Life Lessons

Life Lessons:The Case for a National Education Service

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A bold proposal for new thinking on education: the formation of a National Education Service

It is time for a radical shake up of the purposes and practices of our education system.

Melissa Benn is one of the most clear sighted and vocal campaigners for improving our schools. She shows here how we need to rethink education for life. As more and more of us live and work longer than ever before, a National Education Service should, like the NHS, be the framework that ensures a life-long entitlement for all, from early years provision to apprenticeships, universities and adult education. Like the NHS, it should be free at the point of delivery. The purpose of learning is not solely to pass exams but to prepare for living in the world; citizens of the future will need to develop their imaginations as well as their intellects, to be at ease with both knowledge and uncertainty.

Life Lessons sets out a radical agenda for how we make education for all, and make it relevant to the demands of 21st century. This requires a deep-rooted, long-term vision of the role of learning in our society, one that is ready to take on the challenges of a new century and be part of a wider shift towards greater equality.

Reviews

  • Invaluable in providing education activists with the tools to move debates on Labour education policies forward … A very readable book, to be thoroughly recommended.

    Morning Star
  • Life Lessons is an eloquent and much needed blue print for a more equitable education system at a time when radical ideas are in short supply.

    Fiona Millar
  • When we see what's going wrong in education, we need people like Melissa Benn to give us signposts for what else is possible. As a lifelong campaigner for a fair and equitable education system, she shows she is the ideal person to map out a progressive agenda for education in the future. With an overloaded curriculum, relentless testing and increased selection, this book is a timely appeal for a rational and democratic education service.

    Michael Rosen, author of Good Ideas