Authors Frank Furedi is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. His research is oriented towards the study of the impact of precautionary culture and risk aversion on Western societies. In his books he has explored controversies and panics over issues such as health, children, food and cultural life. His writings express a concern with the prevailing regime of cultural confusion towards valuing intellectual and artistic pursuits and with the difficulty that society has in providing a challenging education for children and young people. His books include: Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right (2005); Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone: Confronting 21st Century Philistinism (2005); Therapeutic Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability in an Anxious Age (2004); Culture of Fear (2002); and Paranoid Parenting (2001); His new book Invitation to Terror is to be published in October 2007. Shirley Lawes is currently Subject Leader for Modern Foreign Languages at the Institute of Education, University of London. Before moving into higher education, she worked for many years as a teacher of French in secondary schools, further and adult education and industry. Shirley is editor of the journal Francophonie and has published widely on modern languages teaching and learning, and initial teacher training. Michele Ledda teaches English at secondary level and has also taught French and Latin. He has an Italian degree in English Language and Literature and holds an MA by research in English from Leeds University, with a dissertation on James Joyce's Ulysses and Petronius's Satyricon. He collaborates with the education section of the Manifesto Club (www.manifestoclub.com) which campaigns for an elitist education for all, and has written various articles on education both for academic journals and for online magazines. Chris McGovern has 32 years of teaching experience, at all ages from 5 to 18 and in both the maintained and the independent sectors. He has been head of history in two large comprehensive schools and is currently headmaster of an independent preparatory school in North London. He is a qualified Ofsted and ISI inspector. In the 1980s he helped to found the History Curriculum Association and remains a director. During the 1990s he served on two government advisory bodies: the School Examinations and Assessment Council and the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority. As a member of the group that revised the National Curriculum for history in the mid-1990s he published a critical minority report. He has been an education adviser to the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street under two prime ministers and a member of the TUC local government committee. He is a regular contributor to press, TV and radio discussion of educational matters at home and abroad. Simon Patterson has 30 years of teaching experience at degree level, in philosophy and related subjects, but his critique of the national curriculum in mathematics is based on his exposure to it as a trainee teacher on the Graduate Teacher Programme in 2001/2. He came to feel that the syllabus he and his colleagues were attempting to teach sought to cover too many disparate topics and that the practice of returning to the same topic year after year, and the rigid constraints on time this imposed, tended to de-motivate students and contributed to a culture of under achievement. David Perks is head of physics at Graveney School, London. After completing his PGCE at Oxford he went straight into teaching and now has 20 years of teaching experience in state schools. He campaigns for the teaching of science through separate academic disciplines and writes regularly on education issues, with a focus on defending academic science education in schools. Alex Standish is Assistant Professor of Geography, Department of Social Studies, Western Connecticut State University. Dr Standish recently received a doctorate in geography from Rutgers University in New Jersey. His thesis looked at the changing relationship between geography education and citizenship in schools. Previously, he completed a master's degree in education at Canterbury Christ Church University College in the UK. He has also taught in both primary and secondary schools in the southeast of England. Alex Standish has emerged as one of the few critics of new directions in geography education. He has debated the future of geography at the Geographical Association's annual conference and on BBC radio's Today programme. He also writes for spiked-online and the Times Educational Supplement. Robert Whelan is Deputy Director of Civitas. His books include The Corrosion of Charity; Involuntary Action: How Voluntary is the 'Voluntary' Sector?; Helping the Poor: Friendly visiting, dole charities and dole queues; and Octavia Hill's Letters to Fellow-Workers 1871-1911 (ed.). He is a director of the New Model School Company, set up under the auspices of Civitas, which aims to bring independent schooling within the reach of more parents, and he teaches English to Bengali students at a Saturday school in Bethnal Green.