Here's a thing that surprises people. When anyone asks if I have a tissue, the answer is always, 'No'. Which may not be surprising in itself. But I am an epistaxis sufferer. Or, to put it more plainly: I get … Read More
TV appearances are exciting, but they have a major downside: people can see you.
This is good, because it means the brand you are representing (yourself, or an organisation) is getting exposure. But if you're not prepared for the fact that … Read More
Written February 2017, after the terrible year that was 2016
Twenty-one and a half years ago my English teacher, Mr McGee, gave me a gift.
It was autumn 1995 and he made our class write about the summer holidays. But, he said, we … Read More
Amazon ran a competition to re-invent A Christmas Carol as a 1,000-word children's story. For fun, during a tube journey, I decided to write an entry on my phone. What fell out has a difficult message, and made me cry … Read More
Buying gifts for teachers is tricky. If you're a parent you want to avoid replicating things. (And do they like chocolate/wine, etc?) If they're your partner/sibling/parent/friend, you don't want to have to deal with them judging you against some internal mark … Read More
For the first time this year I've kept an eye on the books I'm reading, and thought I'd share lessons from the worthwhile & highlight those which weren't. I've left education books out, as I speed-read those for my job, … Read More
In a tradition that now spans three education secretaries, it's this year's Education Secretary Christmas Reading List. (Gosh, aren't we all getting old).
This year we have a new overlord, Justine Greening.
She's actually really smart, and interesting, and seems 'nice', if … Read More
Four weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I received a text saying the government had dumped me. After three and a half of years of head-to-head battle with the department for education over some free school documents – including endless … Read More
I received a phone call last week from a scam artist.
It was obvious from pretty early on that he was going to pretend I had a bunch of computer problems and then either sell me a really expensive download to … Read More
Yesterday I went to a concert with my other half. It started about 4pm.
Five minutes after we arrived the row in front, behind and to our left filled up with young people who looked like they'd been imported in from … Read More