Free schools

What the education system needs is more marketisation, not less

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Towards the end of 2009, shortly after I announced my intention to set up England’s first free school, I debated…

My wife’s revenge has me at break point

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Fifteen years ago, when I was The Spectator’s drama critic, Caroline used to complain that she had become a ‘theatre…

How private schools are risking their charitable status

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Private schools have undermined their charitable status by dashing so shamelessly upmarket

Victory in sight for the free schools revolution that I helped to lead

11 March 2017 9:00 am

I’m not surprised the Chancellor allocated more money for the free schools policy in the Budget. It’s not an exaggeration…

A wholesale return to grammar schools would be a disaster

17 September 2016 9:00 am

There’s a place for selective state schools, but their wholesale return would be a disaster

I have seen classroom miracles at Michaela Community School

19 March 2016 9:00 am

It was like being on the set of an inspirational Hollywood film about a visionary teacher who transforms the lives…

No, my socialist dad would NOT be spinning in his grave

5 March 2016 9:00 am

On Tuesday night I went to a birthday party for my father at the House of Commons. Hosted by the…

(Photo: Getty)

Osborne's ringfence cycle

28 November 2015 9:00 am

By now, George Osborne had hoped to have completed his austerity programme. Instead, he finds himself making what is, still,…

What I’ve learned helping to found a specialist free school

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Lessons from the first year of our specialist maths school

The Conservatives should be the party of immigrants — and here’s how they can be

21 March 2015 9:00 am

For a long while, the Conservatives have been puzzled about their lack of popularity among immigrants. In theory, the Conservative…

I’m working to make education fairer. But I’m still not sure what ‘fairer’ means

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Civitas has just published an interesting book called The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools. Edited by Anastasia de…

Proof that the schools revolution isn’t over

7 February 2015 9:00 am

For those who assumed that the removal of Michael Gove as Education Secretary marked the end of the Conservatives’ scholastic…

The Tories have one real success in government – and they’re scared to talk about it

31 January 2015 9:00 am

Schools are the one area where this government has made a real, positive difference – but it’s scared stiff of saying so

Come on, Tristram Hunt, if you think you’re hard enough

31 January 2015 9:00 am

For a brief moment earlier this week, I thought education might become an issue in the general election campaign. The…

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage remind me of myself five years ago

25 October 2014 9:00 am

I’m often asked by other free school proposers what lessons I’ve learnt over the past five years. Any pearls of…

Have David Cameron’s Etonians just given up on state school reform?

19 July 2014 9:00 am

During his time as Education Secretary, Michael Gove would often have occasion to quote a passage of Machiavelli: ‘There is…

I always defended Michael Gove. Then I met him

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Michael Gove inspires irrational hatred among my fellow children’s authors. After interviewing him, I can finally see why

Schools need freeing from the right as well as the left

15 March 2014 9:00 am

How politicians wreck education

Sorry, campaining mums – it’s faith that makes faith schools work

8 March 2014 9:00 am

An email popped into my inbox on Tuesday morning urging me to join a ‘fair admissions campaign’ that’s been launched…

My battle with Michael Gove’s Blob

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Michael Gove has been under fire this week for ‘sacking’ Sally Morgan as chair of Ofsted. You’d think he’d be…

The big idea that can win the Tories the next election

4 January 2014 9:00 am

In one sense David Cameron is lucky that the Conservatives do not enter 2014 with a lead in the polls.…

Toby Young: Nobody appreciates you sending Christmas cards of your children's 'art'

7 December 2013 9:00 am

I’ve just had a massive row with Caroline about Christmas cards. We usually send about 120 and this year we’ve…

Toby Young: Tristram Hunt, the Spectator's 'Newcomer of the Year'?

16 November 2013 9:00 am

I love The Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year Awards. On the face of it, they’re a great advertisement for just…

Fighting dirty

9 November 2013 9:00 am

Why is local politics so much dirtier than national politics? Is it because the players are fighting over relatively trivial…

Educating Rachel

12 February 2011 12:00 am

The teeny-weeny Bush Theatre is grappling with the monster of the free schools debate.