Letter from the editor: Keeping an i on education

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The Independent Online

I don’t know what the precise procedure is for beatification, but I’d like to put forward the name of Mr Paul Wadey, the Head of English at Gad’s Hill School near Rochester in Kent.

One of the leading independent day schools in Britain, it is an institution with a rich history, and Mr Wadey begins every lesson with the hand of history on his shoulder: the school was formerly the country home of Charles Dickens, and was where he wrote A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.

According to the school’s website, their mission is to give pupils “vision, confidence, maturity and a sense of purpose”. And how does Mr Wadey try to achieve that? By getting his pupils to read i, that’s how!

He explains: “Every morning I collect 100 copies of i from my local newsagent and during each class we use the newspaper to discuss a current topic. With the advent of on-demand news from the web, many children live in households that don’t take a daily newspaper and with i, which is only 20 pence, I’m trying to introduce them to the benefits of newspapers."

“Young people turned away from traditional newspapers,” he adds, “because of their size, because they found the stories ‘boring’ and because they looked uninviting. They agree i’s condensed format overcomes these issues and quite a number of them have said that they, and their parents, will become regular readers.”

Makes you feel ever so ’umble, as Dickens might have written. Thank you, Mr Wadey, and thanks to the pupils at Gad’s Hill. Top marks to you all!