How can we tackle inequality in English education? with @TheRSAOrg

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Royal Society of Arts


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about ‘raising aspiration and equal-access’ and that the UK education system fails students, from non-selective state schools, entering top universities.

The Fellowship:

In this blog, I introduce myself to you as Ross Morrison McGill FRSA and offer you an invitation to come to meet with me; but more importantly, attend The Royal Society of Arts in Charing Cross, London; to listen to several speakers discuss inequality and the bewildering patchwork of provision in our school system.

“We have an educational system that is designed to polarise people, one that creates an elite who can easily come to have little respect for the majority of the population, who think that they should earn extraordinarily more than everyone else, and defines the jobs of others as so low-skilled that it apparently justifies many living in relative poverty.” (Danny Dorling – The Guardian)

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: via Compfight cc


In my blog, I discuss three students from my own school. One from a single-parent family; another stabbed 7 times and at risk of exclusion; and finally, a third student who arrived to the UK – unable to speak a word of English – who is now studying History at Oxford University.

Archie Bland brilliantly summarises the polarisation in UKs educational society; “State schools are as good as private schools, Mr Gove. Here’s the proof;” ‘He [Archie] discusses the elephant in the classroom, which no one dares mention for fear of being slammed an elitist, is not private schools, teachers, bog standard state-schools, straw boaters, pushy middle-class parents, discipline or the children themselves.’

It is lazy, couldn’t care-less parents who never spend time with or read to their children, never take them to a museum and never encourage them to do their homework, take an interest in the world around them or watch some of the many excellent educational or informative programmes on television.

Social and educational backgrounds – we know – do not start on the same footing. Therefore, our only hope, is for all students to have a ‘functional unit’ at home and at school; with structures in place to help them succeed; to instil a love of learning and high aspiration of their own. This ‘aspiration’ must start at home; and the government (and education) must do more to acknowledge and recognise this.

If you are interested in finding our more, then please do read on.


As a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, I’d like to invite you to attend this seminar.

Monday 7th April 2014: 6.00pm – 7.30pm

(with optional further discussion until 8pm)

The Great Room: The Royal Society of Arts

Royal Society of Arts

The meeting:

In response to the alarming inequality and bewildering patchwork of provision in a school system which is failing a substantial number of students, John Bayley FRSA is working with Trevor Averre Beeson FRSA and film-maker Rhonda Evans of The Parents, the Politician and the Carpetbagger; to bring together Fellows; academics; educators and policy-makers, to contribute to the national conversation about the future of education in England.

The Parents, the Politician and the Carpetbagger
The Parents, the Politician and the Carpetbagger

Chaired by the RSA’s Chief Executive, Matthew Taylor, guests will hear from internationally renowned Pasi Sahlberg (Finnish educator and author of Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland) and Peter Mortimore (formerly the Director of the Institute of Education, education columnist, and author of Education under Siege), followed by an open discussion.


Due to space limitations, this event is by invitation only. If you, or someone you know, would like to attend please contact:

Thank you.

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