An article in Tuesday’s Independent asks ‘Where are the leaders who can cast a spell?’ Steve Richards, points to the momentum, conviction and unity the big election winners of the past have conveyed – they have, Richards says, ‘cast a spell over the electorate and media’.
The headline news that school leaders in the private and maintained sector have branded today’s school league tables as “Nonsense” highlights the growing gulf between those who work in education and Government.
Barely a week passes without Schools being told they should teach one thing or another. A look at the past year reveals that in January there were calls to teach all children employment skills and the dangers of online bullying. Then, amidst the gloom of February, Tristram Hunt wanted "grit and determination" on the curriculum.
Conversations about an academic programme for our most able scholars began when I became Headmaster in 2010. Soon after, the Master of St John’s College shared with me his concerns that the current exam system constrained pupils’ thinking and failed to equip them for the more expansive demands of top universities.
I blame Pierre de Coubertin who inspired generations by lighting the flame of the new Olympic movement with his catchy strapline, “Swifter. Higher. Stronger.” There can be no doubt that we live in competitive times.