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  • WLFS History Conference - A Primary Perspective
    I don't think it can be emphasised enough how fantastic the inaugural West London Free School History Conference was. I can honestly say that I would have attended every workshop...
  • The Unethical Code of the College of Teaching
    Over the course of the last year, I have changed my stance on the College of Teaching as its actions have left me cynical. It has become clear that...
  • The Case Against Black History Month - Impact
    In this third blog I will focus on the impact of Black History Month. In terms of individuals, one of the core claims, that it would impact positively on...
  • The Case Against Black History Month - Promoting Racism
    In my first blog on the talk I gave at Wellington College, I focused on the purposes of history. In this second part, I will look at why...
  • Battle of Ideas #1 - History Wars
    This was my first year at the Institute of Ideas annual event, the Battle of Ideas. I took part in the History Wars panel alongside Nick Dennis, Kwasi Kwarteng...
  • Beyond Political Correctness and Black History Month: What is the Purpose of Teaching History?
    A recent conversation with a Marxist history teacher ended with him vowing to be a liberal propagandist in future. Because all history teachers are propagandists, right?
  • Hypocrisy Is Hypocrisy
    When I was reading Nick Cohen's "What's Left?", the one thing the other half kept asking was if Shami Chakrabarti had come in for any criticism. Fortunately for him,...
  • #TLAC: I feel inadequate and it's about time I did.
    Our education system has enough medicinal soundbites prescribed for imaginary ills invented by snakeoil salespeople or the latest utopian demagogue.
  • Democratic Elitists
    My philosophy teacher at Trinity led a fascinating session on democracy that I remember to this day. In the end, he remarked, a person will always know their best...
  • #LearningFirst: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    Well I was never going to write an uncritical article about @beyondlevels's #LearningFirst conference but I think it's a fair summary to say that there was in fact the...
  • Having a Party
    In terms of being a Leicester City fan, I rank about one higher than a glory hunter (born here).
  • The Great Phonics Debate
    These days, it's a sackable offence if you tell a child the meaning of a word when they're sounding it out. What did you say?
  • We Don't Need No Innovation
    There are many reasons why the new curriculum and the changes to the content have proved problematic in primary schools. Some of them do relate to the government but not...
  • Strictly Come Dancing
    For the first 32 years of my life, I can honestly say that I could not dance. I may have moved along to the music as a young child,...
  • Enough is Enough
    What we need right now is not more idealism but problem-solvers. Yes you with the ideals, look at the picture and feel happy but don't tell me what is...
  • Debating Michaela
    Debating Michaela was a fascinating set of debates about some of the key arguments in the current education.
  • Analogies and Realities
    The problem with Tim's comparison of the traditional vs progressive debate with the French Revolution is that the analogy is based on a lack of knowledge and understanding of...
  • Core Content for ITT - The Fightback
    One of the best thing about being human is the ability to distinguish between good and bad ideas and to abandon the bad ones. Not for progressives in education,...
  • Have We Learnt Our Lessons?
    I blogged the full transcript of James Callaghan's Ruskin Speech. Trendy Teachers - Callaghan tried to be balanced on this - more so than I had imagined from the...
  • James Callaghan and the Ruskin Speech
    It seems convenient for the left to forget but the beginnings of centralisation did not occur until the 1980s and it wasn't the Conservatives who laid the ground but...
  • NPQML
    Well after 18 months and much blood, sweat and (no not tears but maybe frustration!!), I finally got the results of my NPQML and yes I passed!! I am...
  • NPQML Updated
    It's a year since I completed my NPQML and wrote this piece about passing it. With hindsight, there are things that I would want to include, change or emphasise...
  • Oppression – You Keep Using That Word, but it Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means
    Am I the only one tired of hearing the word “oppression” being thrown around like confetti? It was inevitable that there would be a cry of oppression in response...
  • Conditions of Employment: Part Two
    As far as I am concerned all the teaching unions ought to be ashamed of the fact that they have never once called a strike in response to the...
  • Conditions of Employment: Part One
    One of the reasons I left my last union is because I disagreed with them on a wide range of issues and in the end was not happy about...
  • Labour’s Divine Right to Exist?
    Deborah Mattinson’s article on the report she was asked to undertake by Harriet Harman after Labour’s defeat in the May 2015 elections, is illuminating. It goes to the heart...
  • Why Ambition is Not a Dirty Word
    The far left have always taken the working class vote and support for granted. Where it has not been forthcoming there is the classic ‘false consciousness’ to fall back...
  • Deep and Significant Problems
    Oh Diane! What a car crash this was:
  • Democratic Deficit
    There is an assumption that some left-wing, middle class people have, which is that they are somehow more capable of knowing what is moral and what is right. That...
  • What Difference Do Words Make?
    My only experience of marking SAT’s papers was illuminating. We mark blind so I had no idea whose paper was being marked or where they were from but one...
  • Principles, What Principles?
    A while back I wrote a blog that upset a few people by comparing Corbyn with Moseley, in terms of their style of politics, rather than ideology. Since then,...
  • Mixed Ability Classes
    One of the 5 big debates chosen for the Debating Education event at Michaela Community School last Saturday, was whether mixed ability classes worked. While I discussed this in...
  • Labour: The Wilderness Years – Conversion of a Jeremy Corbyn Supporter (Part Two)
    I watched “Labour: the Wilderness Years” on the back of my attendance at my first ever party-political event: a Jeremy Corbyn campaign rally. I had found him to be...
  • Gramsci and Education
    In a twitter chat a few weeks ago, a tweeter, who was neither a scientist nor a teacher, insisted over and over again that children should not be taught...
  • Behaviour Management: Shying Away from the Issues?
    On behaviour management, it is fair to say that the Labour Party has left the debate on discipline in schools to the Conservatives. We need to pull back and...
  • A New Kind of Politics?
    While in the audience for Question Time, I happened to be sitting next a youngish looking man. At the end of the programme he spoke to a woman...
  • Jeremy Corbyn’s Movement
    Jeremy Corbyn has tapped into the mood of those who see life as a perpetual protest. Those who are seeking conflict. Those whose sense of right and wrong depends...
  • Labour: The Wilderness Years – Conversion of a Jeremy Corbyn Supporter (Part One)
    Andrew Old decided to post the following tweet a few weeks ago:
  • Jeremy Corbyn – Persuader and Evader
    Yesterday I attended one of the many local Q and A events that Jeremy Corbyn is holding in his bid for election as the Labour Party Leader. I have...
  • Time to Link Social Mobility and Education Again
    “I’m not interested in what Labour has to say anymore.” So said the other half, while turning over from Chris Leslie’s response to a question about the possibility of...
  • What Now for Education?
    The left needs to rethink. As I have argued here, much current thinking and practice in education can hardly be considered left-wing in the first place. There are certain...
  • Fear and Loathing in UK Classrooms
    It seems to me the whole accountability regime is just a system of collective punishment for the fact that some teachers were not good at their job.
  • Love, Actually
    I have wanted to go to Michaela for about a year now. Well, I was at the Michaela debate but that was sans children. Thanks to Naureen (@5N_Afzal), who...
  • Not Waving But Drowning
    Having argued that the ability to mass academise schools is not undemocratic, I read this today from @dutaut - here where he argues that it is not undemocratic but...
  • Is Academisation Undemocratic?
    As could have been predicted, there are a lot of people who are angry about mass academisation. The last time I saw the word privatisation this many times in...
  • EEE - Principle 1 - Great Teaching
    Last Thursday, I, along with other bloggers, was invited to a meeting with Nick Gibb at the DfE. It involved discussing and clarifying the new White Paper - Educational...
  • Structure Vs Action?
    During my Sociology at A-Level and later on for my Masters in Political Science, I studied both Structure and Agency (or Action) theories.
  • No Preferred Method of Teaching?
    Ofsted's messages are not trusted by many senior leaders still. I'm not sure how many heads refer to the Ofsted website. My anecdotal experience is that they place the...
  • A Hidden Exchange
    Yesterday I read this post and got into an exchange with the author. I thought that the comments were approved, and she was replying because she disagreed, except nothing...
  • Moving on from Maslow
    The first and second parts of this series of blogs explored the pyramid diagram and critiqued the use of his theory to devise behaviour management strategies.
  • Maslow's Hierarchy - Critique Part Two
    In the first part of this post, I reviewed the link between Maslow's hierarchy of needs and behaviour management systems in schools, in the context of excuses made for...
  • Maslow's Hierarchy - Critique Part One
    I've been meditating on this all day. What is my problem with excuses? Why not just let a child off the hook if they have problems? Give them a...
  • No Excuses = No Relationship
    Yesterday, I went back to the last school I taught at full time. I will be helping to train some NQTs soon about the Computing Curriculum - how untraditional...
  • The Heretic Speaks...
    Twitter gets strange at the best of times but today's Twitter was a little bit weirder.
  • Independent Writing and Independent Moderators
    The teacher assessment writing exemplification materials for KS1 and KS2 have finally been released. As Michael Tidd points out in his blog, there are already questions about the...
  • Races or Geographical Groups?
    A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to this programme on the subject of race.
  • Why Taking Responsibility Matters
    After reading this post about progressive teachers, I reflected on the difference in our experience of teachers and school.
  • How ‘Progressive’ Education Patronises the Poor
    The only responsibility schools have to working-class kids is to give them a good education.
  • The Earth is Flat - I Didn't Want To Believe it Either
    According to the rapper BoB, the Earth is flat. His recent tweeting activity included this insight as well as pictures to prove he was right.
  • Epiphany
    The word epiphany has many definitions. However this one explains my experience of an epiphany the best: "a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious...
  • Being Human
    Human beings are funny things, they really are. Despite the fact that we are all equally human, we seem to love inequality. We have created stratified societies; we have...
  • Can Cross Curricular Be Brilliant? Yes!
    There are times when I get it completely wrong.
  • Why Do Crybullies Go To University?
    I have veered between being utterly bewildered at the current crop of crybully university students, with their intolerant politics and need for 'safe spaces', and angry that their main...
  • Why Don't Intervention Strategies Use Progressive Methods?
    If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. Ignacio ‘Estrada
  • Debating Education - Debates and Highlights
    I know last Saturday was rainy and cold, yet somehow it felt sunny and warm.
  • A Series of Blogs: Stories my Mother Told Me
  • Stories My Mother Told Me and What I Learnt About Teachers (Part Two)
    One of the most astonishing and fascinating interactions I would occasionally observe was how well the racists on both sides understood the others mentality. Their world views were similarly...
  • Stories My Mother Told Me and What I Learnt about Teachers (Part One)
    I am grateful that the issue of race didn't affect me until I was 31.
  • Stories my Mother Told Me About Family
    My father's older brother had come to England several years before the rest of the family followed. He fell in love with a white British woman and, knowing my...
  • Stories my Mother Told Me (and her Grandparents Told Her) about Neighbours
    In my last blog, I outlined the way that I was brought up to think about race. In it, I mentioned the stories my mother would tell me and...
  • What my Mother Taught me about Race
    So the next few posts will be all about race, ethnicity, identity, black history month and humanitarianism. These are based on my experiences, and my experiences alone, they are...
  • How Words Really Become Gendered and Sexist in Education.
    All my recent blogposts have dealt with my issue with the current feminist discourse on twitter, which conflates sex and gender, and has linked arguments of alleged inequality in...
  • How To Undermine Your Own Women's Movement and Alienate People
    Claim sexism is everywhere, I mean everywhere and that all men are by virtue of being male sexist and actively oppressing women.
  • Playing the Ball (Part III)
    Sue's asserts that recent educational developments have been 'masculine' in terms of language - e.g. mastery, grit and in content - e.g. more academic and intellectual. This move towards...
  • Playing the Ball (Part Two)
    Stereotypes of masculine and feminine traits have abounded for millennia and to deny there is any truth in them is wrong. Yet to me they represent a list of...
  • Playing the Ball (Part 1)
    The original post I wrote received positive comments from people I respect and also some constructive criticism, mainly that I played the person not the ball which distracted from...
  • Thanks But No Thanks.......
    It was over a week ago that I wrote a blog in response to Sue Cowley's trilogy of blogs outlining her views on feminism in education. Since then there have...
  • How Stressed are Children about Exams?
    In writing my earlier blog on Private Schools, Parents and Progressives - Why the Judgement, I ended up looking up the figures for exam stress and realised it...
  • Private Schools, Parents and Progressives: Why the Judgement?
    School Swap on ITV got me thinking again about two Secret Teacher articles in the Guardian that I read over the summer, both of which were critical of...
  • The Cost of Ideological Purity
    Ideological purity costs the poorest the most.
  • Mitra Myths - Slum children with No English?
    Sugata Mitra was much discussed by the Twitterati yesterday.The Guardian article is here.The TES article earlier this week is here. Tom Bennett's critique is here.
  • Trot or Tory - Brothers Under the Skin?
    "There's another thing I know. Whether a man comes from a mining family or a statement home, whether he's a Colonel Blimp or a wild-eyed revolutionary, whether he believes...
  • Parents and Children as Consumers (Updated)
    Parents responded to Seldon's comments about narcissistic parents with demands of being treated as consumers. This post explores the sense of entitlement at the taxpayers expense.
  • Deprived Children - The Politics of Sympathy
    While sympathy and compassion are evident in most schools, empathy is lacking. The lack of understanding of different perspectives explains the failure to support the behaviour of challenging children...
  • In Praise of Clear Values - the Michaela Free School Example.
    Clear expectations and values are what make a school a safe place.
  • The Hijacking of the Left in Education
    I was speaking to a very dear friend of mine yesterday who (admittedly had had a few!) and stated that he felt that some of the views I was...
  • The Fallacy of Middle Class Values in Education
    I just read an excellent post by the Traditional Teacher entitled 'Why We Don't Need Grammar Schools' which challenges the notion that I have encountered many times - namely...
  • Challenging Behaviour - Why I Think the Way I Do.
    I have written many responses to blogs about abusive behaviour in children and I thought it was time to write why I think the way I do.
  • Oh Look the Sun Came Out Today and Made the Ice' - Conversations I've Had That Changed Me.
    "Oh look the sun came out and made the ice.'

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