Kristina Murkett

Kristina Murkett is an English teacher, private tutor and journalist

The internet is getting worse

In Gerald Weiner’s book The Secrets of Consulting, there is a case study in which a bright MBA graduate tells a giant multinational burger chain to eliminate just three sesame seeds from each bun to save the company $126,000 a year, under the assumption that none of the customers will notice. This works, so the next

The truth about the ‘ban’ on sex education

Increasingly, it feels like the Tories want to distract from their looming defeat by doing everything they can to keep everyone in a constant state of outrage. Their latest target: sex education. There has been much talk over the past couple of days about the government’s plan to ‘ban’ sex education for under nine-year-olds, as

Britain is being too slow to ban smartphones

A few years ago, calling for a ban on smartphones for under-16s would have seemed alarmist – a minority viewpoint from pessimistic Luddites and sceptical old fogeys. Now, the idea is not so much a moral panic but a moral consensus: 83 per cent of parents with at least one child between ages 4 and 18 believe

Why shortening the school summer holidays helps no one

A new report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, has recommended that the six-week school summer holiday should be reduced to four weeks, and the two weeks redistributed so that schools have a two-week half-term in October and February. Lee Major, professor of social mobility at the University of Exeter, said that spreading out the holidays more equally

Hollywood, please stop the biopics

Having just watched the overwhelmingly underwhelming Bob Marley: One Love, I have decided that Hollywood’s obsession with biopics must be stopped. Biopics have become so ubiquitous, so pervasive, so unoriginal, that Kingsley Ben-Adir, who plays Marley in the film, has already starred in two other biopics: The Comey Rule as Barack Obama and One Night in Miami as Malcolm X. 

Why banning phones in schools won’t work

Breaking news: schools have finally been given guidance on stopping kids from using mobile phones during the school day, three years after the government first called for a ban on phones in schools. The guidance is about as groundbreaking as announcing that loudspeakers should be banned in libraries. Less than 1 per cent of schools currently allow unrestricted phone

Teenage teachers won’t fix Britain’s classroom troubles

Teaching in the UK is in trouble. Less than half the number of secondary school teachers required this year, a record low, have been recruited, according to government figures released last week. STEM (science, engineering, technology and maths) subjects are particularly struggling: we only have 17 per cent of our target number of physics teachers

The lost world of MSN Messenger

Despite only being 30, the students at the school at which I work often make me feel old. They love nothing more than testing my knowledge of their Gen-Z slang: no, I don’t know what you mean when you say Romeo is a ‘simp’ or whether Macbeth’s behaviour is ‘sus’. My average 12-year-old student is

At last, Hollywood mocks cancel culture

Dream Scenario is a film about modern celebrity culture and the terror of losing yourself to the internet’s virtual mob. It’s the story of evolutionary biology professor Paul Matthews, a balding, befuddled, bespectacled everyman who is the walking embodiment of anonymity – played by Nicholas Cage, the face that launched a thousand memes. At the start

In defence of Ofsted

When it comes to Ofsted, people often like to trot out the old adage that ‘you don’t grow a pig by weighing it.’ Others might rebuttal that you grow the pig by measuring its progress and making necessary adjustments to its diet, hence the need for inspections. However, a new report by Beyond Ofsted, an

The Tory crackdown addiction

If there’s one thing this government is addicted to, it’s crackdowns. Rishi Sunak loves to talk tough on how he is going to ‘crack down’ on small boats, climate protestors, Mickey Mouse degrees, banks blacklisting, anti-social behaviour. Just last week Home Secretary Suella Braverman vowed to crack down on homeless people living in tents as

We don’t have to apologise for Friends

This weekend became The One Where We All Lost A Friend: Matthew Perry, Friends actor, addiction spokesperson and rehabilitation advocate, who died aged 54. He played the sweetly acerbic, chronically insecure Chandler Bing. Perry’s comic genius and impeccable timing meant he created a particular style of delivery and physicality that was uniquely his but endlessly imitable, epitomised

Rishi Sunak’s exam shake-up doesn’t add up

After 13 years in power, the Conservatives have decided to rebrand themselves as the ‘party of change’. Today, Rishi Sunak announced that the Tories will ban smoking for the next generation, scrap a significant portion of HS2, and abolish A-levels and T-levels in favour of new ‘Advanced British Standards’. Rishi Sunak is no longer ‘Inaction Man’,

The worrying decline of the male teacher

Teacher recruitment levels are in crisis, and have been for some time. Only half the number of secondary teachers needed for this academic year have actually been recruited, according to figures obtained by the National Education Union (NEU) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). Teacher vacancies have doubled since the start of the pandemic, while one in