Why we need a National Education Service

A radical overhaul of England’s education system is long overdue, argues Melissa Benn

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In researching my recent book, Life Lessons: the case for a National Education Service, I was genuinely surprised to discover the degree of consensus that exists regarding the key problems facing English education.

From left to right, it is broadly accepted that early-years provision is unacceptably patchy and expensive, that our primary and secondary-age children are being too stringently tested while arts, music and drama provision is in decline.

Everyone recognises that teachers are wilting under a heavy workload, and that teacher supply and retention are in near crisis, while a number of ...

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