Paddling

I went to help John set up his new iPad today, which took a while.  He hadn’t got iTunes and, although he had an Apple account, he didn’t realise it and didn’t know the password.  By the time all was sorted out, I had to come home so I left him with a manual on his computer and a suggestion that he practise, and that once he knows just what he wants, I’ll be around again if he needs help.  I rather hope he will, admittedly, I haven’t had nearly enough fun yet.

At least it’s good experience for when I buy my iPad.  I have saved up and am ready to go, as soon as the crush has died down for the first iPad2 buyers.

Ro and Dora are coming over for a late lunch and Weeza, Phil and Zerlina for an early tea.  The two meals won’t quite meet in the middle.  I need to go shopping in the morning for extras.  Weeza and I had a fine conversation this evening and I chortled a lot.  A woman and her daughter, a woman and her mother, can share and laugh about all sorts of things, including quite personal matters.  When Weeza was in her late teens, she was telling me stuff and I was a bit “errr” and she said “Mum, I’m treating you as a friend, not as a mother,” and it realigned my thoughts somewhat.

You know I went to the zoo the week before last? – it was with John’s son and family – well, since then he (the son) has had acute appendicitis and an operation.  Apparently, the appendix burst as it was being removed – John said he thought I would want to know all the details – of course, I knew you would too…ew… anyway, it was all right and he’s home again, though not much chance of a rest with three young children.

Sandy thought, from my measured and careful comments, that I’d gone off the idea of the school applying for independence as an academy.  No indeed, I haven’t.  It’s just that I have to remember that my maverick tendencies aren’t for everyone, so I have to be sure that my preference is backed up by facts.  As I’m the most cautious maverick that anyone could hope to find, that is not at all unlikely.  But I’ll have an open mind to the end – even past the governors’ decision, because nothing is final until the last paper is signed.

6 comments on “Paddling

  1. Rog

    I couldn’t resist the £100 off iPad 1’s and not motherwd about graphic speed or cameras so it’s arriving Tuesday. I’m very excited.

    Reply
  2. Dave

    Did you type ‘motherwd’ on your iPhone keypad, Rog? I can manage my typos on an old-fashioned keyboard.

    Mind you, I hardly ever write down the wrong letter when I’m using a pen and paper. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

    Reply
  3. Z

    Hi Gledwood – hope you have a good one too. I always read your blog, though I don’t often have anything to say.

    Funnily enough,Dave, although I rarely write the wrong letter when handwriting, I often do when hand-printing.

    That will be what tempted John too, Rog, quite a bargain. I had a windfall last week which has ‘fun money’ written all over it, so I intend to splash out and enjoy it! The Sage is all in favour. He loves it when I’m extravagant.

    Reply
  4. Christopher

    Tho’ always interested in striving for independence, which I thought further advanced than it is, I feel diffident about posing direct questions about it in case you feel this really isn’t quite the forum to discuss what security of tenure, and thence of pensions etc., you can offer staff, and what overtures have been made to the unions. Several years (actually it’s more than 20 now) ago I would have been strongly inclined to independence, had it been possible in Scotland, and I would have seen one of the benefits as being the most effective deployment of staff, which wasn’t always possible when staffing was run from local Education Offices. Please don’t comment if it would compromise your situation at all. Instead I hope you enjoy the spring day (Pt 2) I’m sending you tomorrow.

    Reply
  5. Z

    Thank you for your appreciation of my situation, Chris – you’re right, I do have to be circumspect, which is why this is quite formal – worryingly, it comes quite naturally to me nowadays.

    It is our intention to carry on with exactly the same terms and conditions for the staff, regarding both their present pay, their future pay and the arrangements regarding their pensions. However, the government is, right now, reviewing the pension situation of public sector employees. Staff t&c will go straight over by the TUPE arrangements but, legally, there is nothing to stop an academy altering the situation for incoming staff, or to offer new t&c to present staff at some time in the future. Understandably, some staff are concerned about this, in principle and/or in practice, although they do believe our good intentions.

    We will still be a state funded school, so if pension contributions are increased and/or benefits are reduced, we may have to go along with whatever changes are decided. Under the LA we will have no control, but even as an academy we can only do what we have the funding to do. This has to be between the unions and the government, it’s right out of our hands.

    The LA used to be splendid, it’s less so now and it will be far less in the future when it’s a provider of bought-in services – most of their staff have left or are under notice. I know what we’re capable of, and we’re very good. The only fly in the ointment is that our buildings were built 50 years ago (think asbestos and flat roofs) and repairs are frequent and expensive. Something major and unexpected could be crippling, but may not happen and we’re having checks done so as to be as prepared as possible.

    I’ve got a meeting set up with the Head and Union reps tomorrow week. Last year, we had the third best results in Suffolk – last thing we’d do as an academy would be to give teachers a worse deal, they’re the people who have made this school (what Blair would call a bog-standard comprehensive) a success. Them and a damn good head.

    Ahem. I look forward to a balmy spring day tomorrow, dear heart.

    Reply

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