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Live webchat with Fiona Millar, Tuesday 3rd March, 1-2pm

(287 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Feb-09 21:10:26

Fiona Millar will be visiting us at Mumsnet Towers for a live webchat on Tuesday 3rd March between 1 and 2pm. Her book The Secret World of the Working Mother: Juggling Work, Kids and Sanity will be out on Thursday 5th March. Fiona is a well-known journalist, educational campaigner and mother of three. If you can't join us on Tuesday, post your questions in advance on this thread.

sfxmum Thu 26-Feb-09 10:49:38

Lordy! you do know what people will b wanting to ask don't you? grin

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 26-Feb-09 10:53:02

PMSL - cannot wait for this one! Are we allowed to venture into the arena of her husband's domestic skills or (alleged) lack thereof?

morningpaper Thu 26-Feb-09 11:23:22

Aw no I sympathise with THIS lady

As least she had a proper job and career that you can imagine was agonising to extract yourself from

Not a husband at home with manicure ishooos

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 26-Feb-09 11:34:15

True MP. And as a school governor myself I admire her commitment in that area.

Indiechick Thu 26-Feb-09 11:36:04

Oh I can't wait to buy this book. I think you are an inspiration Fiona. I particularly admire your stance on state schools.

morningpaper Thu 26-Feb-09 11:40:36

Yes yes I agree

I want to know:

- What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
- What are your regrets?
- What is your husband's most annoying habit? <runs away>

pollycazalet Thu 26-Feb-09 11:47:54

I want to read this book. I think she's pretty inspirational - both politically and in the way she has managed to juggle it all. And A Campbell is a completely useless undomesticated lump, as revealed in the Times this week.

pollycazalet Thu 26-Feb-09 11:51:49

My questions are:

- Do you think it gets harder to be a working parent as your kids get older? I have certainly found this to be the case and my kids aren't at secondary school yet.
- How do we encourage a shared approach to parenting - ie thinking of working PARENTS rather than mothers. In my experience it's women who take advantage of flexible working opportunities and men are still unwilling to - therefore sustaining the gender gap in the workplace. Is there a role for Government in this?

sfxmum Thu 26-Feb-09 11:54:11

actually I would like to know about being a school governor, which I believe you were

- what do you consider to be the major problems in state education

and what is your view on academies especially the private funding from religious groups


pollycazalet Thu 26-Feb-09 11:56:11

And did you edit your partner's diaries for him? You definitely come out well (almost saintly!)

Jux Thu 26-Feb-09 12:19:24

Educational qs here:

What are your thoughts on the teaching of cursive writing? (vile and pernicious imo - why can't you teach kids to print which they see in books all the time, and then tell them not to take their pencil off the paper until the end of the word?)

Do you think that times tables should be learnt by heart from Reception?

beforesunrise Thu 26-Feb-09 13:36:05

I won't unfortunately be able to join as I will be on holiday (well, fortunately really!).

But Fiona, having read and admired your stances on education before, what would you say to a parent who is ideologically and politically and politically supportive of state schooling, but who has the means to afford private school (with some sacrifices), and is faced with a very stark choice between a challenged (for want of a better word) state local primary and independent education?

I know what you are going to say, but i really need to hear you say it again!


donnie Thu 26-Feb-09 17:38:35

and following on from that - is it true that you had a lot of private one to one tuition for your DC ? what would you say to parents who cannot afford to do that?

Starbear Thu 26-Feb-09 18:52:27

I would like to know why Journalists and writers on this subject (working mothers) never bother to look at the lives of working mother's who's lives do not conform to 9-5pm, working in an office, wear heels and a suit. I will not be reading this book it has nothing to offer a shift worker in a front line job such as hospital staff, police officers, fire officers, any one in catering, traffic wardens, out of hours cleaners, shift factory workers. Do I need to go on? Other MN please add to my list, if you think magazines and publishers have forgotten you and your trade.

ABetaDad Thu 26-Feb-09 20:53:57

Is it true that you bought an expensive house in the catchment area of the very good state school which your kids went and which no ordinary worker on a average income could possibly have afforded?

Do you think that buying an expensive house in the catchement area of a good school is really just selection by wealth and why do you think it is fair to do that but not have selective grammar schools that poor kids can attend by virtue of their intellect?

Pollyanna Thu 26-Feb-09 22:14:55

unless Fiona Millar has moved since I used to live near her, she didn't send her children to a desirable primary school (although her house was probably very expensive!). I always admired her for sending her children to that school - we didn't! (although we didn't go private like the majority of the families in that area)

SuperMario Thu 26-Feb-09 22:23:43

why do you not make your husband do stuff around the house as a role model to your children.

WHY WHY WHY do men still think tis clever to say they "dont do nappies"?

Shame on YOU for letting this go on and on.

ABetaDad Thu 26-Feb-09 22:30:05

It was the secondary school I was thinking about.

Pollyanna Thu 26-Feb-09 22:33:47

really? camden school for girls?

ABetaDad Thu 26-Feb-09 22:52:36

Fiona Millar went to Camden School for Girls.

My question relates to the secondary school her children went to.

moondog Fri 27-Feb-09 00:14:47

Message withdrawn

beforesunrise Fri 27-Feb-09 08:10:55

if you don't care, why are you on here moondog? by all means ask challenging questions, but just to come on here, swear a bit, and proclaim you don't care- it's just pointless really.

SuperMario Fri 27-Feb-09 08:11:52

I kind of agree with the hound. But I suppose this is a means to make ends meet.

morningpaper Fri 27-Feb-09 09:15:08

nice moondog hmm

Fiona Millar is hardly 'some journalist' - she's done loads to contribute to the debate about state education, in a really positive way

And it's not really on to take the piss out of people who campaign against the stigma of mental health at their own personal cost imo

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