On Wednesday, because my son's school was closed due to strike-action, he and I went down to Weavers' Fields, and took some "amateur" footage
of teachers protesting against the cuts to education services in Tower Hamlets. Kevin Courtney, a NUT representative, spoke particularly eloquently; I've filmed his key points here. As has been noted before, Tower Hamlets has to cut £72 million from its budget. As a borough, it's done better than most at improving attainment amongst the poorest children in the UK. It should be held up as a beacon of hope, but because it's a predominantly a Labour borough, it's been punished. The teachers at my son's local school were there and I gave a talk too; sadly, I failed to video myself!
I think that the public are not aware of how important good "advisory" teachers and teacher-trainers are; they are seminal in raising standards because they can observe colleagues and support them to improve, as well as train them in vital areas. This is particularly true with Maths; many primary teachers need more Maths training. At TH, the advisory teachers in Maths have had a huge effect, improving teachers' knowledge and expertise exponentially. As a result, standards have risen very considerably during the last decade. Sadly, TH advisory teachers are being cut in this crucial curriculum area.
Teacher strike in Tower Hamlets, protest at Weavers Fields