Tuesday 8 February 2011

The Political Element in the suspension of Barnet Teacher

You may well have read one of these reports about a Barnet Teacher, Sue Caldwell being suspended

You may have wondered if there was a more sinister political angle or whether any "pressure" was brought to bear, to "help" the school make the decision

I think this may help you make your mind up :-

Question 11 Councillor Brian Gordon
There has been considerable public discussion about pupils in High Schools being allowed to participate in protests against the Government’s increase in tuition fees, and other public spending cuts. Do you agree with me that as far as Barnet is concerned, the sanctioning of such political activism in schools should be strongly discouraged?
Answer by Councillor Andrew Harper

Supplementary Question 11 Councillor Brian Gordon
Councillor Harper I am very pleased that you agree with my criticism of pupils being involved in political protests during school hours. We have all seen violence and disorder that had occurred in various parts of the country over the last few weeks. It was absolutely disgraceful, and those involved should be ashamed of themselves. Could this Council please, perhaps, issue a directive to all High Schools within this Borough, especially those under State Aid, that we, the Council, urge that students be forbidden during curriculum hours from participating in external political demonstrations that are totally inconsistent to what they should be doing in school?
Answer by Councillor Andrew Harper
Thank you Mr Mayor. I, of course, absolutely condemn the behaviour in the recent public protests that Councillor Gordon has described. I am not at all sure that either I or the Director of Children’s Services, who is sitting just over there, is actually empowered to do what Councillor Gordon has just asked. Nevertheless, we can of course do our best to guide schools, influence them and tell them what it is that we would expect of their behaviour.


baarnett said...

"Stand before this web site, Mr Harper."

"Being a council member should have been the best years of your life, Mr Harper. But here we are, instead. Stop slouching, Mr Harper!"

"You have let this web site down. You have let the readers down. But most of all you have let yourself down!"

Mrs Angry said...

yes,I was at that meeting, and how pathetic this piece of business was. Gordon's questions are helpful to the Tories, enabling them ot make a point about something, generally how marvellous they are or how dreadful Labour is. In this case, I seem to recall that they had to be reminded that the sixth from protest, organised, I am pleased to say, by a pupil at FCH, my son's school (sheer coincidence, I promise!) took place out of school hours. As Alex reminded us at the rally, he was complimented by the borough police commander on the peaceful organisation of this demo and there is absolutely no reason why we should not encourage our teenage children to become active in political debate, as this directly involves their futures. Of course political debate is not something the Tories wish to encourage, as we see from the scandalous constitution 'reforms' about to go to committee.

caroline said...

So much for encouraging young people to become engaged in the political process.