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Tag: education

Unison Spreading Fear Through Propaganda

It should come as no surprise as we head towards a General Election that Unison comes along with a piece of pathetic fear spreading propaganda as a pro-Labour campaign.  Before I respond to this piece of garbage with some clear and simple home truths, let me make my stance clear.

Your average leftie may well start to rant about me being anti-union.  That is complete and utter garbage.  I speak as a former workplace union rep.  I am not anti-union nor am I anti management.  I am anti poor peformance, anti-stupidity and anti-impracticality.  Wherever it may come from, whether it is workers or management.  My response to an article by Harry Phibbs is one such example.  Some good ideas, some others not practical (in my view).

In my experience neither side holds the monopoly on best practice.  Neither holds the monopoly on half-wittedness.  And the local authorities I’ve seen have plenty of areas where things can be massively improved.  Note how I say improved and not cut.  Service provision can be improved by thorough assessment, review and retargeting.  Waste should be cut.  It’s not rocket science, it’s best value.  I speak from personal experience here.  Real world experience from both sides of the equation.

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Michael Gove: Soundbite Stupidity

Michael Gove’s announcement of Conservative education policy has now got me seriously considering whether the Conservative party deserves the votes of me and my partner.  Andrew Lansley’s “Let’s use Google for everyone’s health records” was at best ill-considered but Mr Gove’s proposals are a disgraceful example of soundbite politics which completely ignore reality.

Firstly it plays directly into Labour’s hands and their claims of “Tory toffs”.

Just because someone has a 2:1 degree (which I do) or higher doesn’t mean they will make a good teacher (I don’t think I would).  Where is the evidence to prove this belief?  I know some extremely intelligent people who (no disrespect intended) struggle to engage people in one to one conversations and who have no ability to engage groups of adults let alone children. Where is the evidence to prove claims that those with 2:2s or other qualifications lower than a 2:1 are poorer teachers?  Alientating lots of people plays right into Labour’s hands.

The problems I am seeing teachers struggle with have nothing to do with having a first class degree.  They have everything to do with incompetent leadership, unprofessional conduct, a complete lack of support for teaching staff and protecting vested interests.  You get those kinds of behaviour from people of all education levels.  You don’t need a degree to behave unprofessionally.

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2009: A Year Of Lack Of Clue, Lack Of Balls & Lack Of Ethics

2009 nears its end and I for one won’t be sorry to see the back of it. There have been some very enjoyable high points including the Ashes win, the test win this morning, a wedding in my family and Phorm being all but forced out of the UK but overall 2009 will be a year I remember as a year in which far too many people lacked Clue, balls and ethics.

Some might accuse me of being a Grumpy Old Man.  According to the series I am now in the age bracket for being a Grumpy so there may be some truth to the suggestion.  My response to that is that I’m not grumpy, I’m a realist and some of what I see is less than pleasing, often lacking in Clue, ethics, common sense and the other attributes I used to expect from those in positions of power and influence.  Now I just expect self centredness, obsession with protecting the vested interests and the status quo and control freakery trying to interfere in areas where the state has no right to.

I’m not the only one.  Guy Aitchison has written his review of the year.  It’s well worth reading; it highlights other areas where government and authorities have failed or fell victim to control freakery or halfwittedness.

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Ed Balls: Another Good Reason Not To Vote Labour

In conclusion Mr Balls, your latest idea may be well intentioned but is deeply flawed. Once you have given schools and teachers back the authority to enforce discipline and made it clear to parents that they have a responsibility to teach their children to respect schools and teachers then you can start looking at ideas for certification and CPD.

Continue reading Ed Balls: Another Good Reason Not To Vote Labour