Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My summer Style

I have been trying on all my old pairs of jeans from last year; I bought a couple of pairs of skinny jeans after I had Charlie as I lost quite a lot of weight straight away and didn't have much left to wear besides my work clothes! I still don't know how I lost that much weight. Believe me, I have never, ever lost weight in my life! I am not one of those people that do diets or exercise either. So it was quite a shock to find that, just two weeks after giving birth I was not only back down to my normal size, but even some of my existing stuff was a bit loose. Skinny jeans were becoming straight leg jeans!

Anyway, after trying a few bits on, I realised that once again, I am smaller than I was. I have had to go out and buy a few more pairs of jeans as the ones I got last year are once again too big. I am thrilled obviously, but I have noticed that if I have a few weeks where I binge a bit and drink a bit more wine that I should, then my new jeans in a smaller size do feel a bit tight. So I know that I am going to have to be careful if I want to stay this way.

So here are a few pieces I picked up for Spring/Summer.

Having childminder fees takes a huge toll on my monthly clothing budget, haha. In all serious though, I think places like Asda and Tesco have some great clothes. You have to pick and choose sometimes, but on the whole there are some good key pieces each season.

For example, these George Gladiator Sandals at £14.


They seem good quality and are lovely paired with these jeans from Tesco, which were £18.

I saw these jeans on Charlotte's blog, Write Like No One's Watching and also on Alison's blog at Not Another Mummy Blog. I've never really had 'boyfriend' fit jeans before, I didn't think they were very flattering on me, but I love these.

I also picked up this t-shirt from Next. Now, I should state that I have no grand illusions about my little blog. I know I am nothing special and I am far from a big deal. But I still like the idea behind it and it's a bit quirky. Also, a bit of a bargain as it says £16 but when I put it in my online basket it came up as £8!

However my favourite spring buy has to be these Asos Dockland Plimsolls in Leopard print. Not bad for £20, considering a similar pair from Vans is £45!

Finally, I couldn't resist this cute little necklace from Topshop for £5. I bought it in yellow, but they don't seem to have it online.

So, total spend for Spring/Summer was £65. Considering I got two pairs of shoes, a pair of jeans and a top, I think that's pretty good! Hubby would impressed! If he knew, haha.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The right to feed

As you know, I don't often do soap box posts on here. I'm always worried someone will come a long and have a go and shut down my blog etc. I know, probably a bit irrational, but in my profession, I do have to be careful what I say, to some extent.

However, when I saw the Sports Direct situation unfold via Mumsnet on facebook, I could not simply sit back and let it go. Basically, if you don't know a story broke in the Independent about a woman who was breastfeeding her baby in Sports Direct whilst her hubby shopped. She got asked to leave by one of their assistants and was made to go outside in the rain. There are various things wrong with this scenario. Not mentioning the fact what what they did was illegal. Although at least it's one more reason to boycott Sports Direct ha!

You may know, I breastfed (and still do) Charlie. When he was tiny and newborn, I tried to time our outings around his feeds so that I didn't have to whop my boobs out in public. However, anyone who has ever breastfed, will tell you, that there is generally no schedule to feeding, especially in the early days. Babies tend to feed on demand. And so, if you happen to be in Sports Direct (other sports shops are available and I urge you to use them instead) and your baby starts crying for food, then feed it you must. You cannot reason with a baby; you cannot ask them to stop crying whilst you go and find a place more 'suitable' and 'convienet' to feed the baby so that you don't, god forbid, OFFEND anyone by feeding your baby in public.

What shocked me more about this whole debacle, was peoples' reactions to it on facebook. Mumsnet posted the link and then sat back and watch the whole thing explode. One woman in particular said that breastfeeding, and I quote, was "yak." Another woman said that breastfeeding was "grotesque" and that it was "totally unnecessary" to feed your baby in public. The same woman also went on to say that women are being "provocative" if you feed your baby in public. What kind of society are we living in where women, of all people, think that feeding your baby makes you provocative?! People are forgetting the main reason for boobs - to feed your baby. It is only our society that has sexualised breasts. Of course, anyone who made comments that challenged these people got shot down as 'breastfeeding nazis'! The women who believed Sports Direct were right to throw this woman out also believed that breastfeeding was wrong, especially in public. They believed that, if you must breastfeed, then you should always find somewhere more suitable (a public toilet I presume) to do it so that other people are not offended. Sorry, but what part of me feeding my baby offends you? You sitting there in the cafe talking with your mouth full offends me, but I just have to deal with it. The woman who called it yak also said that, when she sees a women feeding her baby, she takes her children away so that they can't see what disgusting act is going on. WHAT?! How on earth is this negative attitude towards breastfeeding ever going to change when you have women, of all people, behaving in this manner and teaching their own children their ridiculous views? If you don't want to breastfeed your own baby - fine! Don't. But how can it be seen as offensive, yak and provocative and yet page 3 is deemed as acceptable in today's society. To portray a woman as a sexual being rather than an individual? There are sexualised adverts all over the place, with half clad women and indeed men - yet these are accepted as common place. But yet, the simple and natural act of breastfeeding your baby is frowned upon and considered disgusting by some people.

This is not to say that I have anything against formula feeding.  That's not the point here. Although, I do wonder what the store's reaction would have been had the mother pulled out a bottle of formula for the hungry baby. Everyone has the right to choose and, whilst of course, I do believe, breast is best, that does not mean that I look down on or think that people who choose to use formula are wrong. That is their choice and everyone has the right to their choice, without having to defend it. I would never question anyone who chose to use formula to feed their baby. I would also never say it was disgusting. What does annoy me though, is people's attitude to breastfeeding (just so you know, peoples' negative attitudes to formula feeding also annoys me too, but that's another story). The looks or stares you get when feeding in public. The tuts. And then the ridiculous comments you see on posts such as the one on Mumsnet.

Besides all of this, it is ILLEGAL to discriminate against a breastfeeding woman and women are allowed to feed their hungry babies ANYWHERE they feel necessary. Of course, there are exceptions - whilst driving! But the Equality Act 2010, states that breastfeeding mothers should not be discriminated against. It is the law that they can feed wherever they need to.

It is entirely situations such as this that made me wary of breastfeeding. I knew when I was pregnant, that I wanted to breastfeed. However I knew that there may be problems, I may not be able to do it, the baby might not take to it etc. But the main reason for my wariness, was other peoples' reactions. In 2014, that is a sad state of affairs. Do people not wonder how mothers fed their babies before formula? We had no other choice, it was breast or nothing. Above all else, it is the most natural thing in the world. But then you get those idiots who contrast defecating and urinating as natural and compare this to breastfedding in public! Their claim being you wouldn't do those things in public so why breastfeed.

It was only after about 6 months of successful feeding that I finally started to think 'sod it,' if you don't like seeing me feed my child then feel free to go somewehre else. I started to become ready for an argument shoudl anyone ever say anything. Although, luckily no one ever did. Not that it would have stopped me. I got the odd stare or look, but no one ever approached me with somehting negative to say. Thank god. But this is the problem. What about those mothers who aren't as strong willed as I was and who do run off to the public toilet or their car to feed their baby? What abvout those mothers who everentually give up breastfeeding because of societies unralistic views about breastfeeding? What about the mothers who never even try it, because they are scared of the criticism and negativity they will encounter? It's those people I feel sorry for. They should not be made to make choices like that based on other peoples' views. Have your views of course, but don't enforce them on other people.

What I can't agree with though is having breastfeeding being called yak, provocative and disgusting.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Story

So, I've had a little impromptu blogging break! I didn't mean to, but the holidays have just flown by and I kept meaning to put posts together about various things and the next thing I knew, it's Sunday evening and it's back to work tomorrow.

Anyway, I was thinking that I often mention the hubby on here, but I have never really said anything about him. My posts always tend to centre around Charlie. So I thought that I would introduce you to the hubster and tell you how we met.

You might know, the hubby is Tom. He is 32 and works in the same school as me. He isn't a teacher; he is a Learning Support Assistant in the Special Unit. That means he works with students who have severe disabilities or needs. For example students with Down Syndrome or who are mute etc. I think he is really good at his job. It is through work that we met.

Unbeknown to us (at the time), the hubby and I both started our new jobs in September 2007 at the same school. I saw him around from time to time and knew him as an LSA, but our paths never crossed. He would always smile in the corridors, but I never thought anything of it.

Until. One evening in November 2009. I had moved into a flat on my own after spending two years living with other people. It was a Friday night and I was on Facebook. A friend had put some status up about having a little drink and I commented on it. So did Tom. Again, thought nothing of it. But then he requested me as a friend and I accepted immediately. We started messaging and he invited me around for a drink. It was late and I had already had a drink so couldn't drive, so I declined, but he said if I was in town the day after, to pop in for a brew. And so I did. He lived in a swanky new studio apartment on the promenade and I loved it. It was tiny, but it was swish. So I went for a cuppa and a chat and he told me about his daughter from a previous relationship and something seemed to click. He was so nice. He was funny and affectionate and he wanted to see me more. He asked me to go round that night but I was going out for some one's birthday. He said to pop in on the way back, so again, I did. We had a drink and a bit of a kiss and I went home on a high!

For the next few weeks we were inseparable. I was practically living at his and when I wasn't staying there he would message me constantly saying how much he missed me. We generally just stayed in his apartment, drinking red wine and getting take aways and watching films. We went to the comedy club a few times and I remember he drew a heart on the ticket whilst we there.

I met his daughter just before Christmas and really hit it off with her; the three of us went out for a Sunday roast and I remember, when I went up to pay, she grabbed my hand and came with me. I think that was the testing point but it worked and things got much more serious after that. As it was coming up to the holidays I was due to go back home (I never stayed on the Island for the holidays, I always went back to my parents). As the time approached, both of us were feeling sad that we wouldn't get to spend Christmas together. He took me to the airport with his daughter and I let him borrow my posh car for the two weeks (I had a convertible back then!). On Christmas Eve, over the phone, he told me he loved me. So I asked him if he would like to come over and meet my family! He did. He booked the ferry and came over the day after boxing day. He was a hit with my parents immediately. They thought he was lovely and he was so relaxed around them. Everything was just working out right.

After the holidays, I barely went back to my own flat. The day of the new school term it snowed and school was shut for two days! We had his daughter as her mum still had to go to work and we spent the days building snowmen and drinking hot chocolate.

One night towards the end of January as we were drifting off to sleep,  he said he loved me, which he had been doing quite often. I said it back and he said "I love you more" to which I replied "prove it." His response was "marry me"!! I said OK and that was that!

The day after I told my friend at school, who thought I was complete nuts. But I just knew that it was right. I had to check with him that he hadn't just been saying it, but no he was sure and that weekend he took me to a jewellers to choose a ring. He proposed officially at the Chasms; a beautiful area on the Isle of Man overlooking the Irish Sea. It was quick, but we knew it was right. However, I was absolutely terrified of telling my parents. I had done some things in the past they hadn't agreed with and I thought they would think I was being reckless again. But I knew this was the real thing. I needn't have worried; they were delighted and also relieved that I wasn't pregnant as I said I had something to tell them!

My parents said they would pay for the wedding and we all agreed the date: Saturday 30th July 2011. The count down was on!  We booked a holiday for Easter and took his daughter with us. My parents had met her a few times by then and adored her. He also spent Christmas 2010 at my parents and it was wonderful.
A few months before the wedding, my Grandma got ill and died. Tom was amazing at the time and really helped me. He even took the time off work to get to the UK with me for the funeral.

And then, we got married! We knew that pretty soon after getting married we wanted a baby. It took a few months, but by June 2012 we got the positive pink line and Charlie was on his way.

It's not been easy since we met; we have had a lot to deal with. His ex is the cause of MUCH chaos and stress. Nothing to do with me, she's not jealous or anything. But she is so incredibly selfish over her daughter and begrudges the time Tom has her. We've also had my Grandma dying. My Grandad having cancer. An accident that damaged Tom's neck and back. And then of course, having to be rescued from our house when we were snowed in last year. He's not perfect either (no one is!) and of course I get stressed that he's left his socks BY the washing basket instead of IN it again. But I wouldn't have it any other way; I love him to pieces. I like our story. It happened quick, but it was right and here we are four years later nearly!

I love a good love story - how did you mean your hubby or partner??

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Ok, so it's now the middle of April, so a little late in getting this done, but hey-ho it's done now! I want to try and capture our month (each month),  in photographs. I have so many photographs sitting in iphoto, ranging from what nail varnish I wore, to photos of Charlie, that they get forgotten about. So I want to put a collage together each month of some of the photos I've taken so I can look back on our year, however mundane it was, it is unique and special to us.

So here is March.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Love The Little Things, Week 15

It's been a while since I joined in with butwhymummywhy's Love the Little Things, so I thought I would join in this week.

 I have been reading cook books a lot over the past couple of weeks. I am really liking the Hairy Dieters books and just downloaded the next one on to my kindle. I love their recipes and I am by no means a dieter! But they are really tasty and use healthier alternative ingredients. So far, I've made their paprika chicken, chicken jalfrezi and crispy chicken (you can see a bit of a chicken theme developing here, haha). Next to try is their Ham and chicken tangle pie. I've also been making an effort to try and read more new blogs. I am really loving:

Life At The Little Wood


Not a lot this week. Although the step-daughter and I are still loving One Born Every Minute. She isn't with us on a Monday night, so I record it and save it for Tuesday when she stays with us. We watch it together with bags of nibbles!


Still loving my Hello Apparel Jumper from Southwood Stores. I also came across a little handmade gift store on Instagram and bought these gorgeous cermaic necklaces and the bird one matches perfectly with the jumper! The store is called Handmadelove if you want to pop along.


Not much time this week to listen to anything. Although I have downloaded this song! It's a bit cheesy, especially as was number one, but I really like it!


As today is Charlie's last day with the childminder until after the Easter holidays, I made little gift bags for her and her children. I bought the cellophane bags from the pound shop of all places, but they are really cute. I filled them with bunny shaped marshmallows, Galaxy eggs and solid milk chocolate bunnies. I think they are a bit more personal than Easter eggs. I also added a cute little gift tag that I got from here, they have a range of different printables for various occasions.

As the weather has been so nice this week, it's been really good to get home after work and get out of the house. We went for a walk on the prom the other night. Charlie loves the beach and is always mesmorised by it. Although he always wants to eat the sand. He enjoyed a little rest on a bench with his Daddy here!

And lastly, I am loving the fact that today is the start of the Easter holidays for us. It means I have 16 whole days of spending quality time with my boy (and of course hubby too, as he is also off). Charlie and I are off on our own little holiday to my parents on Sunday. We are flying on our own! eek! A bit scared, but I am sure all will be fine.

If you want to join in, head over to butwhymummywhy and join the linky.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Liebster Award - I received a nomination!

The lovely ladies over at The Naughty Forty Diaries  have nominated me for a Liebster Award.

I admit, I had no clue what this was until I read a bit more about it on their blog and did some googling. It seems that a Liebster Award is an award created to recognise and/or discover new blogs that are out there. It's an award that you only receive online (i.e. there are no award ceremonies etc!) and it is passed on from blogger to blogger. The word 'Liebster' also has German origins and can mean 'sweetest', 'kindest' and 'beloved', among other meanings. 
The idea behind it is to foster some love for different blogs and pass the word on, so to speak. The rules are:

1. You must acknowledge the award from the blogger that nominated you (done) and then display the award (also done). 
2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you (done, see below).
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself (done, see below again!). 
4. Nominate 11 bloggers that you think are worthy of the award. There is some dispute about the amount of bloggers. Some blogs say 5 and some say 11. 
5. Let them know you have nominated them. 
6. Give them 11 questions to answer. 

Here are my 11 random facts about me:

1. I met the Queen at Jungle Jims (In Blackpool Tower) when I was little.

2. I won a safari holiday to Africa when I was five.

3. My surname used to be Sillitoe. Yes that's right, pronounced 'Silly - toe.' I broke my toe twice, I will leave you to guess the reaction!

4. I got married when I was 27.

5. Charlie is the only child I intend to have.

6. I live on a little island in the middle of the Irish sea, The Isle of Man and I love it. But I miss my family.

7. I love white wine.

8. I have an obsession, that started in pregnancy, with sour skittles. I hate the fruit ones, but love the sour ones.

9. I am only just 5ft. So I often get mistaken for a sixth former where I work. (I work in a school)

10. I have never smoked, taken drugs or been arrested.

11. I failed my driving test for NOT running over a pedestrian. Yes, that's right, I turned a corner and there was a pedestrian walking across the road. I slowed down and waited and got failed for that!! Needless to say, my driving instructor made a formal complaint.

And here are the 11 questions that Tracey and Liz (from The Naughty Forty Diaries) asked me:

1. What is your favourite song? 
Hmm, I am a bit stuck already. I love so many different songs. I would like to say Robbie Williams 'You know me' as it was hubby and mine wedding song. However, I think my favourite song would have to be Empire State of Mind. 

2.  The one beauty product you couldn't live without?
The hubby could have answered this one for me haha. Vaseline. Without a doubt. I have five tins on the go at the minute! I have one by my bed, one in my handbag, one in my desk draw at work and then two spare ones! I am obsessed I suppose, but I have terrible dry lips. 

3. Celebrity Crush? 
Holly Willougby! haha. I love her. I love her dresses; I want her wardrobe. But I also love her values and the type of parent she is. I was very impressed with the way she stood up to Katie Hopkins on This Morning! I want to be like that. 

4. If you could holiday anywhere, where would it be?
The Seychelles. It's a bit cliched I suppose, but I want white sandy beaches and the sea as clear as anything, so you can see the bottom. I want my own private beach with a waiter who will bring me Cosmopolitans all day. 

5. Favourite Disney character?
Hmm, again a bit stuck. I think I would have to say Mary Poppins. I love her bag. 

6. Black or white?
Black. It goes with everything. I had a phase that nearly all my clothes in my wardrobe were black. Since then, I've made a big effort to bring a bit more colour into my clothes!

7. If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Risotto. I love it. I love my chorizo, chicken and red pepper risotto

8. If you were a contestant on 'I'm a celebrity, get me out of here', what would be your luxury item? 

9. All time favourite film and why?
Sex and The City. Sorry it's not something literary or groundbreaking. But I love that film (the first one). However, if I've got my teaching head on, then I do quite like Dead Poet's Society. 

10. Worst ever fashion disaster?
Waistcoats! Enough said. 

11. Ideal job?
I love my job as a teacher. However it is very, very stressful and requires me to be away from my boy a lot. I would love to write for a newspaper or magazine, freelance perhaps and be able to work at home. 

That was actually harder than I thought it would be! 

Anyway, I now nominate:

To Become Mum (she is way more well known than me, I realise that and much more successful! However, I am sticking to the rules of less than 200 followers on bloglovin'!)

Life At The Little Wood (again, much more popular than me!)

Baked Potato Mummy

Hayley From Home 

And here are your 11 questions:

1. If you could be anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

2. What's your favourite tipple?

3. What is your dream job?

4. Have you ever met anyone famous? If so, who?

5. If you could get rid of one thing in the world, what would it be?

6. Describe your hubby, partner or ideal partner.

7. What's your favourite meal to cook?

8. What's your favourite blog?

9. Winter or Summer?

10. Skinnies or bootlegs?

11. One beauty product you couldn't live without?

I 'may' have copied a couple of the original questions set for me, but I am genuinely interested to see the answers!

Phew, it's done! Please link up so I can read your answers and hopefully get to read other new blogs!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why there's no alternative to striking

You know that I don't generally talk serious stuff on here. But as I said the other week, the profession I am in at the moment is at crisis point and after some negative comments I've heard since the last strike by the NUT (National Union of Teachers), I thought I would put my view across.

The strike action for teachers that happened the other week didn't actually reach us over here on the Isle of Man. Whilst we are part of the UK, we are free to make our own decisions in terms of education (to some degree). However, had I had the chance to be involved, then I definitely would.

As I mentioned the other week, I am sick of all the negative publicity teachers get at the minute. I know that the latest strikes only fuelled the fire more and gave people an even bigger reason to hate us, but teachers (most of them anyway) don't take strike action mildly or indeed go on strike for no reason. Of course, I do understand, that teachers going on strike inconveniences working parents, or indeed sometimes, even non-working parents. So I do understand their reluctance to support striking teachers. That said, this opinion smacks of those that believe teachers are nothing more than low paid babysitters. As a parent, I would relish an extra day with my little ones, even if that meant not being paid for the day. And I don't say that lightly. We just about manage each month, financially.

I think a lot of the reluctance to support us, comes from actually not understanding the reasoning behind the strikes. I've heard lots of moaning about teachers whinging about pensions, not being paid enough etc etc. Those things do affect us, but parents, indeed everyone involved in educating young people, needs to be aware of Michael Gove's vision for education and his refusal to listen to experience. He has NO experience in a school. He joined the government as a conservative MP in 2005 and became the Secretary of State for Education in 2010, following the general election. If I didn't have a teaching degree in English, I would find it hard to get a teaching job. I wouldn't find it impossible (thanks to Gove), but I would find it more difficult. Why is it that a man, with no other experience than attending a school himself as a child, can be elected into a role such as this? His lack of experience shows in his far out views and outdated teaching ideas.  He will break the education system if we don't step in and show our opposition to his propositions. He is bringing about massive changes without any form of electoral mandate and indeed, no proper discussion or consultation with teachers of any form or variety. In fact, he often brings about changes without any consultation; often to his own detriment and criticism.. Indeed in 2011, his decision to axe the BSF project (Building Schools for the Future), was found to be unlawful and a judge said that: "there was no overriding public interest which precluded consultation or justifies the lack of any consultation." (Wikipedia) 

In terms of the changes he wants, we have to show our objections: I am permanently shattered. More than that; today, on what is the last Monday before the Easter holidays, I feel weary and drained. Drained from catching the seventh cold since September since my body is exhausted and unable to function properly. Drained from the amount of work that has been forced on me and indeed my colleagues this term. Drained from the lack of cooperative behaviour of some of my more volatile students.  I am only just 30, I can't imagine what a colleague in their fifties feels like at the minute. I have less energy than I did seven years ago when I started. I cannot physically, mentally or emotionally work like this until I am 68! With that in mind, do you want a tired, frail and exhausted 68 year old teaching your child?

I am also worse off financially than I was seven years ago and that is only going to get worse. My pension contributions went up without our views even being considered. I know that this isn't solely limited to teachers, but why is the cost of living going up, but our salary and indeed pension contributions not in line with this? Not to mention that the value of the pension has actually decreased! Also, the introduction of performance related pay goes against research that challenged its worth. I found the most excellent point, raised by an NUT member explaining their reasons for joining the strike:

Standards will be compromised by performance related pay. The prime motivation for planning learning activities should be ‘what is the best way to help children learn?’ not ‘what is the best way for teachers to prove they taught it?’ Teachers should share ideas and resources not have to compete.

I am finding more and more that I have to 'prove' things - what I've taught, a student's grade, my reasoning for changing the set a student is placed in and so on and so on in order to meet my performance management targets. And whilst we should all be accountable, performance related pay only bolsters the idea that we have to compete. His plans will make teachers competitive and ruin the idea of a system where we all work together for the benefit of the children in the education system.

Gove says he wants to be able to give parents a choice. However, when challenged by parents, he ignores them. Do you want an unqualified teacher educating your child? Gove believes it's OK to use unqualified teachers to teach our children. I, myself, as a parent, would stand against any unqualified person teaching my own son. I googled 'unqualified teaching jobs' and this advert came up:

We are looking for enthusiastic Unqualified English teachers to maintain a high standard of teaching levels in order to meet the targets required. We have positions such as this coming up every week so please contact us now either with CV via email so that we can discuss this and similar roles that may suit your qualifications and experience. All applicants will undergo thorough background check.

Teachers have to have a GCSE minimum C grade in English, Maths and Science, plus relevant A Levels, a degree in their chosen or similar subject and then a PGCE (Post Grad Certificate of Education) in their chosen subject. And yet, unqualified teachers can get a job teaching with JUST a minimum of 4 GCSE's. Also, I spent a year training to teach. We learnt how to deal with behaviour issues, how to set differentiated levels of work according to the classes individual needs, how to create appropriate assessments etc. Teachers have to act as teachers, intermediaries, counsellors, nurses etc. How can just 'anyone' without ANY relevant experience or training just rock up and teach and expect to do it well? It makes a mockery of teachers quite frankly.

What type of person do you want teaching your child? I have about five friends who have left teaching since I started seven years ago. All left because they were utterly knackered, stressed and fed up with the demands of the job. Yes, we know what we are getting ourselves into when we become teachers, but no one realises the full on demand that is expected of you. 4 in 10 teachers quit in the first five years. That says it all. We need committed teachers, not ones that leave half way through a school year. Parents don't want that for their children. And yet this is what is increasingly happening due to the conditions we have to work under.

So, please, before you criticise us, stop and think about the REAL reasons that teachers are striking: it's not just about pay, it's about working in conditions that give us the chance to teach effectively and successfully and ensure that children learn to the best of their own individual abilities and needs.