walton 22 rs
Les Walton, CBE

This book is for anyone who cares about children, why they learn, how they learn and what they learn.

So, why Education: the Rock and Roll Years?

I was born at the birth of the modern education system and grew up in a period when rock and roll stormed on to the scene. I am like many of the people of my generation who have a certain iconoclastic and challenging approach to the received ‘wisdom’ of those in power.

I firmly believe our education system is in need of radical reform and re-engineering. This book contributes to that process by looking right back to the formation of our present education system and seeing what we can learn.

My school career began during a period when infant school children were belted with a leather tawse, some children were described as ‘backward’ and childhood transition, including bereavement, and sexual development were ignored. The children were also divided up into secondary modern, grammar and technical schools on the basis of a test, based on falsehoods and lies of a corrupt professor.

Les Walton, ‘good whacking’, Education: The Rock and Roll Years

I join a teaching profession where men and women met in different staff rooms, grammar schools were being closed and comprehensive schools introduced. The school leaving age is then raised, the Warnock Report considers the special needs of children and corporal punishment is eventually banned.

Les Walton, ‘special needs’, Education: The Rock and Roll Years

Many of the recent events I have been directly involved in have been pivotal points in the development of our present education system. The introduction of Ofsted, specialist and ‘fresh start’ schools, outsourcing Bradford education services, academisation and multi academy trusts.

Over the years I have, in my own way, been a bit ‘rock and roll’, attempting to challenge ‘the system’ and the status quo, including the establishment of the National Association of Pastoral Care, involving headteachers in Local Authority system improvement and following captains of industry as the first educationalist to chair a national education funding agency. I also instigated Schools North East, the Northern Education Trust and the Association of Education Advisers. All of these organisations have been based on a fundamental philosophy which is that children are the centre of everything we do and those who lead and teach want to improve by collaboration rather than competition.

Each of us should dig deep into our own backgrounds and ask straightforward questions.

  • What is our view of how children should learn?
  • Where do our beliefs and values come from?
  • To what extent are our values and beliefs learned from our experiences of childhood and our own education?
  • Why do we think a particular approach to leadership is the right one?
  • What has led to our present views on how children should be educated?

I have written the book unashamedly from my own northern Geordie point of view. I have tried to be humorous even though my fellow professionals think education is no laughing matter. After you have read Education: the Rock and Roll Years, you may agree.

Les Walton is author of Education: The Rock and Roll Years – A northern perspective on a lifetime of learning, teaching and leading

For more on Education: The Rock and Roll Years click here

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Available now in Paperback, EPUB, and PDF for just £18.99!

ISBN : 9781914171321

September 2021



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By: thecriticalblog
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Published Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2021 08:00:00 +0000

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