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Melissa Benn

British writer and campaigner for inclusive, comprehensive and state education.

Melissa Benn, a British writer and campaigner for high-quality inclusive, comprehensive and state education and the benefits it offers society as a whole.

She was educated at Holland Park School, a pioneering British inclusive education school. She graduated with a degree in History from the London School of Economics.

Her early jobs included working at the National Council for Civil Liberties as an information assistant for Patricia Hewett, later Secretary of State for Health, and as a researcher for Professor Stuart Hall, at the Open University.

She is a writer and journalist, known for her articles on education in The Guardian and Public Finance magazine. Her books include works such as Education and Democracy, co-edited with Clyde Chitty (2004); A Comprehensive Future: Quality and Equality for All Our Children, co-written with Fiona Millar (2006); School Wars: The Battle for Britain's Education (2011) and School Myths (2015), which has been widely reviewed and provoked much discussion. Hers is one of the most critical voices of the British education system, highlighting the huge contrasts that exist: inspirational and depressing, egalitarian and elitist, selective and non-selective, secular and religious, multicultural and monocultural, centralized and anarchic, under-funded and splendid, worn-out and brilliant...

She is the founder of the United Kingdom's Local Schools Network, which promotes local state schools in the United Kingdom and corrects the myths and lies spread in connection with these schools, underlining their successes. The four cornerstones that this network seeks to promote are:

1- All children have the right to go to an excellent state school, enabling them all to achieve their absolute potential.

2- Every state school must have a fair admissions procedure.

3- Every state school must be aware of the needs of its students and what parents want for their children and also be accountable to the local community.

4- State schools that are in difficulty must be helped to improve and its users not attacked or demoralized.

Melissa is also involved with the Queens Park Community School, a comprehensive school that her daughters attend, founder of a writing project at the school and a member of the parent-teacher association (PTA).

Was speaker in...

School wars: Is state education in Europe at risk?


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