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At the end of last year, a major parliamentary report called for an urgent overhaul of secondary education in England.

The House of Lords Special Inquiry Committee concluded that schools are under increasing pressure to deliver an academically focused curriculum, forcing teachers to rush through GCSE content and prioritise exam preparation. It said the government’s school performance measures, particularly the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), have created a subject hierarchy, with creative and technical subjects frequently squeezed out in favour of academic learning. As a result, secondary education is not adequately equipping young people to progress to the full range of post-16 options, including apprenticeships, or to flourish in the future. 

Join our panel, which includes members of the Lords Special Inquiry Committee, to discuss why the system needs urgent change and to hear analysis of the government’s response to calls for reform.


  • Kenneth Baker, former Education Secretary and member of the House of Lords Special Inquiry Committee
  • Sarah Fletcher, High Mistress of St Paul's Girls' School
  • Jo Johnson, former Universities and Science Minister and chair of the House of Lords Special Inquiry Committee
  • Jim Knight, former Schools Minister and member of the House of Lords Special Inquiry Committee
  • Carolyn Roberts, Head of Thomas Tallis School

The discussion will be chaired by Heather King, Professor of Science Education at King's College London.

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