All Must Have Prizes – Melanie Phillips

Common sense just isn’t that common. Mrs Phillips writes with a scary clarity of thought and her book is well-researched. In it she tells of the political wranglings behind the scenes, the plotting and scheming, and perhaps more worringly, the ignorance, that has resulted in the dumbing down of education and the now serious short-comings of the school system. It’s interesting reading, and begs personal reflection such as:

  • If there really was no dumbing down, then how did I manage to get an A for English, despite the fact the only grammar I was taught was full-stops and capital letters?
  • Having studied for two degrees, how was it possible in the space of six years to achieve two final classifications that were separated by about 30%?
  • Why in my maths lessons did I get taught trigonometry but not long division?

There’s nothing for it but to accept that my education, like many other people’s, has been sporadic and sparse. This books explains some of the reasons why.

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