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Book of the Month

Life Lessons: The Case for a National Education Service

It is time for a radical shake up of the purposes and practices of our education system.

Melissa Benn is one of the most clear sighted and vocal campaigners for improving our schools. She shows here how we need to rethink education for life.

As more and more of us live and work longer than ever before, a National Education Service should, like the NHS, be the framework that ensures a life-long entitlement for all, from early years provision to apprenticeships, universities and adult education. Like the NHS, it should be free at the point of delivery.

The purpose of learning is not solely to pass exams but to prepare for living in the world; citizens of the future will need to develop their imaginations as well as their intellects, to be at ease with both knowledge and uncertainty.

Life Lessons sets out a radical agenda for how we make education for all, and make it relevant to the demands of 21st century. This requires a deep-rooted, long-term vision of the role of learning in our society, one that is ready to take on the challenges of a new century and be part of a wider shift towards greater equality.

Melissa Benn is a journalist, novelist and campaigner. She has written for the Guardian, New Statesman, Public Finance, Cosmopolitan and London Review of Books, among many others. Her writing on education includes School Wars: the Battle for Britain’s Education. In spring 2012 she won the Fred and Anne Jarvis award in recognition of her outstanding individual contribution for a fairer education system.

Life Lessons: The Case for a National Education Service
Melissa Benn
ISBN 9781788732208
Paperback, £8.99

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