Anorak | How Joe Cotton’s NUT Speech Was Spun To Promote An Agenda

How Joe Cotton’s NUT Speech Was Spun To Promote An Agenda

by | 27th, April 2011

JOE Cotton is the standard bearer for comprehensive schools. Everything he is and does is down to his comprehensive education. No, not despite of it. Because of it!

Well, so says the spin.

Autonomous Mind takes a closer look :

ONE of the stories of the day sections of the media are lapping up is that of a 15-year-old schoolboy who delivered a speech at the National Union of Teachers conference in Harrogate.  As usual the media fails its readers once again.

Joe Cotton from Calder High School in Yorkshire was given a standing ovation after his speech on the axing of the education maintenance allowance (EMA). The teenager urged the NUT to do all they could to keep education “affordable and accessible”,  according to the BBC .

Good luck to the lad.  I don’t agree with his views about the EMA but I don’t take issue with him being motivated enough to stand up in front of 1000 delegates and  speak his mind Someone I do take issue with however is the NUT general secretary, Christine Blower. After Cotton had finished speaking she took to the stage to congratulate him saying:

“Now that’s what comprehensive education can do.”


Let’s examine the facts shall we?  Fact one is that Joe Cotton is not an average 15 year old run of the mill GCSE student.  Joe was was invited by a member of the NUT executive to speak at the conference after he was heard speaking at a rally in Halifax.  He is clearly a self motivated high achiever who also has the good fortune to attend a school  rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted and described thus in its last inspection report:

Many parents of children at comprehensive schools would love to see that kind of description for the school their youngsters attend. It is not par for the course.

Then there is young Joe Cotton himself.  Regardless of his views this lad is a stand out kid.  Many youngsters spend their free time attached to a keyboard in their bedroom or wandering around the streets looking for some kind of stimulation, but not Joe.  Unlike many kids he likes to get involved in available activities and strives to succeed quite possibly due to positive parental influence, encouragement and support. Evidence?  Read on…

There is this  local news story from 2009 where Joe was a star turn in a mock trial contest.  In fact he was named the best prosecution lawyer, denoting an ability to articulate his thoughts and express himself clearly and effectively. But then this

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Posted: 27th, April 2011 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink