Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Developing Strategies

And an article for Education for Tomorrow and the STA journal Education for Liberation earlier this year on similar themes:
Education faces the most sustained political attack since the formation of a state education system in the 1870s.  That much is plain.  The academy and 'free' schools privatisation programme, attacks on education workers' pensions, regressive curriculum and qualification changes, and the dismantling of national pay are all part of a broad 'reform' programme which seeks to dismantle the state education system and replace it with a fully-privatised education market, driven by profit.

NUT at the Crossroads

My guest piece for the CDFU bulletin (internal NUT publication):
The NUT is at a crossroads.
Never before have we faced a government so determined to dismantle the state education system.  Even the Thatcher government, with all its commitment to the free-market economics of Milton Fiedman, was limited in how far it could go down the road of education privatisation.  Ultimately, their experiment failed as unions, heads and LA officers worked together to ensure that Local Management of Schools, per-pupil funding and the introduction of a quasi-market through parent choice was not enough to undermine the local authority family of schools.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Latest Info on Pay Campaign

Find out the latest on the pay campaign and local meetings here: http://eepurl.com/FupvL

Dear Blog...

Dear Blog,

Sorry I have not written for so long.  You will notice that the collapse of all blogging activity occurred about a month and a half before my youngest daughter Clara was born.  Anyway, Clara is now four and a half months old, happy healthy and LOUD and I am finding just enough time between teaching and meetings to rustle up the occasional post again.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Organising for the Future

A busy week this week. On Thursday, our local committee met for the first time since the AGM. Great to welcome new members on board and to set out some of our plans for the coming year.
In particular, we welcomed the initial success of the organising project in Didcot and Wallingford, and are looking to extend this to other areas.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Future of Outdoor Education in Oxfordshire

This week, Oxfordshire County Council began consultation on its proposals for restructuring its three Outdoor Education Centres:

Gove, Wilshaw, Governors and Education

Came across this petition I thought colleagues might like to sign:

Gove Must Go Petition | GoPetition

The damage that has been done to education by this government in its first three years in power, seems set to be compounded by the rest of its term.

Michael Wilshaw's latest attack on governors exposes Gove & co's complete disregard for anyone who genuinely cares about education. Their proposals for reform of governing bodies (opposed by the National Governors' Association) suggest they would be very happy to see parents, teachers and members of the local community completely replaced by paid directors like in any other business.

But the reality is that education is not just any other business. It is about the education of our children. And that process involves the whole community. It means people from within that community, whether parents teachers or others, taking a lead in the running of their schools.

There are inspirational people in schools all over the country doing precisely that, and it is those people Wilshaw is insulting with his ill-informed, ideologically-driven comments today.

Willshaw and Gove have a single agenda, to make our schools more and more like the private businesses they so admire and from which their friends make so much profit.

Our agenda must be different. It must be to develop an education system which supports every young person to achieve the best that they can. And that means working with all those who are passionate about this vision, especially those who give their time voluntarily as governors to achieve it.

Monday, 4 February 2013

The War on Teachers Affects Us All

Sunday 03 February 2013
by Gawain Little

This year began with the worrying news of a significant decline in teacher morale. A survey conducted by YouGov reported that 55 per cent of teachers described their morale as "low" or "very low."

The number giving a positive response has almost halved since April last year to 15 per cent.

The reasons for this are not difficult to understand. More than seven in 10 teachers reported that they did not feel trusted by ministers and over three-quarters felt that government policies were having a negative impact on education.

More worryingly for ministers, only 13 per cent of teachers in academies and "free" schools, the coalition's blueprint for the future of education, believe that this government is taking education in the right direction.

And it's no wonder they are sceptical.

The privatisation of the education system through the academy and "free" school initiatives is already causing huge problems.