Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Where am I headed to? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea. A cynic, an idealist, a person with ideas, but NATO. Am I? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bloob Bloob

i distinctively recall moments where i have flashes of interesting things which i cld blog abt. not quite genius, but at least things which wld make for interesting reads. and i remember telling myself, i've got to blog those things, or write it down somewhere. and when i actually hv time/access to a laptop, i forget what it was that i had thought about. i wonder whether this goldfish syndrome is a sign of old age?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


right. i've left updating this blog for far too long.

but now i have a bit more time. at least for the next couple of months so i hope to start writing more. not that i'll be writing any great pieces of work, bure would be more like random stream of consciousness about various subjects which are close to my heart... or anything that pops into my mind, or pique my interest, or irritate me. so... well... if there is still anyone reading... watch this space for more! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

“You won't improve schools by mixing the bad with the good”

Following is an article from some UK newspaper (I can't remember which one exactly...). The bolded parts resonated greatly with me...

ANY SUCCESSFUL school will know that a good reputation is hard won and easily lost. Such schools will thus be very wary of Schools Secretary Ed Balls's warning that good state schools face being marked down by Ofsted, the inspections watchdog, if they do not take part in mergers or federations with poor schools.

According to Mr Balls, the “best education providers are to provide chains of schools run by a single overall leadership, with a shared brand, with some shared management and governance, with a shared ethos and identity”. This is why he is proposing that the cap on heads' salaries of £120,000 be lifted for heads who add neighbouring schools to their portfolios.

A few years ago, in west London, it was suggested that the Church of England high school that I was running could establish an “annex” to help the local authority to increase its secondary school places. Places in a church school would have been easier to sell; it was a popular brand. I declined, for I had taught in a split-site school, which is what Mr Balls wants to create, and I would not impose this on my staff. It was pointed out that, with a larger “school” to run, my deputies and I would be entitled to larger salaries; but for my staff there would only have been the difficulties and frustrations of trying to work effectively in two separate communities.
Mr Balls is proposing management by threat. That's all he can do, for, ambitious headteachers apart, few people will see the benefits of such proposals. But if he implements this madness, he will destroy what little trust remains in publicly funded education.

He is also confused about the nature of education and its provision. He uses the language of edu-babble, condemned only last week for its ability to disguise and confuse. He assumes that a human institution can be run like a distribution centre, dispatching cereals and tins of beans, inanimate materials that, conveniently, will not react adversely when mishandled.

Who are these educational providers of whom he speaks? Parents who teach their children to read and to listen and to treat their fellows as worthy of concern and consideration? Teachers in a classroom with real children doing their best when they aren't ticking boxes or trying to digest the latest government directives? Does he have in mind volunteers, who teach all manner of useful and constructive things in organisations for young people? Other adults, employers of young people at weekends and during holidays? Or does he mean some sort of business that would be as happy to “deliver” education as easily as they deliver self-assembly furniture? Talk of delivering education suggests that the stuff has simply to be packed up in the back of a truck and driven off to a lucky school somewhere near you.

To put it bluntly, Mr Balls proposes an even larger burden of school management to be financed, motivated and rewarded. Teachers are easily rewarded and easily motivated. Just allow them to get on with teaching most kids without the need to provide tick-box support to the non-teaching managerial pyramid that needs constantly to justify its existence, and see that a few words of thanks and praise reach them from time to time. Balls says that his plans would ensure that “no pupil is abandoned”. Does he not realise that a considerable number of them are abandoned before they get anywhere near school?

Turn it upside down, Mr Balls. Start at the bottom, in the homes into which children are born. Look to the parents for your leadership, your inspiration and sense of burden of responsibility. But you daren't, like most politicians. You find it much easier to play silly buggers at the top of the pile, with fewer individuals who can be more easily managed with money than with parents whose children are let down so badly - by them and by the rest of us.

The trouble is that we believe that educational supply chains can be switched on from Whitehall by a directive from the Secretary of State and responsibility passed on to some NGO, like Edexel, for instance. In such a mad, mad world, who will children be able to sue if this plan fails them?

Peter Inson is a former headteacher and the author of the novel 'dunno'.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Perfectly imperfect

i know this has been out for a while... but something today triggered a memory of it and i realised that i've not posted this before. i think this must be one of the more better govt adverts made. not sure whether it'll actually be successful in getting more people to set up families... but it's nonetheless a touching advert.


Sunday, July 05, 2009


received a message from someone today which made my day. and reaffirmed my desire to go back to my old job.

one and a half more years left...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Give me a Break

i know i'm lagging behind... but i've only recently started to be hooked on Prison Break. the season that's being shown on tv now. and by that i mean the non-cable type.

i think i'm drawn to how the motley crew of people come up with cunning schemes to outwit their advesaries, beating the odds to accomplish ludicrously difficult tasks. i guess i just like rooting for the davids in their fight against the goliaths.

but one thing i cannot understand. why is it that Michael have to always be the one performing all the critical things? he has this big ass tumour in his head which causes him to have fits, making him not able to see clearly, walk properly etc. doesn't he know that he is a liability if he has to be in situations which is physically strenuous? sure. he's the genius, the one with all the ideas, the person with all the great plans. all the more he should plan it such that someone else gives Don the sucker punch and takes Scylla. not him.

of course, one could say that it's all for plot development. if linc had been the one to take out Don, then that would be the end of the show. so Michael had to be the one. so that, just at the right moment, Michael has one of his attacks and Don takes back Scylla. i.e. more drama.

but are there people who are really like that? who think themselves to be so indispensible that even when they acquire some deficiency, become somehow impaired because of injury or old age or disease or something, they still put themselves in a key position which requires them to operate as if there is nothing wrong with them and thereby jeopardizing the entire team and compromising the mission.

i suppose there are probably people like that around... these people should learn to take a break. let someone else take over. move on to something else which is not affected by their acquired deficiencies and plan for other people to pick up the slack.

heh... i just realised something... what started out as a very innocent post could be read to imply something rather politically sensitive. but... honestly, i swear. i really meant for this entry to refer to nothing else other than Prison Break...

argh. better stop now...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random Thoughts

Jeremy had this as his MSN nick thing: "Bangkok rocks".

to which my comment was: "yes... bangkok rocks and that would be ok. but if rocks bangkok... now that would certainly hurt."