You’re All a Bunch of Wimps!

Teachers have voted to strike this June but promise not to cause any real disruption by stopping exams taking place.
Is this a real dumb use of a strike? What a bunch of wimps, that vote to strike but to minimize disruption.  Pity Bob Crowe is dead. He would have made a bloody good leader of the teachers union and there would have been none of this no disruption crap.

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Muslim Schools

In the UK every religion is able to have its own schools. There are Jewish s hooks, church of England schools, Muslim schools and others, but it seems to me that Muslim schools come in for special attention, that stops them effectively being Muslim schools and doing things that other schools are free to do.
Apparently the segregation of boys and girls is considered extremist – more extremist than segregation into completely different schools that happens in some Christian schools.
Extremist too to point out to them how stupid and incompetent Arab governments are and encourage them to liberate their fellow Muslims.
If they were to go and fight for something, at least they would be fighting for something they believe in, unlike the British army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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What is the point of a new gcse grade

Nine at all!
Apparently the top 20000 gcse students are to be awarded a super duper high new grade. No doubt this is to distinguish between those who get 98% and those who get 100%.
The idea of making exams harder probably never occurred to them. Grade F for the education secretary.

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Any student applying to a UK university through ucas applies to five universities and is either accepted or rejected conditionally by each one individually. They then have to choose from the universities that made them conditional offers who to accept BUT CAN ONLY ACCEPT UP TO TWO! Suppose then that they want to go to a top university like Imperial, York or UCL. Of course they will accept those offers. The only other they can accept is their insurance offer. If three of the other four universities are on a par with York and the other is bognor, they may feel forced to accept the offer from bognor to guarantee being able go to university at all. Suppose they fail to get into York by one grade. They made then end up in one of the worst universities in the country with A*A*A.
It couldn’t happen to a member of the royal family could it – none of whom was ever turned away from any university no matter how awful their grades!

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That’s Statistics!

Education spending goes up by hundreds of millions but spending on books falls in real terms by 4%. It seems that magic increase has been swallowed by wages and higher prices of various things.
How is it then that all the sixth form students I know have ipads given them by their schools? Maybe the education budget is the start of a new literary genre – statistical fiction!

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Which Webhost

I have been through about 15 hosts after 8 years of messing around with websites. All my websites have been disabled at least once – some of them 20 times. I have been through host after host – sometimes several simultaneously, trying to keep my websites up and updated, free from viruses, off spamlists and now I reckon I can give some valuable advice to anyone starting out with websites.
The most important tip is to avoid free hosts and get a top level domain like a .com or .org. you will be able to transfer these domains and host them anywhere. It is ok to start with a cheap shared hosting package from about $4 a month and come with built in one click website installers and security features. These servers are professionally maintained with the latest software and features and often offer unlimited bandwidth and disk space – in practice I have found they are limited to 40 gb a month bandwidth and 30 gb disk space. Next step up is a VPS or virtual private server. These are several accounts hosted on a single server, as opposed to several thousand on a shared server. The disk space is typically 50gb – 100gb and ram might be up to 3gb. You might get several dedicated core chips. I have never found a VPS to be better value than a shared host. A dedicated server is a better jump to make and offer a lot more options. What makes me hungry at the moment is speed. A dedicated server means you can install all your own software – much of it open source and free. On my home server I have ubuntu, which is a popular version of linux, very stable, and having ubuntu on a dedicated server too means that you can test solutions to your problems on one machine before you apply them on another.
What host you choose depends basically on what you want to do. Internet hosting is an international business and things illegal to do on the internet in one country may not be illegal in another. File-sharing sites, file hosting sites, music download sites, exam paper websites all manage to found homes on the internet though they are illegal in many countries and are even banned from being accessed, like pirate bay, though this can easily be circumvented via a proxy.
These websites are hosted offshore. The servers are more expensive but this is often the only option for such websites.
A website like has been up continuously for about 6 years without interruption on
Freeexampapers hosts copyrighted exam papers and means that students avoid the need to pay up to three pounds a paper to a company like edexcel. The website obviously cannot be hosted in the UK or USA because of copyright issues.

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Are Maths Teachers Sicker Than Teachers of Other Subjects?

It seems to me that maths teachers are sick more often than teachers of other subjects. Often I hear of maths teachers taking a week or a month or even a year off work and being taught from a book by a teacher whose specialist subject is not maths. This wouldn’t happen in geography, with so many geography teachers terrified to take a sickie, with so many geography graduates looking for a job.

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Schools Unblocking Websites?

I used not to be able to access several of my favourite websites in libtaries, like or or
Now I can access the first two of these. The last time I checked, the websites I could not access in schools could also not be accessed in libraries.
Have schools changed the sites they block? A site like freeexampapers should not be blocked anywhere.

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Maths Tutor for Hire!

It cost £6 and some shoelaces to make this sandwichboard.


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The Standard of Physics Teaching

As low as the standard of maths teaching. A couple of years ago I was contacted by someone who wanted chapter by chapter solutions to all the questions in an a level textbook. He said his cousin was disabled and studying from home. I supplied one chapter a fortnight for a while. Then I looked up this guy on LinkedIn and realised that he was a teacher, teaching physics from my worked solutions.

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