I have three teenage children who have enjoyed/are enjoying the benefits of a first-rate state education, and I myself have worked extensively with children in both the state and private sector in my capacity as a children's writer.
This has convinced me that education is the cornerstone of a nurturing, healthy and forward-looking society. It has also convinced me that State Education works, and can work, extremely well. So how is it possible to justify cutting funding to successful state schools when they are the very foundations on which future generations are built?
If I understand the proposal correctly, this is how: cut funding from some schools, to give to other schools. Specifically, syphon off funding from state schools and put it towards setting-up more 'free' schools and new grammar schools.
I am against both these institutions for a variety of reasons, but mainly because both cream off a demographic that is crucial to maintain a healthy balance to the comprehensive model.
The only way to give every child - every future citizen - a fair chance at their currently ever more uncertain future, is to empower them with knowledge and grow their potential within as level a playing field as is possible, given the inequalities of our society. Don't segregate and separate children even more; don't cut budgets to successful schools in order to chase some kind of rose-tinted, bygone golden age of grammar schools, or 're-distribute' funds so that any schools suffer. Please don't do it!
Don't penalise children and educators for the nostalgic dreams of politicians that are masking a need to fill the deficit by any means possible, even if it means jeopardising the education and stability of future generations.
Don't cut corners by cutting school budgets in order to create more unwanted schools, rather than supporting the schools that are working and working really well.
Don't cut corners by cutting school budgets at all, because if you do, you'll be cutting corners with the future of our children.
Yours, with all due respect, which is this matter is frankly not very much...
My first picture book - called A Possum's Tail - is a collaboration with brilliant illustrator Alex Barrow and came out 6th February 2014. A second book called London Calls!is a whistlestop tour of London, led by a Pearly grandma and her granddaughter. London Calls! came out on 4th September 2014 and is my second book with Alex Barrow. A Possum's Tail was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
As well as writing children's books and for children's television, I do both private and commercial art commissions, a selection of which you can see here.
The children's shoes are part of an ongoing series of "first shoes", including several cards commissioned by the Almanac Gallery.
Hand-drawn, bespoke invitations, announcements, portraits and menus, such as the examples here are also available upon request..
Any enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OKIDO MAGAZINE AND TV
I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY10thBIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!
An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera http://www.doodle-productions.com. The original adaptation of the show (co-created/adapted by myself, producer Ceri Barnes and Doodle Productions) was acquired by CBeebies. 52 x 11 minute episodes will be coming to a screen near you soon in 2015.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................
N E W S F L A S H! MESSY GOES TO OKIDOSeries TWO is now in production, following a super-successful 52 episode first series!
Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011
Happy Birthday OKIDO!
Okido was 5 years old this issue...the wonderful art and science magazine for kids I've been lucky enough to have worked on for the past - 8 - years now