‘We are beyond crisis; we are in a state of distress’

It’s exactly a year since I finally left teaching. It’s coming up for two years since my debut novel – MIDDLE CLASS – was published (get a copy here). And it’s no surprise to see the headlines about the mental health crisis in schools.

This is where the novel takes you: inside a London school, inside the wonderful and complex lives of a teacher and her ‘middle’ class – with too few resources and too many needs… and inside one lot reading Great Expectations while another lot tackle Howards End.

I’m immensely proud of the book, and was very, very touched to receive some wonderful praise for it from some incredible people.

But the basis of it – as the opening page and quotes say – is the chronic situation in education, with the extraordinary workload placed on teachers, and the incredible pressures placed on students.

‘They chose their pastors as they chose their horses: for hard work.’

RS Thomas

These words from a poem by RS Thomas have resonated with me – a pastor’s son – for so long. And, if you read the book, you’ll see why they sit with the protagonist too.

A book of hope, ulimately. Of the hilarious and wonderful and unimaginably challenging privilege of teaching in a London secondary school.

Go on, treat yourself 😉

Buy a copy on Kindle, or paperback. Or better still – order one from your local bookshop.