We need to talk about periods

tampons and towels - sanitary equipment

Recently I went to a parents’ briefing meeting for a camp trip that Big is going on this summer. One of the points the instructor chose to stress was that girls need to bring enough ‘personal hygiene essentials’ because they don’t want the male instructors to have to go to a supermarket and try to […]

Existing children and the third child tax credit cut off.

I keep reading articles about how tax credits won’t apply to third or subsequent children born after a particular date (April 2017). It follows this part of George Osborne’s emergency budget speech. Families who have a third or subsequent child after April 2017 will not receive additional Tax Credit or UC support for this child. […]

Why I’m not laughing at Catherine Bennett’s home schooling satire

ranty head

At the weekend I saw a link to Catherine Bennett’s Modern Tribes: The homeschooling parent article. Actually, that’s not quite true. I saw it multiple times. On home education support groups. Friends’ facebook feeds. And on twitter. The article, if you can’t be bothered to click through and read, is one of a series of […]

EUVAT and exhaustion

Since I got back from camp last week (this night a week ago I was detouring around Coventry I think) I’ve struggled to hit my writing balance. It’s no secret to regular readers that I find it difficult to keep true to the things I want to do, while also doing a bit of commercial […]

So Nick Gibb has been to China

He’s the Education minister apparently (his arrival completely passed me by). And he’s returned to tell teachers to copy China – and ditch trendy teaching for ‘chalk and talk’. (Telegraph link, daily mail headline.) It’s all about the rote learning you see, that’s the only difference. He somehow didn’t notice the smaller class size or […]

Home education on the rise – a cause for concern?

Only if you’re a Labour politician. To: Department for Education Home Education 210289 Barry Sheerman To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to collect information on the (a) number, (b) religion and (c) ethnicity of children being homeschooled in England. Answered by: Mr Nick Gibb on: 20 […]

News: Dept of Education official fails to understand concept of average

This isn’t really news, because it’s not new. It seems to be fairly endemic throughout all levels of government. For example, this wonderful exchange between the Chairman of the Select Committee and the then Education Secretary, Michael Gove. Q98 Chair: One is: if “good” requires pupil performance to exceed the national average, and if all […]

Have you got your Reading Eyes open?

ranty head

I read an excerpt of Frank Cottrell Boyce’s David Fickling lecture in the guardian yesterday, and it stuck with me all day. I have to say I think he’s completely wrong. Schools aren’t destroying the power of stories. It’s far far worse than that. The particular bit of his lecture echoing round my brain is […]

Doctor Who, the moon and home education.

Half dark moon

Unlike my normal posts, this is not spoiler free. So if you’ve not yet seen the Doctor Who episode The dark side of the moon with Peter Capaldi and you want to without knowing the story, I suggest you click away now. Still here? Good. The moon. Image is from public domain images And the […]

Drip, drip, drip….

That’s the sound of your civil liberties eroding. Back in April the ECJ (european court of justice?) ruled that a part of our current legislation, the Data Retention Directive, was breaching human rights with regards to privacy. Our government’s response is to attempt to rush through emergency legislation this week. Yes, that’s what I said. […]

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