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Work on education

I have been commenting on education since 1974 when, as a schoolboy recently arrived from the United States, I wrote an article for my school magazine saying that I found the UK's emphasis on teaching people to pass O-levels rather than "learning for its own sake" incomprehensible. My latest article on education standards, written as the June 2009 cover story for Prospect magazine, shows that much has changed since the 1970s, but teaching people how to pass tests seems to be a constant of the British education system...

In between, I was education correspondent for The Economist in the late 1980s when Kenneth Baker was establishing today's educational framework. Then in the early 1990s I was at the OECD writing reports on lifelong learning, school-business partnerships and school choice in an international context. In the 15 years since leaving the OECD I've continued to do regular consultancy work for them, helping to establish and editing their annual Education Policy Analysis from 1996 to 2004, and helping to disseminate results of the PISA survey. I've also contributed various articles to the Times Eductional Supplement, and  linked up the issues of poverty and education in my work for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.