December 08, 2009 10:37 ET

Edge Criticises Reform Research Trust's Report

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2009) - Independent education foundation, Edge, today criticised the Reform Research Trust's report 'Core Business' as it ignores evidence to support its opinion.

Following the Reform Research Trust's research which advocates a return to greater and more stretching academic study for all students Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge, commented in his weekly blog:
"I was interested to read a couple of articles relating to a new report by Reform, the alleged independent non-party think tank, which advocates a return to greater and more stretching academic study for all students.

"The report is called 'Core Business'. It pretends to be based on evidence, and there are hundreds of references to source material to lend a tone of academic rigour. Sadly, many people will be fooled by it. But the 'evidence' has been selected very largely on the basis that it supports the argument, not whether it stands up to scrutiny. Evidence that does not support the argument is ignored.

"The statement of beliefs is bolstered by spurious argument and arbitrary evidence. Maybe the growing support for 'many paths to success' and the appreciation of the importance of more practical and 'real world' learning is causing a backlash. It'd be nice to think so – a sign of success!

"If you want to read a proper piece of research that includes trenchant analysis and challenging conclusions, albeit based on a clear ideological stance, then you should get hold of the latest work of Alison Wolf, 'An Adult Approach to Further Education', published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. I won't say more because I'm still reading it … and thinking about it!

"Talking of Alison Wolf, she also appeared recently in an interesting article in the US that debated whether people should go to college or not - it's well worth reading."

Edge is inviting the public at large to have their say on the education system, and will feedback findings to politicians in the three main parties prior to the general election.

Notes to Editors

For more information on Edge please contact Zoe Penn or Andy Wray on 020 7419 6950 or email edgeteam@bbpr.com

About Edge

Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success. For more information visit www.edge.co.uk.

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