Disapointed Idealist taught in a large London comprehensive school for eleven years. Prior to retraining to join the front line, he worked at the Department for Education for over a decade. He began by ranting about education policy below the line in the Guardian, and also on Twitter. And then realised he could write much longer and more self-indulgent rants on his blog. He has now left teaching, and spends his time involved in Labour politics on the Isle of Wight, rugby league, writing, and being a housedad.

Notes From The Cult: After EU. No, After EU

disidealist - 28 May 2019

Someone I know rather well is very much of the opinion that, unless there’s some sort of discomfort or self-denial involved in any activity, it’s not worth doing. There’s a puritanical streak in this philosophy which I recognise from teaching about the 17th Century, but initially, coming from a frankly hedonistic “if there’s chocolate on the table, eat it before anyone else does” background, I found it a bit weird and annoying. Actually, who am I trying to kid? I still find it a bit weird and annoying. However, the one advantage it offers is that events which cause intense irritation to the rest of us, make her feel nobler, even happier. So a thunderstorm on a day out is ‘bracing’; forgetting snacks on a long walk makes the food at the destination all the more deserved and enjoyable; spending hours stuck in a miserable airport somehow makes the holiday that much more fun. I have to tell you, however, that even she is struggling to find much of a redeeming silver-lining of godly sacrifice in the almighty kicking Labour got in yesterday’s EU elections....See more

Flattening The Grass: the endpoint of Govianism

disidealist - 15 February 2019

This week, both the TES and Schoolsweek rather courageously put their heads above the parapet by running stories on what has become known as the “Flattening The Grass” scandal. Essentially, some academy chains -much praised by Ofsted- have been deliberately employing a policy of humiliating their pupils, often to the point of those pupils experiencing trauma and breaking down in tears. I wrote about this spread of deliberate emotional abuse of children in a previous blog. What is worth looking at in this case, is the way the “flattening the grass” case highlights how several different strands of Govian education policy have converged to deliver the outcome which is currently appalling those adults who believe children should be safe from abuse when they attend school...See more

Democracy – not for me?

disidealist - 8 February 2019
In 2017, I was the candidate for Labour here on the Isle of Wight. One day I may share some anecdotes, but to be honest, John O’Farrell got there first, and he’s much funnier than me. Since the election, I’ve been the main spokesperson for the CLP, and since June last year, the Chair, trying to maintain our profile in the local media, and to keep the Tory council and Tory MP honest. Or at least as honest as Tories get. If Theresa May were to go for another walk and call an election, then I may well throw my hat into the ring to be considered as Labour candidate once more.

I may not be selected by the CLP though. They may choose someone else to try and topple the Tories.

The last two years have not been without difficulty. I’ve been the target of some fairly horrible abuse from some individuals on social media and email. Nothing which would make an actual MP bat an eyelid in terms of quantity, obviously, but when someone publicly calls you “a cancer”, your first reaction isn’t “oh well, at least it’s not as bad as what Jeremy Corbyn gets”. We’re all human. Except Jacob Rees-Mogg. Although there have been some threats, they’ve been relatively unthreatening threats, if that makes sense: I’ve not taken to checking under my car. Nonetheless, it’s fair to say I haven’t had this much anglo-saxon directed towards me since the last time I refereed a rugby league game....See more