SATs Boycott 2019

It would be good to see these dreadful, stressful, pointless obstacles shrivel and vanish. If widespread boycotting hastens this, so much the better.

Let Our Kids Be Kids

Parents around the country are fed up of waiting for action to be taken against SATs, despite the mounting evidence of the damage they cause to children and to schools, and so are taking matters into their own hands. Individuals and groups are boycotting SATs in 2019 – the map represents those who have let us know their intention.

The map is by no means representative of all boycott action – many parents would rather not identify themselves and will simply not send their children to school on SAT test days.

Year 6 SATs take place the week beginning 13th May, Year 2 SATs can take place at any time in May.

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Birmingham May Day 2019 by Daniel Keeler

I am glad that May Day / International Workers’ Day is still celebrated in Birmingham. It is a few years (decades) since I marched, some years with a banner, some years without. The atmosphere was always warm, even the police enjoyed it!

Birmingham Clarion Singers

“Is a new world possible?”

asked Ian Scott, introducing Birmingham’s May Day event on Saturday 4th May.

He described the origins of International Workers’ Day as: ‘”Standing on the shoulders of others”, those that have worked hard for change before us; the eight-hour working day, for example. Organised labour never has never been welcomed, and it is inclement on us to build a better future.

The guest speaker, Arthur Scargill, was sadly unable to attend due to illness, but John Tyrell, President of the Socialist Labour Party, spoke in his place. He remembered 1972, when 50,000 trade union members marched at Saltley gate in support of the miners. It was a lesson in solidarity.

Bridget Green, from W.A.S.P.I. (Women Against Pension Injustice) noted that since its introduction for men and women in 1909, the state pension age has been raised twice, forcing many to continue in work. By 2011, pension…

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All schools must teach about LGBT equality: what should the Council do to support them?

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Go into any primary school classroom and you’ll hear teachers and children talking about families.

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Relationship Education in Birmingham Schools – a panel discussion Thur 2 May 7.30 Council House

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Panelists include:

Khakan Qureshi, Birmingham South Asians LGBT 

Ann Sawyer, Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools (SEEDS)

Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, Headteacher, Anderton Park School

Councillor Martin Straker-Welds, member, Learning, Culture and Physical Activity Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Doug Morgan, Assistant Secretary, Birmingham District of the National Education Union

All welcome. Meeting organised by Birmingham Trades Union Council

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Lord Agnew, the Policies of Inequality and their Impact on Schools

Old Primary Head

There are many things in UK politics that are hard to stomach right now. As we slowly watch our country tear itself apart I thought it could not get any worse… and then I read the Schools Week exclusive on Lord Agnew’s cost-cutting consultants and the advice they had been giving to schools. It sickened me to my core and is testament to a deceitful charlatan with the moral backbone of a spineless, champagne swilling, bottom feeder. How have we sunk so low? That we can celebrate 35 million in savings knowing that what we did to achieve it was ethically penniless. We are scavenging for scraps whilst ripping out the heart of all good schools, the people and compassion, and then gambling this on the well-being of its entire workforce. To celebrate this as a good thing should shock us all into immediate action. The fact that it does…

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“Machin Road, B23” — New Verse.

I played in this pocket playground as a small child.

Machin Road, B23

Tarmac square, lifeless
Dull as ditchwater,
Laid out there
Blot on the landscape.
Sterile, barren, devoid.

Dust and sand kicked up
By little feet. Laughter
Ringing through wooden menagerie.
Children scramble, clamber excitedly.
Playing, acting out other lives.

Plot of land, corner of suburbia,
Pound, playground, car park now.
Tomorrow, next year, next decade
Who knows? Deader still,
Soundless still, no such thing
As childhood now.

Ben A Harvey

October 2018

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