I have recently moved to Totnes where my 12 and 13 year old sons go to the 1800 strong King Edward VI Community College (Kevicc) where pretty much everyone goes and when we lived in London they went to our local Hampstead Community School. I was also a vice-chair of governors at Beckford Primary School in Camden. No schools are perfect or brilliant at everything but I passionately believe in the importance of local state schools in supporting inclusion and social cohension and educating children for life in the 21st Century, rather than to live in the past.
I feel angry and quite powerless watching Michael Gove start to dismantle the schools infrastructure that people have worked so hard to improve since 1997. I fear that he is the most dangerous of politicians, not concerned with the delivery of education, but an evangelist whose mission is to turn the school clock back. Why else divert scarce financial resource from existing schools that are after all run by governors including parents, to fund flakey Free Schools for the few such as St Luke's in Hampstead which proposes to educate only 15 children in each year.
However, I'm feeling a bit better today after writing to Sarah Teather, Liberal MP for Brent Central and junior Minister for Families and Children. The government needs Liberals like her to push through policy, but caught between principles and power, she's a weaker link. She spoke against raising tuition fees in her maiden speech, providing the perfect club to beat her over the head with. Think I'll send her another email tomorrow!