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Tag Archives: Terry Wrigley

Education Crisis

Education Crisis


You may well be aware the NUT has recently launched its ‘Stand Up For Education’ manifesto, designed to help shape the political debate about state education in the run up to the general election and beyond.

You can find a copy here ––9623-_0.pdf

The document is intended to outline some key principles and fundamental concerns, relating to:

  • Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment: ‘A wider vision of learning and achievement’ (p.4)
  • Evaluation, accountability and improvement: ‘More time for teaching, not more tests’ (p.5)
  • The teaching profession including teacher education (p.6 and 14)
  • Social justice: end child poverty (p.7)
  • Providing school places, finance, the education system and democratic governance (pp.10-13)

The campaign has emerged from the NUT’s member mobilisation, over a sustained period of time, in which concerns about pay, pensions and workload connect to a wider set of concerns about the nature and future of state education. The strategy and tactics of this campaign were recently outlined by its Deputy General Secretary Kevin Courtney, and NEC member Gawain Little, in a recent article in Forum for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education (Vol.56 No.2, 2014).

The campaign represents a concerted effort to mobilise professional and public opinion around an agenda that fundamentally challenges the trajectory of current policy, and has the potential to form an on-going campaign to shape policy beyond the election. It is clear that whatever the outcome in May 2015, the campaign for a well-funded, democratic school system based on sound pedagogical principles, not market values, will need to continue. The strategy recognises the need to win the battle of ideas, which will require an alliance of all those concerned for education.

We see this campaign as the best opportunity in a long time to mobilise on a significant scale around an alternative and much more hopeful vision of education.  That is why we believe it is important that progressive intellectual forces, within and beyond the higher education community, need to organise around the broad agenda presented in the ‘Stand Up For Education’ manifesto.

For this reason, we recently met informally with Kevin Courtney and Ian Murch (NUT Treasurer) to discuss how the academic community might best support this initiative. This was followed by a planning meeting in London involving some of the early signatories.

Our intention is not to identify a ‘one size fits all’ approach to involvement, but to develop several different forms of activity that can better fit with people’s circumstances. This could involve, for example:

  • developing a database of ‘research contacts’ for the media etc.
  • identifying relevant research
  • the use of social media
  • the development of regional and local events.

Involvement is not about having to sign up to every dot and comma of the ‘SUFE’ manifesto, and it does not have to be about formally or exclusively identifying with the NUT.  It is about recognising that we need to win the battle of ideas and that this represents one of the best initiatives in a long time for building a movement that connects ideas and activism.  Academics, researchers, teacher educators and wider public intellectuals surely have a key role to play in developing this movement. However, to make a difference, it is important that we organise.

Our aim is to explore how we might best do this.  We very much hope you will join with us. Some well-known individuals have already publicly declared support, including Robin Alexander and Tim Brighouse, and some well-known children’s authors. We have drafted a short statement at the end of this letter, which you may wish to support or alternatively write your own.

Stand Up for Education Manifesto:–9623-_0.pdf

How you can get involved:

Please let us know if you would like to add your name to this statement of support (please reply to or

As lecturers and professors of Education, we wish to express our support for Stand up for education: a manifesto for our children’s education. We urge policy makers to recognise the need for a wider vision of learning and education, which is no longer distorted and undermined by bureaucratic systems of surveillance and artificial target-setting. We call for immediate steps to end the blight of child poverty along with funding for high quality early years education and the restoration of financial support for post-16 students to stay in education.  We agree that the future development of high quality comprehensive education for all depends on a well qualified teaching profession and the principle of local democratic governance.

We will then bring you up to date on current activities, including our new blog and an invitation to prepare a short article or briefing note backing up specific recommendations in the Stand Up For Education document.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. Please feel free to forward it to other colleagues who you think might be interested in being involved.

Howard Stevenson  

Terry Wrigley 



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Living on the Edge – Rethinking poverty, class and schooling

By Professor Terry Wrigley

9 January 2014

1 – 2 pm

University of East London

Stratford Campus, The Cass Building, ED4.02

Based on his new book (co-authored with John Smyth), Terry Wrigley will outline a long tradition of deficit thinking whereby children growing up in poverty, their families, and those who teach them, are held to blame for low achievement. The history of flawed explanations and faulty evidence includes genetic intelligence, poor parenting and low aspirations.

The material and cultural impact of poverty on children has been intensified and complicated in England through current Austerity politics as well as rigid curriculum standardisation and surveillance. The book also proposes a symbolic interactionist approach, drawing on Bourdieu and Goffman, to understand and respond to the complexity of relationships and (mis)understandings between teachers and students, or schools and communities.

Terry Wrigley, Visiting Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University,

Editor, Improving Schools journal

Co-coordinator of the Infamous 100 Academics letter:


Details on the book:

Living on the Edge – Rethinking poverty, class and schooling


John Smyth and Terry Wrigley

Peter Lang


239 pages




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Just published online at:

[Printed copies will be posted mid-April]

FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education
Volume 55 Number 1  2013     ISSN 0963-8253

THIS WAY OUT: teachers and pupils escaping from fixed-ability thinking and practice


Mary Jane Drummond & Patrick Yarker. Editorial. The Enduring Problem of Fixed Ability: but is a new conversation beginning? OPEN ACCESS

Michael Armstrong. The Brian Simon Memorial Lecture 2012. Education as Reconstruction: another way of looking at primary education OPEN ACCESS

Rachel Marks. ‘The Blue Table Means You Don’t Have a Clue’: the persistence of fixed-ability thinking and practices in primary mathematics in English schools

Julian Stern. Surprise in Schools: Martin Buber and dialogic schooling

Terry Wrigley. Beyond ‘Ability’: some European alternatives

Gwen Tressider & Anne Watson. The Possibilities and Difficulties of Teaching Secondary Mathematics in All-attainment Groups

Holly Linklater. Teaching and the Individuality of Everybody

Lani Florian. Preparing Teachers to Work with Everybody: a curricular approach to the reform of teacher education

John Cornwall. What Makes an Inclusive Teacher? Can Fish Climb Trees? Mapping the European Agency Profile of Inclusive Teachers to the English System

Annabelle Dixon. Differentiation, Resistance and Courage: at work in the infant school

Mary Jane Drummond & Susan Hart, with Mandy Swann. An Alternative Approach to School Development: the children are the evidence, pages 121-132

Sally Tomlinson. From Defective Loafers to Ignorant Yobs: low attainers in a global knowledge economy

Jo Boaler. Ability and Mathematics: the mindset revolution that is reshaping education

Patrick Yarker. ‘Can I have me on here?’: ‘ability’ and the language of pupil-progress

Amy Milik & Mark Boylan. Valuing Choice as an Alternative to Fixed-ability Thinking and Teaching in Primary Mathematics


Index for Inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools (Tony Booth & Mel Ainscow), and Education, Education, Education: reforming England’s schools (Andrew Adonis), reviewed by Clyde Chitty

PERSONAL SUBSCRIPTION Subscription to the three printed 2013 issues (including online access to all available past issues) is available to private individuals at a cost of US$70.00 (approximately £46.00). If you wish to subscribe you may do so immediately at

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION (campus-wide access) If you are working within an institution that maintains a library, please urge your Librarian to take out a Library subscription so we can provide full access throughout your institution. Detailed information for libraries can be found at

For all editorial matters, including articles offered for publication, please contact the Editor, Professor Clyde Chitty, 19 Beaconsfield Road, Bickley, Bromley BR1 2BL, United Kingdom (


In the event of problems concerning a subscription, or difficulty in gaining access to the journal articles on the website, please contact the publishers at



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Blair's Educational Legacy


Edited by Anthony Green

Palgrave Macmillan (December 2010)

ISBN: 978-0-230-62176-3, ISBN10: 0-230-62176-7, 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches, 244 pages

Providing an overview and Marxist assessment of Tony Blair and New Labour’ policies, structures, and processes, the contributors in this exciting new collection discuss specific aspects of education policy and practices. This examination is set against the changing political and economic contexts of the British state’s responses to global and neo-liberal pressures.

Central themes include: New Labour and the education market state; New Labour, education, and ideology; and totality and open Marxism. 

Green’s work marks a timely contribution to Marxist analysis and Left critical assessment and is the first such collection addressing New Labour education policy.

Anthony Green is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London. He co-convenes Marxism and Education Renewing Dialogues (MERD), and is Series Editor for the Palgrave Macmillan Marxism and Education Series.


Introduction: Anthony Green * All the Wrong Answers: Labour’s Corporate-Centred Education Initiatives–Kevin Farnsworth * The Knowledge-based Economy and the Transformation of Higher Education: Issues concerning enclosing and protecting the intellectual commons–Molly Bellamy * The Professional Imagination: Further Education Professionalism in and beyond a Neo-liberal Context–Denis Gleeson * The Privatisation of Education Phase II: Perspectives on state schools the private sector and ten years of a Labour government–Thakir Hafid * Management and Governance of the School System–Richard Hatcher * City: Academies, Alienation, Economism and Contending Forces for Change–Philip Woods * Curriculum Change in the Blair Years–Terry Wrigley * Education still make you sick under Gordon Brown, Innit?–Martin Allen & Patrick Ainley * Ten Years of Education Policy and ‘Race’ Inequality: Whiteness or Neo-liberal Practice?–Alpesh Maisuria * Gendered Practices in Education–Rosalyn George & John Wadsworth

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Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies

New Issue


Volume 6, Number 2:
December 2008


Philip E. Kovacs, H.K. Christie
The Gates’ Foundation and the Future of U.S. Public Education: A Call for Scholars to Counter Misinformation Campaigns



Richard Hatcher
Selling Academies: local democracy and the management of ‘consultation’



James Avis
Class, economism, individualisation and Post Compulsory Education and Training



John Walsh
The Critical Role of Discourse in Education for Democracy



Anthony J. Nocella
Emergence of Disability Pedagogy



Paul J. Welsh
Social Deprivation, Community Cohesion, Denominational Education and Freedom of Choice: A Marxist Perspective on Poverty and Exclusion in the District of Thanet



Christian Fuchs and Marisol Sandoval
Positivism, Postmodernism, or Critical Theory? A Case Study of Communications Students’ Understandings of Criticism



Rachel Hertz-Lazarowitz, Aura Mor-Sommerfeld, Tamar Zelniker, Faisal Azaiza
From ethnic segregation to bilingual education: What can bilingual education do for the future of the Israeli Society?



Anita Trnavcevic
The imaginary of commodified education: Open days at Slovenian grammar schools



Stephen P. Gordon, John Smyth, Julie Diehl
The Iraq War, ‘Sound Science,’ and ‘Evidence-Based’ Educational Reform: How the Bush Administration Uses Deception, Manipulation, and Subterfuge to Advance its Chosen Ideology



Charlie Cooper
Review Essay: Neoliberalism, education and strategies of resistance



Ashwani Kumar
Review Essay of Ross, E.W., & Gibson, R. (Eds.). (2007). Neoliberalism and Education Reform. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.



Terry Wrigley
review of E. Wayne Ross and Rich Gibson eds.(2007) Neoliberalism and education reform. Creskill NJ: Hampton Press



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