Friday, 13 May 2016

The Crankshaft Test for Primary Schools

There is discussion about how many English primary schools should be classified as failing this year. Should it be an increase of 1 percent, or 1 percentage point? This is the level of argument that we have descended to.
Whether it is 1 per cent or 1 percentage point, the system is wrong. The figures are purely arbitrary. It means that the government has decided that however good schools become, they plan to fail a particular number. They can pick any number they wish, and this is what they are doing.
Imagine if we did the same with driving tests. You could be a good driver but the authorities could decide that a set percentage always have to fail. Why would you do that? Would the population feel that was reasonable or fair?
To continue the analogy, the driving test could fail you if you did not know what a crankshaft was, even though it had no bearing on your ability to drive. Driving instructors would have to give lessons in crankshafts and drivers would be more likely to pass the driving test is they knew about crankshafts, than if they were good drivers.

Something is seriously wrong with this policy.

Are YOU The Organ Grinder's Monkey?

Many Academies are having to cut costs due to budget constraints. To save money on any significant scale requires cuts to staffing. So is this an issue for all schools, or is it a particular issue for schools in a Multi Academy Trust (MAT)?
It is an issue where a MAT makes the decision to cut staffing and the individual Academy Headteacher has no say in the matter. Especially where the CEO is on a very high salary.

It is an issue where a MAT sacks all of its support staff and tells them they can apply for their old jobs but on a lower salary. What does that do for morale in an individual Academy?

It is clear to everyone that an individual Academy Headteacher no longer has any power. It undermines their authority, autonomy, and their job satisfaction.
It is an issue where the CEO (Lord Nash) can give his own unqualified daughter a job as a teacher in his own schools on no pay, and let her appoint staff and write the History curriculum for the qualified teachers. Will we be replacing all qualified teachers with freebies courtesy of the CEO's gene pool?

The issue is one of power and who makes the decisions.

If YOU are a Headteacher in a MAT, YOU are now the organ grinder's monkey.