Dear darling

I’m reblogging this because we are living in an age of one-dimensional masquerade. Our cultural icons and the role models the mass media drip feed us are tenuous cardboard cut-outs. Angular attractive grasping mannequins lacking depth or humanity.
The truth is so different. As you say, real men do cry, and to support or be supported by one you love are both sides of the same penny, the one which exemplifies just what being in a relationship is really about.
Not me, me, me but us, us, us – in lean times as well as fat.
Thank you for sharing. I was touched by your post and felt a need to react, these thoughts being, of course, my personal response.

Elly’s Guidance on LGBT Inclusion in School – Part 2

Following on from our last post, Elly now goes on to talk about exactly what Ofsted inspectors will be looking for in terms of LGBT discriminatory behaviour and policies during inspection.

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It is essential that governing bodies take note of the following guidelines to ensure that their school or academy is in the best possible position to meet and exceed expectations the next time that Ofsted undertakes an inspection.

When assessing primary schools, inspectors will be looking to see whether:

  1. Pupils ever hear anyone use the word ‘gay’ when describing something or whether they have been told by teachers that using the word ‘gay’ to mean something is wrong, scary or unpleasant.
  2. Pupils ever get picked on by other children for not behaving like a ‘typical girl’ or a ‘typical boy’.
  3. Pupils have had any lessons about different families (single parent, living with grandparents, having step-parents, having two mums…

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Elly’s Guidance on LGBT Inclusion in School – Part 1

This week we have our first guest blog post by Elly Barnes, who was voted No. 1 in The Independent on Sunday’s Pink List 2011 for her commitment to people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered (LGBT) in education and awarded a ‘highly commended’ by the TES ‘Teacher of the Year’ 2012.

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The LGBT movement has been a long and contested one, but a movement which, in recent years, has begun to gather pace across the country, with some profound changes made to the social and legislative frameworks, including those in the education sector. School governing bodies must now take steps to create an inclusive working and learning environment where the rights of LGBT persons, including both staff members and pupils, are promoted and protected at every level.

A major turning point was reached in 2003 when Section 28 was repealed. This ended the long running confusion within…

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Cut Benefits to Stir Up the Skivers?

So will cutting benefits push the work shy into employment, as we are told by the UK Coalition government, or will the effect of doing this make life even more grim for hard-working employees whose meagre wages are subsidised currently by benefit payments?

Here is ‘Ripped-Off Britons’ analysis of how benefits subsidise the low wages of millions of working Britons and it is shocking to see how many in employment are paid at below the minimum wage.

It is also eye-opening to realise, as I did for the first time, that the assumption made in the living wage calculations is that the recipient is in receipt of benefits. This is not the case, universally and the shortfall for those on this minimum level but not in receipt of benefits is substantial.

QTS as a ‘Good Thing’

“The QTS requirements are straightforward, reasonable and … appropriate.”
As such they constitute, rightly, the minimum standard acceptable for teaching.

Ramblings of a Teacher

This topic comes round every now and then, usually when brought up by a politician. As ever, there are those who will argue on both sides, but as so often is the case, there is a confusion surrounding what is being argued about – probably not helped by a 140-character limit for those debating on Twitter. So here’s my two-penneth.

Firstly, there is a great lack of clarity at every level, from parents and classroom teachers, right through to Secretary of State: QTS is not training. QTS is not synonymous with PGCE. If there are arguments to be had, then we need to tackle these things separately.

Qualified Teacher Status is awarded to those who are deemed to meet a set of required standards. Over the past ten or so years, there has been a boom in the number of routes available to QTS, all with their proponents and detractors. But…

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Unemployment Figures vs Numbers Jobless.

I’m posting this link to evidenceuk.info to EvidenceUK.info’s blog which uses ONS data to show how the headline figures on unemployment in the UK do not, perhaps, tell the whole story and, indeed, may well under report significantly the true jobless numbers, with 47% of those not employed not receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance, hence not included in the headline stats.
There is a link to further info relating to zero hours contracts within the piece, or via this link to evidenceuk.info which suggests such contracts have tripled under the present government.
This piece also states that the number of JSA sanctions imposed during the first 3 years of the current government has doubled against the number imposed by the governments in the 10 years before the current Coalition was formed. A clear implication of this evidence is that the UK unemployment statistic is not a credible measure of unemployment. Equally clear is the implication that the headline statistic is being skewed downward by a policy of withdrawing JSA and pushing people into underemployment – example here being zero hours contracts.

Four recent education reports that might interest you…

Birmingham Campaign For State Education

Transforming Education for All: the Tower Hamlets Story

December 2013

Education not for Sale

a TUC research report on academies and free schools, Martin Johnson and Warwick Mansell. March 2014

Reforming assessment and accountability for primary schools

DfE, March 2014

Qualifications matter: improving the curriculum and assessment for all

The third report of the independent Skills Taskforce [14-19]. Labour’s Policy Review, April 2014

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I Don’t Know What Love Is …

I see love as being a one way act of giving. Love can exist without reciprocation, may remain unrequited for a short time, a long time or forever. As soon as the notion of ‘quid pro quo’ emerges it becomes a relationship – a state of transaction, a bargaining, an agreement but no longer a matter of pure giving. Relationships may exist based on mutual giving of love but my guess would be these are rarer than those based on more pragmatic currency – perhaps what you describe as collateral and commitment to repay?
I must stress that this is my personal view, most probably ineloquently put, since I also am trying to make sense of what love is and what it means. Thanks for this thought-provoking post.

myatheistlife

In the last few days I’ve found myself thinking about or talking about love several times. One comment made should be a post.

For all I’ve done and seen and experienced, I do not know how to reconcile my thoughts against what the world professes as the meaning of love. If you asked 100 people you will probably get 114 answers. To me, love is the stuff that happens when you’re keeping a commitment to another person.

The commitment does not have to be marriage and the other person does not have to be your lover or spouse. Certainly you can make such commitments without love so it is not the commitment that is love, but I think it might be described as the ransom and tribute given to the other party as promissory note or collateral. It is not this act or that act as many people describe ‘true…

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Modern Tories on rape, Down syndrome, Pakistani children and black people

Eight-Ten-Ten

I.

I fell in love.
It was a Friday evening,
October, two thousand and ten.
I fell in love.
There were no fireworks
No angels blowing trumpets
Just a moment when
Everything seemed changed from
The instant just before
I looked across the table
And suddenly I saw you,
Anew, as if seeing for
The first time, looking through
Brand new prescription lenses
Across the same shared cocktails,
Same sleeveless little black dress,
Same slender, tall, diffident woman
Who had been my friend
Until the moment just before
I fell in love.

II.

I fell in love.
As I told you then
That Friday evening in October.
I fell in love.
How did I know?
How could I tell?
It just made sense
At least it seemed
To make sense then.
If I had known what
I know now, would I
Have still declared my love
To you? Yes I would
As we walked, and talked,
Hand in hand across town
I little thought that this
Would be the last time
You would hold my hand.
I had to tell you
I fell in love.

Ben A Harvey
11 April 2014

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved.

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