Richard Garner has spent 36 years reporting on education, working for the Times Educational Supplement, The Mirror, and The Independent. In The Thirty Years War, he retraces the steps of his career, examining the policies, personalities, success stories and outright failures of the UK education scene from the 1980s to the present day. Richard gives his verdict on the 16 Education Secretaries he has seen come and go, and offers an insider's view of the major issues and events of his time in office, ranging from the fight to abolish corporal punishment to the rise of the academy movement, and now the Government's move to open new grammar schools. It is a story of power, policies and personalities, and how the events of the past three decades have shaped the education sector in the UK today.
Richard Garner is the UK's longest serving education correspondent. He started reporting on the subject with the Birmingham Evening Mail and, after a year in their London office as a general reporter, took up a post as a reporter with the Times Educational Supplement in January 1980 and eventually became its news editor in 1985. He moved to The Mirror in May 1989 and spent 12 years as their education correspondent until he became Education Editor of The Independent - a post he held until April 2016. He now freelances and writes a column for the TES. During his time as an education correspondent, he has had a keen interest in the teaching of languages and has been a firm supporter of Lord (Kenneth) Baker's University Technical College initiative. When not reporting on education, he can often be found at a cricket match or the theatre.