Sunday, 15 April 2012

They should be careful what they wish for

As the spring term comes to a halt, one concert after another, the TESes were piling up unread in a corner of my study, and now Clippy is trying to make them her home. Obviously preferable to sleeping on the saw that I make steel pan beaters with.
So, it’s the Easter “break” and, going through the TESes I read [9 March] of “Clarendon Academies” , “an educational group established by two City financiers . . ‘ and that tells you all you need to know about the company’s a. motivation and b. educational expertise. And this group of clowns wants to run 2000 of the UK’s schools, as academies.
Blimey! Catch this: “by offering higher pay and making teachers partners . . . the staff would have greater commitment to seeing the schools succeed. Mary Bousted, general secretary, ATL, describes the plan as utterly horrifying. . . .Teachers are public servants and are motivated by that ethos.
Next article same page says that some Alternative Providers: “do little more than keep their pupils off the streets.” And I’m thinking that may be no small thing. And now I’m mulling over what education is for and what life is for, and I turn the page to find that actress/comic, Goldie Hawn, “ at the age of 11 . . began to worry that the joy was seeping put of her life.”
And, as sure as eggs is eggs, you can bet that this generation of school children won’t be talking about “the best days of their lives”, not while they are swotting all through the holidays so that they can get the grades that will keep the teachers in their jobs that will stop the schools from slipping down league tables, becoming academies, or proving that academy-status is just that a vacuous empty pointless piece of dubious status.
Nigel from UKIP was on Any Questions [7/4], claiming that one fifth of teachers were rubbish, and I'm wondering how long teachers will put up with the constant universal insult. Till this generation retires, I would think! I wrote thus to Any Answers [what was read on air in italics]:

Parents and idiot-panellists should be careful what they wish for. As graduates, teachers are in the top whatever percent [1%?] of the population for intelligence; and, as for all those with post-graduate training - well, statistically it makes them even brainier. And after four years studying at university they go into their chosen profession generally for vocational reasons: because it's a calling, and because they want to do good. They could take their degrees and earn a whole load more money in the private sector. And then who would teach our kids!There was a time when graduates were tempted into teaching by default - can't think what to do, teacher-train. Ever since Margaret Thatcher [arriving in power just I was starting my teaching career!] respect for teacher nose-dived. Now teachers are driven more by the calling, and nobody would go into any profession to be poor at it, or to have their professional skills called into question on a regular basis by Ofsted and even more regularly by a press and populace baying for blood!
And there is a new culture of bullying heads. Ofsted asks for strong leadership, and sometimes heads who listen to others' opinions and care about and for their staff are mistaken for weak leaders. It's a sad new world.

I'm wondering who will teach, when all the teachers have been removed, or have removed themselves. Which will be too late for the kids.

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