

FREE TO CHOOSE

Our post-18 education system is broken. The total value of outstanding student debt has already passed £100 billion and is forecast to reach around £450 billion by the middle of this century. With the vast majority of universities charging £9,250 per year for undergraduate degrees, students are typically finishing their courses with £40,000-£50,000 of debt….

REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Ofsted’s ratings of each state school as ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires Improvement’ or ‘Inadequate’ are frequently used by parents. The giant PVC banners that adorn many school gates are testament to how much weight is placed on the judgements made by inspectors. Ofsted’s own research has shown that their ratings are the second most important factor…

A QUALIFIED SUCCESS

The contrast between the stability of academic and vocational qualifications in this country could not be starker. A-levels and GCSEs have existed in some form for almost 70 years, and their purpose and character have remained largely unchanged over their impressive lifespan. Meanwhile, numerous waves of vocational qualifications, training schemes and government programmes have come…

TES and FE Week articles (October 2018)

Here are two articles that I wrote for two magazines that cover separate education and skills issues, including a discussion of how much money we spend on education compared to other countries as well as analysis of how a future reduction in low-skill immigration might affect government policy on skills. ‘School spending in Britain DOES…

A DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY

“We are once again experiencing the ‘winds of change’ in the university sector” said Universities Minister Sam Gyimah in February this year, noting that “not a single week goes by without a university story being splashed on the front pages”. Media coverage of rising student debt, Vice-Chancellor remuneration packages, strikes over pensions and debates around…

THE GREAT TRAINING ROBBERY

Now that the apprenticeship levy has completed its first full year of operation, this report reviews the available evidence to determine whether the levy will, as the Government hopes, “incentivise more employers to provide quality apprenticeships” and “transform the lives of young people who secure them”. In the six months after the levy was introduced…

FREE SCHOOLS: AT WHAT COST?

The world of education has never been short of initiatives and fads, some of which added value whereas many do not. While the number of Free Schools remains relatively small compared to the total stock of local maintained schools across England, the considerable political and financial investment that they have received will inevitably draw attention…