Drawing on 38 years of experience, Brian Lightman's perceptive and thoughtful book is a reflective account of his career, looking at the development of the education system both from his perspective as a teacher and school leader and, more recently, as one involved in national policy.
Major themes include the disruptive impact of the electoral cycle that has consistently led to a failure for developments to be properly embedded, and a visceral criticism of what the author sees as a highly polarised and divided education service in the Michael Gove era. The final section makes the case for a radical change to the culture that pervades our education service.
About the author
Brian Lightman was General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders from 2010 - 2016. Brian is acknowledged as an authority on the English and Welsh education systems. His broad experience spanning 38 years has included two headships, being an external examiner and an Estyn inspector.
‘Education hasn’t always been good at learning from its own past, at building constructively upon its various success and failures. As a result, too many wheels have been endlessly reinvented. This is where Brian Lightman’s ‘Lessons Learned?’ is so powerful - combining a personal lifelong experience of education with a restoration of our collective memory. In doing so, the book illuminates where we’ve come from and provides a rich insight into where we may - and ought - to be heading. It is a book of wisdom, authenticity and ultimately huge optimism. A ‘must read’.’ — Geoff Barton, General Secretary Association of School and College Leaders
‘Beautifully written; wide ranging; a wonderful mix of experience, professional knowledge, experience and wisdom. It has lessons for readers at all stages of their teaching career, from beginning teachers to school leaders. Its scope is enormous, tackling all the major debates in education – from curriculum, to assessment, to qualification reform and so much more. Brian is able to use his experience as a key representative of the teaching profession, as General Secretary of ASCL, to write authoritatively and incisively about the profession’s relationship with government. His analysis of Michael Gove’s period as Secretary of State for education is highly informative and vital reading for those interested in education policy reform – and particularly how not to do it.’ — Dr Mary Bousted Joint General Secretary National Education Union
‘Brian Lightman’s book - Lessons Learned – should be on the reading list of every politician and, most importantly, for every school leader and teacher. Brian’s journey emphasises the importance of gaining knowledge and skills before taking on leadership roles in a school and nationally. Brian’s deep knowledge of teaching and learning and the issues affecting young people’s lives shine out throughout the book. A wonderfully reflective and insightful book.’ — Sue Williamson Chief Executive SSAT The school, students and teachers’ network.
'Lessons learned' is an engaging and honest account of a career which has reached from the classroom to the ministerial office: with open discussion of the relationship between big ideas and practical implementation, Brian Lightman illuminates both practice and policy - and his wisdom is always worth reading' — Professor Chris Husbands Vice Chancellor Sheffield Hallam University
‘In this very personal, passionate and engaging book, Brian Lightman takes us on a journey through the world of education over the last forty years through the lens of his own fascinating career. His style is both thoughtfully analytical whilst remaining deeply grounded in the reality of how much of he recalls felt to him and those of us working in schools. His thoroughness also knows no bounds. In his role as ASCL general secretary, Brian was at the heart of dialogue with the coalition government. He doesn’t hold back in saying what he thinks! With its helpful ‘lessons learned’ at the end of each chapter, Brian’s approach is reflective and engaging. If you fancy a book that is simultaneously a pleasure to read, gets you thinking and sheds some fascinating light on the internal workings of government, then this is the book for you!’ — Andy Buck Founding Director Leadership Matters
|No of pages||302|
|Publication Date||17 May 2018|