Blog


At the chalkface: The Plan?

11 January 2017

Could we be seduced into concluding that it’s a deliberate Plan? That it’s not the result of stupidity or incompetence, but scheming and calculation – a Plan, moreover, for the destruction of state education


The Philistines are at the gate

4 January 2017

While ministers fight to tell us how important the arts is to education, they don’t practise what they preach. The Philistines are at the gate, warns Gerald Haigh


At the chalkface: The New Year

4 January 2017

“I was going to hit this guy, a very little guy, so hard his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened,” he opined at a rally. Ah, the nuances of Socratic debate.





Putting food on the table

1 December 2016

In the current drive for ‘efficiency savings’ in education, Dr Bernard Trafford warns that we risk forgetting schools’ vital role in the local economy and local life


The demons of low-level disruption

30 November 2016

The worst time of Gerald Haigh’s career was when low-level behavioural problems plagued much of his working life. He looks back and draws some lessons for today’s teachers – and leaders



At the chalkface: Poppy – an average pupil

30 November 2016

The poor mites attended twilight booster sessions, Saturday Morning Intervention classes, holiday revision pogroms, copied parrot answers off the board, bought Bitesize cribs, but, no, I couldn’t shift them.




ICT monitoring: Do you 'spy' on your pupils?

16 November 2016

Does your school monitor pupils’ web use? The Daily Mail this week called this ‘snooping’ and ‘spying’. Pete Henshaw argues why this is an unfair and unrealistic judgement





At the chalkface: On enthusiasm (Bob Dylan)

16 November 2016

I thought Bob was better than Baudelaire and I carried Highway 61 like a bible, wrote execrable verse and was often given to speaking surreal, opaque gibberish, what with being so existentially alienated – like Bob



Anti-Bullying Week: A light in dark places

9 November 2016

As Anti-Bullying Week approaches, the amazing impact that teachers can have on their students is being shown via the Power for Good Award. Lauren Seager-Smith explains


At the chalkface: Mindfulness

9 November 2016

My chums used to spend far too long trying calm the inmates down, bellowing idle threats and saying the word “right”, pointlessly, a few million times. Now their classes enter in a Trappist silence.




The architect heads

2 November 2016

Dr Bernard Trafford was surprised to find himself in the rare position of agreeing with Sir Michael Wilshaw...


At the chalkface: Another modest proposal

2 November 2016

We 13-year-olds learned how to shoot a real gun, kill a man with the side of your hand or string a piano wire across a path to garrote any wandering Hun. It worked. We saw none.


Sprinklers: An illogical decision

2 November 2016

School fires are common but the requirement for new schools to have sprinklers has been dropped. Kevin Courtney says this is short-sighted and dangerous

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