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Tag Archives: Ed Balls


David Cameron


Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: Housmans Bookshop
Street: 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Richard Seymour, blogger of ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ fame, and author of ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ will be in store discussing his latest publication, ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’.

The Tories are posing as a ‘progressive’ and ‘radical’ alternative to New Labour. Drawing from George W Bush’s ‘compassionate conservatism’, they maintain that the ‘Big Society’ can do what ‘Big Government’ cannot – produce a cohesive, mutually supportive, happy society. Cameron’s court intellectual, Philip Blond, maintains that this if David Cameron’, which is a viable alternative to the failures of the egalitarian left and the excessively pro-market right. But is this more than campaign mood music? And are the conservative traditions that they draw on – from the bucolic, pseudo-medievalism of G K Chesterton to the anti-statism of Friedrich Hayek – really a bulwark of progress and radicalism?

Richard Seymour argues that such ideas can only seem ‘progressive’ in light of New Labour’s acquiescence to Thatcherism. To understand the Cameronites, it is necessary to understand how the social landscape and corresponding political language was transformed by the collapse of post-war social democracy and its more radical competitors. To resist the Cameronites, he argues, it is necessary to attack the neoliberal consensus on which all major parties found their programme.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Schools and Bonus Culture



It is not surprising that hand-in-hand with the business takeover of schools we find business-like reward schemes developing. Hank Roberts exposed an emerging bonus culture in schools in England at the Association of Teachers & Lecturers conference yesterday. New Labour Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, supports such a policy, it seems. See more from the stories below:   



Anthea Lipsett and Polly Curtis, ‘City greed and bonus culture ‘infecting state schools’’, 7th April, The Guardian



Daily Mail Reporter, ‘State school headteacher enjoyed £130,000 in ‘City-style’ bonuses, 7th April, Daily Mail



Graeme Paton, ‘Bonus culture ‘banking sickness’ spreading to state schools, ATL conference told’, 6th April, The Daily Telegraph



Alison Smith, ‘Secondary head picks up bonuses’, 7th April, BBC News



Tristan Kirk, ‘Copland school defends bonus policy’, 7th April, Harrow Times



Tim Ross, ‘A leading London headteacher who took home at least £130,000 in bonuses employed three family members at his school, a whistleblower claimed today’, 7th April, London Evening Standard,000+bonuses+puts+his+family+on+the+payroll/



Kat Baker, ‘Schools criticised for City-style bonuses, 7th April, Personnel Today



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Jubilation in secondary schools!

Despair in the primaries


The Anti-SATs Alliance believes that this is how today’s announcement by Minister Ed Balls, that KS3 SATs are to be scrapped with immediate effect, will be felt in school communities.

Teachers and parents of secondary age students will join them in joyful release at this news.
“At last we are freer to get on with some real teaching”, claims Harrow High School Assistant Headteacher Jo Lang.

Sidcup mum Teresa Grey was elated. “Not a moment too soon!” she said. “Consistent fear of failure has marred both my children’s experience of school. They both excel at things which are not covered by SATs.”

Daughter Eleanor is in Year 8. “It’s really good news because SATs are so boring,” she sighed, “and they put us under unnecessary pressure.”

But Leeds mother Sally Kincaid was not so happy. “The last year of primary school should be the most exciting time to learn for a young person, but my daughter will spend hour after hour rehearsing SATs in Year 6.”

Rosa herself was delighted to learn that these would be her last SATs, but upset that she will still have to go through with them in 2009.

Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen observed that, “None of the media interviewers ever seem able to ask the government why it’s OK for English children to have to do SATs but Welsh and Scots kids don’t have to do ’em. Interestingly, Jim Knight talks of ‘the country’ doing SATs.  er…I don’t think so, ackcherly.”

Edinburgh University academic and author Terry Wrigley said that, “This is a tribute to a sustained anti-SATs campaign, as well as a sign that the government are desperate to recover some popularity. It helps to open up some more space for real education.”

NUT Acting General Secretary Christine Blower said: ““Now I would like him to understand that the whole testing system needs fundamental change. I call on Ed Balls to suspend all primary school tests and commission a comprehensive and independent review of testing and assessment, and to include fully all school communities in that review.”

The ANTI-SATs ALLIANCE will continue to campaign against the retention of these pernicious tests in KS1 and KS2.


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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