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My day with the Politicians!

Today has been a good day!

I was very concerned about recent developments in the House of Commons and our New (or should I say old?) Primary Curriculum. I looked online to see how my local MP voted and he was one of the 66% that didn’t turn up! Just like many people in my PLN, I emailed my MP. This is what I wrote:

I am writing to you to express my disappointment that you were not
present at the Digital Economy Bill that was discussed on 7th April. As
a Deputy Headteacher this is of upmost importance and as only 36% of
MPs turned up I had hoped that you were one of them! The Rose Report
cost so much money to produce and the resulting New Primary Curriculum
was very much welcomed in Primary Schools as our current National
Curriculum is a Secondary School model and DOES NOT work in the Primary
school setting.

I am an undecided voter at present, however, I did vote for you during
the last election. I’m very passionate about Education, so much so that
this will be the issue I vote about! As the Government had launched the
new curriculum I thought I knew what to expect should Labour win.
However, I don’t know now! Could you please find out for me what the
situation is now? What will Labour do with the Primary School sector
should you win in May?

Many thanks

David Mitchell
Deputy Head Teacher
Heathfield Primary School

Within 10 hours I had received his reply:

Dear David Mitchell,

I was in at the beginning of this debate, but travel difficulties meant I had missed the start. The SoS was not taking interventions by the time I got there, so I could not put to him the 2 specific points constituents had raised with me. There was not a vote on 2nd. Reading, and I had to return to Wigan for Thursday am, so could not be in for the subsequent votes. The debate can be accessed on the parliamentary Hansard report. It received extensive scrutiny in the Lords, over 4 days, and amendments were made to cover most concerns raised.

I am not an expert on IT, and do not know the detail you ask. However, in Wigan I do know that a Labour Government will rebuild every Primary School, as well as those in the Secondary sector under Building Schools for the Future. Canon Sharples, Westfield, Woodfold completed, Beech Hill under construction already. You may remember that before 1997, teachers were required to have a bucket collection. Not to raise money, just to catch the water from the leaky roofs. Labour will continue to invest, the Tories will cut education spending, as “the Public Schools have nothing to fear from a Conservative Government”.

Hope this is helpful,

Best Wishes,

Neil turner MP Wigan

Didn’t really answer my question but did raise the fact that many MPs are not ICT experts! We knew that! All the same, it was nice to get a response so quick and at least an explanation as to why he wasn’t present!

I also sent Mr Ed Balls a tweet and a Direct Message (because I can!) asking him to now clarify the situation about the Rose Report and the New Primary Curriculum should Labour win the Election. This was his reply:

@DeputyMitchell: answer is that we will revive the legislation straight after the Election. Tories wont

It was nice to hear from him as I know he must be very busy. He also replied to a few other people too that are in my PLN! It’s nice to be heard!

Anyway, I have had a totally relaxing break from work over the last two weeks! Completely neglected my blog (on purpose!) and am now about to hit the ground running for this next 1/2 term!


Leave a comment
  1. carol humphreys
    April 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    I was so pleased to read you’re reminding politicians of the need to implement the Rose revised primary curriculum asap – what do you think Gove will do with it, should the Tories win, will it ever see the light of day? Hoping it’s too late now to stop progressive schools implementing an improved, more 21st c. personalised curriculum. Keep at ’em!

    • Mr Mitchell
      April 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

      Thanks for your comment! I LOVE replying to comments as it reminds me that people read it!!

      I look in horror at what the Tories propose to bring in! Yes, I can see the temptation to go backwards with the reports people hear on the news about the youth of today. However, we want our pupils to not perform in tests but be life long learners and have a passion for learning even when they are in their 80’s and 90’s!

      I very much doubt we will see anything of the new curriculum (Rose) if the Tories win. It will be too stained with Labour to bring it in!

      I agree with your point about schools taking more ownership over the curriculum they offer pupils. The fact that we have the new documents in school does mean that we have something to work on. Both myself and my Headteacher think that the current National Curriculum is secondary based and just does not fit!

      We plan to develop our curriculum for our pupils. We have the drive, the passion and now the confidence to go for it! One thing for sure, whatever we produce, we will share for others to use, steal or borrow little bits from!

  2. John McLear
    April 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    Your MP needs to learn how to manage his calendar better. Sounds like he is out of the job anyway, pity!

    • Mr Mitchell
      April 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

      Wigan is and has been a Labour stronghold so I’m told. Not from Wigan but has a strong mining background – What makes you think he’s out of a job?

  3. John McLear
    April 9, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Anyone that is paid 40k+ and can’t manage their own calendar should be out of a job.

    • Mr Mitchell
      April 9, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

      It was a bad reason, my guess is that he couldn’t tell me the real reason! lol

  4. Helen Morgan
    April 10, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Your response from your MP was far more personalised than mine. I got the same response from my MP that everyone else I know who wrote to them did. It also did not actually answer any of the questions that I asked.
    My MP (Rob Flello) did not show up to any of the reading or voting process(he is far to busy campaigning). But like yours my MP is Labour and likes to point out BSF schemes and regeneration.

    • Mr Mitchell
      April 10, 2010 at 12:28 am #

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I was pleased that he did respond! However, I think the excuse was pretty lame!

      At least he responded though!

  5. jfb57
    April 10, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Well done you & you’re MP. It’s good to see a conversation can happen even though it maybe prompted by the election.

    One point though – you have not rested!! I know how it’s been though. You’ve got lots of ‘great’ things done rather than the boring bits!I could have done with you as a deputy!

  6. Mr Mitchell
    April 10, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Thanks for your kind words! I agree striking up a conversation is very healthy! Not sure how much time my MP will devote to talking to me as I’m just one vote and totally understand that at this time he is very busy! I was more impressed to get response from Ed Balls!


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