As many of those associated with the Initiative already know, John Abbott’s book Overschooled but Undereducated is to be published by Continuum in November. (download the Introduction and view a selection of reviews posted separately on the website).
This book has been written for a wide, general lay-audience and seeks to explain why, despite all the reforms and quantities of money spent upon it, the English education system continues to treat adolescence as a problem, not an opportunity.
With a General Election in England to be held sometime before June 2010 the Initiative has just produced A Briefing Paper for Parliamentarians on the Design Faults at the Heart of English Education. This will be circulated for all Members, hopefully before the Summer Recess. At the same time the Initiative will do everything it can to stimulate wide popular discussion of the Ten Actions as set out in the Paper by encouraging all Parliamentary candidates to consider the significance of these issues.
The Briefing Paper does not fit comfortably into the present stated policies of any party. It is not intended to. Such policies are, as the Paper makes abundantly clear, more concerned about what has happened in the past, than they are about what could happen in the future if policies were shaped around what is now known about human learning and the need for viable communities and strong families.
As a step towards extending discussion about the Ten Actions, which the Briefing Paper argues will need to be taken by an incoming government, the Initiative is now putting this Paper up on its website at the same time as the Paper is delivered to politicians. It can now be downloaded as a PDF file (see below). If a ring-bound hard copy is required this can be attained directly from the Initiative (3 Grosvenor Place, London Road, Bath, BA1 6AX) on receipt of £5 to cover printing and postage costs. Gifts in excess of this will be welcome to help cover our wider distribution costs.