Why @oldandrewuk should win the @tes lifetime achievement award

Embed from Getty Images

Earlier, my attention was drawn to the TES and nominations for the category of lifetime achievement award. The TES explain the criteria:

“This award will reward someone who has made a significant contribution to education. It could be a well-known figure or a local hero.”

Entry requires one nomination and three independent testimonials. As someone who lives in Australia, I am probably not the right person to nominate or testify for a U.K. award and so I thought I would highlight Andrew’s case in this post so that others may choose to take it on.

Firstly, Andrew’s work has had an huge material impact on teachers in England. Andrew was prominent in the campaign that forced Ofsted – the English schools inspectorate – to abandon its prescribed teaching style, giving freedom and flexibility back to teachers and schools. This campaign also changed the terms of debate and when a new issue arose where inspectors appeared to be imposing a particular form of marking, Ofsted soon made it clear that this was not acceptable.

But Andrew has not just used his own voice. He has worked tirelessly to promote education blogging through setting-up @TheEchoChamber2 and @EchoChamberUncu. He organises curry nights where U.K. bloggers can meet and he genuinely reads all education-related blog posts; a surely thankless task.

I remember an early blog of my own about text books which Andrew publicised, bringing it to the attention of a far wider audience. This was the launch of my own blogging journey. I am personally grateful to Andrew for this and I know many other bloggers feel the same way. If you are one of those then please share your story in the comments.

Partly due to Andrew’s efforts and encouragement, blogging has had a major impact on the education landscape in England. When I left the country, the debate was largely handled by traditional newspapers and trade publications written by well-meaning career journalists. These often focused on education structures or teaching gimmicks rather than the issues facing real teachers. If you have forgotten what that was like, or if you are too young to remember it, then come visit Australia.

Finally, I would commend Andrew on his personal qualities. He has limitless patience. He will make his case meticulously without resorting to personal attacks. Recently, SchoolsWeek ran an interview with Alison Peacock where she described meeting with Andrew and having an amicable chat to try and thrash out some of their differences. Andrew had previously expressed some scepticism about Peacock’s College of Teaching project.

In short, Andrew is a promoter of teacher professionalism; a profession of grown-ups; a profession with a voice that debates the issues clearly and articulately. I can think of nobody more deserving of this award.


11 thoughts on “Why @oldandrewuk should win the @tes lifetime achievement award

  1. That is wonderful. He sounds really remarkable. I wish he could use his influence here in Australia.

    I feeling a tad proud today that I’ve “convinced” an Aust. English teacher that our knowledge light curriculum/skills focus isn’t so terrific. She’s now keen to read Hirsch’s new book and is asking for other recommendation. I will be recommending your book, Greg. I’ve already recommended your blog site as I constantly use your posts to help with a discussion/argument.

      1. Any advice on some good reads? I’ve read “Seven Myths in Ed.” (fantastic) and your book but most of what I’ve read have been articles/studies/blog posts online. I did purchase ED Hirsch’s Core Knowledge book when I was homeschooling.

        She/he seems interested in the knowledge/skills debate and pedagogy because he/she has said that they are a fan of project-based learning but they’re beginning to question that attachment after reading the studies etc that I’ve posted. Much of it is thanks to your info.

    1. Tempe, (yes this is completely random) do you post on a rather large and well known Australian parenting site under the username Grumpy?

      1. I completely agree with all you have to say Tempe, and I’m so sorry that you receive so much flak from so many. I’m a long time reader of education blogs since my daughter failed to learn to read in year 1. Keep fighting the good fight!

  2. When I started to use twitter for education purposes, I encountered Andrew pretty quickly.

    He was incredibly supportive and like you, I only gained a wider audience because of Andrew tweeting out my posts via the Echo Chamber.

    The Echo Chambers inform, encourage and enable debate in all areas of the teaching.

    His blog is clear, challenging and sets the standard of what a great education blog should be.

  3. Thanks Cassie for your support as it really does mean a lot especially when I do seem to rattle so many and the personal insults start. Hope you’ve managed to help your daughter. I had to teach both my girls maths and continue to do so along with spelling/vocab. and punctuation.

    After reading Hirsch/Christdolou I also try to discuss lots of history with them like periods/what happened/a famous person from that time etc. and I also teach them Geo. ie where all the States/territories are and with the eldest, she has memorized most countries in Western Europe and some in other parts of the world. I’ve pretty much excepted that I have to do a LOT of the teaching of content or their wee brains will be vacuous.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.