WHEN I was a ten-year-old schoolgirl, I was obsessed with learning my times tables, playing with my Sindy dollhouse, and nagging my mom for a new ra-ra dress.
Writing to Maggie Thatcher about skyrocketing unemployment and the miners’ strike after watching a bit of John Craven’s Newsround really wasn’t my thing.
So I was surprised to read this week that children aged 10 and 11 at Welbeck Primary School in Nottingham had proudly posted eloquent photos on Twitter addressed to their local MP calling on the Prime Minister to step down.
A 6 year letter included unemployment figures, economic information and quotes from PMQ, adding: ‘He is a hypocrite and can no longer be trusted as our leader and he should resign, because the country is not in good hands.”
What absolute geniuses – ten-year-olds discussing politics and pretending to be ‘enraged’ and ‘furious’ at the evil Boris Johnson, who ‘lied’ to them.
The headmaster said the children chose to write the MP’s letters after watching Newsround and were encouraged to express their thoughts as part of a topic on democracy.
But then it turned out that the school was run by a chef who hated the Tories. Rebecca Gittins made no secret of her allegiance.
She once ranted on Twitter: “This government is taking us back decades #ToryScum.”
She deleted it. So you would think she would have learned her own lesson. But clearly not.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised at all of this.
After all, before the last general election, a Times Educational Supplement survey showed that 80% of school teachers planned to support Labor or the Lib Dems.
Then it was claimed that these prejudices carried over to their young and impressionable students. Judging by Welbeck Primary School, this is clearly the case.
It is shameful. Teachers should leave their political views at the school gates or quit their jobs.
Fortunately, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi seems to agree: “No school should encourage young people to pin their colors to a political flagpole.”
Parents lambasted teachers, accusing them of “indoctrinating” children.
A deputy said they should be fired. I agree. If they can’t keep their political views to themselves, they shouldn’t be in class.
What really worries me, though, is how many other schools are doing this.
Don’t get me wrong, it really matters.
The children have been through quite a difficult time over the past two years due to Covid, from home schooling to isolation and the death of people they love.
They must be fed and educated. They don’t need to deal with partisan politics.
They don’t deserve to be told by a teacher what political views they should have. They don’t need to be weaponized in the political aftermath of Covid.
Children should be children.
There are obviously many wonderful teachers out there and they have had to endure some of the toughest working conditions imaginable under Covid, but the bad apples bring their work into disrepute.
Teaching was once a vocation. Now it is often chosen as a profession as it is a practical safety net for graduates.
The benefits are good. They are paid more than nurses, get more vacation time, and enjoy some of the most generous pensions in the country.
And they should be. They teach the next generation of politicians and prime ministers.
Maybe they should remember the old adage, “No one forgets a good teacher.”
Because no one forgets a bad one either.
Paul is stuck in 2005
SHE may be 95, but our Queen proved just how fashion-forward she is by announcing that Camilla will one day be Queen Consort.
Unlike some royal critics this week.
Her decision was backed by Prince Charles and reportedly backed by Prince William.
Obviously, Prince Harry has kept the schtum about his mother-in-law because he has a huge chip on his shoulder about the royal family that daily meditation clearly doesn’t sort out.
Some people used words like “divorced” and “mistress” as if we were living in the dark ages.
Former royal butler Paul Burrell, who last worked for the royal family a million years ago, spoke.
He went on the Lorraine TV show saying how “sad” he was for those “devoted to the memory of Princess Diana”, who were told in 2005 that Camilla would never want to be queen.
Stop. When? Yes, 2005.
Almost two decades ago when Charles and Camilla married and before she did years of what the Queen described as ‘loyal service’.
Paul, you must step into the modern world as our very old monarch – and do Princess Diana’s memory a favor too.
Brekkie dance beat my cup of tea
WISH I was more like Stacey Dooley.
She and her partner Kevin Clifton enjoy a five-minute dance before starting their day.
Me and the Geordie usually start with a coffee.
AFTER dabbled in football and photography, Brooklyn Beckham now has his own online cooking show called Cookin’ With Brooklyn.
It’s clearly not Uncle Gordon yet because he needs 62 food experts to film him making a . . . sandwich.
Mum Victoria, who has eaten the same meal of grilled fish and steamed vegetables for 25 years, said: ‘Now you can cook for me too brooklynbeckham! I like that, I like you.
What I would love – and I bet thousands of others – would love to see her eat a carb-laden sarnie.
I wonder how many experts it would take to achieve this?
A pattern of bad rolling
I LOVE Greggs – and every time I get home to the North East, I blow whatever diet I’m on and treat myself to a corned beef bake.
(This delicious fat-and-baking mix isn’t for sale in the South.)
But this week, I discovered that you can have too much of a good thing.
It has been announced that Greggs is launching a clothing collection at Primark and opening a cafe in the fashion chain’s Birmingham store.
Then I went shopping at my local Tesco and found that Greggs had taken over as well. The deli counter has been abandoned to make way for a mini Greggs.
My two year old almost jumped off the cart and screamed for a sausage roll.
Obviously, I did the weak parent thing because I hate being looked at.
But I won’t be returning anytime soon because with such temptations it’s no surprise that kids are getting so overweight they’d struggle to fit into a Primark t-shirt.
Respect for Gemma
GEMMA Collins has just filmed a documentary that reveals she secretly self-harmed for years.
The rate of self-harm among young people is skyrocketing and the reality TV star knows that some of them could well be part of her three million social media followers.
Gemma’s decision to help others and discuss something she’s been hiding for 20 years is a brave decision.
The GC deserves respect.
SCIENTISTS conducted a test to see which dogs pick up the most mud.
They asked the owners to take three long walks, then weighed the mud they cleaned up.
The Yorkshire terrier was declared the dirtiest and the top ten included the Great Dane, Labrador, Cockapoo, Chihuahua and Lhasa Apso.
I’m amazed the drooling, playful boxer isn’t up there.
I feel like I spent half my life cleaning the mud off my dog Layla.
HAPPY Mondays star Bez has apologized as he feels embarrassed to be kept on TV show Dancing On Ice as top skaters are rejected.
He says, “I feel guilty, especially when you know the people who got rejected are actually better than you.”
I know it’s a skating competition, but who cares?
None of his rivals could float across the ice on a pair of giant maracas, wearing hard hats, to play with support skaters dressed as watermelon slices.
So keep voting for him. He is an absolute joy to watch.