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.
The Chancellor George Osborne says that 2014 is the year of hard truths. We agree. It is time for hard truths about children's homes. It's time the Government, as Osborne said about Labour and economic strategy, 'was straight with people' about children's homes.
I'll admit to a special interest in this - like 11.4% of the British population, I am foreign born, indeed a twice-migrant since I lived for five years in Bangkok after I left my native Australia before choosing to become British.
My thoughts are with those who are turning 18 in the next few years. The world is a vastly different place to when I was young, and today's newly 'legal' adults are met with intense challenges, not least of which is simply getting a job.
Depending on who you choose to believe, the news that Britain's 15 year-olds are outside the international top 20 for maths, reading and science is either a reason to lament our children's prospects in the oft-quoted 'global race'; to condemn teachers as underqualified, or overpaid; or to take aim at either this government or its predecessor on the verities of its education reform agenda.
The great thing about Free Schools is that they put power into the hands of parents, allowing them to set up new schools in their area. The process is fast and flexible and rightly brings more choice into the state system. It also means that schools are more likely to have parental support, a key component of a successful education.
When comparing UK students to students in Asian countries such as China and Singapore, we can see these leading countries place huge importance on the value of education, which is just not replicated to the same degree in the UK.
It is ironic then that, as some on the right flounder around ignorantly in debates about intelligence, a man regarded as one of the cleverest living Brits breezes into the political arena to strongly criticise the privatisation of the NHS.
These may be the last words I ever write as terror has descended upon the cobbled streets of Cambridge and anarchy is breaking out in the quaint pubs and college bars. Apparently the nation should be worried about dastardly goings-on that would make Lewis and Morse's brutal Oxford seem peaceful.
We're not interested in winding back the clock. We don't see the world as an epic struggle between capital and labour. And we don't have all the answers. Yet. What we do see is people being disempowered. And not just by the government. What marks out the political discourse of my generation is that we have organised against any power which negatively impacts our lives.
When asked to compile a guest list for a dream dinner party, precious few would add Education Secretary Michael Gove to the usual suspects of Ghandi, Jesus, Churchill, John Lennon et al; yet in Westminster political circles Gove is a shrewd and much respected political figure, a Svengali for New Tories and a man mooted as a future leader.
Quite a week for Orwellian Dystopia fans. News Punch is SCARED! Jedward and the stars of TOWIE should be terrified as... Theresa May to criminalise, ...
Dear Russell, I am writing this letter to you following your recent interview to promote your tour on Newsnight.
The 25th of October was a day like every other, a bit nippy maybe, but otherwise positively unremarkable. However, for me, and maybe for Grant Shapps it was more significant than your average Friday.
"I'm in favour of performance-related pay," Labour's new education spokesman said on Question Time on Thursday evening. Really? But why? PRP is ideology masquerading as evidence.
Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly. No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils' education, but this action is not the failure or due to the unreasonableness of teachers. It is the failure and unreasonableness of the secretary of state...