Chalk Talk: The 'culture of fear' is not just in the classroom
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 12 March 2014
* Readers may recall the fearless private school head Steve Fairclough, of Abbotsholme School in Rocester, Staffordshire, who said performance-related pay for teachers should be used to create a "culture of fear" in the staff room.
His comments, made at a Westminster Education Forum seminar, incurred the wrath of teachers' union leaders – and he was even criticised at a Commons education select committee meeting by none other than the chief school inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw. Turns out he may not have been as fearless as we thought.
If you read through the transcript of the conference, you won't find his comments there – just a note saying Mr Fairclough had asked for his contribution to be withdrawn.
* Some interesting statistics are emerging from the New Schools Network, the charity that helps organisations with their bids to become free schools. They show that a growing number of schools are offering an all-through education for children, right the way from five to 16 or 18.
The figures show that, by September, there will be 28 free schools offering this kind of provision, with 12 new ones opening in that month alone.
They appear to be gaining in popularity because they offer continuity and consistency throughout a child's education.
There's not that fear of moving to "big school" at age 11, either, because the children are already familiar with their surroundings.
* The Association of Teachers and Lecturers made a laudable attempt the other day to draw attention to the growing impact that pornography is having on today's children.
Unfortunately, though, its press release highlighting teachers' concerns contained too many mentions of the word "pornography" and was therefore blocked by some email filters.
Undaunted, it rewrote the release changing the word to "p**nography" instead. Fortunately, it got through.
Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
£100 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education are curren...
£65 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: DT Technician required to start...
£10 - £11 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: Nursery Manager We are loo...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Early Years supply teachers neede...