The year in quotes of the week

24th December 2004 at 00:00
January 9 "If we still had to do all that admin stuff I don't think there would be anybody here at all."

Andy Ross-Smith, a head of year at Henbury school in Bristol, on the impact of the workload agreement January 30 "Children don't have time just to be."

Meera Syal, the writer and actor, on the way exams and ambitious parents stifle children's creativity February 27 "The kind of teacher who is afraid that they are going to be replaced by a computer should be."

Michael Fullan, an expert on educational change at Toronto university March 12 "I find it quite repulsive to listen to public-school toffs like Tony Blair and Harriet Harman speaking about educational opportunity when they have blatantly manipulated the system."

Michael James, chairman of the Society of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Independent Schools

April 2 "The Blair generation ... a generation of students whose standards rival the world's best."

David Miliband, the school standards minister, at the Secondary Heads Association conference in Harrogate

May 21 "She probably likes being in school more than I do."

Amy Taylor, nine, on the cow brought into St Brides Major primary in the Vale of Glamorgan to show pupils where milk comes from June 11 "Behind every writer is a great English teacher."

Patrick Marber, who has written a play for schools

July 30 "You only get to live once, so you might as well enjoy life."

Comments in an English essay written by murdered pupil Luke Walmsley August 6 "Many heads feel this is a natural status for secondary schools."

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, on the proposal that all specialist schools opt for foundation status September 10 "Children, forgive us adults."

Comments in a book of condolences at School No 1 in Beslan, southern Russia September 24 "Schools are not football clubs to be bought and sold by wealthy millionaires."

Phil Willis, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, on academies October 8 "Until somebody tackles admissions criteria it will remain the case that schools choose kids rather than kids choosing schools."

Tim Brighouse, London schools' commissioner

October 22 "The status quo is not an option."

Mike Tomlinson on his plans to reform qualifications for pupils aged 14 to 19

November 19 "Education should be about enjoyment. If there's no enjoyment, you may as well close down the school."

Adrian Mitchell, the poet who says schools must not use his poems for exams December 10 "They (the DfES) have taken their foot off the accelerator.

They have gone soft. They have produced documents called Excellence and Enjoyment. The next one will be called Smiley and Fun."

David Blunkett, former Home Secretary and former education secretary, in his biography.

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