Contact: Email email@example.com or tweet @miss_mcinerney
I’m an education journalist, public speaker, and co-founder of the amazing research tool Teacher Tapp (‘the app teachers tapp to make schools smarter’).
Before all this, I taught in East London for six years (hello former pupils!) and then became Editor of the investigative education newspaper Schools Week .
Since 2013, I have been an education columnist for The Guardian and have written for other publications including the Observer, the New Statesman, The TES, and Prospect. One day I hope to be smart enough to write for the Times Literary Supplement.
My main specialism is looking carefully at government policies, clearing away all their faff and pomp, and explaining exactly what will happen to teachers, pupils, parents and the wider school community.
My blunt-edged style means I regularly appear on broadcasts including Radio 4’s Today, Radio 5 Live, BBC London, LBC, Talk Radio, and Sky News. (If you want to get in touch for broadcast purposes, the quickest way is 07764 752 843).
The best descriptions people have ever used about me are: “Moxie at its purest” and “She doesn’t hate people, she just really likes the truth”.
(The worst description was the master at my Oxford college who deigned I was “lazy” and “bad at time management” after having spoken to me for a few minutes. What he didn’t know was that I got into the university by working 30 hours a week in McDonalds while doing five A-levels including two at night school. Moral of the story: never presume).
Now we’re onto the nerdy stuff…
I’ve a geeky interest in free schools & academies. In 2010 I published “The Six Predictable Failures of Free Schools…And How To Avoid Them” and spent two years in the US studying their equivalent.
I’m super interested in the influence of politics on education and, in the
summer of 2013, I began reading all available biographies of past UK’s Education Secretaries. This is documented at www.greatedusecs.com. I give talks on what we can learn from past education secretaries and am wheeled out whenever one changes – which is, on average, every 801 days.
I was the original creator of the #edselctte hashtag and live-tweeted almost every education selection committee between 2012 and 2014. That committee is now the most tweeted of all parliamentary committees. There is no evidence this has anything to do with me, but I like to claim credit anyway.
If you want to know about my personal background and own schooling, I’ve written about it here: https://lauramcinerney.com/schooling-biography/
My Main Philosophical/Political Position:
While I am accused of being many things, mostly I am a pragmatist. My favourite
questions (and the basis of many of blogs are) are: What problem are you trying to solve? Is this really the best way to solve it?, and Why aren’t we doing this already?
I’m not a traditionalist, nor a progressive, and anyone telling me this is a false dichotomy can hear my long lecture on why a book from the 1970s written by Stuart Maclure and Tony Becher means I am comfortable in my view that one doesn’t need to be either.
I’m more left-wing than right-wing, but am concerned at the extreme of both sides. If we’re going to let hardliners run things I might have to become a Lib Dem. Extremist veganism and knitting seems the best of a bad bunch.
PS – Why do I wear yellow jackets so much?
It all goes back to the Department for
Education taking me to court for asking a question. (Seriously). When representing myself in a courtroom including two male barristers, two male solicitors, and three male judges, I figured if I wore a boring suit it would look like I was on work experience. So I wore bright yellow – as a symbol of ‘shining a light on the truth’ through the case.
It worked. Now my brave yellow jacket spends its time flirting people at conferences and doing a better job of marketing me than I could do on my own. Look out for it! And email me if you see any nice ones in shops.