Academy Strike Victories

North Beds NASUWT

Academy Strikers Gain Victory. 

Nick Grant, NUT, is reporting good news from Alec Reed Academy.

“Management at Alec Reed Academy has agreed our terms for suspending planned 3-day strike next week to go ACAS talks on Monday or Tuesday with NASUWT“, reports Nick in the Anti Academies Alliance Newsletter.

Management  agreed to suspend their attacks on NUT and NASUWT member’s terms and conditions. Nick reports that management have agreed that no observations will occur next week nor will any be scheduled for the foreseeable future that are in excess of those referred to in the
NUT/NASUWT document,  Actions short of strike action, instructions, Phase 1.

Nick goes on to report that, “No subject reviews are occurring next week, nor are scheduled for the foreseeable future. No Mock-OFSTEDs, learning walks or drop-ins are occurring next week and none are scheduled for the foreseeable future.”
With good local and Regional media coverage, parents onside, members firm and all…

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Scientists Succeed in Growing Missing Teeth on Liberal Democrats

Pride's Purge

(satire – probably)

Liberal Democrats may in future be able to have their missing balls or backbones replaced with ones grown from cells taken from chickens or mice, experts have predicted.

Scientists say hybrids of mouse or chicken stem cells – both of which are remarkably similar in structure to those extracted from Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers – raises the possibility of growing missing teeth, backbones and balls on junior coalition MPs’ bodies.

Several pairs of fully functioning balls – created by combining stem cells taken from mice and Vince Cable well before he sold himself out for a seat in the cabinet – have been grown in a laboratory by researchers who hope the work could lead to Liberal Democrat MPs being able to grow back other things they lack – such as scruples or guts – and in the future it may even be possible to provide them…

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A Childish Song…

This has been kicking around inside my head for the past few days, or so.

Childish Song, No.1 – with refrain.

I do not know why the sky is blue,
It just seems this is right.
Learnèd souls will tell me how
My eyes fill with reflected light.
I wonder if I always knew
Or whether I was told –
That the sky is blue.

I do not know why a fire is hot,
It just seems to be the case.
Learnèd souls will tell me how
Radiant heat falls on my face.
I wonder if I always knew
Or whether I was told –
That a fire is hot.

I do not know why the night is dark,
It just seems that this is said.
Learnèd souls will tell me how
The Sun has gone to bed.
I wonder if I always knew
Or whether I was told –
That the night is dark.

And I do not know why love must hurt,
It just seems to be the way.
Learnèd souls will tell me how
There is nothing they can say.
‘Though I wonder if I always knew
I suspect that I was told –
That love must hurt.

Ben A Harvey

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved

Birmingham Education Conference

<a href="[View the story “Birmingham Education Conference 9 March 2013” on Storify]” title=”Birmingham Education Conference”>Birmingham Education Conference

A timelined report of the conference “The Birmingham Education Conference – A Vision for All Birmingham’s Children” held at Birchfield Community School on 9 March 2013.

Perhaps my favourite quotation:

Amazing teachers in this school on Monday will treat children not as they are but as they might become. – Tim Brighouse.

This site has always had its idiosyncracies. While an LEA Appointed Governor there in the mid-90s I became aware of this fact. We looked then at ways of working together but this type of situation is the outcome of the academisation process.
Generally speaking, this process sets neighbours and erstwhile co-users of hitherto shared facilities to bicker and fret over ownership, access rights, curtilage, keys and more beside. Generally, co-operation dissolves into pettiness and those of whom we would expect better show themselves in their real form, painted in their true colours.


One of the unintended consequences of Michael Gove’s obsession with academies is that schools are facing farcical turf wars.

But you’d have to go a long way to beat the confrontation between Holte School, Lozells primary school and Mayfield special school in Birmingham.

The three schools share the same site. Holte and Lozells are converting to academy status, but Mayfield is remaining under council control.

Tense discussions are taking place over access arrangements in Mr Gove’s brave new world.

Council leader Sir Albert Bore, remarkably maintaining a straight face, explained: “One of the schools has access to the boiler room, the other one does not. One has access to the thermostat control for the boiler, the other does not.

“The alarm system for the whole of the building is in the boiler room, to which one school does not have access.”

And for the latest update on negotiations, over to cabinet…

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Scriptonite Daily


With some notable and praiseworthy exceptions, the English speaking western media’s response to the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been little more than hysterical, hypocritical propaganda. For these states, with their increasingly questionable claims on democracy, justice and suffrage, to herald the end of a Chavez as the ‘death of a dictator’ is almost breathtaking in its doublespeak.

First the Hysteria


Firstly, let’s look at some examples of the hyperbole put forward in the TV, Print and Radio media in the twenty four hours since Chavez breathed his last breath.

The Dallas Morning Herald, in its editorial ‘Death of Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez’, writes:

“During his 14 years as president, Chávez fooled Venezuelans into believing he would improve their lives and strengthen their democratic powers. In reality, he accomplished exactly the opposite…Chávez squandered his nation’s vast oil wealth on socialist gimmickry.”

The Daily Beast (the online…

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Thanks, another eye-opening read. Those trained to teach children are not always as aware as we ought to be on the wealth and depth of research into the processes of life-long learning.

Lifelong Learning Matters

The idea of transformative learning came up in discussions today with partner organisations. This reminded me of Prof. Jack Mezirow, who is widely acknowledged as founding the ‘transformative learning’ concept and a worthy member of this blog’s ‘Educational Thinkers’ Hall of Fame’.

Mezirow first applied the label ‘transformation’ in a 1978 study of U.S.women returning to post-secondary study or the workplace after an extended time out of education. He built his professional reputation on developing an evolving Transformation Theory that tries to define the features and processes of learning and their implications for adult educators. His work has led to a transformative learning movement in adult education. Other great educational thinkers including Thomas Kuhn, Paulo Freire and Jürgen Habermas all influenced Mezirow’s work.

One of his main areas of work on transformative learning has been the division of knowledge into three distinct types:

• Instrumental
• Communicative
• Emancipatory


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North Beds NASUWT

Members of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, will hold the first of six days of strike action beginning today (Thursday 28 February) at the Alec Reed Academy in Northolt. 

The action is in furtherance of the NASUWT’s trade dispute with the Secretary of State and the failure of the School to engage constructively on issues arising from the action short of strike action instructions.

The NASUWT action is jointly co-ordinated with action being taken by the NUT. Both unions have sought to ensure that the action they have put in place to protect the pay and conditions of service of members is pupil, parent and public friendly but the actions of the School have left the teachers with no choice but to escalate their action.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The dedicated and committed teachers at Alec Reed Academy deeply regret that they have been forced by the…

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