Never stop fighting!

13th June to 15th June

I have a confession to make! I haven’t been keeping on top of my blog postings, but in the last couple of days (which was not in this date range!) I have had several people ask what is happening with the blog so it would seem that there is some interest in what I have to say, what a thrill that is, plus compliments on my style of writing.

So, here we are and I am trying go backwards and remember what has happened over a month ago….wish me luck!

The battle continues where academies are concerned. There are so many things that people don’t understand about the whole academy arena and the ofsted ratings. Now I don’t know a lot about academies but I think I know more than a lot of people, here are just a few things that I have learnt along the way:

  1. Local Education Authorities will not intervene in academies unless a child is in danger. Don’t quote me but I think it has to be physical danger cos they certainly weren’t interested when I called them about the mental distress of my daughter.
  2. An outstanding Ofsted report certainly isn’t what you think it is. So, for example did you know that if a school doesn’t have a Sports Hall it will never be outstanding? I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush as me but I didn’t look at any Ofsted reports when I picked the school for my children I simply believed that it was outstanding so it must have been the best.
  3. Outstanding schools are only inspected every 7 years. This is one of the most shocking things I have heard. In my humble opinion 7 years is a very long time in the live of a school. The only way a school can get Ofsted inspected in the mean time is if parents can get one triggered.
  4. If you have an issue with an academy the only option you have is to follow the internal complaints procedure of the academy. If you aren’t then happy with the outcome you have the option to go to a stage 2 complaint but remember that the investigation into the complaint is often carried out by a fellow teacher.
  5. Academies are funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and they are, in theory, the final point where you can file a complaint about how your academy is performing. Except…they are only interested in whether the complaints procedure has been followed.
  6. Academies can employ teachers who aren’t qualified even one’s that haven’t been to university and are teaching technical subjects like maths etc. Academies are only judged on the results they achieve and they’re Ofsted report (which remember is only carried out every 7 years). To put this in context a school could have an outstanding Ofsted report, then employ a whole load of unqualified teachers and, unless there is a staggering change in the result, the school could continue that way for at least 7 years

That’s enough for now. If you want to know more about academies then just add a comment and I will get back to you. Of course if you think I am totally wrong and academies are brilliant then it would be great to hear that too!

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A normal week?????

15th to 17th May

Woke up on Monday feeling like I hadn’t had much of a weekend. I think I am permanently busy but always manage to feel like I have had a weekend. But when I woke up on Monday morning it felt like I hadn’t had a break. It was a busy but worthwhile meeting.

I have been listening to an amazing book this week and it has really made me up my game with my plan B. The audio book I have been listening to is The Flip Flop CEO¬†and it is a pretty awesome book to listen to if you are part of a network marketing business. When you are an Arbonne consultant you often get people looking down their nose at you as they just write it off as a pyramid scheme (and I confess that I thought exactly tpyramid_scamhe same in the past). This book is far better at explaining it than I am but basically, not only did pyramid schemes become illegal years ago, but they are alos prevalent in every business in the world. Think about your own place of work, assuming it isn’t a network marketing organisation (!) then there will be a CEO at the top of the ladder and several roles of management beneath them. As you go down the different levels of management there will be more and more people. If you draw that organisation on a piece of paper it would from a triangle, in other words….a pyramid! However in Arbonne you are actively encouraged to develop people in your team to help them grow or as Arbonne call it “as wide as you are deep”, effectively a group of squares….no triangles here! If my posts about Arbonne have made you think about Arbonne as your plan B (or even plan A!) then have a listen to this book.

I, along with several other parents, continue to fight the impact of Academies on the education system in the UK. I am not going to use this blog as a political platform but I urge anyone to look into exactly what being an academy means.

I didn’t do much exercise last week, doesn’t life just sometime take over all your good intentions, but I have been back at the gym this week. Just plodding away on the treadmill trying to get to the elusive 5k for the planned run on 5th June.

Still not had any alcohol altough due to being in Coventry on Saturday I didn’t manage to get to Slimming World. My lovely mum has been bringing my lunches into the office to make sure that I stick to the straight and narrow. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her! Not having sugar is getting harder and harder but Scarlett did say that she thought I was looking thinner woo hoo!!