Contact: Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 happened I taught in East London comprehensives 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 I have written for several 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 appear regularly 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 quickly for broadcast purposes, the best way to get hold of me is via mobile: 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 5 minutes. He didn’t know at the time I had got into the university by working 30 hours a week in McDonalds while doing 5 A-levels including two at night school. Morale of the story: never presume).
Now we’re onto the nerdy stuff…
I’vee 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 past education secretaries and am wheeled out whenever one changes – which, at present, 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. The education select 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/
While I am accused of being many things, mostly I am a pragmatist. My favourite questions (and the basis of many of my 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 increasingly am concerned the extreme of both sides is grim. If we’re going to let hardliners run things I might have to become a Lib Dem. Extreme veganism and knitting seems the best of a bad bunch.