Saturday, 7 December 2013

Who are we competing against, and why!

Any Answers  read my email and phoned me up - did  I want to speak? I opined that I hadn't got over the first time. I wrote this below, and ended with some personal info to prove that highly qualified teachers were in the inner-city, and trying hard to stay there!

One of the greatest damage done to school children, especially inner-city, poor school children is the careless, ignorant, unresearched talk that comes from people in power [ie MPs] on the lines of "We need to get the best teachers into the poorest schools". 

Well, we were there, still are there - teachers admired their city-over by people in the business, people in the know. We are people with Advanced Skills teacher status, published authors, people with awards and all the right qualifications. 

When children in poverty, when newly arrived monoglot, and often traumatised immigrants don't make the grades, they need the special kind of teaching that correctly identifies the need for academic teaching combined with counselling, personal support; they need someone who cares. They don't need to be pushed into the grade race. And the "social mobility", ie removing them from their families should only be considered carefully.

But careless talk cost teachers' careers and lives, demoralises the profession, closes their schools and hands them over to capitalists, who can only measure a school by its exam grades. 

I expect nothing better from this dangerous Tory government,  but I despair when a so-called Labour spokesman or woman trots out the trite and simplistic statements like "Pisa is a wake -up call" [actually that was Rachel Reeves on Questiontime, -  they are all at it!]. Why can't somebody in power challenge the whole sorry set of assertions and assumptions?
Here's some thoughts:
1. Wales dropped Ofsted; therefore it dropped standards. Scientifically proven? No.
2. UK/England is dropping behind its "competitors". Since when were other countries in a different stage of their educational development, our competitors?
3. PISA makes us 28th or whatever in the world. What is PISA? How is it calculated? What does it matter?
4. South Korea has great grades and great young suicides. Is this a good thing?
5. What is education for - industry or people?
6.What can't the professionals be trusted? Why are they [we] always regarded as the opposition?

Cheers, Victoria Jaquiss
behaviour management specialist
co-author of "Including SEN in the Curriculum: Music" published David Fulton's 2005
author of the "Foxwood Songsheets"
writer of articles and reviews in various music and Special Needs magazines
nationally recognised trainer of teaching steel pans 
life-long inner-city teacher 
active NUT and MU member
education campaigner

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