Generally speaking

September 25, 2008

In his latest diatribe ("Forget the evidence - a real debate with the public is what we need", 18 September), Dennis Hayes launches a scathing attack on the recent British Educational Research Association (Bera) conference (which he does not seem to have attended), on education research "in every education department in every university" (presumably including his own) and extends such criticism to "every other academic conference".

No wonder then that he places so much value on the expression of opinions unsupported by evidence, for his sweeping and unsupported generalisations constitute a fine example of this. He also seems to suggest that education research is conducted in the absence of public debate.

No public debate on education? I think not. And does he seriously think that policy is never informed by research? Or maybe it is just that he disagrees with any research that does happen to have had an influence.

James Noble-Rogers, Executive director, Universities Council for the Education of Teachers.

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