5 speakers 15 minutes each

Melissa Benn

Life Lessons

Melissa Benn is a writer, journalist and campaigner. She was educated at Holland Park comprehensive and the London School of Economics where she graduated with a First in history. Before becoming a full time writer, she worked for the National Council for Civil Liberties, the Open University, Women in Prison and the London magazine City Limits. As a freelance writer, her essays and journalism have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Independent,The Times, Public Finance, Marxism Today, the London Review of Books, Cosmopolitan and Public Finance. She is a regular contributor to The Guardian and New Statesman. Her non-fiction works include Madonna and Child: Towards a New Politics of Motherhood (1998); Education and Democracy, co-edited with Clyde Chitty (2004) and A Comprehensive Future: Quality and Equality For All Our Children, a specially commissioned pamphlet for the pressure group Compass co-written with Fiona Millar (2006) which provoked widespread discussion. In 2011 she published School Wars: The Battle for Britain’s Education which the Observer called ‘a tremendous book.’ In September 2013 she published What Should We Tell Our Daughters? The Pleasures and Pressures of Growing Up Female, an exploration of young women’s lives from the perspective of a feminist in mid-life and mother of teenagers which was shortlisted for a Politico’s Book of the Year in 2014. Her most recent book, The Truth About Our Schools: Exploding the Myths, Exploring the Evidence, was launched by Routledge in early 2016. Melissa is a regular speaker and broadcaster.