Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year’s Resolution

A New Year resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a personal goal, project, or the reforming of a habit. A New Year’s Resolution is generally a goal someone sets out to accomplish in the coming year.

Another year has passed and I have not succeeded in my goals. It’s hard to appreciate that almost 1200 days have now elapsed since that dreadful day. I can hardly bear to look back for I have lost everything.

Looking back at 2010, my proudest achievement was to have participated in the recent BBC Radio Lancashire program. I had hoped to do so much more but those challenges are now my goals for 2011.

My partner continues to encourage and support me; without his help, I truly believe that I would have ended my life several years ago. It is the realization that I can never put this mess behind me. When you’ve been found guilty of a crime that you didn’t commit then it just gnaws away at you like a cancer that invades your life. Worse when you know that those who were responsible and accountable cheated, deceived and lied, denying me my right to a fair hearing and justice.

Remember too that this is not an ‘ordinary’ crime, a minor misdemeanour. This a heinous crime, an assault on a child – any assault must be considered serious – but that on a child is contemptuous and deserves the full weight of the law and subsequent punishment.

I have lived through hell, I have experienced the misery and destruction of my life – nobody should suffer in this way, but sadly they do, for I am not alone in my pain. Recent papers are full of stories of teachers who have been sacked for doing their jobs – sacked because of their enthusiasm and commitment to their career.

Everyone cries in outrage about the stupidity, injustice and waste but tomorrow’s headlines soon provide new stories and the misery of that particular teacher’s life is forgotten.

Michael Gove said he would change everything and would support teachers in the future – “The Importance of Teaching”. But he has not done anything to improve the situation – in fact, providing the LEAs and schools with greater powers will make matters worse.

My greatest ambition is to put an end to this nightmare for all teachers. NASUWT have worked on this for 20 years – I, on my own, have tried for 2 years. In two years, I have brought about a parliamentary committee meeting, television and radio interviews and newspaper coverage of the problem. I have exchanged letters with MPs, including David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Michael Gove and others.

In short, an ordinary reception teacher from a humble Chorley primary school has fought harder and with more success than any union or MP.

I want to be heard, I want my case publicly exposed for all to scrutinize – only then can the policy makers begin to appreciate the corruption that exists within our local county councils and schools – only then can we begin to create a new framework that will support teachers and children in the future.