Gogwit’s Pick of the #LoveTAs Timeline…

Various posts on this subject have appeared in Gogwit’s Blog since June of this year.
Here are a few of them…

Let’s stand up with UNISON to champion the unsung heroes of the schools system

Pride’s Purge

Teaching Assistants in Woolwich ask the Public to Support Them

Cheryl Drabble’s “Dear Mr Gove…”

If you Tweet, make Friday 29 November a day to praise Teaching Assistants – using #LoveTAs – they are not teachers but they are key to the consistent delivery of inclusive education – day in, day out – in UK schools.  Do not let the leaders of your local schools make the mistake of seeing them as a soft target for saving money: those savings will likely prove short-lived and, over time, costly.

Use the hashtag #LoveTAs on 29/11/13!

Let’s stand up with UNISON to champion the unsung heroes of the schools system

please read this; view the video and join the thunderclap.
support teaching assistants – help make the head and governors of your local school think twice about treating their TAs as a soft target for cutting costs.



This Friday, the UK’s largest education union, UNISON is planning a special day of celebration of teaching assistants (TAs) as the unsung heroes of education.

With tremendous changes within the schools system, teachers and support staff face increasing amount of pressures for the delivery of decent education to children. Earlier this year, it was reported that the government asked the teachers review body to look at teachers’ contracts – with a view to them taking on duties currently performed by teaching assistants. This summer, the value of teaching assistants came under sharp attack from the influential think tank, Reform.

Teaching assistants (TAs) carry out a huge variety of tasks, working with teachers to help children learn and develop to be the best they can be. 

They provide one-to-one support for children who need additional help. One-to-one support are often not provided by a teacher due to the importance of delivering lessons…

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Service Birmingham Profits Are The Teeth In The Jaws Of Doom

Sobering thoughts…ahead of the local budget consultations across Birmingham.
I don’t much care to think of our great city getting rolled like a sailor on leave. I’d previously heard about Bailey’s analysis. It is a good piece which deserves wider coverage.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

dec 5th draft B council house gradientthe following article by David Bailey, detailing how Capita’s IT contract with the council is costing us so much money it could, if ended go a substantial way to stopping cuts in council services and social security support, was published by the Birmingham Post

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6 facts that PROVE the Tories are leading the GREENEST government ever!

Also… the mouldy, rotten remains of the monetarist experiment which were dug up to replenish the Tories are green – glow in the dark, putrid green.

Pride's Purge


Credit where credit’s due.

Before the last election, David Cameron said he would lead the greenest government ever.

Well he’s been true to his word!

Here are 6 facts that prove the Tories are leading the greenest government ever:

1) The Chancellor is Green.

Before the UK’s entire economy was put in his hands, George Osborne’s only previous job was as a towel folder in Selfridge’s. You can’t get much greener than that!

2) The Party Chairman is Green

Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps did some of his dodgy business deals under the pseudonym Michael Green. Shapps is Green!

3) Tory Party Donors are Green

Well one of the main ones is anyway. Philip Green – owner of Top Shop, Burton’s and BHS – has been one of the Tory Party’s biggest donors. And he manages to do it without even paying any taxes. Now that’s the kind of…

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2014-2015 Budget Consultation Meetings

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Don’t forget to attend your local budget consultation meeting (details below).
Be aware that the council wants to turn these meetings into discussions on how to find volunteers to run council services for nothing.

Monday 9th December – 10am – 2pm – The Library of Birmingham

Tuesday 10th December – 5:30pm – 7:30pm – The Lighthouse Suite, St Barnabas Church, High Street, Erdington

Wednesday 11th December – 6pm – 8pm – South Yardley Library, Yardley Road

Thursday 12th December – 6pm-8pm – Nishkam Centre, Soho Road, Handsworth

Wednesday 18th December – 6pm-8pm – Bournville College, Longbridge

To book a place at any of these consultations, to explain any access requirements or for more information please contact servicereviews@birmingham.gov.uk

consultation meetings

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The new Birmingham Education Partnership

Here is an opportunity – perhaps the opportunity – for which the delivery of education in Birmingham has long waited.
At present it is a green shoot, pushing its cotyledons up into the light. It represents potential at this point in time; nothing more.
I hope that with time it will gather strength by sending out adventitious roots to tap into the fertile, nutrient rich soils represented by the experience-base of governors, parents, ward forums, local community, local business, educational staff and their representatives. This is a bold move by these headteachers – far more so than the lead shown by the local authority for many years. Extending the range of participants may also seem a bold step – but it is through the ramifying network of democratic channels that this seedling can grow into a robust and sound entity.

Birmingham Campaign For State Education

We welcome city-wide collaboration, but we say don’t restrict it to headteachers

This post is also available to download as a BCASE Briefing document here.

On November 6th 2013 the new Birmingham Education Partnership was launched at a conference of 265 headteachers in the new Library. Its aim is to bring together all Birmingham state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, for mutual collaboration and support, in partnership with the local authority, to raise standards. As the BEP brochure says, ‘The BEP will partner with the city council to ensure challenge and ‘school to school’ support is coordinated for all schools’. (The brochure is available on the BEP website)

A rejection of Gove’s fragmented market

For those headteachers it represents a rejection of Mr Gove’s vision of a fragmented market-place of competing schools and a commitment to the idea that Birmingham needs a coordinated system of schools…

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Bore’s call for a citizen army of volunteers

Hmmm, Albert: where does education figure in all this? Ah, yes – that has been handed over to a group with an axe to grind: an education partnership set up by head teachers, if I understand correctly. Would have been a good opportunity to involve council tax payers, parents, ward forums, school governors and education unions. I might have this all wrong, in which case – please correct me.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

At Tuesday’s Council meeting Sir Albert issued his call for the citizens of Birmingham to come forward and to volunteer to run local public services that otherwise will be closed as a result of future budget cuts.

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Remploy update – segregation or unemployment?

I guess there are parallels with the closing of the long stay psychiatric hospitals, the dispersal of the institutionalised patients across an unprepared collection of local authority social services, community mental health teams and charitable operations. That the outcomes were an equally mixed bag is a fact of history. There is an argument that the reasonable adjustments the Equalities Act might call for to allow the ex-Remploy employees to integrate into another, non-specialist workplace might make re-employment a possibility. However, the same argument might leave the existing workforce disenchanted at what might appear to be ‘positive discrimination’ – divisive and counter-productive to all parties.
The other view might be, as with the ex-asylum patients, it affects relatively few people – so who cares, given time the problem will go away on its own.
That says some dismal things about our society and the value it places on the needs of minorities.

Lifelong Learning Matters

The WEA works on the principle that equality, diversity and inclusion are better for everyone and I blogged in August 2012 on The Paralympics, ATOS and Remploy. The blog is here.

At the time I wrote that:

The Government’s rationale for the factory closures is that disabled people shouldn’t be segregated at work.

The test will be what happens to the workers who lose their jobs and whether suitable alternatives really are available in integrated workplaces.

The last three Remploy factories in Blackburn, Sheffield and Neath closed on 31 October ending 60 years of specialist employment for people with a disability. The final closures put 150 more people out of work and marked the end of a decline since the late 1980s when Remploy employed more than 10,000, mostly disabled, people across 94 sites.

Statistics are available now to show what’s happened so far to ex-employees. A feature on page 5, Issue 1352, of Private Eye reports…

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