The Head Speaks: Challenges and Visions in Education

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What do leading Head Masters and Head Mistresses think about the state of education? These are some of their opinions. Seventy years ago Kegan Paul published two influential volumes: The Headmaster Speaks and The Headmistress Speaks. The Editor of each volume invited twelve of the most influential Head Teachers of the day to contribute an essay which outlined his or her vision of education. The results were often surprising. Who, for example, would have thought that the Girls Schools of the 1930s were hotbeds of progressive educational thought? And who realized that then, as now, there was common complaint that the curriculum was being driven by examinations, to the detriment of real learning? But each contribution displayed a real grasp of the practicalities of running a school - so that the visions were visions of the possible - in contrast to the nonsense which so often masquerades as educational theory.

Seventy years on, the University of Buckingham Press is repeating the exercise. We are inviting the current Head Teachers of those schools represented in 1936 and 1937 to contribute to a new volume (with the working title The Head Speaks: Challenges and Visions in Education) - and to offer their take on the challenges faced by those in education today, and on the way ahead for our schools. Inevitably some of the original schools have fallen by the wayside, but others have, for example, metamorphosed from single-sex High Schools to Specialist Colleges of Business or Information and Communications Technologies - allowing the new volume to be more representative than its predecessors.