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

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

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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

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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

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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

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My NewVIc story: Joseph Adelakun

My NewVIc story: Joseph Adelakun Former NewVIc student Joseph Adelakun is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in the new RSC productions of Julius Caesar, Titus Andronicus and Antony and Cleopatra. At NewVIc, Joseph studied A-level Drama, A-level … Continue reading

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Creating the conditions for a successful FE system

This week saw the launch of The FE and Skills System, a study by The Policy Consortium. Subtitled ‘The consequences of policy decisions – lessons for policymakers and stakeholders’, this thorough survey reaches deep into the heart of FE; drawing … Continue reading

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2017 sees further increase in sixth form student research.

The steady rise in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) entries in England’s sixth forms suggests that student research is increasingly valued. 8% of all advanced sixth form completers in publicly funded sixth forms are entered for it, however many are studying … Continue reading

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Pathologically wrong: Humours and Miasma.

Humours and Miasma: Science in Society 8. Humoral theory and miasma theory: two long-lasting medical paradigms now consigned to the history of human error but which shaped our ideas about health and disease and the development of medical practice and … Continue reading

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My islands – by Line Mariani Playfair

I have always had a strong affinity for atlases and islands. Whether a single volcanic rock or one likely to fragment or disappear underwater, each one seems to be calling me, speaking to my imagination. I was fascinated by Thor … Continue reading

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Sixth form hopes for 2018.

I’ve been posting new year’s wishes for sixth form education since January 2015. This started with 5 ‘modest, realistic and realisable’ hopes. By 2016 the list had been cut to 4 and was then further reduced to 3 a year … Continue reading

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Top posts of 2017.

Most popular posts of 2017 Of the posts I published on this site in 2017, the most read were: Sixth form resolutions for 2017: 3 modest resolutions to make 2017 better than its predecessor. 10 things which could improve education: … Continue reading

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The narrative of the ‘poor bright child’.

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams. Earlier this month the government announced a £23m ‘future talent fund’ targeted at ‘bright’ … Continue reading

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Education is a human right

We mark Human Rights Day on December 10th and this year it is 69 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted in Paris at a United Nations (UN) General Assembly in a post-conflict spirit of international … Continue reading

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‘What if?’ – dystopias in fiction.

Fictional dystopias use the power of ‘what if?’ to change something or extrapolate particular social or technological trends and imagine the impact on people’s lives. The best ones are also good stories, well told, about people; their hopes, fears, feelings … Continue reading

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Learning through conflict.

Education, like all human endeavour, requires conflict, struggle, challenge, disagreement, argument, difference, dialectic, dialogue. If we want to learn or make anything new, we need to reach towards what we don’t know, to seek out the unknown. Education, and life … Continue reading

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