Education is essential. We know how important it is for a society. A good education system is what every country in the world should strive for. Now education is personal to me. Why you may ask ?
Well you could say it’s a family business. My father was a head teacher, my mother worked in a school, nearly all my aunties, uncles, cousins and even great aunties were teachers. I even graduated from a teaching College. I am now a school governor. Thus my background is education. I feel passionately about this area.
Every Government has tried to improve and reform education in the UK. One could argue the success and failure of all governments in their quest to make the education system in this country the best in the world. Have we succeeded ? Well if you look at the world league tables, then I guess you could say we haven’t.
Now don’t get me going on league tables because I don’t agree with them. Shock , horror ! I don’t agree with SATS, shock , horror. In fact I am not too keen on any official testing till the age of 16. Yes that is right you heard it, no testing till 16. Maybe that is too radical but Finland does it and guess what they have one of the most successful education systems in the world now.
Let’s get to where we are now with education in the UK. We have a Secretary of State, Michael Gove, who is on a mission not just to reform the system, but to change it completely.
His idea is to create this amazing education system. Yes, of course that is what we all want. How does he want to achieve this. He wants to create an academy programme. He wants free schools. His idea is choice, choice, choice. Let’s be free of the old systems of a Local Authority. Who needs that ! Give the head teachers, governors the responsibility of running the schools completely. After all its the people on the ground that know what they are doing.
Sounds good doesn’t it. Teachers and parents in control, not some stuffy Local Authority. I don’t think anyone could argue against teachers having control and parents being part of the school. Its about local communities, running local schools, marvellous.
Yes but its at this point we need to really look into the detail. I am afraid at this point it becomes political. Is it really in the best interests of the community that control is actually taken away from Local Authority and given to Gove. To centralise. Yes this is what is happening.
I fear its the contradiction of giving choice at a local level to then taking it away by centralising.
I agree that teachers, head teachers, governors are the one’s to run their school. I agree that head teachers should run their budget.
But what if there is no local safety net, no local accountability .What if something where to go wrong?
This is where it all becomes worrying. What we need is balance. We do need a Local Education Authority, where there is that local accountability, that local support.
The key is in the LEA – Local – not CEA – Central which is what the Education Secretary is intent on creating. He could actually call it GEA – Gove Education Authority , he might as well.
Are the teachers really happy with the reforms, the academies and the free schools ? No , the teachers I have spoken are not and I know a lot of teachers.
Has this reform been thought through. I seriously do not believe it has been. In the mission to create this Utopian vision of a perfect education system he has actually forgotten how important local government is to protect the interests of the community. You need local government to be there as support, to know what is happening with the local schools. A distant government , centralised in an office in Whitehall is not the answer to our education system in this country.
Oh yes and I will be writing more about education in the future on my blog.
This will be the biggest strike action in nearly one hundred years . The headteachers , who to my knowledge have never striked , will be striking . NAHT . This is unheard of . This is action that should be respected . Teachers are a dedicated workforce, they don’t strike for any reason . I know this because my family are teachers, my father was a headteacher . My family business is teaching .
This is why we should listen . I support their brave actions and yes they are brave. Teachers do not want to let their children down , they are professional.
Also , let’s face it , who can afford to lose a day’s pay in today’s harsh climate , where the cost of living is squeezing us all. It is the teachers who are the middle earners, who will lose their child benefit . It is the teachers who will be paying more into their pensions and getting less out at the end, that will have to work till they are 68 .
What this coalition Govt doesn’t seem to grasp is that it is the middle earners who are the engine of the economy . They are the drivers . If you demoralise them , then you demoralise the economy. I am no economist , but I can work out that if you attack the middle, you attack the part that keeps everything together, its just plain obvious.
So you don’t attack the rights , you give strength and confidence. The Govt should respect public sector workers. After all the Govt are the heart of the public sector . They are the public sector . The Govt are the servants of the people and we are not their servants . This has somehow been lost and needs to be regained.
We need more bravery . Continue reading
Teachers are priceless for
Today I went along to help out on my 4 year olds school trip. There were 101 children being supervised by 40 teachers, assistants and parents. We were on and off buses, it was a hot muggy day and by the end of it I was utterly exhausted. This was just a single day out of my year, but it really brought home to me what an amazing job teachers and TAs do every day.
What I found most tiring about today wasn’t the walking, the organising, the lifting or the carrying – it was the responsibilityfor my small group of children, that duty of care to them and to their parents. And it is this burden that made me appreciate the jobs teachers do – particularly those who then go home to their own children at the end of the day and have to continue their caring role.
People in professions that care for other human beings are notoriously badly paid. Yet every day we place our children into the care of teaching professionals expecting the highest standards of teaching as well as care. But with teachers currently facing big cuts to their pensions, meaning they will have to work longer, pay more and get less when they retire, it worries me that those people caring for my children might not be as dedicated and enthusiastic as they are today. Nobody goes into teaching for the money, but neither should they expect to be overworked, undervalued and badly recompensed for a lifelong commitment to their vocation.
After my day on the front line, I think anyone in Government making decision about teachers pay, working conditions and pensions should spend a day, a week, a year, walking in their shoes. A wrong policy decision today could have a catastrophic effect on the motivation and morale of the people in whom we are trusting to shape our children’s futures.