Spectator Schools

The scary finale to my school trip in the Andes

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Katy Balls experiences dizzy heights and a scary comedown in Peru

Spreading the word: boys from independent Dover College carry stacks of books through the town in 1963

Can a public school ever share its culture of success with a local comp?

12 March 2016 9:00 am

There were high hopes when Eton, Wellington and others took local comps under their wing... but the results are mixed, says Ross Clark

School uniform doesn’t stifle creative expression... it positively encourages it

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Far from stifling individuality, school uniform positively encourages creative expression, declares one-time schoolboy rebel Mark Palmer

Queue for boarding: state schools with live-in pupils are in high demand

12 March 2016 9:00 am

State schools with live-in pupils are a little known but highly successful part of the education system, says Beth Noakes

Word play: children enjoy learning the quirks of a language

Children love to learn grammar and thanks to Michael Gove they will get the chance

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Ed Clarke welcomes a renewed emphasis on the nuts and bolts of language after a long period of neglect

A portrait of repression? Life class at the Female School of Art, Queen’s Square, London, 1868

Are single-sex schools good for girls?

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Alice Cockerell and Camilla Swift, who both went to girls’ schools, debate the question

Aim high: moody teenage girls end up as young women ready to face adult life with confidence

Years after my school military training, the Force is still with me

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Alexandra Farrelly says school military training was the making of her

Owe no: an average graduate must now repay debts of £44,035

Is a degree worth the debt?

12 March 2016 9:00 am

As today’s students face owing huge sums into their 50s, Constance Watson hears both sides of the argument

School dinners: when the slop had to stop

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Today’s kids can choose school dinners from healthy global menus. But parents still take them to McDonald’s for breakfast, says Laura Freeman

At the chalkface: two faces of Michael Schützer-Weissmann, who taught English at Sherborne and Shrewsbury

A tribute to ‘Shutz’, the schoolmaster who made me

12 March 2016 9:00 am

One inspiring teacher can transform the lives of generations of pupils... Aidan Hartley was lucky enough to find his in ‘Schutz’

Morning glory: a walk through the abbey cloisters takes Westminster School pupils to 9 a.m. school service... and Harry to deliver his speech

I ignored Westminster Abbey as a schoolboy. Now I’m at the pulpit singing its praises

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Young Harry Mount barely noticed Westminster Abbey during 400 school services. Thirty years later he sang its praises from the pulpit

School drinking is the best drinking of all

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Head teachers may try to control it, but for Ed Cumming alcohol was the most fun between the ages of 13 and 18

Staved off: music is full of infant prodigies but today it’s usual to wait until 11 to 14 for specialist schooling

It’s not child’s play to nurture the talent of a musical prodigy

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Daisy Dunn on how best to nurture young talent in music or the arts

Though they never went quite as far as these schoolgirls, good deportment was enforced with rigour at Cheltenham in the 1950s

Horrible histories of the famously austere Cheltenham Ladies’ College in the 1950s

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Ysenda Maxtone Graham contrasts chilly 1950s tales of the famously disciplined Cheltenham Ladies’ College with life at the school today

On parade: the marching band from Christ’s Hospital School at the Lord Mayor’s Show

Portraits of four notable schools

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Snapshots of four of notable schools, by Camilla Swift

Sauce for the goose: pupils have been shown to learn best in equal-ability classes, yet academic selection is confined to the private sector

Why do private schools do so well in exams?

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Private schools consistently outperform state schools in exams, but why exactly? A thorough investigation has uncovered the answers, some of them surprising, as Ross Clark finds out

Animal magic

19 September 2015 9:00 am

An increasing number of inner-city schools are discovering the power of reconnecting with nature, says Laura Freeman

On the march: Toby Young’s group has now opened three schools and hopes to have another three in the next two years

Cameron’s crusade (and mine)

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Can the Prime Minister really be serious about creating 500 new free schools by 2020? Yes he can, says Toby Young

The new A-levels: a user’s guide

19 September 2015 9:00 am

A-levels are evolving. James Wardrobe from the Council for Independent Education highlights the new changes to the exams from this year

Are our kids tough enough? Probably not

China's battery-farmed kids

19 September 2015 9:00 am

The Chinese education system is beyond intense, writes Cindy Yu. The exam results are astonishing but the students’ lives are harsh

The truth about teenagers: they don’t think the way we do

19 September 2015 9:00 am

We tend to think adolescents are more or less grown up – but they’re not, says Tony Little. Recent research shows just how differently they think

Rough kids: boys from Rutherford School and girls from Sarah Siddons in Marylebone strike against caning, detention and uniforms, May 1972

State secrets, or the hidden advantages of a public-sector education

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Devotees of private schools are often pretty snooty about comprehensives, but Sophia Waugh not only successfully educated her children in state schools – she went on to teach in one

Grass is greener: private or state?

Happy days at my Somerset comprehensive

19 September 2015 9:00 am

The joys of a rural comp, by Constance Watson

The horror of exams

19 September 2015 9:00 am

From black ink to bodged mnemonics, examinations are just scary. Katherine Whitbourn sympathises with everyone who hates them

‘Have you done this in class?’ Essays often require a lot of help from parents – and Wikipedia

What’s the point of homework?

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Homework is meant to inculcate a love of learning in students, but Ysenda Maxtone Graham thinks it’s at least as likely to do the reverse