VIDEO – Teachers’ heckle Nicky Morgan over academy plans

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Nicky Morgan was the first Tory Education Secretary to address the NASUWT since 1997, but it all went wrong, which seems to be the way things go for Morgan at the moment. She was viciously heckled by teachers angry at the Conservative plans for academy schools. Teachers shouted out “rubbish” at her as she tried to sell them he plans for the academisation of state schools. This follows on from the Chancellor, who announced in...

Secret Teacher 10th March – Teaching: Worse Things Happened In Gulags

With the pressures of assessments, government shaftings, endless new curriculum decrees and the ever-present sceptre of Ofsted hovering like a bureaucratic vulture above us, the average person could be forgiven for assuming we teachers are all either Stakhanovite indestructible machines or gibbering wrecks. When people know what goes on in schools and its effects on teachers, it could reasonably be asked why any sane person would do it. For most of us, the answer is very simple: the kids. With...

Secret Teacher 3rd March – SATs Tests: A Farce To Be Reckoned With

Most people are familiar with SATs tests, the milestone assessments that pupils, teachers and schools are judged on and which have a lasting impact on all concerned. What most people who do not work in schools will not realise is what an absolute swizz, travesty and total mockery of education they are. In these days of performance-related pay (itself an abused and laughable system in schools), teachers are in the awkward position of either inflating levels of achievement in order...

Rough sleepers in England rises at ‘unprecedented’ rate

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Shockingly the amount of people sleeping rough on the streets of England rose at an “unprecedented” rate in 2015. According to a Government report on any evening in autumn 2015 there were 3,569 people without shelter. This is a 30% rise compared to the same count the year before, and also signals the largest annual rise since there reporting methodology began six years. Rough sleepers are defined as anyone found, either sleeping or about to...

Stark warning over England’s ‘teacher brain drain’

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor An Ofsted chief has warned that thousands of teachers are being enticed abroad with generous pay packages, while English schools are struggling to recruit staff. Elite public schools have been opening up branches abroad, leading to a boom in international schools, and soaring demand for teachers whose first language is English. A higher number of people left the UK to teach (18,000) than trained on English post-grad routes (17,000) in 2015. Chief Inspector Sir Michael...

The NHS at “real and serious risk” from TTIP deal, according to leading QC

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Leading barrister Michael Bowsher says the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) does allow for private US firms to snap up NHS contracts. The legal analysis has also revealed that the controversial TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal would mean NHS privatisation maybe irreversible for future governments. The controversial trade deal would give investors new legal rights, which extend beyond both UK and EU law as well as NHS contracts. The US-EU deal is...

Millions in Poverty Through Tory Cuts as Study Says Work Failing to Pay

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Welfare cuts have hit children the hardest as families can’t make ends meet, a study has revealed. Due to Tory spending cuts more people live below the poverty line that in 2008 at the height of the global financial meltdown. The report, by the JRF (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) found that 11.6 million people are struggling to make ends meet. Shockingly the majority of these people live in working households. The JRF study says that cuts...

Secret Teacher 15th Feb – Teacher Training…May It Rest In Peace

I remember my training year vividly. I did the Graduate Teacher Programme, a postgraduate route into teaching which, while harder to get onto and fewer places available, gives you a better training wage and you are contracted to a school for the year. I was fortunate enough to train at one of only two truly ‘outstanding’ schools I have seen. This was a blessing in many ways: firstly, I was assigned an inspirational mentor who not only set a fantastic...

Secret Teacher 1st Feb – The Great Ignored…All Children Are Equal, Aren’t They?

We’ve all known them. The lovely people at the places we work. They have no desire to be top dog yet they have pride in what they do and want to do their best for their colleagues and so they can go home knowing they have done their best that day. These are the people who keep the country going. The grafters, the millions of boys, girls, men and women who neither blaze a trail to glory and nor will...

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