I work as a trainer of teachers, running courses nationally, going into schools to run training and provide support, working for local authorities and speaking at national conferences. I train both primary and secondary teachers in teaching modern languages and have the privilege of meeting hard-working, committed teachers who really know their stuff ever day. In the last year I worked for over 50 of the 147 local authorities and in 95% of cases I worked with committed advisors who do a great job in organising local networks and training in their area (recently every single one of these people from Gloucester to Stockport to Doncaster whom I have seen recently are being made redundant).
I have 3 children in state primary school and the oldest will be going to a state secondary school in Sept 11. I am very pleased with their education. They are all bright children and have been given the opportunity to achieve their potential - the eldest is currently working on KS3 materials in Maths. The best thing is that their teachers know them really well and they love school. They have loved the opportunity to take part in sports organised by the Schools Sports Partnership - basketball, rugby, football, athletics,swimming.
I have joined this network as I am so incensed by Michael Gove's constant assertions that a whole generation of children have been failed by Labour. No they haven't! Labour brought in so many excellent initiatives that I can't list them all here - a few are (in the area that I know - modern languages): strategic local networks for MFL, a KS2 and KS3 Framework for teaching languages - generally agreed by all the experts to be the best ever), primary languages - was meant to be statutory in 2010 before Gove scuppered it, vocational options that were WORTH something e.g the NVQ in business languages - pupils leaving KS4 with a languages qualification which is useful to employers and achievable - and they enjoyed it ... the list could go on.
The media are not interested in reporting anything except that our schools are failing but they most certainly are not. They were when I started teaching in 1995 (who was in power then I wonder) - my school had 7% of pupils achieving A-C then. I could give 100s of real examples of schools that are achieving fantastic things with the kids that they have - and they are all types of school.