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Bansi Kara

An Assistant Headteacher who believes in the possibility of change in education

The New Stateswoman is a 30-something teacher who became tired of having opinions in her own living room. She now publishes them for the world to agree or disagree with. She lives in North London and occasionally likes it.

It Costs Money To Teach Immigrants English, Mr Umunna

I am painfully aware, as a Labour voter, of the pressure the party is under to be something new, to reincarnate under a messianic leader and to be a credible opposition to a government that has had very little contest in the time it has taken to sort out who's in charge at Labour HQ. But is this where the Labour Party is going?
06/01/2017 09:20 GMT

7 July: Preventing Radicalisation in Schools

This week, it is our duty to remember those who died in the 7/7 bombings and think of their families' loss. After that, we have to go to work finding ways to debate our world and the place of religion and race within it so that child - that universal, fearful child - can turn to us, rather than away from us. And that we as Londoners can feel safe in our lovely city. That is the real meaning of 'prevent'.
07/07/2015 10:26 BST

The Minority Game: A BME Teacher's Daily Life

I am facing the distinct possibility that I have worn you out with what appears to be my jaded and sarcastic approach to being a BME teacher. The truth is: I am worn out. The fact that there are not that many Asian women in senior leadership in teaching means that the ones who are here have to work harder to build cultural, ethnic and racial understanding.
22/06/2015 11:50 BST

A Conservative Vision: No Teachers, No Money

It takes a brave government to step in and deal with the burgeoning issue of teacher recruitment and challenges to education funding. I look at this Conservative government and I am not sure they are up to that task.
18/05/2015 11:16 BST

Immigrants Do Want to Learn English: Where Is The Funding?

What occurs to me is that in all the rhetoric, Sajid Javid has forgotten something very simple. Where is the government funding and access for keen families and individuals to learn English if they should wish it? While the will may be there from immigrant families, the financial ability to attend classes may not be.
19/05/2014 09:36 BST

What is the Benefit of Benefits Street?

In many ways, Channel 4 has accomplished something that very rarely happens in the mainstream media. It has managed to create a three way dynamic that forces us to question ourselves. It has asked us to watch ourselves watching the residents of Benefits Street. Now that I can see that, I'm not sure I like what I see.
14/01/2014 17:29 GMT

No Riots Here: Why Tottenham Has Some Hope

It's not often that you find yourself in the middle of what might turn into a hostile crowd at eight in the evening. It's not often that you watch press photographers jostling for position, surrounded by angry onlookers and see faces of people who have just been on the news. It's not often that happens to me and it's not often that it happens round the corner from my house. That's where I found myself this week after the verdict from the inquest on the death of Mark Duggan. When you live in Tottenham, that verdict - for the rest of the nation something to tweet about or to discuss in the office the next morning - becomes suddenly the source of consternation.
10/01/2014 16:45 GMT

Careers Advice - Not Fit for Purpose?

It's not the paper work that is the problem. The biggest issue that my students have faced is a total lack of awareness of the range of courses and careers that are available to them should they wish to apply to university and I do not blame the students at all; I was exactly the same.
12/11/2013 17:48 GMT

Teacher Training: It Is What You Make It

What do I know about teacher training? I know that some of my most respected colleagues completed PGCEs and some of them came into teaching via Teach First. I don't judge them on their training but on their ability to teach and to be consummate professionals in a job that requires strength and leadership.
16/07/2013 13:45 BST

Oxbridge: Teachers Are Unambitious (Apparently)

Many moons ago, when I was a student, there was a real sense of expectation around students who achieved those elusive top grades at A-Level. If you didn't think it was for you, you were still pushed to place an application to Oxford or Cambridge, especially if, like me, you were more a minority ethnic background.
23/04/2013 14:29 BST

A Teacher's Advice to Parents

I think if teachers had just one opportunity to stand up to the nation and give advice to parents, they would probably all say very similar things. So, in the spirit of sharing and dispelling the awkwardness and to start a dialogue, this is what I want to say to parents.
05/04/2013 13:47 BST

A Univeral Panacea? The Empathy-Led Curriculum

Empathy, or the lack thereof, causes so many of the daily frustrations in teaching and prevents so much of the learning that could take place in the classroom, that it seems foolhardy to ignore the potential impact of examining this concept in detail.
29/01/2013 10:44 GMT

NEET: On the Scrapheap at 20?

There is a huge gap in government policy when it comes to slightly older NEETs. A sustainable and wide-ranging scheme to employ young people who are no longer 16 or 17 is absolutely essential. Some may argue that these schemes exist - and there are initiatives available to encourage youth employment. The problem comes when small businesses aren't kept in the loop about the schemes.
04/10/2012 13:22 BST

Sir Michael Wilshaw and the 3pm Myth

I do wonder whether the general perception of teachers in this country is informed largely by three main sources: Grange Hill, Teachers and Waterloo Road. It would be a real shame, when the profession has moved on from elbow patches and smoking behind the bikesheds whilst discussing a workplace romance, to see that undone by the constant barrage of generalisation about the way teachers perform.
24/09/2012 11:33 BST

Leading a Department for the First Time: Advice Through Bad Metaphors

You lucky, lucky people. If you have been appointed as a Head of Department, you will of course be looking forward to starting your journey towards changing the lives of myriad young people through your chosen subject. And what a journey that is going to be! I'm not even being sarcastic, folks.
30/08/2012 10:37 BST

The Vagaries of the Exam Board: What's in a C?

In saving themselves, AQA and the other major exam boards have damaged students' chances of future success. What's in a C? It's not just a measure by which schools are placed in league tables - it is a passport to further education and higher education.
24/08/2012 12:22 BST

The Tottenham Riots - One Year On

We have had some developments, a renewed focus on the area that may not have materialised had the riots started elsewhere. But people still harbour resentment - and perhaps we are lucky that the nation is being held aloft by the tide of the Olympics.
06/08/2012 17:10 BST

Anyone Can Teach (Fingers Crossed!)

Devaluing QTS at this time will only serve to hammer home what many people have thought for a long time - anyone can do it, and so they do. Anyone who remembers the government call for parents to fill in for teachers on strike will understand just how ridiculous the notion is.
30/07/2012 22:44 BST

Making or Breaking: Mentoring in Education

Having just been at the national opening ceremony of the Teach First Summer Institute 2012, I have been considering the fate of all 997 of those smiling, fresh-faced new teachers. They are about to embark on one of the hardest journeys a young professional can experience; they are about to start teaching in tough, inner-city schools.
19/07/2012 08:46 BST