Latest Education Publications
Britain’s universities are world-leading. Yet there is growing concern that academic freedom in these institutions is being undermined in a way that departs from the liberal traditions and democratic norms of British society. This paper uses one of the largest representative samples of UK- based academics carried out in recent years to explore the concern that strongly-held political attitudes are restricting the freedom of those who disagree to research and teach on contested subjects. The report sets out what might be done, in the form of legislation—specifically an Academic Freedom Bill—and other measures to ensure that a) universities support intellectual dissent, which drives progress and innovation and b) all lawful speech is protected on campus.
Vocational education and training, especially for those not heading to university, has been one of the biggest public policy failures of the last 25 years. The Covid-19 economic crisis, and how we emerge from it, is an opportunity to do something about it.
The essays in this collection focus on several different aspects of the problem: the lack of decent apprenticeships for school-leavers, the loss of higher manual and technical skills and the decline
The coronavirus crisis underlines the need for an education and training system that is better aligned with the economic and social needs of the UK, says David Goodhart in this research paper. We can no longer afford the luxury of a wasteful mismatch produced by low value degrees and a disorganised approach to vocational training. The current crisis also offers an opportunity to cut through many of the normal blockages and vested interests, not least since we may – in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – be moving into a period of high unemployment, which will require a radical rethinking of current policy. This paper sets out three reforms that would help to improve the UK’s training and education.
Latest Education Blogs
It is now official. The helter skelter expansion of UK higher education ushered in 21 years ago by Tony Blair’s pledge to send half of school leavers to university is now at an end.
And the announcement by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, came not a moment too soon. The headlong rush into mass academic higher education, leapfrogging even the US, happened faster in the UK than in most other comparable countries and it seemed to happen on automatic pilot, with remarkably little thought given to the economic or social consequences. The only serious debate we ever had was on tuition fees.
Today is the final deadline for university applications via UCAS. If previous years are anything to go by, over half a million hopeful applicants will have gone through the process of filling in their forms, making choices, completing personal statements in the hope of going on to an educational experience that will transform their lives.
The UK should feel deservedly pleased with the results of this week’s PISA rankings. Since the last rankings three years ago, it has risen from 22nd to 14th in reading, from 15th to 14th in science and from 27th to 18th in maths. The last is a particular achievement, with the UK improving nine score points over the last three years, one of only a handful of countries to secure a statistically significant increase. The gender gap and rich-poor attainment gap in the UK is also narrower in both cases than the OECD average.
Latest Education News
“It’s difficult to think of anyone other than Policy Exchange who has had such an impact on education in this country – apart from E.D. Hirsch,” said Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Education, in a vote of thanks after Professor Hirsch’s keynote speech, which argued for “a definite knowledge-based curriculum” for all children.
Policy Exchange is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Education and Skills team, which will continue our agenda-setting work in this key area of domestic policy.
Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP has publically backed the latest education report by Policy Exchange, setting out how standards can continue to be raised in state schools. Completing the Revolution set out how using textbooks produced by respected third-parties like the British Museum can improve the quality of teaching while reducing the time teachers have to spend preparing for lessons. The idea builds upon other school reforms pioneered by Policy Exchange, including free schools and the pupil premium.
Latest Education Events
- Wednesday, 19 June, 2019
18:00 - 19:00
with Katharine Birbalsingh, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Lucy Heller, Sir Anthony Seldon, Luke Tryl
- Thursday, 30 May, 2019
9:00 - 10:00
“For too long, further education has been allowed to stagnate,” said the Prime Minister in a keynote speech at Policy Exchange marking the launch of the Augar Report, a review of Post-18 Education and Funding which she described as a “major landmark” for education policy. She appeared with Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, the Education Secretary, and Philip Augar, who thanked the Government for ““asking the right question” on tertiary education and commissioning his report.
- Wednesday, 21 November, 2018
18:00 - 19:30
E. D. Hirsch (Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation and Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia) spoke at Policy Exchange on Forging A Common Language Community in Education: towards smarter, fairer and more unified countries. The event included a Vote of Thanks by Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards. Download text. About E. D. Hirsch E. D. Hirsch is (more…)
- Monday, 9 July, 2018
18:00 - 19:30
Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector for Education, Children’s Services and Skills, spoke at Policy Exchange on “Ties that Bind: British Values, citizenship and the role of education as social glue”.
- Thursday, 30 November, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
A discussion of the role and importance of working teachers in the era of knowledge-based education. We will be joined by our Guest of Honour, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards—who will deliver a Keynote Address on the value and importance of textbooks in ensuring all young people receive the high-quality education they deserve.
- Monday, 18 September, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
Policy Exchange was delighted to host the launch of Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP’s new book ‘Taught Not Caught: Educating for 21st Century Character’. As Education Secretary from 2014-16, Nicky Morgan announced a GBP3.5m programme promoting classes and extra-curricular activities that build “grit” and “resilience” in a generation of schoolchildren. In her new book, she reveals why she believes that building characterful children has a positive impact on academic attainment and argues that public awareness of character education needs to be raised, so it is clear to those in the education system that this is a priority and they will support it.
- Monday, 25 September, 2017
8:30 - 9:30
Speakers: Lucy Powell MP, Former Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Dr Christopher McCormick, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, EF Education First, Sarah Cooper, Chief Executive, English UK, Iain Dale, broadcaster, publisher and commentator, John Blake, Head of Education and Social Reform, Policy Exchange
Venue: Labour Party Conference
- Wednesday, 13 September, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
Education improvement is a key objective of policy makers and educationalists around the world. To address this need Tim Oates CBE, Cambridge Assessment’s Director of Assessment Research and Development, has led research into and now written A Cambridge Approach to Improving Education – using international insights to manage complexity where he sets out his findings and guiding principles for policy makers. He addressed Policy Exchange, the UK’s most influential think tank on education in the past 15 years, to outline his findings and further the debate on how best to improve education here, and around the world. His talk was followed by a response from UCL’s Dr John Jerrim.