"A superb, crucial, blistering expose of all the myths about our education system that are all too often used to attack it. Melissa Benn again proves why she is one of country's most formidable education campaigners - and why the powerful should fear her.
Owen Jones, Guardian columnist and best-selling author
Never has it been more urgent to publicise the truth about what works and doesn't work in our education system. Debunking the ideology of marketisation, and exposing the half-truths that pass for objective reporting, Benn and Downs meticulously lay out the evidence: that a national system of comprehensive schools delivers the best outcomes. This hugely important book should be required reading for each new Education Secretary.
Caroline Lucas, MP
Opinions about comprehensive education are often made into easy-to-swallow sound-bites by media and politicians alike and whilst the benefits of a genuinely comprehensive education for all pupils are obvious, untruths have unwittingly evolved into hard facts. Based on Melissa Benn and Janet Downs' work as part of the pioneering Local Schools Network, The Truth About Our Schools calls for us to urgently and articulately challenge unquestioned myths about state education. Benn and Downs have meticulously built an argument for its still enormously vital role, and rigorously challenge assumptions that:
Comprehensive education has failed
Local authorities control and hold back schools
Choice, competition and markets are the route to educational success
Choice will improve education in England: the free school model.
Academies raise standards
Teachers don't need qualifications
Private schools have the magic DNA
Progressive education lowers standards
Anyone who thinks that comprehensive education cannot deliver, that local authorities are the chief block to improving our school system, that competition and markets are the route to educational success and that private schools hold the magic DNA that can simply be transferred to other state schools will have their beliefs shaken by this blisteringly incisive book.
Melissa Benn is a journalist and author, a campaigner for high-quality comprehensive education and a founder of the Local Schools Network. Janet Downs is a retired secondary school teacher. She is now an education researcher and blogs regularly on the Local Schools Network.
Myth Number 1: Comprehensive education has failed Myth Number 2: Local authorities control and hold back schools Myth Number 3: Choice, competition and markets are the route to educational success Myth Number 4: Choice will improve education in England: the free school model. Myth Number 5: Academies raise standards Myth Number 6: Teachers don't need qualifications Myth Number 7: Private schools have the magic DNA Myth Number 8: Progressive education lowers standards