Education this Autumn

Newcastle will host the Governors Summitt at St. James Park on 14th October.  A chance to see the football

ground and hear lots of news on education. Then in November the NGA is holding its AGM in Birmingham on the 19th.   The local council is holding breakfast meetings and evening meeting with governors and head teachers while the new meeting place in town for training is now part of the college in Westgate Road.

Lots of events and training to look forward to and then there are free Insight lectures for the general public at Newcastle University usually on a Thursday night and talks at the Lit and Phil plus talks at the Miners Institute.

The Open Learn portal of the Open University is also free to the public one just needs to login.  And there are many courses on education, psychology and a vast amount of topics which are useful or may encourage further study.


Learning about education

During the summer I was not idle I went to conferences and

seminars. Often these cost money and if one as not got

the cash say £100 or more it is difficult to attend them.

Many individuals can of course get subsided.

I keep up to date with events via enewsletters and thuse

an item appeared that I was interested in.

A workshop at the local secondary school.  Not just any

school but the most prestijuous in the city. with a long

history of success and notable old pupils.(not me of ocurs)

So I was walking along passed the large playground

into the building and passed the photographs of

the notable old pupils.  While doing this I was noting

their trumphs etc.  So we all sat in one of the

comfortable rooms used for such events.

The discussion range from standards to free schools to

governors and the national association thereof.

It was a good night, a summer’s evening with a calm mild

breeze blowing.  The buildings looked old, yet not the sort

which need pulling down for a new shiny plastic

building to replace them. 

Then within afew weeks I attended another such

seminar.  This time in a new school with a new

purple carpet stretching up from the front

entrance to the far reaches of the building.

There I met the shadow education secretary

Andy Burnham.  Had my photograph taken with

him and took part in the discussion.

It was an interesting day.


Education education

I did my degree as a mature student, and therefore I am more aware than most

of the ups and downs of the educational system.  Also the stresses involved in getting a job after graduation.  Few individuals face such stresses easily, but

my educations always been up to me.  I was the first in my family at university and thus had no one to support or advise me as to the ways of the world at such a place.  Others may have found university easier because of such advice.

With the increase in fees the chances of university are reduced for many individuals.  Life chances for those without funds is difficult.  The removal of the grant in teaching some subjects may mean a lack of courses.  So putting up the fees will be the result.

Logic says that social mobility will be reduced.  Education is about the collective encouragement of a better life for as much of society as possible-everyone infact.

Keeping education going.

With the new year, many people will want to do a course or learn a skill.

Education for the adult is not cheap. Education in future will be a luxury.

The history of adult education goes back to the evening classes formed in local schools or what were termed evening institutes where individuals could educate themselves in the hope of a better life.

The Workers Educational Association was at the forefront of this development.  In the 1960’s Extra Mural Departments of Universities engaged many people in higher education, but with less funding these were reduced, but the WEA is still alive and well today.

A WEA event is planned for the 1st April, 2011, at the Centre for Life.Newcastle.

The changes in the topics in their prospectus may have changed but the

idea of self education is still important.

Online Courses

!.    Modern Governor

Online courses for School Governors.

Have to be registered with a Local Authority.

2.    British Library

3 online courses on intellectual property

protection. Register online and then can do

courses in own time., on differing occasions.

Free Online Open University courses




Pictures of the WEA’s presentation of the Radio 4 programme ANY Questions at the


Individuals put questions to a

panel which included

Matthew Taylor an advisor to

the Labour Government on

topics which included education and paternity pay and holiday for working


The Director (in the top photo) told the questioners to come to the front seats.

Then an assistant indicated when to speak, while the Director sat on the panel

indicating to the speakers.  The audience could hear the Radio on the loud speakers.

It was all very relaxed with a local personality introducing the proceedings.

Effects of Ideas.

The Brown Report indicates a better deal for part time students at Uni.

But unfortunately the prospect of a market which provides products at a price

is the picture.

A polarizing of the situation is the view of the future. Watching old films on

indicating a separation of society into groups is encouraged., but not in a nice way.

Perhaps reading of afew more history books would be a good idea.

But then history is considered old hat by many who don’t seem to understand

that one must have a sense of time in the world.  Or is that just a H.G.Wells

literary idea.