Michael Gove, Education Secretary, is determined to raise academic standards and few would argue against that. However, schools are under pressure to become autonomous, to set their own curriculums and budgets and to move away from local authority control and there is an argument that this policy together with a greater focus on narrow performance measures and less money is undermining the arts in education.
Since graduating, I have followed my parents in working exclusively within state education, although unlike them I don't do the really difficult and important job of teaching. Every day I believe more and more (and from a high start-point) in the tremendous value of what the college I work at does, and of the wider system.
If we care about our children and future generations, we must reverse the idea that children can be squeezed into somewhere on the basis of available space, cost cutting and political expediency. We are judged as a society by the care we give out children. Future generations will not thank us for failing on our duty to our youngest citizens.
So Mr Gove, I hope I have been able to show you that 'school service', as a positive force rather than the punitive one you alluded to, has the potential to help pupils so much more than picking up litter.
Michael Gove seems to like annoying people. His cocksure manner and breathtaking self-confidence means that he regularly comes into conflict with teachers, students, Lib Dems, his own deputy... pretty much the entire public.
Do you want my alternative take on Michael Gove's sacking of Baroness Morgan, Wendi Deng's note on Tony Blair, the lack of women in the Commons and the Ukip MEP who doesn't like mosques. Here's my review of the political week in 60 seconds.
Time was in Primary School, students' pictures of February would be represented by snowdrops and whatnot. But that's unlikely to happen nowadays, as 1) Michael Gove would replace art with testing the shit out of everything if he had half a chance and 2) early Spring vistas more closely resembles a busy Saturday car park in Atlantis.
Many of us who are engineers, look to Germany and envy their engineering greatness. In Britain, we are quietly leading another type of engineering in Europe and after all, software engineering is the engineering of the future.
The idea that a British Government Minister should think it necessary to make a speech about the importance of culture must astonish Germans. For them, culture is as natural as breathing. The British have also made an exceptional contribution to culture and continue to do so but our reputation for philistinism in high places continues.
The Right Hon Michael Gove MP. Oh where does one start? Perhaps let us start with two words: Berlin Wall. Berlin Wall is the term that Mr Gove has just used to describe what it is that separates private and public education in the UK. And what a powerful term it is: so laden with symbolism, so inviting of destruction and also so instructive of his own detachment from reality.
If Michael Gove were just building some ghastly skyscrapers or running a sweatshop, we might not like it but would trust to time to show him the error of his ways. But he is experimenting - in his loose and lazy ways - with the minds of a generation. He needs to be stopped.
I have won and lost jobs on the back of my (occasional) inability to be an obsequious yes-man. I won a job in a powerful publishing empire because I dared to speak my mind in a room of conformity, at precisely the moment the boss was changing his. The next day, my honesty was rewarded with a full-time contract.
There are draconian changes taking place in state education right now; changes that will directly affect the social, economic and political landscape ...
If the government is really committed to giving teens the SRE that they deserve, then it should recognise that this aspect of sex and relationships - the pleasurable part - is just as important as the potential dangers. There is nothing wrong with young people wanting to watch porn, wanting to sext, and wanting to have sex.
Very few education secretaries are ever popular. And there's a very simple reason for this...Despite the fact that few - if any - education secretaries have actually been teachers, they seem to believe they know what's better for teachers and schools than the teachers themselves.
Teaching as a profession is being downgraded under this government. There seems to be a very worrying negative stigma attached to teachers. They are seen as people who failed in their profession and had no choice other than to become a teacher. I could not possibly disagree more with that view.