What can Gove learn from Swedish free schools?

Education Investor, June 2014 //

In November a long-running study revealed that performance in Sweden’s schools had fallen yet further below the global average, compounding decades of decline in the country’s school system.

It was sobering news not just for Swedes, but also for those in the English state education sector. Here the government’s latest programme of school reform is based almost entirely on the supposed success of the Swedish model. Read More »

Independence: What does it mean for Scotland’s universities?

Education Investor, April 2014

Later this year, the people of Scotland will vote on whether the country should become an independent nation. With a proud tradition in education dating back to the 15th century, Scotland has more top universities per head of population than anywhere else in the world. But September’s historic poll raises some serious questions about whether Scotland will be able to maintain this excellence if it separates from the rest of the UK.

Read More »

Bricks and Mortarboards: The government’s new ‘no-frills’ schools

Education Investor, November 2013

The government’s standardised, ‘no frills’ schools are taking shape. Tom Ireland looks at their effect on pupils, communities and the education sector. 

It’s pretty easy to spot a school built during Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) years. This was the era of the cavernous atrium, like the Langley Academy, Berkshire, and of wildly expensive materials, like the all copper chapel of All Saints Academy, Gloucestershire. Some schools, such as Clapham Manor Primary, in South London, are quite breathtakingly beautiful.Read More »

Health Secretary to make ‘rap riposte’ to viral video

GP, 2011 // In over four years as a reporter for the medical newspaper GP, this ludicrous April Fool’s spoof got far more traffic than anything else I ever wrote.

Senior civil servants claim Mr Lansley was recently seen ‘sheepishly dancing in a gold tracksuit’ with a small film crew outside his parliamentary office.

A DoH spokesman confirmed Mr Lansley would be ‘issuing a clear statement on the need for reform, over a fat hip-hop beat’.



Switching On: The failure of the world’s largest IT project, and what happens now

HealthInvestor, Jan 2012

The National Programme for IT (NPfIT) was arguably the most disastrous government procurement in living memory. It was the largest IT project the world has ever seen, and it was an abject failure. But since the £11 billion programme was abandoned last summer, those involved in healthcare IT have not just been stood in the naughty corner, thinking about what they’ve done. Work to give the NHS the world-class, state-of-the-art IT systems it deserves has moved on at a surprising pace.

Read More »