What’s On: The Education and Adoption Bill, Summer Fairs, Dragon Boats, Urban Beach and more …
Before I fill you in on all the interesting free and affordable events going on in London this week, I need to make you aware of the Education and Adoption Bill that has just had its second reading Monday.
The Education and Adoption Bill is the very tip of the iceberg in terms of the draconian changes that are sweeping through, not just at the national level, but very much at the local level. The Education and Adoption Bill gives the Secretary of State for Education the power to define a school as “coasting” and then have it then turned into an academy; there is no criteria for what a “coasting” school is. The parents and local council are completely removed from the process and unable to stop it once a school has been deemed “coasting”. After you read the Orwellian language in the first page you will be concerned; as you read on you learn how much this bill undermines basic principles of democracy.
Clive Lewis, who together with Caroline Lucas and Catherine West, broke out of the second reading of this bill to meet with parents and teachers before giving their own speeches in the debate, astutely remarked that removing parents and local government from our schools and having them run by businesses without any debate takes us to “a dark and dangerous place”.
Our forebearers created a state education system to support a literate, numerate and informed electorate. As parents, as citizens, as members of a democracy we have an obligation to engage and to act to keep our state schools run for its citizens not for shareholder value. Clive Lewis, Caroline Lucas and Catherine West are eager to get parents involved for our the protection of our schools. You will be hearing more from me as I begin to work on this in September.
For now, you can begin by reading the Education and Adoption bill (it is not very long) and taking five minutes to submit your view of the Education and Adoption Bill for the Public Bill Committee before they first meet on 30th June.
Thank you (and back to the fun)
This weekend for the Whole Family
The Hampstead Heath Family Day: Sunday 11-6pm. Head over to the Bandstand and enjoy performances, workshops, street theatre, and a workshop where kids will make their own carnival headbands to wear in the parade on the green.
Dragon Boat Festival: head down to the Docklands for a the boat race and the festival including food, dance, music, face painting and balloon making.
Urban Beach, InTransit Festival, Kensington and Chelsea: Head over to Acklam Village, at the top of Portobello Road under the Westover Flyover and explore a temporary coastal paradise set up by the National Trust as part of the InTransit Festival. Sand, toys, deck chiars and other props will make this a fun area of exploration for kids.
Marylebone Summer Fair: Pet the Vauxhall City Farm animals, listen to music, climb an elasticised spider web, race on fixed bikes, ride the ferric wheel and other small rides … lots of fun for kids and stalls for grownups.
Babies and Toddlers
Royal College of Music, Mini Sparks: Friday 26th June, 10am or 11am. Bang, shake, discover and create! Under 5s are particularly welcome in this tailored and interactive music session. £10 for 1 adult and 1 child, £3.75 for each extra participant.
Classical Babies: If you are able to get up to the O2 Centre in Finchley, make sure to check out a Classical Babies concert there. Next concert, 10th July.
Royal Albert Hall, Storytelling and Music Sessions: bring children ages 0-4 to Royal Albert Hall on Wednesdays for a magical experience with storytellers Paul Rubinstein and Olivia Armstrong where singing, storytelling and musical instruments are woven into one story session. £4, 11:30am
Pimlico Toy Library: Pimlico Toy Library has a new web site showcasing all their wonderful children’s workshops and baby playtimes. This is a fantastic resource for any parent or carer, the toys are fastidiously cleaned and the art workshops are brilliantly planned with high quality materials.
Electric Cinema, Electric Scream: Mondays. This week’s feature: Slow West. Bring babies under 12 months to this amazingly plush cinema, relax with some coffee and catch a flick.
Ritzy, Brixton, Big Scream: Fridays, 11am. £7.50. This week’s feature: Slow West