Charlie McCarthy looks at how British children compare to children abroad in the education system; improvement in English and Maths is taken as a green light by the government for their policies. But the OECD study is being challenged and reporting for PISA ought to be more transparent.
Author: Charlie McCarthy
Charlie is a writer who lives in North Yorkshire. Originally from Glasgow, he has lived in the North of England for most of his life. Before becoming a writer, Charlie was a science teacher. His areas of interest include politics, the environment and education.
Charlie McCarthy considers the alternative to A-Levels. A more practical, applied and vocational course called ‘T-Levels’ are growing increasingly popular. But how much do people know about them and are they valued as highly as A-Levels?
Charlie McCarthy explains the significance of the hydrogen factory in Yorkshire. Green hydrogen is a great alternative to fossil fuel, as poor air quality is already the largest environmental risk to UK public health.
Alex Salmond has surprised some in Scotland and many more in other parts of the UK by launching a new, pro-independence party, the Alba Party. What does this mean for the future of the union?
Charlie McCarthy explains the emerging problem of unpaid rent and the UK’s debt crisis. Social housing in Britain has suffered over the past decades. The pandemic itself, despite the ban on evictions, has also meant young renters have been worst-impacted with high rents and poorly maintained properties.
Charlie McCarthy explains what impact the chancellor’s cuts to the aid budget will have on organisations like VSO. The charity’s international programs will be halted and UK communities will be harmed as they can no longer volunteer.
Are schools delivering the skills and the social mobility we need for a successful post-pandemic, post-Brexit economy?
This whole episode is a sad day for Scottish politics and for Alex Salmond personally. The SNP has energised the Scottish electorate in a way that other parties would give their eye teeth for. They have inspired a nation and given hope of a better future to more than just those living in Scotland. Now to stand on the brink of having the most popular national politician, who happens to be a woman, brought down by her former mentor and colleague, is a potential setback on many levels.
Charlie McCarthy looks at the reality of opening schools, with personal testimony from a teenager affected and professional evidence from the scientific community, to show just how how difficult both home schooling and reopening schools are.
Charlie McCarthy looks at the new agency, Aria, which will attempt to maintain British influence in scientific innovation. He explains how it could allow the government to fulfill its ‘levelling up’ agenda, depending on where the new HQ is located.
Charlie McCarthy explains Boris Johnson’s anticipated ‘big bang’ method of allowing children to return to school. He lays out the concerns from scientists and some school staff that he is rushing the process, perhaps risking an increase of the R number.
The government’s scheme to provide green grants to home owners and landlords has got off to a shaky start. With 65 percent of homeowners applying in the first 2 months alone, the scheme has already run out of money. To make matters worse, contractors who will carry out the improvement work are reluctant to sign […]
The tensions between the science of epidemiology and the politics of governing the country, and trying to preserve the national economy at a time of pandemic, are laid bare in the predictions and hopes of the prime minister and his health secretary. Meanwhile we, the people, are caught in the crossfire.
Charlie McCarthy talks to a few people who say they would decline the covid vaccine, and explores their reasons, looking at how the government will need to address the anti-vaxxer propaganda for the sake of the country.
Would you pass the test to become a UK citizen? A research team from Essex University’s department for psychology gave the test to 270 residents, most of whom were British citizens. It found that 66.4 percent failed their home country’s citizenship exam. The average score was 15/24.
Researchers at Oxford University department of physics have developed a new world-beating solar panel using the semiconductor perovskite. Perovskite is a semiconductor that can transport electric charge when light strikes the material. Oxford PV, an Oxford University spin-off, has spent more than a decade working on improving the efficiency of solar technology.
Charlie McCarthy weighs up the pros and cons of Biden cancelling the Keystone XL, and highlights the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement.
“The human family is standing on the beach watching a tsunami approaching. The big issue is … can we do anything to stop it?” Charlie McCarthy reviews what the evidence is saying on global warming and why we need to listen to the experts and be led by the science.
Charlie McCarthy writes on the SNP’s opposition to the government’s damaging Brexit deal: “The alignment of international events and incompetence of Westminster leadership is a conjunction of forces that the nationalists in Scotland could only ever have dreamt of”.
In the first of our review series for 2020, Charlie McCarthy looks at the shocking rates of food poverty in the UK. The Trussell Trust predict that this winter will be their busiest period ever and have warned that their figures represent just the “tip of the iceberg, as many people will have been helped by other community groups”.
Charlie McCarthy looks into the decision to award an important new project to London-based Google-owned AI company DeepMind. The project is a significant one for the future of medicine, and may have consequences for a potential UK-US trade deal.
Charlie McCarthy looks at the news of Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s arrest. Anderson has been a prominent critic of the government, continuing in Liverpool’s long tradition of being a centre of resistance. McCarthy looks at the complicated dynamics of corruption in the city, and what Anderson’s potential resignation might mean.
Charlie McCarthy looks at the internal politics of the Conservative party surrounding the foreign aid budget, which the chancellor has cut in the Spending Review. The cut will have consequences, McCarthy writes, for Britain’s standing abroad, and for our own prosperity as a country.
Charlie McCarthy examines a new housing development in Harrogate. The town has historically been expensive to live in due to its desirability driving up housing costs, and this new development does nothing to help this.
The government’s plan for new unitary authorities is causing division in North Yorkshire, where no agreement has yet been reached on how this will look. Various proposals have been submitted, with NYCC and York City Council agreeing on one structure, while the shire councils mostly agree on another.
The prime minister – already facing the twin peaks of the covid pandemic and Brexit – has just given the Scottish Conservatives another mountain to climb next May. It remains to be seen how fit they are with six months to go.
As America enters the week of the most important presidential election in living memory, it is poignant to consider the changing face of that great nation and, how this may play out in the election itself. America is not as white as it used to be and this could affect the outcome. In general, non-white […]
Now that Brexit is all but done and Boris Johnson has the biggest parliamentary majority since the days of Margaret Thatcher, along comes a new schism to occupy northern Tory backbenchers – the North-South divide. On 26 October, Prime Minister Johnson came under considerable pressure from his own side in the form of a letter, […]
In 2015, the countries of the UN unanimously agreed on 17 sustainable development goals, to be implemented by 2030. Among the ambitious aspirations of this agenda – for example to eradicate poverty and hunger, to support sustainable economic growth and to ensure the protection of the planet – is sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4), […]
For generations, sheep and cattle farmers have shaped the upland Yorkshire landscape we all cherish. Now many traditional farmers, so vital to the fabric of our rural communities, are at risk of being put out of business. Uplands farmers – particularly sheep and beef cattle farmers in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North York […]