WHEN I was a ten-year-old schoolgirl, I was obsessed with learning my times tables, playing with my Sindy doll’s house and badgering my mum for a new ra-ra dress.
Writing to Maggie Thatcher about soaring unemployment and the miners’ strike after watching a bit of John Craven’s Newsround really wasn’t my thing.Teachers should leave their political views at the school gates or leave their jobs[/caption]
I was therefore surprised to read this week that kids aged ten and 11 at Welbeck Primary School in Nottingham had proudly posted pictures on Twitter of eloquent letters to their local MP calling for the Prime Minister to quit.
One Year 6 letter included un-employment figures, information on the economy and quotes from PMQs, adding: “He is a hypocrite and can no longer be trusted as our leader and should resign, as the country is not in the right hands.”
What utter geniuses — ten-year-olds discussing politics and claiming to be “enraged” and “infuriated” by evil Boris Johnson, who has “lied” to them.
The headteacher said the kids chose to write the MP letters after watching Newsround and were encouraged to express thoughts as part of a democracy topic.
But then it emerged the school is run by a Tory-hating head. Rebecca Gittins has made no bones about her allegiance.
She once ranted on Twitter: “This Government are taking us back decades #ToryScum.”
She deleted it. So you’d think she’d have learnt her own lesson. But clearly not.
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Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised about all this.
After all, prior to the last General Election, a survey by the Times Educational Supplement showed 80 per cent of teachers in schools planned to back Labour or the Lib Dems.
Then it was claimed those biases were filtering down to their young and impressionable pupils. Judging by Welbeck Primary School, that is clearly the case.
It is disgraceful. Teachers should leave their political views at the school gates or leave their jobs.
Thankfully, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi seems to agree, saying: “No school should be encouraging young people to pin their colours to a political mast.”
Parents have blasted the teachers, accusing them of “indoctrinat- ing” the children.
One MP said they should be sacked. I agree. If they can’t keep their political opinions to themselves, they shouldn’t be in the classroom.
What really worries me, though, is how many other schools are doing this.
Make no mistake, this really matters.
Children have been through a tough enough time in the past two years because of Covid, from home-schooling to isolation and seeing people they love die.
They should be nurtured and educated. They don’t need to deal with party politics.
They don’t deserve a teacher telling them what political views they should have. They don’t need to be weaponised in the political aftermath of Covid.
Kids need to be kids.
There are obviously many wonderful teachers out there and they have had to endure some of the most difficult work conditions imaginable under Covid, but the bad apples are bringing their job into disrepute.
Teaching used to be a vocation. Now it is often chosen as a profession because it is a convenient safety net for graduates.
The perks are good. They are paid more than nurses, receive more holiday and have some of the most generous pensions in the country.
And so they should be. They are teaching the next generation of politicians and Prime Ministers.
Maybe they should remember the old saying: “No one forgets a good teacher.”
Because no one forgets a bad one, either.
Paul’s stuck in 2005
SHE may be 95 but our Queen proved how forward-thinking she is by announcing Camilla will one day be Queen Consort.
Unlike some royal critics this week.She may be 95 but our Queen proved how forward-thinking she is by announcing Camilla will one day be Queen Consort[/caption]
Her decision was supported by Prince Charles and said to be backed by Prince William.
Obviously Prince Harry kept schtum about his stepmother because he has a gigantic chip on his shoulder about the Royal Family that daily meditation clearly isn’t sorting.
Some people used words such as “divorcee” and a “mistress”, as though we are living in the Dark Ages.
One who spoke out was former royal butler Paul Burrell, who last worked for the royals a zillion years ago.
He went on the Lorraine TV show saying how “sad” he is for those “devoted to the memory of Princess Diana”, who were told in 2005 that Camilla would never want to be Queen.
Stop. When? Yes, 2005.
Nearly two decades ago, when Charles and Camilla got married and before she did years of what the Queen has described as “loyal service”.
Paul, you need to get into the modern world like our very elderly monarch – and do the memory of Princess Diana a favour too.
Brekkie dance beats my cuppa
WISH I was more like Stacey Dooley.
She and her partner Kevin Clifton enjoy a five-minute dance before they start their day.
Me and the Geordie usually kick off with a coffee.
AFTER dabbling in football and photography, Brooklyn Beckham now has his own online cookery show called Cookin’ With Brooklyn.
He’s clearly no Uncle Gordon yet because he needs 62 food experts to film him making a . . . sandwich.After dabbling in football and photography, Brooklyn Beckham now has his own online cookery show called Cookin’ With Brooklyn[/caption] He’s clearly no Uncle Gordon yet because he needs 62 food experts to film him making a . . . sandwich[/caption]
Mum Victoria, who has eaten the same meal of grilled fish and steamed veg for 25 years, said: “Now you can cook for me too brooklynbeckham! Love this, love you.”
What I – and I bet thousands of others – would love is to see her actually eating a carb-laden sarnie.
I wonder how many experts it would take to pull that off?
A bad roll model
I LOVE Greggs – and whenever I head home to the North East, I blow whichever diet I happen to be on and treat myself to a corned beef bake.
(This delightful mix of fat and pastry isn’t on sale in the South.)NINTCHDBPICT000711173176[/caption]
But this week I discovered you can have too much of a good thing.
It was announced Greggs is launching a clothing collection in Primark, and opening a cafe in the fashion chain’s Birmingham store.
Then I went shopping at my local Tesco and discovered Greggs has taken over there, too. The deli counter has been ditched to make way for a mini Greggs.
My two-year-old nearly leapt out of the trolley and screamed for a sausage roll.
Obviously, I did the weak-willed parenting thing because I hate being stared at.
But I won’t be returning any time soon because, with temptations like that, it’s no surprise kids are getting so obese they’d struggle to fit into a Primark T-shirt.
Respect for Gemma
GEMMA Collins has just filmed a documentary which reveals that she secretly self-harmed for years.
The rate of self-harm among the young is soaring and the reality star knows some of them might well be among her three million social media followers.
The decision by Gemma to help others and discuss something she has covered up for 20 years is a brave one.
The GC deserves respect.
SCIENTISTS have performed a test to see which dogs collect the most mud.
They got owners to take three long walks then weighed the mud they cleaned off.It feels like I spend half my life cleaning mud off my dog Layla[/caption]
The Yorkshire terrier was declared dirtiest and the top ten included great Dane, labrador, cockapoo, chihuahua and lhasa apso.
I’m amazed the slobbery, playful boxer isn’t up there.
It feels like I spend half my life cleaning mud off my dog Layla.
HAPPY Mondays star Bez has apologised as he feels embarrassed about being kept in TV’s Dancing On Ice while better skaters are voted off.
He says: “I feel guilty, especially when you know the people who have been voted out are actually better than you.”
I know it’s a skating competition, but who cares?
None of his rivals could float down to the ice on a giant pair of maracas, wearing a protective helmet, to perform with backing skaters dressed as watermelon slices.
So please keep voting for him. He is an absolute joy to watch.
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