Author: Col

I currently work as a market intelligence analyst at a local FE college in Cumbria. Previously I was a supply teacher who mainly worked in primary but also secondary and SEN schools across the west and north of Cumbria and throughout Greater Manchester. When not working I enjoy photography, reading a range of fiction and non fiction and, just occasionally, writing. I mostly enjoy writing about technology and education although I also dabble in the odd political rant when the mood strikes.

A question of leadership

I’ve always believed that politics should be about policies not personalities. Yet it seems this is a minority view not shared by many. Increasingly our elections focus on the person. This is particularly true in today’s social media driven world where an opinion about someone often bar no resemblance to the actual person. So let’s look at the two people who, relistically, have a chance to become PM tomorrow.  (more…)


Opinion: Time to end the cycle of hate

Once again Britain has been the victim of a terrorist attack. Its the second in two weeks and the third one, in the UK, this year. As usual social media is full of comments ranging from ‘we will not be overcome’ to ‘don’t blame Islam’ to ‘ban all religions now’.  To be fair some of these comments are understandable in a time when people are just trying to make sense of what is going on. But they all miss the point. (more…)

Opinion: Lowering the voting age

In recent weeks the issue of lowering the voting age has risen its head again. This must come up almost every general election. At the moment you need to be 18 to vote. The Conservatives have no plans to lower this age, Labour say they will lower it to 16. Some argue that this doesn’t go far enough and the voting age should be 16. In this blog post I look at the pros and cons of lowering the voting age and suggest possible reasons why Theresa May, or other party leaders, might not have done this in the past. (more…)

A Readers Survey

The Art of Tutoring

One of the biggest issues for Supply Teachers is a lack of work, particularly over a holiday time, leading to financial hardship. Many supply teachers struggle financially and need a second income to support their supply teaching work. But finding a job which would fit in with your supply teacher role can be difficult. Private tutoring could be the answer, however there are a few things to consider first.

Supply Teaching- getting work

Once you’ve made the decision, for whatever reason, to do supply teaching the most important question is how to actually get work? A quick google search will bring up any number of supply teaching agencies operating in your area but there is no guarantee that any of them will get you work. It would be tempting to sign up with all of them but this is would increase the amount of work you get and may actually be counterproductive. Agencies in a particular area tend to know each other and will soon suss out whether you are signed up with multiple agencies. Meaning they will contact those on their books who they know are more likely to be available rather than those who might not.  So how do you get more work?


A parent’s guide to staying safe online

This article was originally published December 2015 in Egremont2Day newspaper and has been updated and reproduced here in support of Safer Internet Day. 

While some parents may consider themselves good with technology a surprising number admit to having a lack of knowledge when it comes to keeping their children safe online.  According to figures produced by Ofcom and quoted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) of those homes in which children have access to the internet almost half of parents (48%) with children in the 5 to 15 age range think they know less about the internet than their children do – this rises to 70% of parents of 12-15 year old, In addition 33% of children age 12 to 17 claim their parents do not know what they do online (Ofcom 2011).

Supply teaching- is it for me?

There are many reasons for becoming a supply teacher, each different depending on your own personal circumstances. For some people that reason could be a lack of finding a permanent job once qualified. This may even be a deliberate decision as a recent graduate may just not feel ready to own a class or want more experience. For others it might be wanting a better home/work life balance or even that they just don’t enjoy ‘owning’ their own class room. The one thing that no one should do though is to choose supply teaching because it is easier than ‘normal’ teaching. There are many things to consider before taking the decision to become a supply teacher and this blog post will hopefully give an insight into the sorts of things you need to consider before taking the next step into the world of supply. (more…)

Building Bridges not Walls

I’ve long been a fan of TED, and TEDx but this was the first time that someone who I consider a friend was giving one of the talks.

Educationalist and freelance Writer Ken Powell gave the talk at the most recent TEDx Whitehaven event earlier this year. His theme was ‘Why we need to embrace the Global Village’

Ken started his talk wearing a skirt. Which, to be honest, when he confided via Facebook that he was going to do this I was a little concerned. Was it just a gimmick? Would the message, or theme of his talk be over shadowed by his choice of apparel? Needless to say I needed have worried, and probably should have known better.