News and Updates

  • Sticking up for the French

    I was very puzzled the other day to hear that UNESCO had elevated the humble French Stick – aka le baguette – to exalted cultural heritage status.  Why I wondered when, for example, most sticks you routinely come across, particularly...

  • Madness in HE Case No 35728

    The University of York has stopped using students’ initials for their emails and usernames. According to the Telegraph, the initiative is intended as a “trans-friendly” move, while the Mail reports that “university bosses” believe the policy is “more inclusive”. The...

  • The World COP

    The COP closing plenary was 5 hours 10 minutes long on YouTube.  It must have seemed much longer in real time. It was sponsored by Coca Cola.  Here's what Le Monde had to say about the inappropriateness of this. If...

  • 1750 and all that

    Our World in Data has a section on historic carbon emissions which will be useful to any school wanting to explore the idea that countries might pay penance for having emitted a lot of carbon dioxide over time. The UK's...

  • 30 – 50

    Venture Capitalist, Vinod Khosla, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, wrote the following in an Economist feature: "There are 12 major areas to focus on in the coming decades: electricity, EVs, aviation, shipping, cement, steel, animal husbandry in agriculture,...

  • What are schools for?

    A recent mailing from the FED wondered whether skills are beginning to take centre stage in the DfE's thinking.  As evidence of this, the writer cites the fact that a long-time supporter of a long-term plan for education, the Rt Hon Robert...

  • Stranded by a FED tide

    The Foundation for Education Development – the FED – has expressed its approval of "long-term thinking" being back in government when it comes to education.  A recent comment is shown here: The FED has the prime aim of promoting the urgent need for...

  • Defunding UK Education

    Although no one voted for it, and there have been no street-campaigns demanding it, education in England has been systematically defunded in a comparative sense over the last 20 years under all shades of government. Twenty years ago, Britain devoted...

  • The road to Imber is paved with good intentions

    Germany, which is desperately short of energy options, has finally decided (after much debate / dithering) that it will shut down its last nuclear power stations by April 2023.  This is an act born of green ethical principle it seems. At...

  • Bye Bye 1.5

    With COP27 starting, it will be instructive to see what official discourse and communiques have to say about the chance of restricting the post-industrial global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Global temperature rise is now in the 1.0 to...