Red nose?

I recognise that this has been another very difficult week for us all in schools and in college.

There’ll be no comments about the strike action taken, but I recognise that, whoever you are and whatever position you’ve taken it will not have been an easy week for you to manage. I really do hope that the professional associations and unions can make progress in their discussions with the Department for Education today and through the weekend. Here’s to hoping for a resolution which brings some closure to this period of industrial unrest, at least within the education sector.

I won’t be drifting into politics, but I will mention this week’s great giveaway. No, not the budget, you’ll draw your own conclusions and you’ll have your own views about the impact, or otherwise of that but it’s the biennial Comic Relief today. What we know about this event, and others of this ilk, is that the great British public will do what they always do and, however difficult their personal circumstances might be (financially) , we will see an enormous amount of money given to that particular charity.

It’s ever been thus. Ordinary people digging deep into their pockets to give something to others; to those who they might feel are less fortunate than themselves. I’ve got absolutely no doubt that, despite the incredibly difficult cost-of-living crisis, affecting so many people, the majority of the British public will either do something amazing or will be giving something to this incredible charity.

And we know that it’s not just Comic Relief that’s receiving money at the moment. Research seems to show that, despite the challenges that the country faces, our charitable contributions and our giving in general has not diminished.

That’s just amazing. And it’s a strong statement about what we all value and believe in.

I’m not sure, generally, what I feel about the pursuit of ‘British Values’ in schools and colleges. To a degree that phrase is too difficult to define. However, what I see in our communities are certain behaviours which evidence the values that many of us place on being part of this community, this town, and the wider country. That does not manifest itself in disagreement or hate, but as inclusivity, generosity and a warm spirit to others. Maybe they are British values.

I hope that you enjoy this evening’s telethon.


‘No one has ever become poor by giving’. Anne Frank