New TES afloat on the seas of modernity

16th September 2011 at 01:00

Readers of TES will be interested in the relaunch, a term that implies a refit for the modern era. After the initial splash, will the vessel be ready for deeper seas beyond the harbour? It needs to be.

When TES was launched 100 years ago it was commenting on a largely insular educational system where state schools were still in relative infancy. Most of society agreed that schooling was beneficial, and there was some debate about how to make it work best for society and the individual. That remains the case. While most want schooling, questions remain about how the investment best offers individuals a better future and ensures a better society.

What is different is the educational ocean upon which the relaunched TES sets sail. For a start, it is bigger. Readers need to know more about distant educational systems and approaches. And the seas are deeper: we know so much more about how the human brain works - surely the biggest influence on why we should change methods.

In England, the very constituency of the schooling system is turbulent in a way that will change it for decades. While recognising the froth, TES somehow has to engage its readership with important debate about the strong running currents. Secretaries of state can be mermaids, luring educational sailors on to the rocks of policy whims and fancies. Most professionals outlast most politicians.

Readers will want to know about the latest research, innovative approaches and practice. They will want to feel part of a profession which values itself and its contribution. TES can help to structure large-scale deep debate about the future of the world's young people. Full steam ahead ... or is solar power the answer? Bon voyage.

Mick Waters, Professor of education, Wolverhampton University.

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