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

An A-Z for a world which has to change.

In the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic which threatens many lives, we need to remember that this is just one of several global crises we face which will change our world in profound ways. All these challenges require us … Continue reading

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Decarbonising education.

The climate emergency is a global reality and the large scale catastrophic weather events we face on a regular basis remind us that it is affecting us in the here and now, while also threatening far more serious impacts in … Continue reading

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The mighty pencil

The mighty pencil It’s just a pencil Making a mark in a specific place On a specific piece of paper On a specific day. It only takes a second or two, No time at all. Such a simple thing. But … Continue reading

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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

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‘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

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‘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

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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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