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…

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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?

The teaching of politics in schools.

The teaching of politics in schools.

A passion for education cover

Schools run scared of teaching politics because they might be accused of being partisan. That is ridiculous. It never stops them when it comes to religion.

We have generations of adults who have limited understanding of what political parties stand for, how they were founded, who they represent, the history of the social struggles that took place and the value of democracy.

I believe this is wrong.

The teaching of politics is fundamental to the education of all adults. If you do not understand what philosophy lies behind a political view you are not in a position to understand the glib propaganda put out by the political parties to get you to vote for them.

In a democracy it is essential that people are well informed, educated and knowledgeable. Otherwise they become cynically manipulated.

For this reason I would have a clear and unbiased syllabus that clarifies the philosophy of the parties, their formation, history and raison d’etre. I would ensure every child leaves school knowing what the parties represent and able to see which fits with their own philosophy.

They should be fully aware of all the major events that have led to our one person/one vote democracy and the major events in our struggle for social equality, rights, freedoms and justice.

I have a good grasp on all that.

My overriding philosophy has always been freedom, justice and equality. I believe in fairness.

That is why I vote Labour. It is also why I will vote for Jeremy Corbyn and not for the psuedoTories who have taken over the Labour Party. I do not want watered down toryism.

Anecdote – Education – A tale of parents and me

Anecdote – Education – A tale of parents and me


Education – A tale of parents and me

I am the first person in my family, from either side, to have gained a University Degree.

It seems to me that keeping a population ignorant makes them easier to control.

I come from working class stock. One of my grandfathers was a meat porter in Smithfield market. The other was a meter reader for the water board.

My father was very clever. He passed his exams to go to the Grammar School. His parents refused to allow him. They could not afford his uniform. He left school at fourteen to go to work and bring his pay packet home. He joined up in the army to fight in Italy in the Second World War. As an adult he took courses and became an ace typist that enabled him to gain a career in Fleet Street on the newspapers. He achieved a middle management post in charge of a telephone reporters’ office.

My mother’s education effectively ended at the age of eleven when she became ill and was sent off to the seaside for a long convalescence. On returning she was deemed to have missed too much and placed in the ‘Remove’ class. This was effectively a class for those with extreme learning difficulties. As soon as the teacher found my mother could read and write she set her to work helping the other students. In those days the class sizes were fifty five plus. My mum became a teacher’s aide. She took a group of students and taught them. She never escaped from that Remove class. She was too useful. Her own education was brought to a halt.

Like my father my mother later took courses and achieved a high level of expertise in typing and short-hand that enabled her to have a career up until she had babies.

My parents believed in education. They knew it was a passport to a better way of life. To be educated gave you the qualifications, skills and outlook to gain a superior way of life. You had a choice of more fulfilling careers, greater earning power and social mobility. More importantly it opens your mind to more options and greater horizons. It gives you confidence and your life more colour.

I believe education is the long term answer to ignorance such as religious fundamentalism. An educated mind questions. An ignorant mind accepts.

My life has been transformed by the education my family afforded me. I gained the qualifications to go into teaching and become a Headteacher – a career that put me in contact with lively idealistic young minds and proved extremely fulfilling. It opened my mind to question the world, appreciate its beauty, to write, read, travel and meet extraordinary people.

I am grateful for my upbringing. They gave me love, freedom and education. The never tried to indoctrinate me with their politics or religion.

I am who I am because of it.

I often wonder how far my gifted parents would have gone if they had education behind them? They were victims of poverty and the class system that prevented them achieving what they were capable of.

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)

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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.

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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.

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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!!


Anecdote – A favourite teacher – someone who changes your life.

Anecdote – A favourite teacher – someone who changes your life.


A favourite teacher

They say that everyone has a favourite teacher, someone who they had a special relationship with who changed their life. I’m lucky (or greedy). I have a number of them.

My really special teacher was a certain Mr Tranter. He’d never know the impact he had on me. I must have only spoken to him a few times and he rarely actually taught me, but I watched him, listened to him and was greatly affected by him.

Mr Tranter was an individual. He came to our school when I was seventeen, taught Rural Science, and left fairly quickly. He was ridiculed by most of my friends who could not handle his eccentricity. I loved it.

Our Rural Science department had sheds, animals and vegetable gardens. The animals included a pig, some chickens and a sheep. The vegetable gardens had a range of vegetables. They were tended by the students under the supervision of Mr Tranter.

Mr Tranter appeared with his casual clothes and a bike. The first thing he did was to declare that his bike was common property, anybody could borrow. This created such a stir among the students who immediately pounced on this as weakness, took to riding it about the school and dumping it in obscure places. Mr Tranter didn’t seem fazed. He calmly retrieved it and carried on.

The rumour was that he lived in the shed with the chickens. I don’t think that was true. Later there was a rumour that he was responsible for the early return of the French Assistant who was no longer menstruating. That might have been true.

That might have been it. He might never have really reached me if it had not been for a rainy Wednesday afternoon.

I was seventeen. I was full of Kerouac, angst, hormones and Rock Music. I was the long-haired rebel. In the 6th Form all the sixth formers were prefects except me. They had duties to perform. They had a Prefect’s Room to play around in. I was not deemed suitable to be a Prefect. That suited me fine. I was banned from the Prefect’s Room so I had no place to go. I had time, because of the lack of duties, so I hung around chatting up the girls. Seemed a good deal to me.

On Wednesday afternoons the Headteacher organised a series of talks from outside speakers. On that rainy day it had obviously gone wrong. Perhaps the speaker had not turned up?

I had just watched a documentary about Donovan the night before. It had made an impression on me. It was an attempt to show his life before fame. He was rambling around the Scottish islands with Gypsy Davey and revisiting those days. I had been enraptured. It seemed to knit in with Kerouac. This was closer to my vision for the future. Rambling round seemed to have far more attraction than a boring career.

So I was ripe.

For some reason the Headteacher had thought that Mr Tranter might like a platform to express his views. We were his audience. I’m still not sure that the Head knew what he was opening us up to.

Mr Tranter bewitched me. He started by telling us he was only working at the school for a short time. He was working in order to earn money. That money was being used to build a boat. He and his friend were attending a course on boat building and another on navigation. They were building their own boat with the intention of heading off around the world. They were planning to work bars, take any casual job they could, and drift around the planet.

I was enthralled.

He then proceeded to tell us about his life prior to arriving at our school.

Mr Tranter had left school with a bunch of qualifications. That should have propelled him to university and a career. It didn’t. He chose a different route.

Back then in 1965/66 people didn’t drop out. The whole antiestablishment view was nascent and confined to a tiny minority. Everyone was heavily in to Rock/Pop music and the fashions that went with it but few were sold on an alternative lifestyle.

Mr Tranter told us about his years of freedom.

He had rented a hut on Box Hill in Surrey. To pay the rent he had taken a paper round. Every morning he got up with the sun and delivered newspapers. The rest of the day was his. He cultivated vegetables that he ate and bartered for other needs. When he needed something more he did odd jobs.

He had time to think, to read and socialise.

It sounded idyllic to me.

I think that hour had more impact on me than anything else.

All my friends came out thinking he was a nutter. But for me I could see the beauty of it all. Life was an adventure. You had to seize it and make the most of it. It made me question what the purpose of my life was.

Mr Tranter opened up my mind to all possibility. That’s real education.

What a teacher! He certainly affected me.

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?


Anecdote – Thrown out of my O Levels

Anecdote – Thrown out of my O Levels

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Thrown out of my O Levels

The O Level exams were the big exams at the end of the Fifth Form (Year 11). They were the important ones, as important as A Levels. Universities used the grades you achieved at sixteen as an indicator of your future potential.

I’m not sure they were any indication of my potential. I was in an extremely difficult class where learning was not anywhere near as important as fighting or as much fun as winding the teacher up. I had made it a religion not to do homework and had not produced a shred for three years. I’d found that as long as I kept my head down I went unnoticed. The teachers had enough on their plate trying to keep order in the classroom. My twin interests were girls and Rock Music. I hadn’t yet discovered Beat poetry or serious literature. My world revolved around discussing Rock and Blues, chatting up the girls and deciding which party to go to at the weekend. Peripheral to that were my hair, beard and clothes. I liked to look right. Unfortunately these preoccupations tended to bring me into conflict with a numbers of teachers and the school hierarchy. They were busy trying to hold back the tide with a flood barrier and I was making waves. The school thought that my carefully nurtured appearance was a scruffy mess. I thought it was a triumph of individuality and expression of my underlying ethos.

My parents were in despair they thought my long hair, anti-establishment attitude and casual attitude towards my studies were going to prove detrimental to my future career. They were right. I seemed to enjoy making it difficult for myself. I despised fitting in. I always have and always will.

Even so I managed to achieve. I always did enough to get by and that infuriated some of the teachers no end. They liked the ones who played the game and worked hard. They thought I did not deserve any success. Once again they were probably right.

On the first day of my O Level exams I thought I’d try it on. Instead of donning the requisite school uniform I put on my black hipsters, and Cuban heeled Chelsea boots. I fluffed up my shoulder length hair and wore my denim shirt with button-down collars. There were a few young ladies I was out to impress. I can’t say my mind was fully focussed on the forthcoming maths exam.

The basis of my mind-set was that the O Levels were too important for them to kick up much of a fuss. I might get bawled at but they’d let it go.

I was not taking Mr Morrell into account. He hated my guts. His ethos and my ethos snarled at each other whenever we met. He hated seeing me hanging around with the prettiest girls. He hated my long hair. He hated the fact that I always came top in his Biology exams despite the fact that he knew that I did no work at all. It was personal. We did not exactly see eye to eye.

It was just my luck that he happened to be on duty that day when I walked in. He was a bit of a coward. Rather than confront me himself he called the Headteacher over and complained, pointing out the rules and regulations. The Head was left with no choice but to send me home to get changed. I missed half an hour of my Maths exam.

I scraped through. I managed seven passes, all grade C with just one B in Biology.

I bet that rankled. I would have loved to have gone back as a Headteacher to meet up with Mr Morrell. I’m sure he would have loved to see that I had turned out successful after all. I’m certain he would.

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