Being the only openly ‘out’ gay member of staff at school is just the norm for me and my pupils and colleagues these days, aside from the yearly ‘outing’ on arrival of the new year 7 cohort each September! However, it wasn’t always like this.
This week I had the pleasure of speaking at a Westminster Briefing Event about Personal, Social and Health Education. I was fourth to go in an impressive line up of speakers so when planning my presentation I was pretty sure there would be a whole lot of duplication if I wasn't careful. I therefore abandoned powerpoint so I wouldn't be a slave to it come what may. I went with a few key messages, and a view to identifying and addressing the issues delegates raised throughout the session.
In my work researching young people’s online behaviours, I often find myself sitting in small classrooms with groups of 10 to 12 children talking about all manner of things related to their online lives. While I have done a lot of research over the last year with older children around sexting, explicit content and the wider influences therein, more recently I have been spending time talking to KS2 and 3 pupils about gaming.
“What’s that got to do with the price of fish?” I think that’s what my mother used to say to me. There may be a new adage emerging though that’s got nothing to do with the price of fish and a lot to do with the quality of courgettes.
I spent this morning speaking in Birmingham at AMiE’s annual leadership seminar. The focus for the audience of school and college leaders was inspection. Ultimately this meant getting tips and advice about how to survive and succeed – though I took the opportunity to challenge delegates as to whether the profession can itself lead a fairer alternative to Ofsted, that would better serve learners.
I’ve never thought of myself as a sister, beyond, of course, being an actual, well, sister. No, I mean a ‘sister’ in the trade union sense. Most of the women I’ve been lucky enough to work with within the movement have been gutsy get-it-done types, battling hard in a male-dominated movement. I must admit that it took me quite a while to get used to being addressed as ‘sister’ during last week’s TUC Women’s Conference, but by the end of the three day conference, I rather liked it. However, there are many sisterhoods to chose from, as we women are a rather diverse lot.
Politicians and the media repeatedly cite low aspirations as a major barrier to young people achieving in education. A programme of research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation examined the role of children and parents’ attitudes, aspirations and behaviour in shaping their educational outcomes.
So David Cameron thinks Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are yet more ‘red tape’? Along with provisions in the Equality Act 2010 that protect education workers and others from third party harassment. Along with the ability to use statutory questionnaires that enable workers to discover whether they are being discriminated against or not receiving equal pay for equal work.