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Mrs Judd gave a wide-ranging talk on her experiences with editors, educationalists, civil servants and politicians. When Rupert Murdoch had read her CV, when she was appointed to the Times, he had said, ‘Not another ******* Leftie!’. Her talk sparked off a lively question-time and discussion; especially as there were so many educationalists in the audience. Among issues raised, entrenched opinions on teaching philosophies and comprehensive schools were met with protest and argument among the membership, with the speaker providing wise and experienced comment. The general view was that the comprehensive schools, at least in Essex, are excellent and successful. But the agreed weakness of the British education system is an inadequate technical sector and reluctance to study sciences - particularly physics; though Mrs Judd warned against believing international league tables.
The Society's Chairman, Dr. Janet Porter, gave the vote of thanks. The 'Chair-for-the-Day', Robert Jones, thanked the Dean of Chelmsford - also a member of the Society - the Very Reverend Peter Judd, for allowing the meeting to be held in the Chapter House. He also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the retiring Administrator, Hilary Simmonds, who he said had ‘kept them organised’ for nearly three years.
Added: 14 February 2011
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