My School

John Lennon Revolution

I went to school in Liverpool in the 1980's. This school was attended by Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Next door was the Art school which Lennon later attended. Together with Ringo they caused a Revolution in music across the world.

John Lennon wrote a song called "Revolution"  which I was lucky enough to perform live at the Liverpool Philharmonic with a Beatles Tribute Band. It's a rocky number.

John Lennon wrote Revolution , a song about change. there is a biography about his life called Revolution

My secondary education wasn't learning revolution but  was at the last State-run Grammar called The Liverpool Institute High School for Boys. It had a sister school called Blackburn House.


Boys like me were not allowed to hamper the development of young and brilliant minds across the road. This image shows Liverpool Institute as it looked when I was schooled

In this little blog I'll avoid comment on the politic of the age, which saw radicals like Derek Hatton plan a Revolution and set about the dismantling of this last bastion of Grammar education. That said, he advocated the independence of Liverpool from Central Government control, and a type of mayoral system, now adopted as the norm in the UK. We started with these  beginning in London and this is seen as a template for the UK.


Derek Hatton was leader of a movement within the Labour Party

Messers Hatton & Co might have wished for the opting out of State control of education, but probably would not have been happy with the recent announcements on Academisation of education in the UK.

Back at My school, right from the very first year as an eleven year old, we were "streamed" into Languages or Sciences across 4 "forms" or classes. I began in "1A" and we in this Language set were taught, English (of course) Latin; French; some Spanish and a "Q Language".

Now this "Q Language" was a choice of either German or Russian.

We also studied Metalwork OR Woodwork after the second year.


The Ballroom in the Irish Centre where i waited on table

Whilst at school, I had a weekend job in the Irish Centre in Liverpool, collecting glasses and working serving at tables. A great way that was to learn how to communicate properly in the adult world.

Furthermore, I took night school classes in Basic Accounting and Computer Programming (BASIC Language)

Little did I know how much forward thinking my school had when in the 4th form - "4A"  (4th year) we were asked to choose between our Q language and our "craft". I say forward thinking because that is just what Lord Baker is suggesting today. He is going further  but more in saying that we don't need languages in the modern world, we need skills for the workplace.

The Digital Revolution

Lord Baker, formerly of Margaret Thatchers Cabinet is calling for extreme and radical action to prepare our young people for the workplace and what is described as the next industrial revolution in a new report published in May 2016..

His Report "The Digital Revolution" was prompted by the Bank of England's recent prediction that up to 15 million UK jobs are at risk of automation right across the UK economy including "pen pushing" professions such as law and accountancy.

Lord Baker's paper suggests an eight-point plan which includes the provision of 3D printers and CAD design software for all primary schools in the UK, reintroducing young apprenticeships at the earliest age of 14, blending a core academic curriculum with a day a week of technical learning and regular work experience and letting young people take computer science or design and technology instead of a foreign language GCSE.

Am I in a Time Machine?

Lord Baker says:

'The economy is changing at an unprecedented pace. Every day, jobs are being lost in professions we used to regard as careers for life. Artificial intelligence, robots, 3D printing and driverless vehicles will impact on sectors as varied as the legal profession, transport and construction.

'The UK's future workforce will need technical expertise in areas such as design and computing, plus skills which robots cannot replace - flexibility, empathy, creativity and enterprise.

'Right now, this thinking is almost entirely absent from the core curriculum in mainstream schools.

'In the Digital Revolution, knowledge is as necessary as ever, but it is not enough. It has to be connected with the real world through practical applications ranging from engineering and IT to the performing, creative and culinary arts.

'We should not go back to a 19th century diet of academic subjects for all. We need 21st century education for a 21st century economy.'

Lord Baker has set out an eight-point education plan which responds to the digital revolution:

  1. Primary schools should bring in outside experts to teach coding
  2. All primaries should have 3D printers and the CAD design software to support
  3. Secondary schools should be able to teach Computer Science, Design and Technology or another technical/practical subject in place of a foreign language GCS
  4. The Computer Science GCSE should be taken by at least half of all 16 year old
  5. Young apprenticeships should be reintroduced at 14, blending a core academic curriculum with hands-on learning
  6. All students should learn how businesses work, with schools linked to local employers
  7. Schools should be encouraged to develop a technical stream from 14-18 for some students, covering enterprise, health, design and hands-on skills
  8. Universities should provide part-time courses for apprentices to get Foundation and Honours degrees.

Back to the Future

Now you are thinking "Who is this guy writing this blog....Marty McFly?"

No I'm not, but I do think I made some choices ahead of their time which may yet pay off, and I could make a Million!!! I am actually better looking !!!

If you are reading this blog, you are able to read English, a universal language so is there any point in learning another one if you are English?

The new Universal Language is Code, and all should be competent in this way of speaking to our computers and controlling them.

The 4th Industrial Revolution

I with Lord Baker agree that 3D Printing should be taught  right from key Stage 1.

3D Printing is essential to our children's understanding of how design and manufacture has changed.

No matter what industry a young person joins when leaving education, it will be impacted upon by 3D printing, which has been with us now for 30 years.

Whether the pupil of today desires to be an Architect, an Archaeologist; a Doctor or a Dentist; a Pilot or an Astronaut, in Automotive or Aerospace; a Jeweller or an Artist; a Manufacturer or an Engineer' 3D Printing will be the edge they need to compete in the world and without the basic skills and understanding required, our country will fall behind.

I welcome Lord Bakers Report, but without the vision and guidance of Government, and in a target-led environment, educators will fail our children, because they still ask today "Why do we need a 3D printer in school?"

Give them the tools they need now, today, in 2016 for the moulding of tomorrows workforce.

Teach our children how to use 3D Printers.

I want our Government to Introduce a voucher scheme and take the pain of indecision away from schools.

Am I advocating Revolution?

Advocating 3D Revolution

Accuse me of bias, being a 3D printer supplier to Education, but I became one to plug our UK engineering skills gap, and to encourage more women into the STEM subjects utilising CAD and 3D to realise designs yet unthought of.

The real me in a reproduction of the shirt Lennon loved to wear when he moved to the States. Advocating 3D Revolution

Free our Children and let them become what they could be.

A mind expanded never returns to its original size.

Join the Revolution


Lyrics to Revolution

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out

Don't you know it's gonna be alright
Alright, alright

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don't you know it's gonna be alright
Alright, alright, al...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You'd better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don't you know know it's gonna be alright
Alright, alright

Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright