What our supporters are saying

Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton are innovative and stimulating thinkers and writers. I am delighted that they have created Educating Ruby to help us have a genuine conversation about what children really ought to be learning today.

Sir David Bell KCB, Vice-Chancellor, University of Reading

A powerful, heartfelt and expert analysis of what's going wrong in the education of our children and of how to put it right.

Sir Ken Robinson

Examination grades are important, but they are only half the story of education. Parents send their children to schools like my own because they know we build the kinds of character and roundedness that this book puts its finger on. It's what all schools everywhere should be doing. Claxton and Lucas speak for school-children and their parents everywhere.

Sir Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College

Schools for everyone are a 19th century invention. They trained young people for the work force, developed factual knowledge, and encouraged compliance, passivity and discipline. But the world is different now. Most children are not born into stable communities; instead the globalised, digital world is at their fingertips.  Now, relishing adventure, learning from mistakes, and engaging with challenge are the very essence of learning (as evident in video games and sport) and Educating Ruby shows that developing such character attributes can also be at the heart of successful schools. Ruby is typical of all the children we need to educate to live in this exciting, buzzing, and changing world. This book has a welcome and strong message that it is not an either-or; the development of character and competence can go hand in hand. And it is beautifully written, underpinned by excellent research, and with the strong practical implications that have long been the hallmark of Claxton and Lucas's work. We urgently need to upscale the messages and methods of this book. Thanks to Ruby, Guy and Bill for leading the way.

Professor John Hattie, author of Visible Learning

Educating Ruby provides a thought-provoking insight into a more rounded, expansive education; the sort of start in life that all parents would want for their children. This book should be read by policy makers, educators and parents - then we might start to move to a truly lifelong learning society.

David Hughes , Chief Executive NIACE

Professors Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton call for schools to cultivate a range of capabilities in young people in Educating Ruby, including creativity and commitment. This accords well with the CBI's focus on helping schools deliver young people who are rigorous, rounded and grounded - set up with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and attributes to succeed in adult life. We congratulate Guy and Bill and are delighted to be on the same side as the Educating Ruby team.

Neil Carberry, Director for Employment & Skills, CBI

City & Guilds has long argued for the importance of the education system developing a broad set of vocational outcomes for young people as well as a system that can provide meaningful and wider choices around progression routes. This is why it has invested in the City & Guilds TechBac to provide better choices. In Educating Ruby Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton make a powerful argument for a really important set of capabilities, their 7Cs. City & Guilds strongly supports the Educating Ruby campaign to develop character as well as expertise in all the UK's young people, so they can fulfil their potential and aspiration, whilst also being able ultimately to contribute to the productivity of the UK.

Kirstie Donnelly, Managing Director of City & Guilds UK

Educating Ruby is an important read for every parent. Parents need more information on education matters and to be consulted more often - something PTA UK feels passionately about. This book really gets to the heart of the important issues that every parent should consider. It's concise, eloquent, highly readable and very reasonably priced. Essential reading. Great to start a conversation in a PTA. We will be recommending it to all of our members.

Emma Williams, Executive Director PTA UK

Good schools have always focused on 'results plus', helping children achieve their potential in examinations and at the same time developing confident and creative individuals who are keen to do their very best. Bill and Guy are absolutely right to remind us of the need for more expansive approaches.

Educating Ruby is a timely reminder of how increasingly important it is not to narrow down on just part of what matters at school.

Brian Lightman, General Secretary, ASCL

The schools of tomorrow are here today - but too few and far between. We won't get the speed and scale of change without real political will - currently lacking. Educating Ruby is a brave attempt to mobilize parent power to get that change to happen. I really hope it succeeds!

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive RSA

It was a teacher that changed my life; not because he taught me my times tables but because he helped me re-build my confidence through my parents' divorce. I am Ruby, you are Ruby, we are all Ruby. Thank you Guy and Bill for breaking us out of the battery farm.

Richard Gerver, author of Creating Tomorrow's Schools Today

It is essential that schools educate the whole child. I strongly support the line of argument made by Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton that schools are about so much more than examination results. Educating Ruby is essential reading for everyone who cares about the future of education in our country.

Tony Little, Head Master of Eton College

Educating Ruby is a must read book for all stakeholders in education. Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas show how we can have happy, positive young people with skills, attitudes and ‘habits of mind’ that are knowledgeable and capable of passing examinations.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive, SSAT

Guy Claxton’s earlier books have been a huge influence on my thinking and my practice. Whether you agree or disagree with Educating Ruby, you’ll certainly be engaged, stimulated and challenged.

Robert Wilne, founding Head Master of the London Academy of Excellence

The UK school system is in urgent need of reform. Educating Ruby teems with practical, evidence-based, inspiring ideas for teaching and learning, that will brighten the lives of over-tested students, stressed-out teachers and concerned parents. And when politicians are finally ready to be pointed in the right direction, it’s just the book for them too.

Sue Palmer, literacy specialist and author of Toxic Childhood

The need for a knowledge-rich curriculum is beyond dispute but this provocative book should make all teachers, and school leaders think deeply about what is taught and how; a broad range of ideas encompassing deep scholarship, character-building and creativity are set out with passion and clarity including practical suggestions for schools and parents. It’s going to wind some people up – but that’s a good thing.

Tom Sherrington, Head Teacher, Highbury Grove School. @headguruteacher

Most people believe schools should do their bit to help children become 'rounded individuals' as well as developing their intellectual strength. The obsession with measuring our schools through testing their pupils means that too many children are on a relentless treadmill which is self-defeating. Ruby and her friends need an education with all its richness, with teachers who bring learning alive and supported by parents who play their full part. It is not too complicated and Educating Ruby explains why the system needs to change and what everyone can do about it.

Mick Waters, Professor of Education at Wolverhampton University

What would schools look like if they taught children what they really need to know? Could we ever have schools like that? Educating Ruby is thoughtful, provocative and optimistic. As ever, Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas are wise and experienced voices on the cutting edge of education. All teachers and parents should read this book – they’d learn lots, and enjoy it!

Hilary Wilce, author of Backbone: How to Build the Character Your Child Needs to Succeed

Review Summary