Teachers, philosophers, historians and chief executives put the state of contemporary secondary education under the spotlight. Their essays make the case that secondary education has been impoverished by a narrow curriculum and rigid bureaucratic assessment system, and that despite government attempts to widen participation, the social gap in education remains wide. Inspired by the liberal tradition, the authors call for a more generous approach that will kindle the interests of young people and give teachers more freedom. They examine the initiatives that are successfully raising aspirations and participation, and argue that the best way to get more people from diverse backgrounds into university is to liberate learning. The contributors are Simon Blackburn, Nigel Bowles, Patrick Derham, Rachel Carr, Hugh Rayment-Pickard, Niall Ferguson, Sarah Fletcher, AC Grayling, Simon Lebus, Ray Lewis, Sir Stuart Rose, John May, Michael Reiss, Elizabeth Swinbank, John Taylor and Michael Worton.