LSN founder wins education award

Janet Downs's picture
Local Schools Network founder, Melissa Benn, has won the Fred and Anne Jarvis Award for educational campaigning. The prize acknowledged Melissa’s work as a passionate champion of comprehensive education.

Previous winners of the award include Professor Robin Alexander, Director of the Cambridge Primary Review who said in his acceptance speech that when governments talk about “evidence-based policy” it “all too often means ‘policy-based evidence’: first devise your policy, then select the evidence that fits it, and ignore, rubbish or suppress the rest”, and Michael Rosen, broadcaster, poet and indefatigable campaigner against Sats.

Congratulations, Melissa, on being presented with this honour.

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Rebecca Hanson's picture
Sat, 07/04/2012 - 18:25

I think you should get one too Janet.

Melissa Benn's picture
Sat, 07/04/2012 - 19:43

Hear hear Rebecca! Janet's indefatigable and sharp analysis is invaluable to the site - and to campaigning, in general, for a fairer and higher quality system.

One more thing to add: Fiona Millar, another founder of the site, was an earlier recipient of the Jarvis award.

I am very pleased and honoured to have won it this year - and just hope it will make a dent in the increasingly unsettling and unhelpful Gove strategy for our schools.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Sat, 07/04/2012 - 20:07

Well done to you Melissa

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Sat, 07/04/2012 - 21:06

Brillant work Melissa!!!

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Mon, 09/04/2012 - 16:14

I'm not sure awards from vested interests are worth much.

How seriously would anyone take the Goldman Sachs Award for Economic Punditry? Or the Koch Award for Environmental Concern?

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Mon, 09/04/2012 - 18:27


I once worked with a Minister for Education who won the UNESCO Gandhi Medal of Peace.

He's the reason we have our wonderful infrastructure for the global twinning of schools.

He was one of the most intellectually and spiritually intelligent men I have ever met and well worthy of that award.

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Mon, 09/04/2012 - 20:43

I'm relieved to hear it, since he now runs an atomic energy programme in a somewhat sensitive area of the Middle East.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Tue, 10/04/2012 - 08:06

Indeed. It's sad we don't hear so much about project like Sesame which have the Iranians working with the Israelis and everyone else in the Middle East.

It just goes to show that you don't need to be an expert in education to be a great leader in education. But it does helps if you've lead an industry through commanding the personal respect of those around you.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Tue, 10/04/2012 - 08:28

Jordan is not a particularly sensitive area of the Middle East because it hasn't got any oil.

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