The gap left by youth workers

“You know what? There are people in bad homes, those kids, we grab them quick, they have nothing to do. We give them a little job to do, send them off, make our money, make their money – everyone is eating right.” – a drug dealer who spoke to the BBC.

BBC Article About the impact of drug lines in Wales

This is very interesting article
It highlights quite clearly one of many measurable impacts of this government’s so called ‘austerity’
Those of us who work with vulnerable young people have been saying this would happen since the moment the funding cuts started to hit youth services and education. Youth work is not a luxury or a babysitting service for lazy parents, it’s a vital part of social and emotional development for many young people and if youth workers don’t fill those roles then other people will with disastrous consequences.

It’s not just about missing out on friendship and fun activities, for some young people it’s about finding yourself drawn into the world of drug running or modern slavery/trafficking and exploitation – grooming and criminality because there’s nothing and no one around who can show you an alternative.

It doesn’t even make financial sense to cut these services – so we’ve saved some money now, but at the cost of running lives and costing society a fortune in Police, health and prison services in years to come – not to mention the children’s services & intervention workers (foster carers, youth justice workers, social workers, specialist teachers, counsellors..) that are going to be needed for their children – the teams of professionals needed to support them through their damaged childhoods into broken and unstable adulthood…and the cycle goes around..

Those of us who teach in the SEBD sector know that the chances are our kids will have kids as damaged as they are and we don’t have the resources to break the cycle and the money it costs apart from anything else.

It’s not austerity – it’s punishing underprivileged people and it’s costing us money to boot.


For the Fallen

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning

We Will Remember Them

An Inspirational man

WW1: 17 Million dead

WW2: over 60 million dead (nearly 3% of the world population of the time)

Generations of young men, called up to a life that could not have imagined. Convinced by propaganda that they were doing the right thing. Killed in their prime, brothers fathers sons lost to society. Poor training, lack of equipment, and total chaos. They must have been terrified but they fought anyway.


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 It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile, I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision’s face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
“Strange, friend,” I said, “Here is no cause to mourn.”
“None,” said the other, “Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now . . .”

by Wilfred Owen

(died 4th November 1918 – 7 days before the Armistice)



This post is by an experienced school leader, who is leaving teaching. He has written a very comprehensive and measured statement about why he’s leaving teaching. As  he says, it’s a problem that needs more public concern. The crisis in the teaching profession is not just about a bunch of stroppy leftie types bucking against the government. Teachers are key to the country’s success or failure. Like he says – why should you care that people are leaving teaching in droves?  Who do you think is going to educate the next generation’s doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, engineers, skilled technicians…?  Hard working, caring invested professionals or just anyone with a pulse? Well, who do you want teaching your kids?

Why I’m leaving teaching…and why you should care.

The end of Our Profession.

Originally, I posted it on Facebook but Mrs Ramsay asked me to put it here:

I don’t understand why this isn’t being made more of:
“Academies can set their own terms for teachers’ pay and conditions, they don’t have to follow the national curriculum, and if qualified teacher status is abolished, they will have much more flexibility in who can be hired.”

The government have basically said ‘clearly, teachers don’t agree with us, so lets deconstruct their whole profession around them because clearly they’re a bunch of left-liberals, and it’s a job anyone can do’ – national pay and conditions meant that teachers in rough birmingham comprehensives where everything is in short supply were paid the same as those teaching in posh grammar schools in the south east where the annual ski trip costs a grand and is absolutely de rigeur…..and qualified teacher status meant that you were a highly trained post graduate professional….. i don’t know what to say…..

Insult of the Week #3

It’s been an interesting week – this afternoon witnessed something that will forever more be known as the ‘Jam Tart Incident’.

I’m awarding an honourable mention for

Hey Miss! Lick My Shoes.‘ and something I heard on Tuesday that I can’t remember.

But this week’s insult of the week is:


“Oh, go choke on a lego brick!”