Last Week’s Posts on @LabourTeachers (Week Ending 11th September 2016)

Here’s last week’s posts. If you are a Labour supporting teacher and you’d like to write something for us, please get in touch.


The flocks | @Lisa7Pettifer

Small blue birds, jaunty animations in a simplistic design, bobbed around outside the windows like bubbles blown at a child’s birthday party. Occasionally, one bumped into the glass, made no sound, and burst into a shower of tiny red hearts. Flocks of forty, fifty, even sixty were commonplace. Sometimes they circled in signature flocks, as if ready to swoop if Jo left the house.


Those who can, mentor | @rhsp27

As a former vicar and now NQT, I’m often noting the similarities between my old and new professions. Common to both is the issue of how to engage and inspire your listeners; the importance of keeping abreast of the latest developments in theory and practice; the inevitable stresses and strains that have to be coped with, work-life balance; and the time off that is too-often cluttered with work things that have to be done and can’t wait. And both teachers and clergy will testify to the ever-present threat of personal and professional burn-out.


Why I still will not go gentle into that good night of a disintegrating Europe Part 1 | Andrew James

Andrew has been reflecting on how Britain’s involvement in the EU affected his life.

In 1996, my wife, Stefi, and I,  returned to the UK to work in a series of short-term posts in international schools in the west country. At this time, there was a huge influx of international students into these schools, which were struggling to cope with the impact of the lower levels of English of the incoming students. We needed to provide intensive, fast-track courses in English for them, in order that they could integrate more quickly into the mainstream schools. As they were a long way from home, they also needed twenty-four-hour care, which we provided as houseparents.


Why I still will not go gentle into that good night of a disintegrating Europe Part 2 | Andrew James

Andrew has been reflecting on how Britain’s involvement in the EU affected his life.

In 2005, it was Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, who came to our rescue as an ‘immigrant’ family. The system of tax credits that he introduced gave us the breathing space we needed to get back on our feet. In Canterbury, there was plenty of hourly paid teaching and training work for English language consultants, but few full-time permanent contracts on offer in the private sector. In the state system, there was plenty of supply teaching, but few permanent jobs for someone with my experience. After working with international business people and students on short courses, I eventually found a full-time role as a teacher of English and Humanities at IGCSE and International Baccalaureate Diploma levels, and of Cambridge IELTS. Eventually, both of us got full-time permanent posts, so that we were able to pay off our tax credits.


The return of the debate about grammar schools should be a wake up call for us all | @MikeBerkoff

I come from a background in education that pre-disposes me against Grammar Schools but the point of this blog is not ideological but about evidence based arguments. The government is once again returning to suggesting an expansion of Grammar Schools. This is in fact a long standing ambition for many Conservatives. I specifically say ‘many’ rather than ‘all’ because there are those in that party who have a long standing familiarity with education and have some commitment to the comprehensive system.


Uniforms | @srcav

Uniforms are part and parcel of school life for the vast majority of us. They are often quite arbitrary and they differ from school to school. They are something that, for some reason, never stop being discussed.

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