Category: “Education

Memo to Cameron: don’t listen to media on reshuffle; don’t sack Ken Clarke; and ta for Dream School visit

Posted on 7 April 2011 | 1:04pm

I have read in several places in recent days that David Cameron is ‘under mounting pressure’ to conduct a Cabinet reshuffle. ‘Under mounting pressure’ is one of the many dozens of phrases which rarely emerge from the mouths of real people, but regularly appear in print. Real people tend to speak of ‘pressure’ or, if […]

Thoughts on Jamie’s Dream School

Posted on 22 March 2011 | 5:03pm

Support the Demoratic Life campaign to keep citizenship on the curriculum

Posted on 10 March 2011 | 12:03pm

The hints that the Government is thinking about removing citizenship from the curriculum are becoming a little louder. It would be yet another mistake by Michael Gove, at a time the government is developing a reputation not just for cuts but for problems with competence. Just as Mr Gove had to backtrack on the full […]

Dream School has convinced me we need more not less politics teaching in schools

Posted on 8 March 2011 | 11:03am

As I know from living with a virtually full-time State schools campaigner, education arouses enormous passions and very strong views. So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Jamie Oliver’s Dream School idea has attracted so much publicity and debate. Challenging kids plus ‘celebs’ plus stereotypes (some promoted, some challenged), plus a decent marketing […]

Everyone has a favourite teacher – here’s mine

Posted on 6 March 2011 | 5:03pm

Here is the piece from the Times Educational Supplement I mentioned yesterday, in which I was interviewed about my favourite, or most inspiring teacher at school. As I said in yesterday’s blog, one of the reasons for my taking part in Jamie Oliver’s Dream School programme is that I want to show not how easy […]

An English lesson for Jamie Oliver; a lesson for us all that teaching is hard

Posted on 5 March 2011 | 2:03pm

I finally caught up with the first episode of Jamie’s Dream School last night. May I begin by ticking off Mr Oliver for using ‘less’ when he meant ‘fewer.’ Tut, tut, as fellow teacher David Starkey might have said; ‘must do better,’ English teacher Simon Callow must tell him. Jamie said the students at Dream […]

Cameron, Clegg, Hague and Fox could do with some basic lessons in government and politics

Posted on 25 February 2011 | 9:02am

My God they are still blessed, this Tory government. Can you even begin to imagine the hue and cry, the howling, raging, screeching tone of the papers and the tellybabblers if a Labour government’s handling of the Libyan crisis had been as inept as this? The Prime Minister wandering around the region spectacularly failing to […]

A few weeks trying to teach challenging kids makes me respect teachers even more

Posted on 19 February 2011 | 10:02am

March 2 sees the start of Jamie Oliver’s latest TV project, Dream School, in which he, I and other non-teachers try to teach 20 young people who have gone through the school system without success. The Times Weekend section today has a big piece on the Channel 4 programme, including interviews with actor Simon Callow, […]

Gove and Cameron need to start getting into a bit of detail

Posted on 12 February 2011 | 9:02am

Well done to those councils which felt Michael Gove was exceeding his powers when bringing the Building Schools for the Future programme crashing to the ground. Yesterday’s High Court ruling was a victory for them, and even though Mr Gove retains the ultimate power over which schools get rebuilt, hopefully the powerful slap on the […]

Here’s hoping the Egyptian revolution fares better than Eritrea’s

Posted on 3 February 2011 | 10:02am

As I was reading about Egypt weaving and now fighting its way towards change yesterday, into my inbox popped an email from an Eritrean. It reminded me that I was one of the few people from the UK ever to have met Isaias Afeworki, president of Eritrea. This is true. I met him 23 years […]