A Lifetime in English Education is a reminder of how important a good school can be in providing pupils from all backgrounds with a rounded education that can only strengthen the bonds of society.
This unique insight on the history of post-war British education, tells the personal journey of Philip Vennis - a crusading educationalist, whose long career started at Dulwich College, after which he spent a short time at Bletchley Park as an intelligence officer. Following his degree from Cambridge he taught for nine years at East Ham Grammar School for Boys, became a Deputy Headmaster at Ounsdale Comprehensive School in Wombourne, and then a Headmaster at New Mills Grammar School, Derbyshire, finishing his career with almost twenty years as Principal of one of Hampshire's premier Sixth Form colleges at Itchen College, Southampton.
As his career develops so does his conviction in a belief that a wide ranging education should be provided by the state for all. Philip's career spanned the post-war education acts, and the rise of the comprehensive system, right up to the cultural changes of the eighties. His belief in public service, his passion for the arts, and his conviction in the power of education to help people transcend their backgrounds is completely different from the primary experience for most current Heads, that of managing a budget and making schools more cost-effective and running them like a business. This book, written by his wife, Diana Vennis, should be an inspiration to all progressive educationalists.
In a contemporary environment where the co-ed, comprehensive, open access philosophy seems to have lost out to a market-led educational system, this book is a timely reminder of the journey British education has taken in the post-war period.