Yet another of the league tables or surveys that threaten to submerge the UK and which are neither fit for purpose nor worth the paper they are printed on.

Pride's Purge


Tesco has been voted the UK’s worst riding school and pony club in an annual poll of 11,000 consumers by watchdog Which?

Tesco was at the bottom of the table, scoring just 45% for the quality of its horses – most of which were found to be dead – and receiving poor marks for its lack of riding facilities in the fresh meat section and trained riding instructors manning its check-outs.

One dissatisfied Tesco customer said:

The overall riding experience at Tesco was rubbish – mainly because although there were plenty of horses available, all of them had been killed and cut up into mince meat.

Not only that, but the children’s pony club consisted of just a few packets of Monty’s Favourite Meat Balls in Alphabetti Spaghetti and a couple of Little Dish Laughing Lasagnes.

More than 11,000 Which? members rated supermarkets for the quality of their equestrian…

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I echo this comment: “… I sincerely hope the whole thing is scrapped and Gove put out of a job before a single pupil or teacher needs to suffer through it.”

Scriptonite Daily


 “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
George Orwell

UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has unveiled his new History curriculum, and with it his plans to reduce the subject to a romp through the stories of Great White Men of the British Isles, and tales of the Empire. This confining of taught history to a tiny island in the Atlantic, albeit our own, is training a generation of school children for world that no longer exists, while denying them access to a thrilling world beyond their own doorstep.

The Importance of History


If I could write personally for a moment…I love History; it was my favourite subject at school.  I was fortunate enough to have an extraordinary teacher called Ms Attwood (I do hope she reads this) who brought the past to life such that I was inspired…

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…and not using this phrase in a stylistic or fashion-oriented context.

Scriptonite Daily



A charity for families with disabled children has published a report revealing children with disabilities are being illegally excluded from schools.  Whilst troubling enough, this news forms the crest of a wave of policies disenfranchising and impoverishing people with disabilities across the country.  In the 1950’s there were signs in British Bed and Breakfasts saying ‘No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs’; in 21st century Britain, perhaps disability is the new black.

 Exclusion, Exclusion, Exclusion


Disability charity, Contact a Family interviewed 400 families of children in England and Wales with disabilities or additional needs for their Falling Through the Net Survey.  They found more than half (53%) had been asked to collect their child during the school day because there were not sufficient staff available to support them; more than half (56%) have been told by schools that their child cannot take part in a trip…

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Pride's Purge

(It’s not satire – it’s George Osborne!)

Oh dear. Looks like George Osborne has got his sums wrong again.

He’s only gone and left himself – well us actually – short after he undervalued the 4G mobile broadband auction by £1.2bn.

Regular readers of this blog will know I’m quite a fan of our Chancellor.

In fact – as this latest fiasco goes to show – I think he’s a bit of a genius.

With his immense balls-up over the 4G auction valuation – our George has gone one better than even his Tory Chancellor predecessors.

Because unlike them – this PROVES he knows NEITHER the price NOR the value of anything.

So come on all you Gideon doubters, admit it! How many other people would be able to blag their way into being put in charge of the British economy when they clearly can’t count and their only previous…

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Please add Ben A Harvey (gogwit) to your growing list of petitioners.


The Council house has cancelled a booking for the discussion meeting against the huge cuts being made to Birmingham Council services. It was planned for Monday 25th February, in the Banqueting Suite. This meeting, organised by Communities Against the Cuts, various women’s groups, the Birmingham Trades Union Council, Birmingham Against the Cuts, student unions and others, aimed to discuss the effect of the cuts on Birmingham’s people, and women in particular, and to provide an opportunity for citizens to talk to their Councillors.
Communities Against The Cuts had been printing and distributing thousands of flyers, but have now been left in the cold by the Council who have cancelled their booking – which was to cost £800 – just a week before the meeting was due to be held.
The cancellation of this meeting is a continuation of an utterly undemocratic budget process throughout. The four consultation meetings that took place last…

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Thanks for this Ann, remarkable and inspired project and one I’m very happy to share across my networks. Most deserving of the collective place in the Hall of Fame, certainly. Good to be introduced to new names.

Lifelong Learning Matters

Here are links to 13 extraordinary women whose contributions to education earn them a collective place in the Educational Thinkers’ Hall of Fame. They feature in a 2013 calendar called, Inspiring Edinburgh Women who advanced the cause of education in Scotland.

The calendar is available online at and has brief but informative biographies of each of the women in clickable links for each month.

Members and learners of the WEA Lothian Women’s Forum researched and compiled the calendar. The Forum is a self-organising student group of the WEA concerned with planning and organising women’s education workshops, classes and activities in Edinburgh and the Lothians

It’s worth clicking on the link to start with the striking cover photograph of WEA voluntary member Evelyn Muir who is pictured with the WEA Edinburgh and Lothian banner. Liz Beevers took the photograph as groups from across Scotland gathered at the Meadows in Edinburgh…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

The proposed cut of £4.4m to the Community and Voluntary sector organisations providing preventative children’s services is the largest single cut within next year’s Children and Young People’s budget and will halve the available funding. According to Council sources the cuts that would affect 5,500 children including some children receiving services based on a Child Protection Plan.

There was strong and vocal opposition to these cuts through the Budget consultation, which is confirmed by the Council’s write up of the feedback, ‘the cuts here received the largest negative balance of all proposals and they were strongly opposed at all the public meetings.’(PDF p3) And 59% of people responding online disagreed with these particular cuts.

The Council were also warned that the severity of these cuts would threaten the capacity and viability of some Voluntary sector organisations at a time of growing need.

The Council’s response to the consultation…

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Read this, just read it. No further comment required, this article says it so well.

Scriptonite Daily


“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”
Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

In 2008, a private sector financial crisis caused by an unregulated, unethical, global financial services industry was turned into a public sector financial crisis by the banker’s bailout.  Since then, a broad toolkit of propaganda techniques has been applied to rewrite this history.  Political and Corporate efforts seek to divide sections of the poor and middle class to fight one against the other; to see enemies in our midst which do not exist; to see the free market and the idea of competition as the solution rather than the cause of our problems. We must become critical thinkers, if we are not to succumb to the DoubleThink that had 2 + 2 equal 5 in George Orwell’s novel 1984.

What Is Propaganda?



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Just one more reason for joining the Birmingham Education Conference at Birchfield Community School on Saturday 9 March…

Birmingham Campaign For State Education

We are very pleased to be able to announce that the incredible Birmingham Schools Azaad Dhol group will be opening our Birmingham Education Conference. Here they are performing at the Adrian Boult hall a few years ago:

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This excellent site is Birmingham CASE’s online point-of-presence.
Find out about the Campaign for State Education;
Find out about the forthcoming Birmingham Education Conference;
Follow, reblog, share, tweet, email or participate in person:
Be supportive of this attempt to make sense of what should constitute universal education fit for the twenty-first century.

Birmingham Campaign For State Education

The Campaign for State Education, Birmingham, presents the Birmingham Education Conference – a vision for all Birmingham’s children.

Saturday 9th March 2013
Birchfield Primary
Aston B6 6AJ

Download the flyer here

Birmingham Schools Conference flyer


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