“Nicky don’t need her eyes to see. Nicky has parted from reality.”

That’s the last line of a punk protest song by a Leeds teacher in response to plans for full academisation.

National Union of Teachers activist and singer Gary Kaye has released the song – Nicky Morgan’s Eyes – with his band The Enemies of Promise.

The song, based on ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ by The Adverts and released with permission of songwriter TV Smith, is supposedly written to show the work of teachers through the eyes of the education secretary.

Mr Kaye, an English and media studies teacher, told Schools Week he wanted to give teachers an “anthem to (safety) pin their despair on”, and said he was inspired by the government’s recent announcement that all state schools would become academies by 2022.

He said: “I decided to write this song for all teachers who feel under pressure and all students who are having their education tainted for ideological purposes.

“TV Smith, who wrote Gary Gilmore’s Eyes, gave his blessing for this version and, having written the words on Friday morning it all came together over the weekend.”

Mr Kaye described music as a “wonderful form of rebellion”, adding: “Just how can Nicky Morgan look at herself in the mirror and believe that academisation is some kind of golden ticket to educational success?”

The first verse expresses some frustrations which may sound familiar to teachers across England…

I’m sitting in the teaching hub, trying to plan my week

But the spreadsheet needs some data and the raise on line looks bleak

I’m looking at my colleagues and much to my surprise

They all require improvement and then I realise

I’m looking through Nicky Morgan’s eyes

The second verse is just as scathing, and focuses on the academies programme and the debate over qualified teachers…

I’m standing in the playground with a massive bunch of keys

I’m giving them to businessmen who run academies

I don’t believe that teachers should be properly qualified

Experience counts for nothing and then I realise

I’m looking through Nicky Morgan’s eyes

And the third takes a pop at Ofsted too…

The teachers are all cowering and fearing for their jobs

And Ofsted are marauding like a bunch of mindless yobs

I look into a mirror, I scream and I despise

I hate what I am seeing and then I realise

I’m looking through Nicky Morgan’s eyes


Schools Week does not know if Nicky Morgan has heard the song yet.


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  1. Robert W

    I’m struggling to get the Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes out of my head. Maybe there’s a version of that with Nicky’s name substituted on the horizon?

  2. Jason Sharp

    A perfect song for me as an old punk, ex teacher and currently a teaching union employee.
    Its just a shame there has been a need to write it.
    I do hope it is played at the up coming conferences and perhaps played by TV Smith at Rebellion. Better still as guest appearance by the NUT rep with TV
    Jason sharp

  3. I’m an enemy of promise, a member of the Blob;
    Squashing teachers just like me is Nicky Morgan’s job.
    I’m pounding on the keyboard, blogging in despair.
    Until a scathing punk song comes screaming through the air.
    I sit up with pride and finally realise –
    I don’t have to look through Nicky Morgan’s eyes.