As featured in Parentdish

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Well that’s the nativity plays over for another year, and as always we were not allowed to video or take pictures of our children. Does this annoy you? If so check out this blog – It is run by Stuart Waiton, a lecturer at the University of Abertay, Dundee.

Waiton urges us to sign his petition which opposes the restrictions and regulations placed on parents taking photographs at nativity plays and school events. I have signed.

For anyone unsure, there is no law against taking photographs of children – your children or otherwise. More people need to know about this. I know several people who have been threatened by the police, or been under suspicion from the police for taking photographs with children present.

I want to keep paedophilia out of my family’s lives. I resent these people who are making it part of everyday life, telling us that we can’t take pictures for risk of a paedophile getting hold of them.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I read this week that schools in Finland have been so inundated with requests for visits from teachers from other countries to come and see why their education system is so good, that they are no longer participating.

Now it has long been established that Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, and has very low illiteracy rates. On top of this, international surveys put it pretty high up the top ten with regards maths and science.

Many of the reasons for Finland’s success are well established – graduate educated teachers; waiting until they are seven before the children are taught to read and write; no mandatory exams before he age of seventeen so that the emphasis is put on learning, rather than teaching to exam.

A visit to Finland may result in British teachers learning more, but sadly, I doubt it would result in many, or even any schools implementing any of these. The changes need to be made my national government, and it doesn’t matter who we have in power, the changes that would be needed would be far too great for any party to implement.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Thinking for ourselves

I recently read an article on Parentdish where Sally Whittle stated that she had already told her five year old daughter’s school that unless she was falling behind she would not be doing homework with here. Now parents appear to fall into two caps – those who run up to the school to complain if their child hasn’t had homework for the past two nights, and those who, having read the research, doubt the effectiveness of set homework.

But what I found interesting about this article, apart from the huge number of comments, was the anger from a commenter named John.

John criticised the writer for daring to have an opinion different from the teachers. He gets angry that someone may choose to do thing slightly different.

How sad that there are people who don’t question the ‘experts’ and who take what they say without questioning it. As a parent I would say that the best parenting decisions I have made have been because I ignored experts, whether that be teachers, midwives, health visitors, other parents.

Did John not think that perhaps the writer was making an informed decision? Certainly more informed than the parents who decide that their primary aged children must study until midnight each night.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Dumbing down teaching

Michael Gove it to take teacher training out of universities and into schools, the headlines tell us. This, we are led to believe will be a good thing, with trainee teachers gaining more on the job experience.

While I am all for on the job experience, I do worry that this will result in teachers have less knowledge of educational theory. More knowledge of educational theory is needed not less.

It is thought that an estimated ten percent of children are dyslexic. So in a class of thirty, three are likely to be dyslexic. Yes despite this the level of knowledge teachers have of this subject tends to be minimal.

Parents I know whose children have Asperger’s have told me horror stories of the ignorance of teachers on the subject.

Surely more educational theory is needed, not less.