Exam Nation by Sammy Wright 28th August at 7pm

Exam Nation by Sammy Wright 28th August at 7pm

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Join us on the 28th of August for an evening of conversation with Sammy Wright to celebrate the launch of his upcoming novel- Exam Nation. Sammy is Head of School at a large secondary in Sunderland. He sat on the government's Social Mobility Commission from 2018 to 2021, becoming a key voice in the debates over exam grades during the pandemic.

He has taught for twenty years at schools in Oxfordshire, London and the North East, and his debut novel Fit won the Northern Book Prize.

Sammy will be joined in conversation by a former pupil- Conrad Landin. Conrad is co-editor of New Internationalist magazine, and a freelance journalist – specialising in politics, industry, education and transport.

Exams, grades, league tables, Ofsted reports. All of them miss the point of school and together they are undermining our whole approach to education. What is school for? In theory, it equips young people to become independent and productive, to get jobs and forge lives, perhaps to be 'good citizens'.

In reality, it means one thing: exams. By focussing on the grades pupils get in neatly siloed, academic subjects, we end up ranking them and our schools into winners and losers. Some pupils are set on a trajectory to university - the rest are left ill-equipped for the world they actually face.

Meanwhile, the 'good' schools become middle-class enclaves and the most disadvantaged lose out. Drawing on his twenty years as a teacher, hundreds of interviews and his experience on the UK Government's Social Mobility Commission, Sammy Wright shows that schools are - and should be - so much more than this. Ending with a series of practical recommendations for change, this entertaining and hugely important book interrogates one of our most beloved institutions and shows us a better way.

As always tickets are free but must be booked in advance. You can also pre-order your copy here with a special 10% discount automatically applied at checkout.