Budget 2016: A Corporate Welfare State in Ascendency

East of the M60‘s frank verdict on George Osborne’s 2016 Budget

  • Corporation Tax cut to 17%;
  • Boost for Academisation of English schools;
  • DevoManc police plans uncovered;
  • Jamie Oliver Sugar Tax given go-ahead.
A misprint, surely?
Surely some misprint? This is the nameplate of 319 362 Northern Powerhouse, a cast-off EMU from the Thameslink system. Image by Hugh Llewellyn, 2015. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

If by chance you happen to be an upper middle-class egotistical headteacher with a fledgling business, pour yourself a glass of fizzy Vimto. You did very well out of this year’s Budget. In fact, you may well be one of the lucky people, all 0.05% of you. As for the 99.95% of us, well, we have missed out. Continue reading “Budget 2016: A Corporate Welfare State in Ascendency”

Academies for All: The LEA DOA for Political Gain

How academies for all plan is a shoo-in for privatisation

Belligerent ghouls run English schools
Spineless ideologues with tiny minds…*

Since the start of the 20th Century, most of England’s schools have been accountable to the public. Methods of governance have included school boards, governors, and local education authorities. Private Schools and Public Schools [like Eton College] have continued to coexist. Continue reading “Academies for All: The LEA DOA for Political Gain”

Latitude Brass Quintet: Five Star Performance in Debut Concert

RNCM students’ first ever concert at Boarshurst Band Club captivates

At 8pm a quintet of Royal Northern College of Music students took their positions at the Boarshurst Band Club to perform their first ever concert. Known as the Latitude Brass Quintet, the bandsmen had only been going for a month in this guise.

As part of their course at the RNCM, the syllabus entails the formation of a musical group. Instead of a chamber music group, they eschewed harps for cornets and formed a brass ensemble. By 9.35pm, their work paid off. It was a great start with a nice balance between popular and classical music in their programme.

On some occasions, you had to pinch yourself and wonder if there was five or 33 players.
Continue reading “Latitude Brass Quintet: Five Star Performance in Debut Concert”

Should August Children Start School at Six? A Summer Child Speaks

My opinion on changes to English and Welsh school admissions policy

  • Parents of summer born children given right to start school a year later than autumnal peers;
  • Policy seen as boost for children born between April and August.
Counthill School
Not one of my former schools, but the now demolished Counthill School in Watersheddings, Oldham. Photograph by Supreme-B, 2008 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

It has often been said that children born on the 31 August one year is at a disadvantage with peers born at the end of the previous year. Or one on the 01 September the previous year. Continue reading “Should August Children Start School at Six? A Summer Child Speaks”

Central Road Site Approved for New Didsbury School

New free school set to open in September 2015

Ewing School sign
Back to my old school: St. James’ and Emmanuel’s new school, from September 2015. This is a picture of the school from November 2013, whilst in temporary use for Birches School.


Ewing School is back!

I wouldn’t have thought in 2012 I would have said this. I would have thought the site of my old school from 1987 to 1990 would have been houses by now with cul-de-sacs. With streets like Ewing Drive, Goldsack Crescent and Petrie Place. Continue reading “Central Road Site Approved for New Didsbury School”

Comedy Sketches and Moments Every Child Should Know

Going beyond ‘Why did the chicken cross the road’

A certain philistine education minister may greet me with unpleasantries for suggesting a certain amount of sketches that every child should learn prior to leaving school. With fewer families sitting around a television set in front of the same programmes, the shared experience is diminished. Continue reading “Comedy Sketches and Moments Every Child Should Know”

The Legend of Foodidoo

Local Public Health Education Mascots of the 1980s

If you remember the joys of a typical primary school assembly, you may well remember singing All Things Bright and Beautiful or Sing Hosanna. Sometimes, fellow pupils would have been invited to stand on a ‘birthday box’ where 200 or so pupils would sing the world’s most performed and profitable song known to man (Happy Birthday that is). Continue reading “The Legend of Foodidoo”

Driving Away From Home: My Return to Ewing School (07 November 2013)

Back to the old school, literally.

One tweet I made on the way to work, more than anything set the tone for this post:

I was sat on a 330 bound for Bredbury, quite a far cry from passing Levenshulme on the second of the four most important days of my life. Instead of the dulcet tones of James H. Reeve on Piccadilly Radio, my soundtrack was the roar of Enviro400 engine and the odd bit of chatter. Continue reading “Driving Away From Home: My Return to Ewing School (07 November 2013)”

Controversial School Sets Up Base Camp

Phoenix Free School set to rise from ashes of Marland Fold

After years of speculation, Professor Tom Burkard has found a suitable site for his free school. Taking over the site of Marland Fold School, the Phoenix Free School will open in September 2014 on Rosary Road, Fitton Hill. Continue reading “Controversial School Sets Up Base Camp”

Tameside College Set To Return To Ashton Town Centre

£76 million deal sees replacement for TAC building and upgraded facilities for Tameside College

  • New Camp Street campus for ‘A’ Level and Media students;
  • Son of TAC to incorporate new offices for Tameside MBC and classrooms for vocational courses;
  • Beaufort Road campus to be upgraded;
  • Clarendon Road and Stockport Road centres to be sold off to finance deal.

The fate of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council’s TAC building has been sealed thanks to a £76 million deal. In 2015, Tameside College will return to Ashton-under-Lyne town centre twenty years after the sale of its Warrington House centre near The Station public house. Known as VisionTameside, it will see a return to the college’s roots with the new base close to Warrington House and the Heginbottom Institute, adjacent to Ashton Central Library. Continue reading “Tameside College Set To Return To Ashton Town Centre”