Charlie Carroll is a writer, musician, teacher, traveller and Cornishman. He is the author of three non-fiction travel books – THE FRIENDSHIP HIGHWAY (Summersdale, 2014); NO FIXED ABODE (Summersdale, 2013) and ON THE EDGE (Monday Books, 2010). In 2012, he won the K Blundell Trust Award for “writers under 40 who aim to raise social awareness with their writing”. He has written for The Guardian, The Big Issue and Walk, been featured in National Geographic, The Telegraph and The Times, and been serialised in the Daily Mail and The Week. He currently works with LendMeYourLiteracy, an organisation which nurtures and celebrates children's writing.
Back in January, my school set upon a new initiative. The marking of core writing skills – that is, spelling, punctuation and grammar (or SPAG as us educators, who never shy away from a good acronym, like to call it) – was to be implemented across all departments. No longer just a proviso of the English faculty, now History teachers would have to check for syntactical errors in their students’ essays; Science teachers would have to ensure that methodologies and conclusions which came to them did so with the required requisite of full-stops and capital letters; Geography teachers would have to supervise not just the correct spelling of ‘oxbow lake’, but also the correct spelling of all the words which surrounded it in their pupils’ books.