‘The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.

JM Barrie

Thank you for visiting my website, focusing around my blog. To get the disclaimer out of the way: all views on my old blog are my own and not necessarily those of the organisations in which I am involved.

Speaking of those organisations in which I am involved, my time – of which there never seems to be enough – is mainly divided between my teaching ‘career’ (which pays the bills, but which I value much more deeply than that) and my contributions to the community as a local councillor.

Education

In terms of teaching, my journey into teaching began some seven years ago when I decided that the oil industry, which had previously been paying the bills, was not giving me what I wanted and so I began training for what I believed to be my vocation. I still remember the introductory lecture for my PGCE course where our lecturer, Dr Steve Ellis, invoked the words of the late Ted Wragg in proclaiming that there was no higher calling; as something of an atheist this sat perfectly well with me, though to this day I have never asked my fellow trainee, a good Catholic (and far better teacher than me), how he felt about such a claim.

Since ‘qualifying’ – a word I place in inverted commas because it seems to suggest some kind of endpoint or sense of completeness that just doesn’t work for teaching – I have been privileged to have taught Geography, Politics and also Sociology in local secondary schools. As with any vocation, the work is hard and relentless but it is certainly varied. Whilst a range of intellectual, social, emotional and physical challenges may, at a distance, seem enough to put anybody off,  I do believe that the things in life which have the potential to give us a sense of achievement and worth cannot come without toil and occasional doubt. I am now about to start my third year as a Head of Geography.

Beyond the classroom but still in the educational sphere, I completed a  Masters in Geography Education at London’s Institute of Education. For my dissertation I conducted research into how Michael Young’s concept of powerful knowledge may provide a justification for a disciplinary-based education, specifically one involving Geography. Whilst my formal research has ‘finished’, I remain interested in these ideas and how they may help us provide a philosophical framework for a rich, politically independent education system in the 21st century.

I am also a serial ‘joiner’ and value my membership of the Geographical Association, the Royal Geographical Society and the Chartered College of Teaching. I sit on the GA’s Secondary Phase Committee, which has seen me deliver training at a number of annual conferences. I have written for Geography Review, tutor2u and the GA Magazine. I am a also a member of the NEU (ATL section).

Politics

Outside of education, I have had a long involvement in politics. Currently that takes the form of serving as both a Borough councillor (since 2016) and a Parish councillor (since 2012) for my local area. I am also the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Warrington South. This is as a Liberal Democrat, a party which I joined a decade ago, aged 16.

Although I may touch on some political issues on this blog, I will not be covering issues in which I am directly involved as a councillor, election candidate or local party officer. Information regarding my work as an elected councillor can be found on a separate blog and Facebook page.

Community

In addition to my role as a councillor, I previously served on the management committee of Grappenhall’s Ex-Servicemen’s Association. The club was founded in 1921 by veterans of World War 1. Since then it has continued to serve those who have served in the forces but also the wider community. One of my main contributions to the club was hosting a weekly Tuesday Night Quiz, which I organised between November 2012 and February 2016.

This page was last updated August 2018.

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