In all the hullabaloo about the big TV debate, you might have missed the most significant policy development of the election campaign so far. Labour estimate that a Tory election victory could lead to the closure of 1,000 Sure Start Centres. This represents a third of all the Centres open today. And it would mean a virtual halving of Centres since 2010. Talk about cut to the bone!
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.