Happy new year, everyone!
Rather than fret about an apparently widening gap between the results of rich and poor students, or the confusion regarding diplomas, I thought I'd strike a lighter note and plug the RSA's excellent lectures programme.
January will see some really interesting lectures on education you might be particularly interested in.
Next week John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills will be arguing that there is a 'destructive divide' between those who have a good grasp of science, and those who do not, and what needs to be done to bridge the gap. This event will take place at the RSA next week on 16 January at 5pm.
Then, on January 30th, in the first of a series of lectures in association with Edge, Michael Young, Professor of Education, Lifelong Learning and International Development at the Institute of Education will tackle the question 'What are schools for?'. In particular he will think about schools' ability to 'Develop the Potential of Every Pupil', which is the crosscutting theme for the 5 lectures in the series.
As usual, both events are free and open to you to book your place, or you can stream the audio live to your computer.
These events build on a good 2007 for education lectures at the RSA. Notably we had the Paul Hamlyn Foundation sponsored series 'Outside In: Rethinking Schooling'.
2008 promises to be a challenging year for the RSA team in regards to education. As well as delivering a great lecture programme, we will be launching the Future Schools Network, and seeking to grow the online community of schools interested in Opening Minds with an improved website and resources.
Ultimately my hope is that this year the RSA will work more closely with you than ever, and respond better to your needs.
To do that, we need to hear from you! I asked in the last post about changing the web site, and what people's views were on that? Please do comment on that issue, and any of the other work mentioned above, and let us know your thoughts.