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Diary

In this blog we are posting news from around the network, reflections on general news items and other broad-ranging items of interest. Current contributors are Sightlines Initiative directors Robin Duckett, Liz Elders, Debi Keyte Hartland and Chris Merrick.

Children and education at the centre, say politicians

c. Daily Mirror

Despite the Education Hustings event being cancelled, we have heard some politicians thoughts and intents on education:

"The Next time we see a Tory education policy based on evidence will be the First time we see a Tory education policy based on evidence.(Ian Mearns, Gateshead MP); 

"Start with children - in preschool - 30 hours a week for all children - in life we need to do things together: let our children enjoy those wonderful creative preschool years together, so that their memories are of learning and doing things together - that's what makes humans strong and support each other." (Jeremy Corbyn, Leader, Labour Party.) 

Both at packed public rally in Gateshead, 5th July. It is so refreshing to hear speeches beginning with the need for education for young children - not just 'childcare for parents' or 'training for global competition' - but on championing sociable learning, and on values for life. 

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UK Election - Quiz the Main Parties on their intents for education: Wed 24 May

 TES General Election 2017 Education Hustings

"TES is delighted to announce it will be hosting a General Election education hustings with education secretary Justine Greening, her Labour shadow, Angela Rayner, and their Lib Dem counterpart, John Pugh.

Taking place at the Emmanuel Centre in the heart of Westminster on Wednesday the 24th May at 6:30pm, the event is sure to frame the education conversation for the last frantic days of the campaigning.

The debate will be hosted by Tes editor Ann Mroz, and you can be part of the 1,000-strong audience that questions the politicians on all aspects of education policy – including grammar schools, funding, assessment and pedagogy.

Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You must arrive with your ticket to gain entry to the hustings."

This will be an excellent opportunity to question the three main parties in England on their policies for education,on funding and assessment - and their basic principles on what education should be.

Tickets are free but space is limited- register now.

If you email us  that you are registered, we may be able to link people  up for the day; this may strengthen the effectiveness of contributions and questions.

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No squashing! Leap out of the box

"Unfortunately we find that current education policy is in such profound opposition to what we fundamentally believe in, in terms of child welfare and development, as to make our continued work in teaching untenable."

A few days ago parents of the Longparish primary school, in Hampshire, have read these lines in the letter that headteacher and deputy head, Alex and Peter Foggo wrote to parents, announcing their resignation. "The excitement, creativity and wonder that we came into teaching to nurture and encourage have been largely driven out by the rote learning of facts", as morally honest course of a profoundly opposition to the recent changes the Government is introducing in UK Schools (Guardian 28-4-17.) Local parents are sad and supportive: "The school is absolutely outstanding. Mrs Foggo has the deepest commitment to the education of children that I've come across in my life. For someone like that to feel that they can no longer run a school is just very worrying" was a typical response.

The 'rote learning of facts' are among the many combined factors which have pushed the couple, who worked in education for more than 50 years together, into this decision. 

This an extreme and dramatic personal step for these educators, but can we make sure it adds to the springboard to raise our voice, as parents or educators, in such an important moment. Can the government afford to keep ignoring parents and teachers?

Actions to stand up and say what we think are growing. Everyone can take part:


"All children deserve education which champions their inborn curiosity, intelligence & creativity ..."

Get your candidate to endorse this in public. In the context of the current UK parliamentary election, we are promoting a 'poll to candidates': a simple statement which we (also all constituency parents) can ask All prospective MPs to sign up to:


  1. download and print the A4 statement (click the link to get it - there are 3 versions, so use the one which prints best for you);
  2. grab, meet, discuss 'what education can/should be' with her/him;
  3. get a smiling selfie with you, and the candidate holding the statement;
  4. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the image, with the candidate's and your names, and the constituency (plus anything you think was interesting from the conversation.)

We will then publicise to the utmost on social media (we're setting this up, so when you email us we'll inform you of the locations.)

Let Our Kids Shine!

Here is a further campaign of Let Our Kids Be Kids:  '...send glittery letters and cards to teachers and heads to thank them for helping your child to SHINE, despite the narrowed curriculum they are asked to deliver in order to pass the ridiculous tests.'



What should the parties put in their election manifestos about Education? This is the right moment – a moment in which we risk to lose educators of such calibre as Alex and Peter Foggo – to ask parties to make bold and visionary statements about Education and the wellbeing of our children. 

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