Why we need to start telling the truth about our schools…

Melissa Benn and Janet Downs expose 8 key myths of English education

Has comprehensive education failed? Do local authorities hold schools back? Do academies really raise standards? Whilst the benefits of a genuinely comprehensive education system are well established, a series of untruths have unwittingly evolved into hard facts. Melissa Benn and Janet Downs are calling for us to urgently challenge these unquestioned myths about state education in their new book The Truth About Our Schools which is published today.

“I have been appalled at the frequency with which obviously untrue comments about comprehensive education have been disseminated by commentators and repeatedly parroted by politicians and the media,” says Professor Peter Mortimore in the Foreword to the book. Benn and Downs reject the easy-to-swallow sound-bites made by media and politicians alike. Instead, this meticulous examination of our current school system reveals the truth of what really works - and doesn't work - in modern education. “Never has it been more urgent to publicise the truth,” says Caroline Lucas, MP. “This hugely important book should be required reading for each new Education Secretary.”

As Benn and Downs say, “Our aim was to look calmly at the evidence. Comprehensive education has benefitted millions of young people. A good public education system cannot be run as if it were a business. There are interesting and productive approaches to teaching and learning that go beyond a one-size-fits-all traditionalism.”

“We hope readers of our book will come away with a far more nuanced view of our education system and what now needs to be done.”

The Truth About Our Schools is "a superb, crucial, blistering expose of all the myths about our education system that are all too often used to attack it,” says Owen Jones, Guardian columnist and best-selling author. Anyone who thinks that comprehensive education cannot deliver will have their beliefs shaken by this incisive book. 

– ENDS –

About the authors:

Melissa Benn is a journalist and author, a campaigner for high-quality comprehensive education and a founder of the Local Schools Network.

Janet Downs is a retired secondary school teacher. She is now an education researcher and blogs regularly on the Local Schools Network.

For more information, to request review copies, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Isabel Roth, Marketing Manager, Routledge Education

Tel: +44 (0) 203 377 3194| Email: isabel.roth@tandf.co.uk

When referencing the book, please include: The Truth About Our Schools by Melissa Benn and Janet Downs, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).

Learn more about The Truth About Our Schools at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138937178

978-1-138-93717-8| £14.99 in paperback | November 2015

Follow us on Twitter @tandfnewsroom and @RoutledgeEd

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About Taylor & Francis Group

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Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

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About Us

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine. From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

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