The Best That Has Been Thought and Said? (FORUM 1)

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Format: Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

ROBIN ALEXANDER

FORUM has marked the progress of the Cambridge Primary Review by three previous articles from Robin Alexander, the Review’s director, and by critiques and responses from several others, notably FORUM’s Michael Armstrong. In 2013 the Review was superseded by the Cambridge Primary Review Trust, and this article is the text of the keynote delivered at the Trust’s London launch on 23 September 2013. It briefly assesses the Review’s impact to date, warning that to attempt to do so is a rather more complex enterprise than some commentators allow. It then outlines the Trust’s four programmes and seven priorities, tracing the latter back to the Review’s conclusions and the debate they provoked. Finally, the article returns to one of the Review’s (and this author’s) abiding themes: the public discourse of educational policy and policymakers’ handling of evidence. In both matters, the current government, like its predecessor, is found severely wanting, and the author argues that these discursive and evidential deficits not only continue to frustrate educational progress but are also in themselves profoundly anti-educational, not to say ill-educated.

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