Sure Start was to Blair’s government what the NHS was to Attlee’s. It was a radical extension of the state into a field previously characterised by an uneven patchwork of providers. Like the NHS, it universalised a service previously only guaranteed to the independently wealthy.
Last week I attended a meeting of Brent Council Directors. The room was completely full. Everyone in that room was white. Everyone except for two people – one of whom was the minute-taker.
This has to change.
I thought my website needed a spring clean: hope you like it!
It’s been a really busy few months both in Brent Council and banging the drum for investment in the Early Years. Here’s a round-up of articles I’ve had published:
“Sure Start: big reform is in the air” on Labour List,
“Sure Start: campaigning for a Labour majority” on Progress and
“An arms race in childcare?” again on Progress.
Let me know what you think :-)
This is a picture of me and my friend Maggie.
We’re both Councillors.
One of us is a senior manager in the NHS. One isn’t.
One of us drives a rather nice car. One doesn’t.
And one of us can rent a home from the estate agent we’re standing in front of. One can’t
Maggie is the senior manager. Maggie has the nice car. But only I can rent the home.
That’s because I’m white and Maggie is black.
I delivered this speech to the Brent School Governors’ Conference yesterday. It received a warm response, so I thought I’d share it online…
This Conference is about “The challenge of being challenging.”
But what do we really mean by challenge?
Scrutinising data, driving progress, pushing improvement. These all matter hugely.
But for me, the ultimate challenge is to uphold values in education.
Education is the most powerful force in the world. It can solve all our greatest problems: poverty, discrimination, cynicism, despair.
Education is vital for everyone, but it is those at the very bottom who need it the most. Those without wealth, connections or privilege. Those from broken homes or devastated countries.
Education is how the down-trodden can achieve a better future.