This election has coincided with me being more ill than I can ever remember. A dose of real flu, the sort of uncontrollable-shivering-sweat-dripping-eyeball-aching-nearly-passing-out kind of flu which has made me, perhaps for the first time, genuinely question my mortality. As a result, I suspect I’m quite unique amongst non-Tories in that the election result couldn’t make me feel worse than I already did.
Still, it is now starting to sink in. I’ll be 50 years old before there’s another chance of getting rid of the Tories, and with the boundary changes they’re about to force through, plus the likely departure of Scotland, it’s actually quite hard to see how that’s going to happen. This is terrible news for me, of course, as I’m a teacher in a state school, and the education policy changes the Tories are about to impose are horrific. The changes to A-Level and GCSE exams, SATs “resits”, the enforced Ebacc, the death of vocational qualifications, these will all hurt my own children, and many thousands of other children. That’s before we even get to the big budget cuts on the way (I heard that the Pupil Premium might be in Tory sights now those pesky LibDems aren’t there any more), and the enforced privatisation of schools into private companies. Frankly, it couldn’t be grimmer. I was no fan of Tristram Hunt’s timidity, but it would have been a thousand times better than this forthcoming nightmare. It says something that my best hope now is that, as a teacher near the top of the pay scale, I’ll be offered redundancy as a cost-saving measure by my school. If I am, I’ll bite their hands off. Continue reading