August 31st, 2012

Pearson’s Fake Think Tank is Commercial Front

Pearson plc, the owners of the FT, have caused a minor ripple today through their imaginatively named Pearson Think Tank. They’ve published a prophecy of doom about the state of primary education and teacher training:

“A perfect storm of falling teacher training applications, low staff morale and rapidly rising pupil numbers could easily create a future teacher workforce crisis in primary schools if left unchallenged.”

The Department for Education claim that the report “could not be further from the truth”. Crucially Pearson Think Tank recommends the way to solve the problem is for the government to spend more money on teacher training. So what was it that first attracted one of the world’s largest providers of education services to create their own in-house wonk-shop and produce knocking copy about teachers?

Nothing to do with their commercial interests, of course. Who could sweep in and fix the terrible mess that Pearson claim is blighting  the teaching world? Well these guys look like experts in the area:

Predictably Labour’s sub par education team have got all hot and heavy and are press-releasing quotes about the fake think-tank’s report. Without realising, of course, that they are mere pawns in a corporation’s commercial scheme…


  1. 1
    J Prescott says:

    I think I need pie

  2. 2
    Tuscan Tony says:

    Am I alone in thinking that a tagline “Always Learning” suggests they never get it right?

  3. 3

    that just proves the corporations want to run the UK.

    I just laughed at the section on labour using quotes from the fake report. What a bunch of mumptys, but there again if you had a dose of reality then we would likely not be in the situation the UK is in.

  4. 4
    Hannibal from Carthage says:

    Give every kid an iPad (or better still a Samsung ) and make teachers put all their lessons on line and interactive.

    You can then tell people like Pearson to whistle !

    Shareholders will be choking on their non existent dividend cheques. Kids will be better off and the overall burden on the taxpayer can be reduced.

    Far fairer to trees and supply teachers and Capita PLC can be assigned to history.

  5. 5
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Aha, Labour have been flushed out here, how humiliating.

    Labour serve the interest of big business and unions. They never take the side of small business or families.

    We saw this when Gordon Brown gave away billions to the banks with a blank cheque, promising to save them but without asking for anything in return.

  6. 6
    David Cameron (Leader of the Nasty Party) says:

    Let me make it perfectly clear that none of my Cabinet are on the ATOS payroll.

    Good Afternoon.

  7. 7
    As one Pearson to another says:

    We were doing nicely there – for a little while.

  8. 8
    Flushed? says:

    If it’s Brown, flush it down!

  9. 9
    dunce says:

    If there is low teacher morale wouldn’t they be better in employing longer teachers? Taller teachers can write at a blackboard without having to stand on a stool.
    Makes sense to me.

  10. 10
    jgm2 says:

    The kids who are prepared to be taught online can already access all manner of lessons and tutorials and helpful animations. The rest of ‘em will just use the interweb, as they do already, to update their facebook status or send pictures of their front bottoms to the rest of the class.

  11. 11
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    We’ve surely got trouble– right here in River City! Let Robert Preston and “Guido’s father” show you how you can create a problem you just conveniently have a solution for:

  12. 12
    jgm2 says:

    He got all he wanted in return. A scapegoat to conceal the previous ten years of his fuckwitted economic stewardship.

  13. 13
    V1le Labour ruined my Country says:

    Labour being mislead and not understanding they are being used. Surely not?

  14. 14
    A Teacher says:

    There is low moral at my school

    I am a maths teacher and we are not paid enough

    You lot would not know the meaning of hard work

    (I am only posting in the day because we are on 6 weeks holiday)

  15. 15
    jgm2 says:

    Falling teacher training applications can only be a good sign for the wider economy. It suggests that, in the minds of recent graduates, being a teacher no longer represents a well-paid, safe, job-for-life and that there are better career prospects out there.

    That has to be a good thing if our graduates no longer aspire to a life on the public teat.

  16. 16
    Forkbender says:

    Think tank, lobby group two names but do the same thing lobby for more money from the public teet, they should be banned from the HoC

  17. 17
    Forkbender says:

    Well that could apply to the Liebore party

  18. 18
    Gonk says:

    I’ve had a glance at Pearson and they want to help me
    implement my common core with passion.

  19. 19
    John Page says:

    So in the past few days we’ve had trougher Yeo, the windfarms report, and now teacher training. Time for a roll of dishonour that can be kept updated?

  20. 20
    Anonymous says:

    John Howson, author of the report, sold his business, Education Data Surveys, to TSL Education in 2008:

    I have not established any financial link between TSL and Pearson yet, but you never know, digging might turn up something.

    Howson is also deeply involved in LibDem education policy.

  21. 21
    phil says:

    Pearson in my experience are only in it for the money. They do nothing to help students, pupils or staff. They make people buy expensive Pearson products to back up already overpriced initial product directly allied to main core courses which they themselves have produced, Edexcel being a good example. Rubbishy media based ersatz learning aid – no good solid approach to a good education experience. A large commercial publishing house has no place in curriculum setting.

  22. 22
    Forkbender says:

    JGM ” safe” certainly not in certain schools, when I were lad, the cane, ruler, or in the RC case the back of a nun’s hairbrush, now the only form of deterrent is banning or expelling

  23. 23
    Tim Yeo says:

    What a disgusting conflict of interest.

  24. 24
    jgm2 says:

    ‘Safe’ from the point-of-view of the teacher. As in ‘unsackable’. Guaranteed pay-rises year-on-year. Show up at 8.45, knock off at 3:30. 16 weeks paid holiday.

    That kind of ‘safe’.

  25. 25
    Rupert my Hero says:

    New Labour / Old Communism, reduced teacher standards by turning them into machines who just repeat from instruction manuals, the printed party line in Education. Teachers who teach are a thing of the past, consigned to History by Socialist Politicians and Unions, the destruction of society being the purpose, that a new Communist Structure can be rebuilt from the ashes of Democracy.
    Teachers who can Teach are in NO one’s interest it would seem.

  26. 26

    Where do they route those pictures through….? I just want to be outraged and appalled for the next hour or so.

  27. 27
    jgm2 says:

    Their mobile phones. Or Blackberry Messenger.


  28. 28
    Tomorrow's Chip Wrapper says:

    The aspect of this that I cannot comprehend is the fact that any pupil that was born in the UK can actually get less than “C” grade at English(maths yes but English ?) It defies logic and if true goes to prove the poor standard of teaching the subject in the state school system and the acceptance of mediocre results by teachers/schools as the baseline. If you have a pupil who you predict is going to just scrape a “C” then you should be telling them that they may just scrape in but they need to put in extra effort to ensure they do achieve the minimum “C” grade not then whinge that the exams are unfair and that the authorities have failed the pupil…not so…the person who failed the pupil is the school and the pupil has to take some of the blame for simply not putting in the effort in the subject if they think they are just going to get a “C”…they should be aiming for higher and if not a “A” then at least a “B” in their own language.

    Not a popular view…but still true nonetheless.

    In June1966 I failed(I didn’t even achieve Grade “6” let alone the required Grade “3”) most of my O Levels mainly because it was the 60’s and I pissed around. It was a salutory lesson for me. I begged the school to let do the 5th year again.I retook those I failed some in November that year and some in June the next year and got myself 8 O Levels at “Grade 3″ and above.I went on to take 3 A levels which I got level 2 and above. I went on to university and graduated in 1972 with 2.1. But the point is that nobody said to me that the system was unfair..or that they would adjust the results …the BBC never got involved”’neither did my parents, the school,the teaching profession,local councils or my MP…… the school said you didn’t do the work…my parents said you were lazy and got pissed so get a job with your dad in the factory; live with the consequences. Tough but it was a different country then…people took responsibility for their own actions or lack of them and didn’t blame the system or the government. I learnt a bitter but valuable lesson as I saw my contemporaries move on to college and 6th Form.We have produced a generation of whingers and people who believe the World owes them a living.It doesn’t and never will.You get where you are by your own endeavours.

  29. 29

    I can think of no better experience to be a teacher than to start going to school at the age of 4, and then never ever have to leave!

    Those that can, do etc…

  30. 30
  31. 31

    Is HE the one that supplies them with the back of the fag box!?

  32. 32

    And frankly you definitely wouldn’t want the penguins using the handle end, on health and safety grounds, sub section:toxic substances……!

    Queue nun jokes:

    Where’s the soap?

    It’s the blind man.


  33. 33

    Ah yes – the sight of a cherry
    On an Apple or Blackbury.

  34. 34
    Pete says:

    Story could take an Intresting direction if Pearson were donating to the Labour party?

  35. 35

    The LieBore party are thick, opportunist wankers, now being lead by RetardEd Militwat, or as he shall now be known “Onan the Librarian” the chief pasty-faced wanker – they should have read Hemmingway when they had the Blair and Brown scum twins:

    “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

  36. 36
    Melvin says:

    Blackboard? My dear, you’re not allowed to say that, or even use one….it’s been all whiteboards for years!

  37. 37
    Another Engineer says:

    There are low morals at most schools, especially in the staff room.

    Oh, you meant morale.

  38. 38
    Dominic Oakes says:

    if it’s so easy why don’t you do it?

  39. 39
    jgm2 says:

    For the same reason I don’t empty bins. I don’t need the money.

  40. 40

    I also do not work in local council, but have very strong views on how it should be done, because, and here is the germane part, IT’S PAID FOR OUT OF MY MONEY, WHICH I HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD TO GET AND PAY STUPID AMOUNTS OF TAX ON, so that tossers like you can put up fatuous circular arguments to support inadequacies. If I WANTED to do it, I wouldn’t have to pay for lots of crap, state funded teachers to do it -comprende?

    Many teachers are good, driven, ambitious and great examples and mentors – a significant majority are job blockers, counting down to their index linked retirement. They can start worrying… (sound of Countdown theme)… Now!

  41. 41
    Ex-Tory says:

    All very well, but as with the Yeo story, the will BBC report it all without any reference to the corruption/vested interests. 70% of digested news is provided by the BBC. Guido is for political wonks who are decided voters. The BBC directs the majority mug voters.

  42. 42
    Honest View says:

    MORALE x 10, please.
    This spelling mistake suggests that the contribution is from a real teacher, not a satirical spoof one. Or is it a double bluff?

  43. 43
    Honest View says:

    Teaching’s a job which has a surface of desirable features- long holidays, hours which seem to get shorter every year, days off right, left and centre (snow, public holidays, elections, strikes etc.), but which has been made miserable by the collapse in discipline (mainly the teachers’ own fault by being liberal sentimentalists) and by being used as a poltical football.
    In the good old days, education as a poltical issue was way down the list, somewhere after roads, whereas now the proximity of a (relatively) good state school can apparently determine house prices.
    Study this, o reader, and you will know all there is to know about the state of teaching.

  44. 44
    Honest View says:

    Not entirely of the past.
    Independent schools still harbour original characters, though they have to skulk in the corner of the staff room and mutter dissension to each other during staff meetings.
    All management, even in independent schools, is, however, politically correct and has to broadcast left-wing sentiments. It’s all very sad, and almost disturbing.

  45. 45
    ho hum says:

    Yes, haven’t found any new pilgrims of late either.

  46. 46
    the savant says:

    wot doz dat meen yuu sleep during the day wenn your at work then ??

  47. 47
    the savant says:

    is that gobbledygook speak for a hand shandy ??

  48. 48
    the savant says:

    if pearson sold the ft for less than the exhorbitant two pounds fify for uk prinnt editiion they might get more readers and push the unit cost down leading to their entering the real world and reducing their price to somewhere near the telegraph s

    or is that too simplistic ??

  49. 49
    The OED submissions desk says:

    Just so – new entry for 2013:

    WankFuriously V. (Onanism). Help me implement my common core with passion.
    Other. Patois within the HoC, meaning to become leader of the Labour Party, such as pasty-faced Ed Miliband, and inherit the title Onan the Librarian.

  50. 50
    HoC HelpDesk (in Mumbai) says:

    Excerpt from Hansard, 25 September 2010:

    Elected leader of Labour Party, the Right Honorable Ed Miliband, who had to WankFuriously to beat his older brother and become Onan the Librarian, the chosen one of Bob Crowe, et al.

  51. 51

    Education, Education Education

    and we should start with wee Dougie and Balls doing lines (not that type, although that would explain their detachment from reality)

    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies
    I shall not tell lies

  52. 52
    keredybretsa says:

    More of a stink tank!

  53. 53
    Anonymous says:

    So, these Pearson people must be rivals of your asset stripping mate Murdoch.

  54. 54
    Anonymous says:

    Don’t talk about things you don’t understand, twat.

    If you want to learn anything about these matters don’t try doing it on Greedo’s. Twat.

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    For GCSE English, pupils have to write 2 pieces of creative writing under timed conditions, write an extended essay on a text, under timed conditions, conduct a research project and write up the results under timed conditions, do 3 spoken presentations, and in the exam answer 4 questions on unseen non fiction articles from papers such as the Guardian, and write 2 non fiction texts according to specific briefs and for specific audiences, all in just over 2 hours.
    It is not just a case of knowing the English language.

  56. 56
    Anonymous says:


    try to pay attention

  57. 57
    TomCatesby says:

    Can’t we keep the lying scumbag politicians and hypocritical carpetbaggers like Pearson away from our kids in this country, the ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels scandal, now this shit! Give the kids a break!

  58. 58
    Anonymous says:

    Poor little Pearson. Now that Ofqual are shutting down their license to print money they now have to actually do some work. Shut down UKCES next please.

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