In a climate of austerity and radical change in education, I am concerned about the challenges faced by Black parents to find ways to achieve the best educational outcomes for their children in an ever selective and competitive educational environment. The pace and direction of change is worrying and demonstrates the need for Black pupils to develop greater resilience in order to succeed in an education system set up to increase the purchasing power of the White middle classes to the disadvantage of Black pupils. Continue reading Resilience, the Black child and the coalition government
The Troops to Teachers (TtT) programme was introduced in England in autumn 2013. The programme fast-tracks ex-armed service members into teaching in schools and is supported both by the current Coalition government, and the previous Labour government.
The White Paper, The Importance of Teaching (Department for Education 2010), gives the main purposes for the introduction of TtT as twofold: firstly, poor standards of achievement in comparison with other industrialised nations, and secondly, a need for increased discipline in schools. Continue reading The militarisation of education: ‘Troops to Teachers’ and the implications for Initial Teacher Education and race equality
‘Women’s refuges forced to shut down by funding crisis’ is a central headline in The Guardian (August 4 2014 p. 1) illustrating how violence against women is now on public agendas in dramatic ways. The accompanying article documents the growing crisis in funding for the refuges that have been created to deal with problems of sexual or domestic violence over the last several decades. There are photos of 4 young women, two with their babies, to illustrate the problem of domestic violence – young women killed in their homes by violent men, almost certainly their partners. Continue reading The challenges of domestic or sexual violence for ‘frontline workers’: developing training materials and educational resources
[I have] a friend who had some guy that put his hand down her pants on the dance floor. And she was a really quiet girl and she didn’t say anything. I’ve heard of a few friends who have had things like that happened [sic] that have gone past a joke. I think guys think it’s okay to do that.
This anecdote depicts an experience which has become so common amongst young people that it has acquired its own moniker: underhanding. Continue reading ‘Lad cultures’ in the neoliberal university
Catherine MacKinnon has famously argued that feminist claims based on either the ‘difference’ between or the ‘sameness’ of the genders are flawed. Rather, she suggests, what is important is dominance (MacKinnon 1987) – in the case of gender, male dominance. Gender, she says, is a matter of dominance, not difference. Continue reading Sex and Relationships Education – making the difference to difference