Friday, 18 September 2015

The Madness of Life After Levels

Some see the removal of the national system of levels in England, as empowering teachers and schools. After all the teachers can now do their own thing. Can't they?
I think it is a disaster and I cannot see how experienced professionals have gone along with this ill thought out plan. (Plan is really too strong a word for what is a shambolic thought experiment where the thought is missing.)
With 25,000 schools in the country we are going to have 25,000 different systems. When a student moves from one school to another who is going to bother reading about the previous school's system to work out where that student is performing? When a secondary school has 30 feeder primaries how is the data from the primaries going to make sense?

 Complete madness.

I feel ashamed of the teaching profession for allowing politicians to visit this chaos upon them. What is the point of NAHT and ASCL if they cannot prevent stupidity like this? How many thousands of working man-hours will be wasted with every school having to invent their own system?

Friday, 11 September 2015

Back to the Future With Dame Sally Coates

Dame Sally Coates says here "if there is one area where all schools would benefit from central direction it’s in the field of curriculum and assessment." 

This article is definitely worth a read. It contains some excellent ideas that many teachers would welcome. If fact it seems logical, well thought out, and looks like it would improve not only education in this country, but also make a teacher's workload more manageable.

But.... it seems like a proposal to reverse all the changes that Mr Gove brought in.

In fact it reminds me of exactly where we were headed about 10 years ago. 
It's a case of "Back to the Future".

Whilst I believe this proposal is a good idea, what is to stop another crackpot Secretary of State for Education reversing everything in 5 years' time? Nothing!

Until a system is in place which removes political meddling, we are destined to go round this curriculum merry-go-round for ever. If educational professionals were allowed more influence on policy we would make better forward progress. The chances of this though are zero because politicians cannot stop meddling and Headteacher organisations seem unable to grasp the nettle.

Good luck with the proposal Dame Sally. You will get more teachers on board if you can guarantee some mechanism for stability. Teachers are tired of all the imposed change and frankly down right lies from the DfE.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The DfE's Two Children

Imagine that you have 2 children that you claim to love equally.


You only ever praise one of them.
You give all your attention to that one child.
You give all your money to that one child.
You tell the world that when you have other children you only want them to be like that one child.
When that one child gets results that are below par, you still say it is "outstanding" even though the other child gets better results.

What message are the children really sent?

How does each child feel about you as a parent?

Nick Gibb, Education Minister, tells ResearchED, "academies are not necessarily better than maintained schools".