I am strongly committed state education and the movement for comprehensive reform and have written widely on this and related issues. I also speak frequently at meetings and conferences. In early 2006, Fiona Millar and I wrote a pamphlet ‘ A Comprehensive Future: quality and equality for all our children’ published by Compass.
Earlier this year – 2011 – I published ‘School Wars: The Battle for Britain’s Education’, a history of the struggle for comprehensive reform and an analysis of how it continues to be relevant in today’s landscape.
I am a member of the steering group of Comprehensive Future. Our aim is to end selection in the UK, which we believe undermines the chances of all children to the best education possible.
I am also a supporter of the Anti-Academies Alliance. I believe all schools should work together and have the same rights and freedoms; granting some schools greater powers and so called independence undermines the efforts of neighbouring schools and is, ultimately, counterproductive.
I am also actively involved in the life of our local school Queens Park Community School and am one of a group of parents who initiated and continue to run a writing project there called The Write Stuff. Our aim is to bring in some of the best writers, poets, journalists and editors to speak to and run workshops for QPCS students. I had this idea after observing that students at far better resourced schools take these kinds of privileges for granted. I realised that if we wanted this kind of programme for QPCS, a hard pressed large inner city comprehensive school, we parents would have to do it ourselves. Much to our delight, we recently won a national award for our work.