Showing posts from July, 2011

School Exclusions down: This is supposed to be a good thing?

Warning: Rant levels contained in this feature- Gale Force 8 on the Daily Mail Beaufort Scale.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Why? Because I've just read the latest data, hot off the spin cycle, that suggests expulsions and suspensions in England have fallen AGAIN in the last year, by 12% in 2009-10, with suspensions down 9% for the same period.

'Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said there was no evidence of weak discipline in the statistics.
"Fewer and fewer schools now need to resort to the ultimate sanction of permanent exclusion, a fact that should be celebrated, " he said.
"Clearly the existing powers on behaviour have been good enough for major progress to be made.'
BBC News Website, 2011
In fact, I got through the whole article, shook it upside down like a cereal packet, and still couldn't find anyone saying the obvious thing, the true state of affairs behind these figures. So I'l…

My Next Book: some clips from the cutting room floor.

Here's a short excerpt from my new teaching book I'm writing AS WE SPEAK, to be published sometime next year with Continuum. I'm not sure if I'll leave it in or not at this stage, but I thought I would give it some sunshine. Hope you enjoy it:
A typical cover lesson:

The sleep of reason produces monsters: Oslo, 7/7, and the battle for cultural literacy in schools


The Power Behind the Throne: Joel Klein, News Corp and the Education Revolution


Spanish Inquisition announces new 'no-warning' policy: the week's news in education

Inquisition announces new 'no-warning' policy: schools 'not expecting' it.
In a formal announcement today, the Grand Inquisitor or Her Majesty's Inspectorate revealed plans for 'surprise trials' for all baptised Christians of Spanish origin and any school covered by the Education Act, 1988. Miriam Rosen, the interim Inquisitor said that this would end the current practise of schools concealing heretical activities and breaches of Department orthodoxy.

'The catechisms of best practise are there for a reason,' said Ms Rosen, standing in for Tomas de Torquemada, the previous Head. 'Mainly so that we know who to burn at the stake and who not to.'
Answering allegations that the dawn raids implied that schools had something to hide, Ms Rosen was characteristically unrepentant:

'Of course it doesn't. The innocent, pious mainstream majority have nothing to fear. But anyone attempting to conceal any one of the seven deadly sins with the illus…

The Box: Shift Doesn’t Happen, Ken Robinson, and the creative epiphenomenal imbroglio

++++Warning: contains references to Twitter memes+++++
The box, the box, the box; the much maligned box. The box has been getting a pretty rough time of it lately- I think it needs to hire Max Clifford to do some PR. The poor bloody box. Thinking outside of it has become such a dogma that it almost begs the question, what did we ever need a box for? Stupid bloody box, why don’t we just get rid, and herald a golden dawn where boxes are remnants of a decadent past, and we all....oh, hang on. Where am I going to keep my bananas? I have no box. Perhaps I can build one out of some paper clips, made of foam, a hundred feet high.
Actually, does anyone have one of those box things?
Shift Doesn't Happen
Have you seen Shift Happens? Of course you have, when you’re not twittering about Hugh Grant. Around five million people have seen the 2006 viral PowerPoint by Karl Fisch that describes how scary and weird the future will be, and how we’ll all have to learn Esperanto and live in tree houses…