Photo: Andrew Billington
The phone rang about an hour after I’d completed my online order.
The woman on the other end – northern accent, friendly tone – sounded a little anxious. Had I just booked a ticket for a play at the New Vic Theatre? Yes, I said, I certainly had.
“You do know we’re in Newcastle-Under-Lyme,” she said. I started to laugh. Yes, I knew. In fact I was just planning the train journey when she phoned.
She sounded relieved. “Oh good, it’s just that we always check when someone with a London address books […]
Continue reading Looking for the “real” UK?
I have seen a future for the public library – in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent.
I’ll admit, until now I’ve taken no interest in the campaigns to save Britain’s libraries from closure. Supporters say hundreds are threatened because of cuts in local council budgets. 115 disappeared in the last financial year alone. But the library-loving rhetoric is too often couched in romantic middle class memories of a long gone past. Even those who haven’t been in a library for years wax lyrical about the joys of children’s storytime or the day they first “discovered” a […]
Continue reading The perfect public library
Why can’t teachers and school inspectors play nicely together?
In theory they share the same goal: The best possible education for all children in England and Wales. In practice, they’ve been descending into the kind of name calling that should get them sent to the head teacher’s office for a stern telling off.
The Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw frequently implies that our schools are full of bad teachers and malign heads intent on thwarting children’s progress.
The teaching unions accuse him of bullyboy tactics and say his rhetoric is creating a climate of […]
Continue reading Ofsted and the teaching unions: The kids deserve a truce