Category: independent schools

Amazing student experience: lessons from the independent sector

It was a huge, huge pleasure last night to announce the awards to schools at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards in London, in my capacity as the chair of the judging panel. And what a lovely evening it was, courtesy of Independent School Parent magazine, who so generously supported the awards and who …

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Celebrating the student experience in UK independent schools

Schools only exist because of the children who attend them. They exist to support these children, develop them and educate them as they navigate their childhood and young adult years. This can be very easy to forget in amongst all the many demands made of schools, not least all the reporting they have to do …

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BOOK REVIEW You want to send your child to a UK independent school. Where do you go for the best advice?

I was recently sent a copy of Independent School Entrance by Victoria Barker, the latest in the series of ‘Parent Brief’ books published by Gresham Books, and I was impressed. The author – who has two children of her own, one of whom has passed through the UK independent school system and the other of …

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Why life really is like a box of chocolates

In the 1994 award-winning film, Forrest Gump, the eponymous hero (played, as anyone who has seen it will remember, by Tom Hanks) utters the words “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get’”. It is a film worthy of its many Oscars, Golden Globes and …

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Countering bullying on and off Twitter: why learning how to behave well is an essential part of education

A Twitterstorm has been in full flow this past week or so, reacting to revelations that Caroline Criado-Perez has been subjected to appalling threats of rape and violence through the medium of Twitter. Ms Criado-Perez led a successful three month campaign to bring a female face – that of Jane Austen – to the new …

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Why it is important to talk about values in parenting

We all have values, many of them strongly held values. If you press us on ethical issues, if you test us or challenge us, and if you go deep enough, there will come a point when we reach a point where we will say that we will (or won’t) do something because it is the …

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Children “too embarrassed” to read

A very worrying report was published last week by the National Literacy Trust and reported in the Daily Telegraph. The survey, of 21,000 children in primary and secondary education over the past few years, revealed a steady and concerning drop in the number of pupils reading in their spare time – from 38.1% in 2005 …

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Tulisa: a role model and inspiration for broken Britain?

I have been thinking a lot about female role models recently, and so was drawn to the Daily Mail online article this week which reported an interview in Look magazine with Tulisa Contostavlos, singer and X Factor judge. In the interview, she described herself as an “inspiration for broken Britain”; I was intrigued. I was …

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Honesty in sport: a value at the heart of our society

A new book is due out in June – ‘The Dirtiest Race in History’, by Richard Moore – which deals with Ben Johnson’s victory in the 100m men’s finals in the 1988 Olympic Games, and his subsequent disgrace when he was discovered to have been taking drugs. To this day, I remember that race well …

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