The Government’s obsession with London is holding back our creative industries – and the recovery


This post originally featured on the Liberal Democrat Voice website

As a failed rock guitarist but still passionate consumer of music I always look forward to the Mercury Music awards at the end of October, and this year’s nominees were as interesting and eclectic as they usually are. What wasn’t as diverse was where these acts originated from. Over 60% were from the Greater London area and only four were from outside the south east of England, which is surprising when you consider the award covers the whole of the UK and Ireland. It seems the advice I heard fifteen years ago during my short and unsuccessful music career is still true – ‘if you want to make it, move to London’. Continue reading


An End To The Perverse 5 GCSE’s Target

david laws

David Laws yesterday announced a little publicised but crucially important change to the way we’re measuring school performance. For many years our secondary schools have been judged by the proportion of pupils that achieve 5 GCSE’s at grade C or better, including English and Maths.

Although this was a well-intentioned target, it’s had a perverse effect. To boost their ranking under pressure schools have focussed on pupils that are on the D/C borderline at the detriment of both higher achievers and lower achievers at the school.  If a child is tracking towards an E grade (or worse), forget about them. Continue reading