Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

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This much I know about…the workload debate


I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about the workload debate.

I’ve just completed a 63 hour week; by the time I get to Sunday bed time that figure will be 70 hours plus. I write that as a fact, not a complaint. From doing my bus duty to leading an eight hour strategy meeting with Headteacher colleagues to teaching Economics A level, I love my job.

None of us working in schools goes underground to dig coal. In relative terms, our working conditions are pretty good. We have long holidays. As Shakespeare said, working with young people, Physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh. Every day our teaching always has the potential to be joyous.

It’s a year this weekend since I wrote about how my job has impacted upon my relationship…

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A Positive Meeting with Tristram Hunt


Yesterday I braved foul weather and an incredibly busy M6 to attend a meeting with Tristram Hunt, Shadow Education Secretary at his constituency office in Stoke-on-Trent. We were a small group of Edu-tweeters which I think helped to focus the conversation. Tim Taylor (@imagineinquiry) Debra Kidd (@debrakidd) Lee (one half of @thought-weavers) and myself were the attendees.

Prior to the meeting all I knew of Mr Hunt was his declaration that teachers should be urged to take a ‘Hippocratic Oath’ and also that there would be a teacher MOT every few years under his leadership. I was unimpressed by both of these suggestions so had crossed him off in my mind as a useful Education Secretary. When the opportunity came to meet him I jumped at it because I wanted to see what kind of a man could suggest these things.

We began by asking him his vision for education…

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The Hunt for a better Education!


Education is not for the faint hearted, decisions are all too often made for us and new initiatives are driven by ideology or some would say stupidity.

Last year David and I (@thought_weavers) were fortunate enough to be invited to the DfE for a meeting with Elizabeth Truss and her policy advisors to to discuss he new curriculum. We were also joined by a fantastic bunch of bloggers and together we debated the introduction of the new curriculum. I think it’s fair to say we came away from that meeting utterly bemused.

In the Summer of 2014 the group met with Michael Cladingbowl, the director for inspection reform at Ofsted – a very down to earth and honest character with a vision for Ofsted far removed from the opinions formed up and down the corridors in schools. We felt this was a more successful meeting and many of the new…

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OfSTED Outstanding? Just gimme some truth.


I’m sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

I’m sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

I’ve had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Its money for dope
Money for rope

(A link to The Sean Harford response is in the Update at the bottom of this post. )

Ok, so John Lennon wasn’t talking about OfSTED inspections,  the farce of grading schools or the…

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