Category Archives: Leadership

Dear Nicky Morgan… again

I was not going to write about education or politics this week and was adamant I would find another topic. But…. But…. But….I have just finished reading an article about ‘Shanghai-style’ maths lessons and I can feel my blood boiling again. And so this week, after the absolute tragedy that over half of the country’s year 6 children are apparently not ‘secondary ready,’ I had to do it. I had to write to the people responsible for ruining our children and destroying their precious childhood.

Dear Nick Gibb and Nicky Morgan,

Me again. Angry, again. And I am not entirely sure where to start this time.

Over the last week I have seen many, many posts on Facebook and tweets from teachers and parents about how sad they are for their eleven-year-old children – yes, children – because of this year’s SATs results. And instead of admitting that you got it wrong, instead of apologising to those children for experimenting with them and their self worth, you tried to defend the tests. You tried to justify the sheer trauma you have unnecessarily caused these CHILDREN by saying that these results cannot be compared to last year’s because they are taken from a completely different type of test. A test that most of them have failed. A test that says they’re not good enough. A test which tells them that in spite of working their hardest and following your absurd assessment procedures, that they are not ready to move on to the next stage of their education. But who cares if the tests don’t match to last years? That is not the point. A test that states half of this county’s children have failed it, is a failure itself in my opinion. You’re not experimenting with something unimportant, you are meddling with the next generation. When are you going to start listening? Continue reading Dear Nicky Morgan… again

Dear Resentment…

Dear Resentment,

If only we didn’t let you take over. Take hold. Because your hold is toxic and unnecessary. You become a force so vivid and powerful we are unable to let you go or rationalise your existence. You make people feel they are owed something they are not, and make them angry with things that are irrelevant.

Let me give you an example, a political one if I may. Next week many people will turn out to vote as to whether or not we stay part of the EU. Part of something set up many, many years ago. But you, resentment, you’re making people feel negatively towards their current predicaments. You are twisting the facts and making them believe that all of their problems stem from issues and people that have no impact on them at all. You are muddling immigration and the purported issues surrounding the EU and sadly you are putting the UK in a risky situation. Because people resent the lives they have. They blame the government without looking at the facts. They blame the wrong issues and the wrong people. And they are now in a position to throw the UK back to the dark ages and show Europe and the world that we think we’re better than them. And better off without them.

See how dangerous you are?

You make people listen to nonsense and believe made up statistics. They become sponges for statements that make them feel like they can grasp the live they are owed regardless of others.

I’m not a politician and so I am not going to counteract what others have said to allow you to spread amongst the nation, but I would like to urge people in your hold that they need to do some proper research – hard I know given that politicians are no longer about the people, and just seem to enjoy arguing with the opposition for the sake of it – encourage them to look beyond their own resentment and frustrations and see the bigger picture. Because if this vote goes the wrong way then you’ll have an unprecedented power over the nation and things will get even uglier than they are now.

You’ve had your time, Resentment, and you’ve done plenty of damage. But enough is enough. It’s time to let people think without you clouding their judgement. This vote is too important, there is too much at stake.

Just take a step back, and let people think, without bias, for themselves. View things rationally.

And make the best choice they can.

Right, I am now off to write to Ignorance.

Take care,

Love, Me x

About a schoolboy

Dear Reader,

There was an article in yesterday’s Guardian that I am sure would’ve astounded many. Others, however, would’ve empathised that indeed some cannot do right for doing wrong.

The article in question was about a schoolboy who made an unfortunate spelling mistake. The ten-year-old Muslim boy intended to write that he lived in a terraced house – however, due to his incorrect spelling, it read that he lived in a terrorist house. Had a middle class white boy have made such a mistake I wonder if the following would have happened, but of course that is me, merely speculating. His teachers did not even consider he may have made a simple mistake and alerted the police who then interviewed him, and examined a laptop found at his home. The upshot – the family now feel traumatised and the boy no longer wants to write. Continue reading About a schoolboy

Dear 2016

by Jen Faulkner

Dear 2016,

I have always been a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. In my life, and that of the people I love, it’s often proved to be true. Even if the unthinkable has to happen, which at the time makes no sense. Like my dad dying of bowel cancer so I would have screening at a young age, which, as it turns out, has saved my life. Or my eldest son needing a middle and lower lobectomy, which enabled the diagnosis of a rare genetic condition for both him and my youngest child, preventing his lung ever needing to be removed. Hindsight has always shown me that these hideous things have happened because of something and haven’t been in vain, even though I’ve only recently begun to understand why.

But when I look at the news, and at what is happening in the world, my theory of reason makes no sense anymore. Events this year have shattered lives, broken families, and destroyed houses and countries. People have lost hope. Lost faith. And lost their homes and loved ones. Terrorist attacks, flooding, and austerity measures to name a few, have all taken their toll. Continue reading Dear 2016

Dear daughter…

Letters section lead by Jen Faulkner

Friendships are hard things to navigate at times. From when you’re a toddler and your peers refuse to share, to being at school and struggling not to give in to peer pressure, to being an adult and all of the complexities that come with it. I was talking to my fourteen year old the other day, who often has friendships struggles as all teenagers do, and the conversation inspired me to write her a letter about the many aspects of what it takes to be a good friend.

Dear Daughter,

We talk about friendships a lot. Aside from exam stress and sibling rivalry it’s one of our main topics of conversation. You talk and I listen because I have learnt that you don’t want me to fix the problem, just understand. Continue reading Dear daughter…

Dear Opinion

by Jen Faulkner

Recently many aspects of my life have given me cause to think about how people come to have certain opinions. It fascinates me how, often without any experience or factual knowledge to back their opinions up, people still hold the opinion that they are entitled to their opinion, and are determined to convince others of the same. I’m also interested as to how opinions are formed and how they can be dangerous when taken from propaganda, hearsay, or an unreliable source.

And so with the Paris attacks this week, where the opinions of the suicide bombers were clear, and the opinions of others in the aftermath were voiced, I thought I would write a letter to an opinion itself.

Dear Opinion,

Recently many things have happened in the world, which make me doubt you contain any good at all. And that’s a great shame because your power has the ability to resolve conflicts and create a united world. If only people knew how to handle you.

You work best on the ignorant, on those that feel they are entitled to you because of your content, and that it can be adapted to prove the point they so strongly feel needs to be heard. Do you feel empowered by this? Or when someone turns you in to a belief so strong that it makes them end friendships, disown family members, or even kill?  Continue reading Dear Opinion

A letter to the anti-vaxer

PhotoI have written the letter for this week’s column. Recently, two of my children were diagnosed with a life changing chronic illness, which leaves them vulnerable to infections. My six-year old has already had to have two thirds of his right lung removed due to an infection permanently damaging it. Another infection and he could need a transplant.

So you can understand why this letter is written passionately and honestly…

Dear Anti-Vaxer…

I want a little word in your ear. You see I have two children with chronic illnesses that affect their immune system. One has already lost a lung and I’ll be dammed if any more lobes are going to be chopped out.

I’m usually an advocate for choice. Hugely so. But not when it comes to vaccinating your child. Because, choosing whether to vaccinate or not isn’t only about your child. Continue reading A letter to the anti-vaxer