Category Archives: education

Managing our schools

I confess I have a vested interested in the way our schools are managed as I have two grandchildren – one in primary and one about to start secondary later this year – plus my daughter is a teaching assistant. Or at least, she was…

She wasn’t always a TA. She used to be a Superintendent Radiotherapist but after her son was born with medical difficulties and spent the first 4 months of his life in Great Ormond Street Hospital, she was unable to return to work as she was his full time carer. Thankfully, as he got older she was able to return to part time work but not with the NHS as they’d rather employ students. After all, they’re cheaper aren’t they? But more of that later.

So she got a part time job at the local primary as a TA. Well below her capabilities but the school were glad to have her especially as they could partially offload their liability in the case of anything happening to threaten my grandson’s life – which was a real possibility.

This year, that all changed. Sam in now off 4 hourly injections and is about to move on to a new school, so guess what? This year they’ve started fucking her about and treating her like shit ‘cos they really don’t care is she’s there or not now.

First they changed her job and reduced her hours. She’s on the dreaded zero hours contract – or at least she would be if they fulfilled their legal requirement to actually issue her with a contract – so they can give her whatever hours they feel like and nothing she can do about it. Then yesterday they called her in to the office and told her they were changing her role and hours again. They really didn’t give a shit if she liked it or not. Why should they? After all she’s a human resource, not a person…

Happily this time it rebounded on them because the NHS has just changed it’s policy and is actively encouraging physios and radiographers to return to the fold. There’s a skills shortage. As a result, she’s going to do the refresher course – previously £3,000 with no guarantee of a job at the end but now gone out the window – will reregister and, with luck and a following wind, go back to her old department. At least the NHS is beginning to see the light!

Unfortunately, not the schools. Rather satisfyingly she was able to say “No thanks. I’ll leave at the end of next week.” And the head teachers response? “Well I guess you get paid more as a radiotherapist!” proving that the daft sod completely missed the point. It’s not about the money. It’s about how you treat people. And, it seems, she’s not the only one they’ve been buggering around.

The answer, of course, is very simple. Schools should be run by a manager not by teachers whose background and training make them fundamentally unsuited to run a school.

There’s an old saying : “Those who can do. Those who can’t teach!” It’s certainly true in this case and, I suspect, in the vast majority of state schools…

Unite’s new poster…

Today McCuntsky’s lefty boys have launched a new post campaign in north of England to persuade people to “come home to Labour” on the 8th June.

They say ‘only Labour will protect jobs, the NHS, education and pensions’ – but I prefer a more honest version.

Labour will flood the country with immigrants – banging up class sizes, push taxes through the roof to pay for their ridiculous schemes, raid your pension fund, and destroy your jobs by raising corporate taxes and driving away investment.

So the real truth is that voting Labour on 8th June will wreck the country and the prospects for you and your kids. Come home to Labour on 8th June – and the next day you can come home to poverty and destitution.

That’s the real truth behind Labour…

Unlucky for some…

It’s possible today that the labour leadership may be struck down by triskaidekaphobia. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the fear of the number 13…

Today the Labour party has hit that hapless number over it’s pledge to hike corporation tax to 26 per cent in order to fund schools and grants to college students. Quite apart from the fact that he promised the Federation of Small Businesses he wouldn’t do it and that it will hit investment in Britain when we need it the most after Brexit, Corbyn’s shambolic team has already made no less than 12 other promises that are funded by the same tax increase.

Now every housewife in the country will know from balancing the household budget that you can’t spend money twice, never mind thirteen times. And as a former accountant, even at my most creative moments I failed to a way in which to spend money that I hadn’t got.

Still, it sounds good, doesn’t it? Raise taxes on the greedy rich bastards and use it to fund better education, smaller class sizes and abolish tuition fees. A good soundbite until you hand over to your Shadow Education Secretary to explain the policy.

Following a car crash interview with Diane Abbott on policing, Nick Ferrari has scored another goal with Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner. Labour is promising to keep class sizes for five-to-seven year-olds below 30, while almost £5billion extra would be pumped into the English school system by 2022.

Ferrari asked her “whether she knew how many children would be affected by the class size pledge”. She responded: ‘There’s quite a substantial amount of pupils that are affected. I haven’t got the numbers on me to hand, but it is quite a substantial amount of children that are in class sizes that are over 30.’

Pushed by Ferrari on whether it would be 50 children or five million, Ms Rayner could only reply: ‘It’s a significant number. I’m not going to pluck a number out of thin air.” Frankly that does make a change for a Labour frontbencher.

Ferrari continued: ‘Do you not think it would be a good idea to have a sense of how many people you’re talking about? You are the Shadow Education Secretary. One of your key pledges is to try to reduce class sizes… I’m asking you how many this will affect and all you can tell me is it is a substantial number?’

Ferrari said that he knew the policy would affect 520,445 primary school pupils in England because he ‘did the research’. ‘Do you not think you ought to have had that number?’ he asked.


The Ministry of Truth

I was interested to read this morning an article in the Daily Fail by Katie Hopkins about the infiltration of our schools by snowflakes and libertarians who are brainwashing our children.

She’s quite right when she says that it’s fine for teachers to teach our children to think, but goes on to point out that that what’s increasingly happening is that teachers are teaching our children what to think. By pushing their own agenda and their biased view of the world, they’re brainwashing an entire generation – and that’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous as well.

The anti-Trump protests are a visible example of this insidious practice. I worry when I see 9 year old kids carrying banners saying things like “Not my president” or “Immigrants welcome” or “No hate, No racism!” because my grandson is 9 years old and is certainly not au fait with the complicated goings on in world politics. He simply doesn’t understand it. And why should he? He’s 9 nine years old and enjoying his childhood. Plenty of time later for worrying about the state of the world!

When kids start coming home and telling their parents that Mr Trump is a racist and wants to do bad things, I seriously wonder how young children could have arrived at this opinion unless it was rammed down their throats by teachers with their own political agenda. I doubt my 9 year old knows very much about the new President of the USA or, for that matter, about Brexit. Somebody is filling their heads with this stuff.

Now I’ll admit that some of this might be down to the political leanings of the parents and that’s been going on for generations. My political leanings might have been considerably different if my father had a different job to the one he actually had. He never rammed his political opinions down my throat, but at the same time we are all heavily influenced by our upbringings. I’m not defending it – it’s just the way it is and has always been. But it is worrying when out teachers do it.

We send our kids to school to be educated, not molded; taught to think not what to think; to behave not how to behave. It’s a school, not the ministry of truth. They’re there to be educated, not re-educated.

Orwell got it right – he just got the year and venue wrong…

Ed needs educating on fees…

The great thing about Miliband is that even when he announces a policy that’s a blatant bribe to young voters, he still can’t get it right. Even people inside his own party disagree with his ‘red line’ pledge to reduce tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000…

The plan is to raid the tax relief on rich peoples’ pension funds – rich being defined as anyone hitting the higher rate tax band – to fund the reduction. Unfortunately, because of the way the fees are repaid through the student load scheme this simply means that higher earning graduates will pay off the loans quicker and save money. Lower earning graduates under the current system end up with part of their loans being written off after a predetermined period, so they’ll end up paying the same.

Sound like a policy that might have been dreamed up by the Tories rather than Labour when you look at it that way.

The Universities don’t like the idea because they think they’ll get less money. Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said “the group who will benefit from this are the higher earning half of graduates. So those graduates who go on to the best jobs will find that their repayments go down, whereas those graduates who go on to less good jobs will not find any difference in the repayments.”

The Tories say it’s uncosted and infeasible. Chancellor George Osborne said: “Ed Miliband’s sums don’t add up because the universities would get less money and there would be fewer students so it’s bad for students, bad for universities, bad for the taxpayer and bad for the British economy.”

And the Lib Dems – who promised no increase in tuition fees and then went back on their promise – have now done a complete U-turn and come out against the reduction. Business Secretary Vince Cable attacked the proposals as “fraudulent” and a “tax on pensioners”.

And within Labour itself Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor; Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary and Tristram Hunt, the shadow Education Secretary have all expressed concerns about the plan.

Poor old Ed. I almost feel sorry for him.