A great way to create more integration! I know – Faith Schools!

A great way to create more integration! I know – Faith Schools!

The major problems occur in society when people live apart and become suspicious of each other. To mingle and talk is great; it breaks down barriers so that people discover they are all intrinsically similar. We humans are one people.

Religion, race and culture separate people. When people get together in multicultural ways they can benefit from the richness of different cultures. It cross-fertilises. It brings colour, vitality and joy. Out of it comes hybrids that invigorate.

It is when people become segregated from each other and alienated that trouble occurs.

We used to have a great fear of black culture from Jamaica, Pakistanis, Indians and Sikhs. But most of the people who arrived in the fifties and sixties have been integrated, taken on British values and fit in.

I know it is not perfect. A lot of work still needs doing. We need more cohesion and equality, more respect and sharing.

These days we have major problems with our Muslim community and radicalisation.

So what about a great way to bring people from different religions, cultures and races together – why not segregate them in Faith Schools!!!

Who the hell thought up such a stupid idea?

Let’s set up Jihadi colleges and Creationist schools! Why not? I mean it isn’t as if we haven’t already had problems with radicalisation in Birmingham schools; it isn’t as if there are thousands of unregistered schools indoctrinating kids with who knows what; it isn’t as if we haven’t had the Christian Catholic school indoctrinating kids.

What madness is this?

Is this a means of getting religion to fund schools?

Are GCSE results the only thing that count? Have we totally lost sight of the big picture?

There are all sorts of extreme religious fanatics who would like nothing better than to get their hands on our kids!

Segregation is not the answer to integration!a-passion-for-education-cover This is how it should be done!

Why is a good education important?

Why is a good education important?

Education is truly the most powerful weapon in human armoury.
Education is about relationship. A good relationship is one that enables students to think and evaluate. A bad education is one based on ‘facts’ and indoctrination.
Every child should receive a good education that stimulates their minds and enables them to soar.

I think, therefore I exist.



Is it really important to go to school? To read endless theoretical dull texts? How often do we get the feeling we don’t need to know what we are learning and immediately forget it after the tests?

Does learning things make me happier? 

Yes. But not immediately.

It may seem, at first sight, rather contradictory: knowledge is so many times the cause of great distress, yet an ignorant life appeals to no one. It is true that knowledge comes with a disturbing counterpart: our mind, once carefree and lax is progressively filled with complicated concerns and questions. To be disturbed is not necessarily a negative thing, though, as these concerns and questions are what will guide our choices and actions and turn us into more conscious, independent individuals. Before a change has to be a moment of rupture and therefore before our growth a lot of these…

View original post 432 more words

Unregistered Schools – Should not be lawful! Shut them down!

Unregistered Schools – Should not be lawful! Shut them down!


Integration is the name of the game!

If people want all the benefits of living in a free, tolerant Western country they should be prepared to buy into the ethos.

Education should not be indoctrination.

As an ex secondary headteacher my school had to abide by the laws of the land and the national curriculum. These ‘unregistered schools’ are spreading propaganda, racism, homophobia and creationism. They cannot be allowed. All schools should be under the jurisdiction of the government (no matter how stupid some of their policies are). We cannot tolerate people pedalling religious or political dogma and indoctrinating our kids even if that is what parents want.

All schools should be registered and their premises deemed safe and up to standard.

We cannot have Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Hindus or any other religion seeking to isolate their children from mainstream culture. That leads to segregation, misunderstanding and terrorism.

Hasn’t Northern Ireland and ISIS taught us anything?

Education – we don’t want choice – we simply want excellence for everyone!

Education – we don’t want choice – we simply want excellence for everyone!

We do not need gimmicky Free Schools, Business-run Academies or Grammar Schools for the rich – we simply want quality education and a fair system for all.

Hear what a highly successful ex secondary Headteacher has to say on education. The real story! The inside battles.

P1120115 (2)A passion for education cover


Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

In this autobiographical account of his life as Head Teacher of Beverley Grammar School, Chris takes us through many of the failings of the post-war education system to the much superior, more flexible teaching of the twenty-first century. Along the way, he enthuses about rock music, leadership vs management, and – particularly – the kids. If you can make every lesson fun, every child feel cared for, and every staff member nurtured, attendance and results will pretty much look after themselves. You can pass every Ofsted inspection with flying colours, and your school can become best in class (no pun intended).I was at college with Chris, and it didn’t seem to me then that he was destined to be a head teacher of a secondary school – a music critic, more like. He has done education a great service by showing you can be a rebel and get results too. I hadn’t expected to enjoy this book as much as I did; it has extraordinary energy and a lust for achievement. Every teacher should read it! 8/10 (October 2014)

Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback…

5.0 out of 5 starsEmpathic approach to education

By Pete 2 Sheds on 5 July 2015

Format: Paperback

If you have any interest in the education of your child this book is essential reading. Having studied and worked in education myself I find Mr Goodwins insights and experiences very thought provoking. It deserves a place on the shelves of every educational establishment and needless to say a few people at the ministries and especially the minister for education should read this and maybe, just maybe, we could move forward and improve the educational standards of our children where they have been slipping on a global level.
Mr Goodwin shows, his Ofsted scores prove the point, that civility and empathy rather than antiquated regimented regimes can be extremely effective.

Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback…


Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

As an retired teacher and Head of Department I found this book a joy to read. It is many things – personal biography, passionate polemic, practical handbook, education history, inspirational text, you name it – woven together in a natural, organic way which really gives you the feel of school life. The author knows whereof he speaks and in friendly fashion takes you, the reader, by the hand on a headlong and often exciting journey through the maze of modern education. His vision is clear and compelling, he knows what works and what doesn’t, he wants you to share his profound sense of the human potential which we can unlock if only we get our schools right. He articulates a philosophy which puts the whole child at its centre and explores the relationships underlying the magic of educational development. The book is written in a direct, heartfelt, jargon-free style and is packed with amusing anecdotes which illuminate his principles, unlike many dry books on the subject. Passionate and humorous and unafraid of controversy, it certainly gets you thinking. I found it a real page-turner and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in good education, whether outside or inside the teaching profession. For anyone connected with school management, in any capacity, it is essential reading. A unique and valuable voice.

2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback…


Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

An excellent and informative book of Mr Goodwin’s time at the Beverley Grammar School. As a former pupil, it is hard to believe what was going on behind the scenes, however he kept it together and carried on securing the school an outstanding rating from Ofsted in both 2008 and 2010.

Free Schools – what a Tory Farce!!!

‘I say,’ said Marmaduke SnudgelyCarruthers-Smythe, ‘these schools are terribly expensive things, what?’

‘They certainly are Marmaduke,’ the PM replied feeling a little weary of the interruptions

‘Why don’t we sell the bally things?’ Marmaduke SnudgelyCarruthers-Smythe suggested. ‘That would solve it!’ He beamed around at the cabinet.

The PM stared at him. Slowly a frown worked his way over his forehead as the idea gradually embedded itself. Finally he shook his head. ‘No Marmaduke. Nobody would buy them. They wouldn’t be able to make a profit.’ He turned his attention to his notes.

Marmaduke SnudgelyCarruthers-Smythe looked deflated and then suddenly beamed round at everyone. ‘But I say – we could tell them that they don’t have to employ real teachers. That would cut the bally costs!’

The PM looked back up with a look of shock. The lad had come up with something. There were hundreds of businesses that would give it a go if they could turn a healthy profit.

Marmaduke SnudgelyCarruthers-Smythe somehow noticed he had the PMs attention and warmed to the theme.  ‘I know a lot of those Muslim Wallahs who’d like to run schools,’ he waited while the PM mulled it over. ‘And I just had a call from the Ku Klux Klan. They’d like a few. And the creationists. They’d jolly well like to take them off our hands.’

‘You know Marmaduke I think you’re on to something.’

See what Opher Goodwin has to say about education. He should know. He was a successful Headteacher. Probably THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK ON EDUCATION SINCE SUMMERHILL!!


Indoctrination in Illegal schools, Free Schools and Academies.

Indoctrination in Illegal schools, Free Schools and Academies.


Is this where the next Jihadists are being bred?

Is this a recipe for extremism and division in society?

I think so.

Young children are being illegally indoctrinated by Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and a variety of other cults.

As an ex-headmaster I am appalled.

Illegal Schools

There are many illegal schools set up in all manner of premises in which the only curriculum is a religious text. Instead of learning all the subjects of the national curriculum they are being brainwashed into religion. Instead of being integrated into our culture and values they are being segregated and taught hatred.

This is a scandal. The schools should be closed and the people running them and parents involved prosecuted.

Free Schools

Anyone can set up a free school. You do not require any qualifications or experience. They are being run by total amateurs. Many of them have been set up by religious groups with the sole intent of brainwashing children. What an insane idea this was!

Free schools should be subjected to the same rules, regulation and national curriculum as State schools. It is scandalous that religious bodies, incompetent staff and extreme ideologies should be allowed to ruin children’s lives.


Big business running schools for profit, religious groups tailoring the curriculum to tout their own doctrine, and dubious groups becoming involved in the education of our children? It should not be allowed to happen.

Education is not a business.

Religion has no place in schools.

We need to keep interested parties – such as the scientologists and creationists away from our children.

All schools in Britain should follow the same National Curriculum and Ofsted regime. Why are some exempt?


My beliefs – Faith Schools – How about if we had Fascist and Communist Schools?

My beliefs – Faith Schools – How about if we had Fascist and Communist Schools?


I do not believe any faith schools, Sunday schools or madrassas should be allowed by law.

I believe indoctrinating children with religion or politics is an abuse. It should be a crime.

There are many religions and institutes that are dying to get their hands on our children and fill their heads with dogma. As the Jesuits used to say ‘give me a child until the age of seven and I’ll give you the man’. Unfortunately that is true. Once the impressionable minds have been poisoned with pernicious ideology they can never break free. They are stuck with it for life.

I believe children should be free to develop. They should not be indoctrinated.

I believe parents should bring up their children in a moral background with love, tolerance and equality as the basis. They should be taught to respect all people, races, faiths and creeds.

I believe schools should concern themselves with educating children, not indoctrinating them. Religion should be taught as a subject which covers all religions factually, never giving credibility or weight to one over another. I believe atheism and humanism should be part of that curriculum and given equal weight.

I believe assemblies should never be religious. They should be moral.

I believe that when a child reaches adulthood – I would suggest at sixteen- their brains are sufficiently developed for them to handle concepts as weighty as belief. Only then should they be subjected to religious belief.

I think that is people substituted politics for religion and we had communist or fascist schools set up to instil their dogma into our children we, as a society, might have a view. For me religion is even more pervasive and pernicious.

Time to terminate Faith Schools and Madrassas!

Time to terminate Faith Schools and Madrassas!

Following David Cameron’s speech regarding the reason so many of our Muslim youth are turning to extreme, barbaric, violent ideology it is wise to look at the ways of solving the problem.

One of the main reasons identified for the turning to extremism was the lack of integration into British society and culture. Many Muslims felt excluded, threatened and marginalised. They did not know, accept or value the British values of tolerance, freedom and democracy. They felt themselves to be outsiders.

There is also the problem of indoctrination at a young age. Once an ideology is introduced at an age prior to the mind being able to assess its validity it is assimilated without being processed. This evil of indoctrination is pernicious.

Part of the answer is simple: shut the Faith Schools and Madrassas. We need our children growing up together with respect, tolerance and empathy. We need a shared set of values that goes across all faiths, races and creeds. We all need to buy in to the shared culture and contribute to its enrichment. We need inclusivity.

What we do not need is separation, isolation, differing values, and indoctrination.

If people are British they should be integrated. If they reject British values perhaps they should not be here. For Muslim children to be taken off after school to be indoctrinated is wrong. For Faith schools, including Hindu, Catholic and Protestant, to preach their ‘brand’ of religion to children too young to think is child abuse. It is as bad as the Creationists peddling their propaganda and distorted views to children.

Religion in schools is simply wrong!

Indoctrinating children is child abuse!

Education is a big part in the creation of shared values, integration, self-esteem, empathy, respect, thinking, civilised behaviour and a wider perspective. The evil suppression, misogyny, violence and barbaric intolerance of ISIS needs countering with a superior view of a harmonious, tolerant world.

Education builds a better zeitgeist.

I simply do not agree with the ridiculous idea that religion is somehow related to morally. I think ISIL, the Crusades, Inquisition, Pogroms and witch burning, to name a few of the atrocities carried out in the name of religion,  put pay to any attempt to equate religion with morality.

Education – A Passion for Education – The Story of a Headteacher

Education – A Passion for Education – The Story of a Headteacher


Education is in a mess. The whole programme of knowledge-based rote learning, teaching by numbers and tick-box over-analysis is driving good, inspirational teachers out, making our children statistics and taking us back to the 1950s.

I was responsible for three Outstanding Ofsted’s in a row, without selling out, while keeping my students at the centre of everything, producing a caring, friendly school and generating a positive, happy community.

I didn’t do that by kowtowing to Ofsted. I didn’t do that by following the standard path. I did it with a clear philosophy in which each and every one of my students were equally important.

This book tells you how, why and what that philosophy was. It is sprinkled with anecdotes that illustrate the philosophy.

I think that A Passion For Education is a good read for everyone, whether you are in education or not, and a book any teacher would find thought provoking.


Foreword                                                                                5

Chapter 1 – Headship – beginning the perfect storm and

other disasters                                                     13

Chapter 2 – More about the catastrophe at the beginning      23

Chapter 3 – Second time of asking                                         31

Chapter 4 – Relationship, ethos and philosophy                    37

Chapter 5 – The purpose of education                                    52

Chapter 6 – PSHE and drugs                                                 57

Chapter 7 – Managing people                                                 72

Chapter 8 – Relationships                                                       80

Chapter 9 – The curriculum                                                    93

Chapter 10 – Inspections                                                        100

Chapter 11 – The pastoral system                                           108

Chapter 12 – The whole child unwrapped from ‘red tape’    113

Chapter 13 – Great lessons – great teaching                           123

Chapter 14 – Knowing your students                                     133

Chapter 15 – Open doors and open minds                             141

Chapter 16 – Managing change                                              145

Chapter 17 – Work ethic and effort                                       148

Chapter 18 – Those that can’t do!                                          153

Chapter 19 – The government and politics and worst

experiences                                                      155

Chapter 20 – The tick-box culture                                          161

Chapter 21 – Assemblies                                                        165

Chapter 22 – Time management                                             167

Chapter 23 – Banding, streaming and comprehensive

education                                                        171

Chapter 24 – My early years                                                   175

Chapter 25 – Outside interests                                               178

Chapter 26 – Dealing with bullying                                        179

Chapter 27 – Grammar schools and selection             182

Chapter 28 – Restorative practice                                           186

Chapter 29 – Academies, free schools and religious

schools                                                            189

Chapter 30 – Inspirational teachers                                        192

Chapter 31 – Safeguarding and health & safety                    197

Chapter 32 – Assessment and marking                                   203

Chapter 33 – It’s the little things that count                           207

Chapter 34 – Starting school sets the tone                             211

Chapter 35 – Individuality or uniforms?                                215

Chapter 36 – Parents!!!                                                           218

Chapter 37 – Private education                                              227

Chapter 38 – Training and politicians                                     231

Chapter 39 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Head                                           238

Chapter 40 – Finance                                                              240

Chapter 41 – Publicity                                                            242

Chapter 42 – Back your staff                                                 245

Chapter 43 – Attendance                                                        247

Chapter 44 – Student Voice                                                   249

Chapter 45 – Governors                                                          250

Chapter 46 – Specialisms                                                        251

Chapter 47 – Politics and education and austerity                 253

Chapter 48 – My own classroom Ofsted inspections             256

Chapter 49 – Appointments and promotions                          257

Chapter 50 – Leadership and management                            260

Chapter 51 – The precariousness of Headship and the

tyranny Ofsted has become                            262

Chapter 52 –   How to pass an Ofsted Inspection                 266

Chapter 53 –   The future of education                                  267

Chapter 54 –   Retirement                                                      269

Appendix 1 – What qualities a Headteacher requires             271

Appendix 2 – What really works in the realm of education   273

Appendix 3 – What is neither effective nor desirable                        280

In the UK

In the USA

In India

Education – A documentary about me made by Mark Richardson – Sun Zoom Spark

Sun Zoom Spark – A Documentary Film made of me by a very talented Film Maker – Mark Richardson.

This was a film documentary made in the Summer I retired. 2011. Mark Richardson was an English teacher at my school and a talented film maker. He asked to make a documentary about me. I was very honoured.

This is a great nostalgic trip for me and a nice record of my education philosophy and thirty six year career.

Thank you so much Mark.

Click on the link below to watch the documentary:

Film Maker – Mark Richardson.

This was a film documentary made in the Summer I retired. 2011. Mark Richardson was an English teacher at my school and a talented film maker. He asked to make a documentary about me. I was very honoured.

PS – I’ve written those books, travelled and grown – but I still miss my students and colleagues.