Saturday, 4 July 2015

School Improvement "Whack a Mole"

The whole business of school improvement has become like “Whack a Mole”. This is the fairground game where you hit a mole with a mallet and try to smash it into a hole. As soon as you do so another mole pops up.
In the UK our schools are the moles. But there is a twist. In the fairground game it is possible to smash all the moles into the holes. In the UK education version it is impossible.
School improvement measures are now all relative. A school becoming not coasting automatically forces another school in the system to be coasting. As fast as a school makes progress another does not make progress. This is a causal relationship.
Success causes failure elsewhere. The system cannot allow all students to achieve their potential. It is impossible by design.
As Headteachers and teachers work harder and harder in one school, they make it harder and harder for the next school to achieve success. This is the mad world of educational “whack a mole” where in the end no-one is the winner.
Teaching professionals will all drive themselves to ill health, like hamsters running ever faster on a wheel that has no exit door.

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