Stop whining about Sats: Mollycoddled children will turn into hyper-sensitive students

Adult campaigners grumble that focusing on test results is at the expense of “children’s happiness and joy of learning” says Claire in Even if you’re not a parent, a teacher or a primary school pupil, you can’t have missed that it’s Sats week. The media is drowning in tales of tearful tweens and the … Read more

Michael Gove is right about the English syllabus

It turns out he doesn’t want to ban any books – but the furore says a lot about his critics’ prejudices says Claire in The Guardian. The big story of this bank holiday weekend was the tale of an education secretary who was allegedly trying to stop teenagers reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Of … Read more

It’s a sick society that encourages its citizens to view everything going on around them with suspicion

In the Independent, Claire argues that whistleblower hotlines risk creating a paranoid, fragmented workforce Some 500 authors have this week spoken out about the capacity of the intelligence agencies to spy on millions of people’s digital communications. They have a point when they argue that this is “turning everyone into potential suspects”. Yet maybe the … Read more

Freedom also comes in pink

“Women of the world unite: a sinister patriarchal plot is out to get us. Evil tobacco companies are conspiring to seduce us by wrapping up ‘our poison’ in shades of ‘pale or pastel colours’. There is concern in public health circles that the dark arts of design, armed with images denoting ‘femininity, style, sophistication and … Read more

I have a basic human right to look at fag packets

“Has your personal life been ‘denormalised’ yet? Mine is about to be, and believe me it’s not pleasant. The health ministries in Scotland and Westminster have just announced plans to make a perfectly legal habit seem as abnormal as possible. The SNP’s Public Health Minister Shona Robinson, quickly followed by England’s own health secretary Alan … Read more