Tag Archives: education

Parents – don’t let your kids have their phones in their rooms at night!

sbSome things are not rocket science. How to tie shoe laces, for example – easy when you know how, obvious, in fact.  So why, oh diddly why in a recent report, have we discovered that pupils are just too tired to work at school because they have been up half the night on social media?

A study of more than 800 school children in Wales from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data (WISERD) found that one in five between the ages of 12 and 15 wake up on school nights to check social media. And it gets worse. 58% of the 12-13 year olds surveyed said they were too tired for school the next day because they had been checking their devices in the night.

Now, look, I have kids, two girls of 11 and 13 and, naturally, they have phones, and yes, they use them to keep in touch with friends. But – and this is the cruncher – a) they are not allowed yet on social media and crucially, CRUCIALLY, they are not, repeat NOT allowed any devices in their rooms overnight. End of. Because, see,  give a kid a phone, and they’ll look at it. Heck, you give an adult their phone and they’re on it every two sneaky

3 out of 5 children have used a social network by the age of 10, in a survey of 8-10 year olds
3 out of 5 children have used a social network by the age of 10, in a survey of 8-10 year olds

seconds – I am, you are, we all are. That’s why we have to have rules. No phones in the room at night for our children means they won’t look at them – it really is that easy.

So parents, listen up  – you are in charge, you have the veto card here – play it. No phones in the room at night. You know, like a comfy pair of shoes for that long walk home, it makes sense. This ain’t rocket science. It’s just simple, essential parenting.

Got an opinion? Post your comment below.

Imagine if your education was taken away

UnknownHands up if you liked school? What’s that? Not many hands? If you didn’t fancy school that much, chances are you’re from a comfortable westernised country where school is taken for granted and hating it is the norm. And why not? Go ahead, fill your boots – hating school as a kid is like a right of passage.

But, just for a second, imagine this: what if school was taken away? What if you, as a female, for example, were told that, because of your gender, school was not an option? Or imagine if  your country were thrown into a brutal war and for your children, say, school was impossible to attend, in fact, even day to day normal living was nearly impossible and the only option you are left with is to flee your homeland to search for the safety of another. Only to be told to go away.

Today is International Literacy Day and in the wake of the European refugee crisis, the poignancy of literacy and the opportunity it provides has never seemed more relevant. Literacy, see, comes through schooling, but not all children have the chance to attend school. Syria’s oppressive regime, war and economic sanctions, have meant many children are denied what we here see as a right: the right to education. And take Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen just for going to school. 

We owe it to these children to have a better outlook, here in the west, on education, to regard the opportunities we have with respect and truly understand that, what we take as regular, normal – boring even – others see as the pinnacle of what life is about: ambition, learning, literacy. A chance, basically, at a good and full life.

So today on International Literacy Day let’s all pause to think about those children – boys & girls- who through violent war, oppression and economic strain cannot attend school. And how different it is to our own lives. And how damn lucky we are.

What do you think? Join in and comment below.

Gazette column: Faith schools are discriminatory

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about faith schools in the UK and how it’s now time to question their role in the state education system, and whether, in reality, they are discriminatory.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: It’s time we let our kids play outside more

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about playing out and how, in the light of a new initiative in Dursley to get kids playing outside more, parents should switch off the X-Boxes and get their children outdoors.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Why we all have a responsibility to #bringbackourgirls

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the kidnapping of the 230 Nigerian schoolgirls and how all of us, world-wide have a responsibility to demand that action be taken to bring them back to their parents. Because the more we speak up, the less devastating crimes like this will happen again. Ever.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

Want to get involved? You can join the campaign on Twitter by tweeting using #bringbackourgirls. You can also sign a petition demanding their return at www.change.org

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: The Centre Parcs advert ban & the case of thinking for ourselves

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the recent Centre Parcs advert ban and how, as a nation, we do actually have the ability to think for ourselves.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Parents! Park better outside schools

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about parking by some parents outside schools and how, with the escalation of irresponsible driving, if they are not careful, a child will get hurt.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Give schools more money – it’s simple maths

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about school funding and how, if the government gave schools a lot more money, everyone would benefit. It’s not rocket science, it’s just simple maths.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**