Author Archives: Eddie Playfair

About Eddie Playfair

I am a Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC) having previously been a college principal for 16 years and a teacher before that. I live in East London and I blog in a personal capacity about education and culture. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair

Knowledge-rich and skills-rich

We can learn a lot from the telly. Skills competitions like ‘Bake Off’ and ‘Strictly’ and quiz shows like ‘University Challenge’ and ‘Mastermind’ are among the most popular programmes on TV. These shows fall into two main camps, reflecting a … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Unsheltered’ by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s novels are always fascinating and rewarding and her latest, Unsheltered (2019) is no exception. We follow two stories over a hundred years apart and set in the same location; Vineland, New Jersey, a town originally established as a … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers.

Richard Powers is an extraordinary writer. If you’ve not yet discovered his novels, I strongly recommend them. He tackles big ideas which concern all of us while at the same time telling compelling stories about complex and conflicted characters who … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Familiale (Jacques Prévert)

The mother is knitting The son is fighting She thinks it quite natural the mother And the father what is he doing the father? He’s doing business His wife is knitting His son is fighting He’s doing business He thinks … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Fred Jarvis and ‘what the future holds’.

It was a great privilege to join with so many others this week  in a belated celebration of Fred Jarvis’ 94th birthday at the Institute of Education in London. It was both a joyous and a serious occasion. Far from … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The promise of a National Education Service

The proposed creation of a National Education Service (NES) for England offers us the possibility of a decisive break with the market model, where education is treated as a commodity and where individual and institutional competition are regarded as the … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Education Futures, Education policy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My NewVIc story: Nathan Coulson

My NewVIc story: Nathan Coulson When I started at NewVIc , I was sixteen and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. This was probably obvious from my A-level choices: Philosophy, English Literature, Classical Civilisations, Maths and Further … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Guest blogs, NewVIc, Students | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment