I owe everything to my local state school
Posted: 03 Jan, 2011
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My secondary school, on the "notorious" Easterhouse estate in Glasgow, was the saving of me and put me on the road to a life beyond my childhood imaginings. The teachers there did not discriminate against the children because of their social class or backgrounds. As a consequence of the support and dedication of committed teachers, I became the first in my family to go to university. From there, I moved into a successful and fulfilling career in the performing arts and media, travelling the world and being paid for something I loved doing anyway. I have been a lifelong supporter and member of the Labour Party - note the name - and eventually became a Councillor in an Inner London Borough. As a consequence of my experiences in local politics, I changed careers and became a teacher, in the hope that I could help provide the same inspiration and support for young people as I had received when I was a school student. I have worked in co-educational comprehensive secondary schools for 11 years now and watched as successive Education Ministers, apart from Estelle Morris, have done all they can to denigrate and reform, beyond recognition, the comprehensive system as a means of appeasing a hostile media, neo-liberal agitators opposed to the public sector and pushy middle class interest groups. I am sick and tired of being deafened by the loud slamming of doors in the faces of young people and their families doing all they can to make the best of the hand they have been dealt, using education as their main aspirational tool. We should not just get on with our jobs while Gove and the Taxpayers Alliance, who are no allies of mine, chip away at our ideals, commitment and sense of shared community and responsibility. End of rant.