You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need. (How my Grandfather got to Oxford).

It would be easy to take the view that I'm against universities given some of my output in the last few weeks. So in the interests of balance here's my counterpoint - yes, I do think that schools are pandering to an outmoded way of thinking that is designed to appease parents, patronise the less [...]

Turn up, tune in, drop out.

I've been gobbing off about this for a while now but new figures show even more clearly that the schools' push to get all students, regardless of their aptitude or suitability, into university is demonstrably failing. Not in the goal, they are indeed packing them in there, but keeping them there is something quite, quite [...]

What now? Really? *Shakes head* (GCSE shake up leaves everyone sweary and annoyed. And confused.)

When is a pass not a pass? When a lump headed dilettante starts dicking around with stuff they don't understand. As if life today weren't tough enough, as if there wasn't already too much uncertainty, stress and anxiety facing every student, or,  indeed pretty much every person in the UK, we've only gone and piled [...]

Choose wisely for today’s choices affect tomorrow.

Another month and another set of stats to look at, it seems that every week around this time of year someone else is throwing their hats in to the ring demanding that their university league table should be regarded as the definitive version. Lo, today is no different as The Guardian publishes their version of [...]

Talent pool not gene pool?

The flickering flames of the candelabra briefly illuminate the antique silverware on the crisp, white linen sheets laid over the magnificent oak table. The rich, scent of cherrywood tobacco hangs in a delicate plume over the stately room. Beneath that fug, young captains of industry salute one another's wealth as they carve up the world [...]

Admin, thinly veiled swipes at certain schools and jubilation.

Not a typical blog post in so much as it's more an admin based update on what we're up to rather than anything that will mean anything to anyone else. But - excited to once again be going into one of favourite schools to work with, Christleton High School, near Chester. When my business partner [...]

8 of the best – top tips for what not to say in your personal statement.

It's too hot to think, much less create fascinating content on a daily basis. So instead I'm going to take the lazy route and do a list. Yeah, lists are good right? Easy, digestible, bite size morsels of fact based goodness without all the filling excesses of a paragraph. It is that time of year [...]

The relentless march towards faux social mobility is devoured by its own hubris. (Or why university is getting worse. Still.)

What's that? Did anyone else hear clucking? Pay it no never mind, it's just the chickens coming home to roost. I've spoken a lot on this page about the danger of the 'university at any cost' thinking, as well as the risk posed to the devaluation of degrees because of this and the fallout from [...]

Bonjour, tout le monde!

It is a widely acknowledged fact that we Brits are bloody savages, an imperialist nation who many years after ransacking the world continue to believe that to make ourselves understood simply requires shouting, unconnected hand gestures and a pith helmet. If in doubt yell the same thing louder and slower. If someone was screaming in [...]

World University Rankings released – why are we Brits so unambitious when it comes to university selection?

Finally some good news! Well, qualified good news. Well. Qualified good news that will have a small impact on a small minority of people. But good news nevertheless. The Times Higher Education rankings for 2017 ( have been released and the UK can proudly boast of its having 10 in the top 100 universities globally. [...]