Tag: Rosen

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Michael Rosen marks Anne Frank anniversary with new poem

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Former children’s laureate Michael Rosen has written a new poem to mark the 75th anniversary of the release of Anne Frank’s diary. The poem is titled Sonnet for Anne Frank; Rosen wrote in this form, he said, because s...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, do you think curbs on university entrance will be levelling up?

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When we look into the fish bowl of politics, it’s hard for us on the outside to see where policy comes from. I read articles that describe new proposals coming from the Department for Education, but have no real idea ...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, teaching empathy is difficult while Tory scandals pile up

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I was in a secondary school last week, asked in to talk about how books and writing help with developing a sense of empathy. Before the session, I went through my books looking for pieces that might suggest to the stu...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, your Great Big Bag of Big Ideas feels uncannily empty

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Do you remember that speech in Shakespeare’s The Tempest when Prospero’s slave, Ariel, reports back to his master with an account of all the work he’s done to capsize the king’s ship? He says he boarded the ship and “...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, did you even glance at existing political impartiality law?

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I see that you’ve waded into the area of impartiality in teaching, and your reason for this seems to be that some students are not fans of your boss, Boris Johnson. As reported by the BBC: “The education secretary say...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, your ‘levelling up’ in schools is jiggery-pokery

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So you’re levelling up. As your government has spent the last 10 years levelling down, you’ll forgive me if I don’t cheer. To justify why the government has hit people so hard and for so long, I heard one of your pred...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, your praise for teachers is just hooey

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On 2 January you tweeted: “Teachers and support staff across the country have put in a Herculean effort over the past 18 months and more, and I know we can count on their steadfast support in the coming weeks as we we...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, please sort out Ofsted’s lack of humanity. There’s no excuse

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As you preside over the bewildering and nonsensical inconsistency of mask-wearing in schools, I thought I might distract you with another matter of great importance: the behaviour of Ofsted inspectors. As all of us in...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, children need to express grief about Covid as well as to ‘catch up’

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I had a conversation with a teacher the other day. She asked me what she and other teachers could do to help children with the trauma of the pandemic. This pulled me up sharp. She explained that the children in her cl...

Why shouldn’t a writer for children talk of refugees, persecution and genocide?

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There was always the mystery of my father’s uncles. My father was an enthusiast, loving jokes – especially Jewish ones – songs, poems, plays, stories and football, but he showed sadness in the face of loss. The way he...

Dear Nadhim Zahawi, the Tories vowed to ‘eradicate illiteracy’ years ago. What went wrong?

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Welcome to your new job as education secretary. In your Conservative party conference speech you drew our attention to when you were at school. As this was your focus, I took a look at your wikipedia page to see where...

Dear Gavin Williamson, now we know your plans for Covid-safe classrooms … er, um

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I wonder if you’ve looked back at your car-crash interview on BBC Breakfast with Charlie Stayt this week? He put in front of you a scenario that may well face teachers going into the new term during the pandemic: a ro...

Dear Gavin Williamson, if Latin is about levelling up, I have other ideas

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Just as many of us are thinking ahead to winter and a possible next wave of Covid, worrying about whether schools have proper ventilation and what emergency measures you might have up your sleeve if a major outbreak o...

Dear Gavin Williamson, here’s some helpful reading for another nice mess

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Dear Gavin Williamson, I’ve been scrabbling around looking for some helpful reading for you. This is because for the first time in your disastrous reign as secretary of state I’ve had a twinge of sympathy for you. I h...

Michael Rosen condemns ‘loathsome and antisemitic’ manipulated image

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Northumbria University is urgently investigating one of its academics after a doctored image was shared from his Twitter account showing Jeremy Corbyn reading from the notorious antisemitic forgery The Protocols of th...

Dear Gavin Williamson, teenagers use mobile phones. Get with the times

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I heard you on the radio the other day, explaining why you thought the proposed European Super League was a bad idea. I must say I was surprised, as I thought your hands were full with the matter of this summer’s GCSE...

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