Day out in London


Originally uploaded by deadheaduk.

Been up to London today – took my camera but didn’t get a chance to take many pictures except a couple of shots of Big Ben on my way back to Victoria. No sooner had I got my camera out than the batteries went but luckily I had a spare set with me.

The picture I took was through the trees in Parliament Square which gave the picture a rather strange feel to it.

We don’t need no education

Schools and in particular Grammar schools have been driving me mad in the last 24 hours. Firstly I went with my daughter to a local Grammar school (for boys) to attend a sixth form open evening. The school itself struck me as being very stuck in the past – they expect the Sixth formers to wear school uniform for example and you can almost imagine the Headmaster wielding a cane!! It was also very drab and very little was on display in the corridors. The thing that annoyed me, and Sarah noticed this too, was that whenever my daughter talked to anyone they assumed that she was from the girls grammar school over the road. When she pointed out that she attended a local non selective school you could see the look of disdain on their faces. Almost a “then what are you doing here” look. I don’t know if she’ll get the grades she needs to get in there but top marks to her as far as I’m concerned for trying. 

The aforementioned girl’s grammar is where one of the other daughters is a pupil. We had a letter from her school regarding her attendance. Apparently her attendance has slipped below 90% which, in their experience, has a detrimental effect on her grades (she’s in year 8!). Also if her attendance slips further they will inform the educational welfare officer.  The reason we’re unhappy is this. The time that she has had off which is causing the problem is the time we took off to go to Australia in December. Now we wrote to the school in March last year about this and permission was granted for us to take her out of school. So we phoned the school and eventually the head of her house returned my call. She pointed out that there had been four absences in the last four weeks as well. These turned out to be actually only two, when she was ill, and one day where the school had left it to our discretion as to whether she attended because of the snow. I was told that she shouldn’t have any more time off school!! I don’t get it and I’m afraid the head of year simply dug her heals in and quoted Government targets at me – just doing her job etc.

I was told that I should consider sending her in if she was “just a bit unwell” rather than keep her off. I pointed out that I went through this with my eldest daughter – being told she had had too much time off school ill and the complaining when I sent her in and she was ill at school. I’m not sure what we are supposed to do. The statistics have been lowered by the time off over Christmas and won’t go back up again. We won’t send her to school if she’s ill because the school will ring us up and insist we go and pick her up. This means I have to come home from work (about an hour) or Sarah has to drag Ben across town to get her – missing work herself. 

I’m told that the absence will affect her grades – she gets A’s and B’s in most subjects so I can’t see it myself. It annoys me that the school constantly knocks the girls when they are doing well. She worked like crazy to catch up when we came back from Oz – it seems that A* in all subjects still won’t be good enough for them.  

Targets and league tables is all they care about!!


Edited to add: I re-read the letter from the school and it contained at least one gramatical error!!

Brave new blog

 Ok when I went to upload the picture in the blog below to my other blog yesterday I got a message saying I had almost ran out of storage and gave me two options. Firstly I could delete some old stuff – which I’m loathe to do or alternatively I can pay to use the blog and get more storage. I turned the options over in my mind and neither appealed.

I could of course start a new blog at and keep the same contacts but I decided that I didn’t start the blog to have people comment on it – although it’s nice when they do of course. So I remembered that I had set up this one and decided to revisit it.

The only problem was that I couldn’t upload pictures to it. The entry below was done via Flickr and the photo is stored over on that site. I e-mailed the tech people at complia and they said I needed to check my permissions which I did and they were ok. I then had another go and guess what it worked so here is a picture to prove it!

South Park Kev

So I think I will just put up a blog full sign over there and continue over here! Afterall I’m paying for this space to host my website so I might as well use it. I also like the webpress look after I saw it on David Gans GDhour blog.

 Grateful Dead Hour