What Rotherham Taught This Mum

Abby Boid

Me in the Rotherham years

Update 22 October 2015

This post is not, perhaps, my finest work – as I say in the pre-amble, for numerous reasons I find it hard to find the right words to convey thoughts about the town I grew up in. However, with the latest news about closure of steel works I think it’s better to say something than keep quiet.

More importantly, I can use my blog as a vehicle to share this fab post from The Dysfunctional Mother. She is in Scunthorpe where they too are facing the closure of their Steel Industry.

Want to know more? Here is a great piece by radio 4 on what can only be described as the plight of Rotherham. I stumbled across it because it was shared by Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham. She is worth a twitter follow.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06j21ch

Now, here is the original post I wrote a few months ago. Rotherham and many many other towns like it deserve a voice. And a voice that is listened to. So please – listen.

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I. Love. London.

On Friday, fate delivered me to London. Myself and five other bloggers were invited to meet with minister Sam Gyimah at the Department of Education.

Turns out that writing about what happened in meetings with politicians in a captivating and insightful way is really hard. Which is a shame, because in all honesty it was a captivating and insightful experience.

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A story in which I amuse myself by imagining what it would be like if we looked after our kids like we look after our finances.

We don’t have a set routine when it comes to dealing with important post and emails. We assume that if we don’t respond to important emails, they will soon become letters that drop with a thud on our doormat. We assume if we miss a letter, it will turn into a phone call. We can always sort things out then. It feels a free and easy approach, until the ringtone of the landline pierces through the denial. Our hearts momentarily drop into our stomach. Continue reading

A parent centred approach to education: choosing the ‘best’ school by choosing to put me first

This is not a post about how marvellous education is in Finland, how in China the kids can recite their times tables whilst hurling themselves off balconies, or the pros and cons of caning. It is not a debate about whether or not we should test 4 year olds, teach them phonics, or have them running around forests designing their own curriculum.  It is not about the merits of state schools, free schools, academies, grammar schools, private schools, public schools or home schooling. And it is not a commentary on the alleged infiltration of Ofsted by political OO7’s, with a licence to kill state education. Perhaps most surprisingly, this is not even a post that puts forward my views on what the best way to educate my children is.

Why bother mentioning what this post is not about? Because it illustrates all the many interesting debates put to parents about education, none of which helped me a jot when deciding on ‘the best’ thing to do for our children.   Continue reading