Media

In the news

Robin Alexander’s work has featured regularly in the media since the 1980s. Attention has peaked in relation to three initiatives:

  • His evaluation of a major programme of systemic primary education reform in Leeds, one of Britain’s biggest cities, undertaken between 1986 and 1991.
  • The resulting ‘three wise men’ national enquiry into primary teaching, on which he served, which was commissioned by the UK government in 1991 and reported in 1992.
  • The Cambridge Primary Review, especially during its implementation and reporting phases, 2006-2010.


There is a vast media archive on the Leeds and ‘three wise men’ reports, but as yet it has not been properly collated. However, media treatment of both reports is illustrated and discussed in Alexander’s 1997 book Policy and Practice in Primary Education: local initiative, national agenda. Media coverage of the Cambridge Primary Review has been systematically logged since its launch in 2006:

Media articles by Robin Alexander

30 newspaper articles are listed at Publications/newspaper articles, starting with commentary on the 1991 Leeds report and the 1991-2 ‘three wise men’ enquiry’ and running through to the UK government’s 2010-12 curriculum review. In between are articles about teacher education, classroom talk and the curriculum and critical responses to a succession of government initiatives and policies.  22 of these articles may be viewed/downloaded at the independent media website journalisted.com: http://journalisted.com/robin-alexander?allarticles=yes

Media profiles

There have been many media pieces focusing on Robin Alexander personally. For recent examples see:

‘NUT Fred and Anne Jarvis Award’ (2011),
http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/13017

‘Primary network inspired by Alexander review starts work, TES (2010) http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6061304

‘Cambridge Primary Review – one year on’, by Mike Baker (2010), http://www.mikebakereducation.co.uk/blog/311/cambridge-primary-review-one-year-on

‘Alexander issues post-election challenges’, Headteacher Update, 2010, http://www.headteacher-update.com/cgi-bin/go.pl/article/article.html?uid=47984;type_uid=76

‘Cambridge review team take heart – your ideas may yet triumph’, Peter Mortimore in The Guardian (2009), http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/nov/03/cambridge-primary-review-peter-mortimore

‘The two worlds of education discourse’, Matthew Taylor’s RSA blog (2009), http://www.matthewtaylorsblog.com/thersa/the-two-worlds-of-education-discourse/

‘Ed Balls accused of “lashing out wildly” at primary school review findings’, Polly Curtis in The Guardian (2009), http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/oct/24/primary-schools-edballs

‘Alexander review: give us back our schools’, Helen Ward in TES (2009), http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6025096

‘Influentials 2009’, Evening Standard (2009), http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Downloads/additional-coverage/090201_Influentials_2009_Evening_Standard.pdf

‘Primary source: profile – Robin Alexander’, Nick Blackmore in ATL Report (2007), http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Downloads/PDFs/ATL_Jan._profile_-_RJA.pdf

‘Debate – issue of the day’, Politics Unspun (2007), http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Downloads/PDFs/Press/1.ComSdg/071012_politics.co.uk_Report_author_explains_results.pdf

‘Primary education up before the beak’, Cambridge Evening News (2006), http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Downloads/PDFs/06-Oct14_Cambs_Eve_News.pdf

‘Primary mover’, profile by Peter Wilby in The Guardian (2006), http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Downloads/PDFs/06-Nov28_EducationGuardian.pdf .  Fuller version, as printed, at http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Downloads/R.Alexander_-_EdGuardian_28.11.06.pdf