Andrew Adonis (I somehow can't bring myself to call himself 'Lord') has opened his big, right-wing gob again. This time, he tells us that the closure of grammar schools in the 1960s and '70s was a backward step that "reinforced class divisions" rather than helping those less well off.
A government-commissioned report has recommended that schools be allowed to appoint business leaders in place of qualified head teachers. To run a school, you will no longer need to know anything about teaching, or about children - heaven forbid. A robust knowledge of profit-and-loss will do fine, perhaps with additional 'desirable qualities' of bashing the 'competition' (presumably meaning other schools), bullying staff and attacking unions.
By a Tower Hamlets teaching assistant
Ruth Kelly’s government has been instrumental in closing down, wholesale, special schools in line with a policy called “inclusion”. The idea was that students with special needs would do better if included in mainstream schools.
Free state education? When my two daughters started year 11 and year 8, respectively, at a state high school this week, it cost me $700; and there'll be another $200 bill coming soon, for year 8 camp.
By Tom Unterrainer
The former education secretary and current “communities minister” Ruth Kelly has caused outrage amongst teachers, constituents and fellow Labour Party members by deciding to send her son to a £15,000 a year private school.
Can a Teaching Assistant carry out her job in the classroom whilst wearing a niqab? Being prepared to take it off when no male is present does not resolve the issue. Men work in schools.
By Colin Foster
From the Blairites, and from further to the right, we hear more and more about “restoring discipline” and “restoring old-fashioned standards” in schools.
The real chaos generated in some schools by social decay and by incessant “restructuring” from above is being used as a springboard for the re-imposition of more punitive, authoritarian regimes in schools.
From Central Foundation Girls' School Unison: At a branch meeting [on 27 September] our members voted unanimously to ballot for industrial action over the threat of redundancies among admin staff in the school.
It’s 2.30pm on Friday - just half an hour before the end of a tiring week - and Year Ten are predictably restive. You need to move the lesson on but all attempts to settle the class have failed. Detentions are issued, individuals spoken to and you even attempt the trick of starting to explain from the board in the hope that they’ll all realise what you want them to do. Nothing works. You’ve got one last trick up your sleeve (literally): the ‘Hand Signal TM’.