"Fostering and strengthening German-British relations in the cultural, political, scientific and economic fields"



Next Event:

Monday, June 19, 2017

7:30 pm


Lindsay Purcell

"An insider’s view of British Education,

with particular emphasis on secondary education"



Amalienstrasse 38

80799 München

(U-Bahn Station: Universität)



The story of British Education can be told in terms of the constant need for reform. The reforms have been underway for nearly 40 years and are framed in the following political rhetoric. They are necessary (there are always urgent problems to be solved), liberating (there are new freedoms to be accessed) and inclusive (everyone can participate). There are also problems with the teaching profession, (constant dissatisfaction with unrealistic demands, worsening contracts, underfunding) with children (unruly, without the necessary skills for the economy, de-motivated white working class boys) and with standards (progressive pedagogies and a curriculum not delivering parental expectations).


The government believes ‘parents know best’ so parental choice of school dominates policy. Social mobility, for those without elite economic, cultural and social resources, continues to be central to the debate. In Theresa May’s view, the re-introduction of grammar schools is the way forward.


Lindsay’s talk will focus mainly on secondary education in England. His perception of this system, although his own, will inevitably represent a large proportion of those professionals who work inside this system.


Lindsay Purcell has spent a lifetime in the British Education System. He was educated at a grammar school, in a coalmining valley in South Wales and went on to study Geography, Economics and Education at the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, where he gained a BA (Hons) degree. He moved to England, gained an MSc in Education Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and for the last 20 years of his career was Deputy Head of Alsager School, a large, 11-18, comprehensive school in Cheshire. On his retirement he became a tutor of trainee teachers on the Graduate Teacher Training Programme and manager of Alsager Community Trust. He is currently Chair of the Board of Governors of Alsager School in Cheshire.


Some time ago the English system of comprehensive schools seemed to be the most advanced system of secondary education, worth being imitated in Germany. Now we Germans wonder, why is it that Theresa May wants to reverse the reform in England. Lindsay Purcell will give us an answer.

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