Thanks to Ruth Kelly's decision to pay for her son's education due to his learning disability (dyslexia) I've had something of a stressful week. Parents, teachers and the media want to know what we're doing with our kids. I've veered between criticism of the current set-up (the practicalities of inclusion are totally at odds with league tables and the fact schools are judged on pupils' attainment rather than achievement) and a defence of my work and that of my hard-working team.
January always seems to be ever so slightly depressing in Barking as well. Two years ago a neighbour was murdered - bashed over the head and set alight. Last year a teenager was murdered outside Upney station. This year a young man was murdered up the road and two young men have been killed by a tube train. If the photos of the depot had been taken from the other side of the tracks you'd almost be able to see our flat.