Sunday, 27 March 2011

To Smash or not to Smash?

That was a good old march! However, there will now be lots of people saying that it didn't achieve anything. Well if you were thinking that one protest would bring down a government and transform our society, you were always going to be disappointed. What it did show was there is a large group of people (anywhere between 250,000 to 700,000 depending on who you listen to) who are prepared to say “no, there is an alternative”. The Tory government won't listen, much of the media won't listen – but the general public might.

That is what is important. Unfortunately media coverage will play a big role in getting that alternative message across, and the violent bits of the protest have, predictably dominated the front pages this Sunday. Is that good or bad? Without the violence the front pages would have been about Lybia, or Japan, with the TUC march given relatively small column space.

But what about the CPB? There were loads of us, as you can see from these few photos:

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Your Child as a Commodity – A case against academy schools

What is so wrong with the system we have now? A school has a budget based upon the number of children attending it. A school covers a certain geographic area, servicing the local community. Parents have a limited choice over where they send their child, but as demand is high and places are limited, allocation is often made based on distance from the school, whether any siblings attend the school, and in some areas, on ability. If there is a problem with the system it is that some schools need more funding to make improvements, and more choice could be given to parents by the local authority investing in more schools.

So what is the government proposing to do? Bear in mind this doesn't fall under their usual deceit of “deficit reduction” or “Labour's legacy”. Well rather than funding schools, they are now attaching a price to the head of your child. Your child now has a value – she is a commodity.

So your child is now for sale, and if you come from a “lower socio-economic background” or a “deprived area” your child is worth even more! Under the pupil premium poor and disruptive children are now a lucrative money spinner.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011