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requires improvement


Podcast by requires improvement

Podcast by requires improvement


United Kingdom




Podcast by requires improvement






019// Lockdown Brain

After the chaos of another week being educators and union organizers on "Rainy Plague Island" in January 2021, the Requires Improvement team come together to reflect on school closures, remote learning, the failures of certain apparent allies in various political parties and unions to stand alongside us, and finally Gavin Williamson and OFSTED's flooded inbox. Hosted by Lauren, she is joined by co-hosts Nik, Charlie, Tom and Lee. Our brains are already melted, but let's reflect together in...


018// Education Under Occupation - Solidarity with the Palestinian People feat. Muhammed Tamimi

As we draw 2020 to a close, Requires Improvement co-hosts Tom and Lee interview Muhammed Tamimi from the Hebron International Resource Network, as we discuss what conditions are like in the Occupied Territory of the West Bank, in particular HIRN's activities around school building and providing material support to the Palestinian people. We discuss what people in the UK can do to practically show their solidarity, and reflect on the wider meaning of the Palestinian struggle and whether...


017// No More Exclusions - Understanding Abolition Feat. Lana Crosbie

In this episode of Requires Improvement hosts Charlie and Anu are joined by Lana Crosbie, who is a National Education Union rep and branch officer, and a member of No More Exclusions who are a campaigning network of educators and activists pushing for urgent reform to the UK education system. NME work with schools, students and communities in order challenge and address issues around systemic and structural racism, with a view to abolishing practices which exclude children from education -...


016// Lockdown 2: If only someone had warned us this would happen

In this November episode of Requires Improvement we offer some personal insights into what conditions are like in schools right now and how this is affecting staff, students and the wider community. We discuss Lee's story about catching COVID and ending up in hospital, whether schools can continue to be fully open, the apparently still-happening exams system in England, the NEU's current response, comparisons between primary and secondary schools, in addition to some other errata of the...


015// Is Relationships and Sex Education turning your child into an anticapitalist? feat. tetrapod

In this October edition of RI, co-hosts Charlie, Lauren and Lee take a broad situation report of the current state of the education system during the pandemic - what it's been like in the classroom, the problems that need urgently fixing. We are then joined for a guest interview with @tetrapod from twitter who joins us for a discussion about the latest DfE guidance in relation to the broader PSHE curriculum, which has a distinctly ideological flavour to it requiring considered analysis!...


014//What needs changing, reforming or scrapping in education? Livestream for #TWT20

On this special livestream episode which is available on Youtube for a limited time at Requires Improvement were honoured contributors to The World Transformed Online 2020 #twt20 for a classic round of consideration about what is happening and in need of reform in the current education system, with viewer contributions submitting questions and co-hosts Nik, Lauren, Anu, Charlie and Lee. In this episode we discuss school re-openings and...


013// - It's Not the Summer of Love

In this simultaneously reflective and forward looking 1 year anniversary episode of Requires Improvement, we consider the current state of the education sector given the tumultuous events of the last six months both in UK politics and society at large. We start with a focus on the Labour Party and the sacking of shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, and then we consider what deep organizing and the thinking of Jane McAlevey can offer Trade Unionists in this moment. We also enter...


012// Colston and Multi-Academies: What’s not to Trust? ft. Christine Townsend

Following on from our last episode which looked at the history of the Society of Merchant Venturers and their role in promoting the legacy of slave trader Edward Colston, we bring our focus into the present by looking at how the Society of Merchant Venturers has expanded their influence into Bristol's State Education Sector. We discuss their management and ownership of a portfolio of Bristol schools now under the banner of a multi-academy trust, and the questions that should be asked of...


011// Countering Colston with Dr. Roger Ball (Bristol Radical History Group)

In this episode of Requires Improvement we react to the recent historic events in Bristol involving the Black Lives Matter protest which saw the removal of a statue of Edward Colston in June 2020. These events have been of international significance and should prompt a deeper discussion and investigation of the slave trade's historical roots in Bristol and the United Kingdom. We are pleased to welcome interview guest Dr. Roger Ball from the Bristol Radical History Group. We discuss the...


011// The Lives of Black Children: No More Exclusions ft. founders Lana Crosbie and Cedric Whilby

In this episode Anu and Charlie interview Lana Crosbie (Founder of Bristol NME, NEU activist, SENCO with experience both in mainstream and alternative school provision) and Cedric Whilby (co-founder of national NME with Zahra Bei, London-based former youth worker, an Executive Lead of Alternative Provision Providers in East London and key policy development advisor on the exclusions and quality of PRU provision) to discuss No More Exclusions, a grassroots coalition movement of community...


010// - 1st of June? It's too soon!

In this episode of Requires Improvement we have a full slate of RI co-hosts on board, with Lee as host he is joined by Anu, Charlie, Nick, Lauren and Tom. We discuss on the government's most recent decision to attempt a re-opening of Primary Schools from 1st June, the response from the National Education Union along with the health and safety implications for education workers. We also take some time to reflect on some of the media and twitter coverage around this issue and close the episode...


009// When should schools re-open? Reflections on Labour and organising under lockdown

In this 2nd quarantine episode of Requires Improvement your hosts Tom, Nick, Charlie, Lauren and Lee come together in a zoom call to discuss the recent media speculation as to when schools should re-open, the past and future of education policy in the Labour party, and what you can be doing to help build union power under lockdown.


008// Class Of Covid-19

In the latest installment of Requires Improvement, Nick hosts our first episode under quarantine. What does the corona crisis mean for education? We discuss the weeks that led the UK government to announce school closures as well as the implications for teachers, parents, children and beyond. In addition, we'll be hearing what it's like to be an educator in a UK prison right now. What will it mean for exams to be cancelled? How will education in schools, homes and prisons look going forward?...


007// Bristol Transformed Interview Special

In this bumper episode of Requires Improvement we are treating you to a stacked lineup of guest interviews from March 2020's edition of Bristol Transformed. Just to briefly explain what Bristol Transformed is, it’s a three-day festival of politics and culture featuring guests from all over the UK and abroad, who gather in Bristol to discuss and debate exciting ideas emerging from the Left. Coming up we have a chat with Professor Madhu Krishnan and Dr. Vicky Canning who are Bristol-based...


006// Where do we go from here? Post-election debrief

Requires Improvement has returned for 2020 with hosts Lauren, Nick, Charlie and Lee as they take stock of the situation following the UK General Election of 2019. Some personal reflections on this important event are followed by requires improvement insights into school funding, sexism in vintage BBC history clips, the poor showing from the NASUWT in the recent GE and a focus on one particular newly elected Tory MP who was a school rep for the aforementioned union. The episode concludes with...


005// Election Manifesto Special - Education policy in the December 2019 General Election

In this special election episode of Requires Improvement hosts Tom, Charlie, Nick, Lauren and Lee delve into the newly released election manifestos of the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party and the Labour party. Evaluating the merits of various proposals and considering what they might mean for teachers, students and wider society is the name of the game this week. How timely! Link to the Labour Tax Impact Calculator site that Charlie mentions:


004// Why be a school governor? Faith Schools, Election, Play as Pedagogy feat. Vivian

004// Why be a school governor? Faith Schools, Election, Play as Pedagogy feat. Vivian In this episode the Requires Improvement hosts welcome our 2nd guest - Vivian talks to us about his experiences of being a Primary Governor and we expand the conversation to consider some of the debates around faith schools in the UK. In our inimitable fashion we kick things off with a look at the forthcoming general election, solidarity with striking teachers at home and abroad, the issue of play in...


003// Teaching in the Refugee Crisis and the Experiences of an NQT ft. Dr Alex Collins

003// Teaching in the Refugee Crisis, Green New Deal, Diversity, Experiences of an NQT In this third episode of RI, with lead-host Lee, we are joined by our first guest Dr. Alex Collins for an interview about his experiences as a teacher and voluntary worker on the front lines of the refugee crisis in Athens, Greece. Hosts Lee, Charlie, Nick and Lauren are all in the room in order to cast a critical eye over the current hot topics in education news, with an unashamedly radical left-wing...


002// Conferences, 4 Day Week, OFSTED & Headteachers, Testing, Decolonising Curriculum

002 Requires Improvement - Conferences, 4 Day Week, OFSTED And Headteachers, Testing, Decolonising The Curriculum In our sophomore episode of RI, with lead-host Charlie, we are joined by a new co-host Tom, along with Anu, Lauren, Lee and Nick from our first episode, to cast a critical eye over the hot current topics in education news, with an unashamedly radical political outlook. In this episode we cover the Labour and Conservative party conferences, discuss the merits and pitfalls of a...


001// Private Schools, Funding, Climate Strike, Cultural Capital, Exclusions

In this debut episode of "Requires Improvement", a friendly bunch of classroom teachers, trade unionists and education activists based in Bristol cast a critical eye over the hot current topics in education news, with an unashamedly radical political outlook. In this week's episode, lead by Nick and joined by Charlie, Anu, Lauren and Lee, we cover private schools, education funding promises and Facebook advertising controversies, support for student climate strikers, recent governmental...