Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eat horse and do as you're told - serial school bully Wilshaw

Michael Wilshaw, OFSTED head and serial school bully, has turned his unwanted attentions to governors.
He said many had their priorities wrong and ignored fundamental aspects of education such as teaching standards, student behaviour and school culture.
Instead, they spent time worrying about "marginal" issues such as school lunches, uniforms or the "girl's loo", which often led to critical inspectorate reports.
The idea that food is unimportant is ludicrous and he has carefully chosen to make this stricture in the middle of a scandal about food standards. Can we look forward to him force-feeding horseburgers to children using the model of Selwyn Gummer who notoriously force-fed his daughter a burger to "prove" it was safe to eat?
However the more sinister side of this rant is the clear intention to replace governors who represent the concerns of parents and the community with GOVEnors who represent the government''s priorities and are of course "business friendly".
An example, a scandalous example, was St Bede's School in Cambridge where a long-standing governor and trade unionist was removed for failing to support academy staus.

Curiously another person specification for governors was "to be able to think critically." So it seems that on planet Gove you can only think critically if you agree with the Academy program.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Coming to a Kindle for free on 1st March

These are the books and monographs which I have published on Kindle this year. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that one is actually by Leon Trotsky – we did not work together on it, I am really not that old.

Book – Classroom Teacher Manual – 16 years of a helpline for stressed teachers condensed.

Monograph – The Concept of Evil – detailed study of The Lord of the Rings.

Pamphlet – Death Agony of Capitalism – commentary on Trotsky's classic work.

Monograph – The Role of the Hero – detailed study of The Iron Heel.

Monograph – Letters to Lara – a study of how children relate to computer games.

Monograph - French Translation of The Role of the Hero

Book – French Translation of The Mirror of Eternity

Book – The Mirror of Eternity – Science Fiction stories

Book – Museum of old Jokes – self-explanatory.

Book – The SS Dagger and other stories – more short stories.

You can download any – or indeed all – of these books for free on the first of March 2013

You can email me on derekmcmillan1951 (at)

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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Dear Francis

I know people are reluctant to write to MPs because they think they are useless. Some are also reluctant to write because the union provides a standard letter which they might take exception to. It is also the case that MPs can ignore standard letters and an individual one is often more likely to get a response.
I have written to my MP as follows. You can use the NUT website to write your own letter.

Dear Francis,

I think that Mr Gove's humiliating climb-down over the ill-conceived EBACC proposals should act as a warning. I am writing to you as one of your constituents and as a retired teacher to ask that you write to Mr Gove to communicate my concerns and warn him of the hazards of his damaging proposals.

In particular, Mr Gove's insistence on "Performance Related Pay" is going to be damaging to the collegiate nature of teaching. It would be a shame if instead of co-operating with each other, teachers were forced to compete for scarce financial rewards.

Individualised pay decisions are very likely to lead to favouritism. The only way to prevent that would be an expensive interventionist micro-management of education which Mr Gove pretends to oppose.

With best wishes.

I don't know if he will take the "best wishes" as ironic or not. I note that my spelling checker thinks Gove is a mistake. I couldn't possibly comment.


This cartoon in "the i" today celebrates Gove's defeat over EBACC. However his performance pay chicanery remains a threat to teachers.

Only obedient teachers will be getting pay rises in future if Gove gets his way. The union was founded to oppose performance related pay.

There is a facebook page for those who want to comment on Gove's plans and the union's response.

Click here