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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Amarië on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:21 pm

halfwise wrote:
Amarië wrote:

Geez Amarie, you are the mistress of visual humor! Yes, I really did laugh out loud and I'm supposed to be working!

That genuinly made me happy! Then suspicious that you might be sarcastic. Then happy again.

Thank you! Thank you!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:30 pm

Right - brain functioning... check.

First things first - leave Orwell alone... I was only playing

{{{{we still have that date to look forward to after all, now only six months away instead of a year!}}}}}


Now to the serious business.

I'll start with the debate in the scottish parliment.... tried to look for the figures, but couldn't find them. Without seeing them it is difficult to comment on their validity. As I understand it 98% of Primary four (Is that 11 years olds?) are meeting the expected level. If this is the case it is actually very impressive. For a comparison the Sats at KS2 (11 years old) showed improvement over several years, but recently have stalled at around 90% reaching the expected level. The second statistic is more problematic, I think it is saying that 40% of secondary 2 students are reaching the level expected, but when Salmond responded he qualified it as reaching the level expected at secondary 3. Obviously that makes a vast difference. It is either a very worrying statistic or it is actually a fair measure of what you expect at that stage. With the systems being different it is hard to make comparisons and I am not familiar with the scottish system in the sort of detail that would let me make a real jugdement.

Best thing for me was the defence of the teachers.. it is also increadibly clear that Slamond has no real time for his opposition in labour.

As this is the first time the stats have been collected I have to add that I find it difficult for any party to claim what is happening or what is responsible.

It is indicative of a wider problem that is shown in the earlier issues that I will move onto. There is far too much use of quick soundbites and figures to try support opinions and little attempt to see the bigger picture, education and progress for an individual child is due to a complex mix of things.

Academies... half of englands secondary schools now are or soon will be academies and emotive or reductionist comments are thrown about by both sides, so little real evaluation of their impact seems to be happening.

On the one hand,

  • they have greater control of their budget, get more money (not just the per child money - yes each pupil is worth around £3500 to a schools budget- they also get the money the local education authority gets to provide additional services, pupils support etc.)
  • they have freedom over curriculum, don't have to stick to the national curriculum
  • They have freedom over pay and conditions, not constrained to national pay settlements and can offer more to recruit the right staff
  • Have greater control over expelling pupils, not subject to the same appeals procedure
  • Often backed by foundations that can help them build state of the at facilities
  • Often show a marked improvement in results


On the other hand,

  • the increase in funding is likely to be only temporary
  • recent research has shown that schools are not taking up many of their 'additional' freedoms and many of those that are trumpeted as advantages of academy status are actually avaliable to lea schools too.
  • All staff in a school that is 'taken over' by an academy have to reapply for their jobs and freedom in pay and conditions means thy can implement regional diferences and add additional responsibilites to staff contracts, some have even tried to shut out unions (must state this is a minority, most automatically voluntarily sign up to the national standards)
  • Expulsion rates often rise, leaving those most vunerable of becoming disaffected and falling into crime with nowhere to go (and if some of the lateast research is true it is these people as adults that were drawn to the riots). There isn't any national data on this, but anecdotal evidence from a nearby authority shows expulsions rising from 7 pre academy to oer 20 post academy. Even worse, with no local authority provision for them the only place avaliable for them to go was a charity run establishment.
  • Some worry that further down the line some of these education foundations may become more interested in turning a profit than offering a good education.
  • Although results in academies often rise, it is suggested that this is through the targetted use of vocational qualifications, in fact under the new legal table status where many of these would be excluded the academies % fall dramatically compared to their LEA conuterparts.


Most of this is simple pros and cons and time will tell the truth. The biggest worry for me in the long run is this is dismantelling the national education system. In some local authorities all secondary schools are now academies. Every pupil over 11 is at a school that is run as an independant entity or as part of a foundation. The LEA has no requirement to provide careers, counselling, careworker, nurse etc services, so chances are that will go to outside providers. The LEA cannot implement any 'national' stragtergies or even local ones as the academies do not need to comply. The idea that this will support parent choice is void if all your local schools are run by a foundation you don't like. It could well turn into pot luck.

It is this lack of central oversight that worries me, I know that is contradictory to me moaning about too much meddling. In most cases I don't believe there will be a big problem, afterall the people doing the teaching and most running the schools are not going to change and their professionalism is not going to dissappear. But, in rare cases it will go wrong.

Ofsted .....
I'll keep it brief(ish)

  • It is possible for an inspector to fail you simply because your data says you are failing, despite your observations being good, your visit meeting every criteria. If the data says you are failing, regardless of what they see - you are failing.
  • Statisfactory is not good enough - if the majority of lessons are satisfactory, then it is inadequate teaching. (It is worth pointing out that lessons that would have recieved an outstanding grade when I started six years ago would now be lucky to get better than satisfactory)


Removing poor teachers....Done correctly I approve of this.
There are teachers that struggle, for whatever reason, at various stages of their career. The fact that so few are removed is wrong. They let down students and put strain on other staff within the department. If they are not up to it they should go..but only after targetted support.

The current system is supposed to provide this, regular observations, additional support and even some training to retify the problems and only dismissal if all else fails.
Unfortunately support is often just pressure heaped on pressure and then staff go off sick with stressmaking it almost impossible to end their employment. As a result the 'mutual agreement' that is reached often involves a teacher leaving a school. but recieving a reference that will allow them to get a job elsewhere. This doesn't benefit that teacher concerned, the school or most importantly the kids. A tightened up, but shorter system could work well.

I have to say in answer to Pettys overall point that yes, much of this is England only and I suspect that Scottish teachers are far to caught up in the changes they are going through to really pass much more than passing interest in what is going on (same as me and the current scots changes, interesting but I have coursework to mark and the third exam change in three years to prep for Rolling Eyes )


Uhmmm, thats quite long, don't know if it tells you anything or is just and incomprehensible rant Shrugging

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:45 pm

Thanks for a full response Kafria. Found it a very intresting read.

On the Scottish points in your opening. Salmond is correct here - the figures are for 2nd year pupils, the target they have to reach is at the end of 3rd year- so as fr as I can see they are on track to hit that. As you say these are the first time these figures have been gathered in this way, the previous Labour admin did not do this so for them to say its failing therefore without anything to compare it to from their tenure in power is quite preposterous (and explains Salmonds dismissive attitude of Scottish Labour). Slamond is always quick to praise the teaching proffessionand try to keep them onside- as the recent consultation over the new curriculm for excellence shows- he took a minor political hit for his 'u-turn' in allowing another year and more training for schools who want it- but I'd rather that than a party which wont compromise or listen just to save face leading to resentment and industrial action further down the line.

I never really got a handle on what Academies were exactly, as we dont have them here, so your description of how they function is useful. They seem to me like throwing the baby out with the bath water however- they are seeking to address problems in the general school system but instead they have just chucked the wjhole thing aside and created a rival set up it seems to me which, being new, will come with a whole set of new problems rather than just address the old ones.

Bad teachers are bad for everyone, teacher included. But how come they get as far as teaching on their own in the classroom? Do teachers in England not do a year or two in a real school before qualifying?

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:05 pm

There are a number of ways to qualify to teach.

For most, you do your degree, then a PGCE (post grad certificate of Eduction), a year long course that includes classroom teacheing time on upto a 70% timetable load. This gives you QTS - qualified teacher status. However you still have to do your NQT year - newly qualified teacher, you have 10% less teaching load than other staff, continue to attend extra training at the schools direction, have a mentor who meets you weekly and are observed at least twice every half term.

At the end of each term an assessment document is filled in and sent to the LEA. if you are deemed to be in danger of failing you have to undergo extra support. The big thing is if you fail this year that is it. QTS revoked and you can not redo the training or retake your NQT year. It is designed to stop poor teachers getting into the profession.

Unfortunately there are two things wrong with this. Uni's have to compete to offer teacher training places - some unis are losing departments this year as the number of training places is cut by the goverment, you need to attract students in the first place.

Also schools have to show they identified the danger of the NQT failing and put adequate support in place before they can fail. One of the teachers who did their first year at the same time as me really struggled, but the school was told they couldn't fail them as they hadn't put sufficient support in place. Now this person realised they couldn't do the teaching bit and chose the be a teaching assistant instead, but they could have taken their two 'successful' terms with them to another school the next academic year (you can take upto two to complete it) and completed their NQT year in a term.

There is also a certain amount of sympathy for new teachers, it is an awful year, whether you are up to the job or not, the most common bit of advice to a new teacher is 'grit your teeth and get through it, it'll get easier next year'

I spent three years looking for the right school for me. Teachers are individuals and just like the kids they thrive in different environments. Sometimes it is just the member of staff is in the wrong place or other issues that affect their teaching. I left me NQT school with no job to go to as I knew it wasn't right for me. I finished every Thursday in tears of frustration and was seriously considering if it was the correct job for me. I was lucky enought to pick up a half term of cover for the September, walked into a different school and it was completly different, despite having the battle of being a new member of staff, I remembered why I wanted to do the job.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:19 pm

Glad you did hang in there Kafria. We need folks like you in the classroom. I think the Scottish system is not much different. An ex-girlfirend many moons ago went into teaching and she did a similar sort of thing as you lay out above, but I don't know the precise details sadly.
I imagine oe of the hardest things about being a teacher is being lucky enough to find a job somewhere you are comfortable. I supsect more often than not that does not happen.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:45 pm

Kafria wrote:{{{{we still have that date to look forward to after all, now only six months away instead of a year!}}}}}

Oh our 'date'! Shocked

Of course.... of course... so long as nothing really really really important comes up so that I can't have that date with you, Kafria... But ... err... woof! woof! woof!.... that's what I say... so long as nothing really really really really important comes up... Embarassed

Now to serious business... I'm off to read the other threads... Very Happy

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:36 am

Shocked

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:50 am

Mrs Figg, quite some time ago - about a year or so - Kafria thought I was bluffing about all my womanizing...

So I asked her out and she agreed... {{{ Shocked }}}

Unfortunately, I had my "Womanizer Journal" filled to the brim with names and dates, so I could fit her in only about eighteen months later.

Oowee! On that day I'll show her I'm not all smoke and mirrors, all steam with no engine... I am EXACTLY every bit the rootin'-tootin' roo-shootin' Ozhobbit I make myself out to be... Frankly, I think she'll swoon just at the sight of my beautiful pulsating sun bronzed flesh....

But, of course, if something really really really really really important was to come up, I would have to cancel at the last second.. that's only being sensible. It certainy won't have anything to do with me being all no steam and engine... 'cause I'm all engine baby.. toot-toot... ... ... .... so long as nothing important comes up unexpectedly, of course... Nod

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:52 am

Extremely Crabbit

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:57 am

Of course, I realize we're currently in a defactonet relationship, Mrs Figg --- but this is a matter of my Male Honour (Male Ozhobbit Honour - the most Male kind - saturated with testosterone) ... and the arrangement, after all, did precede our arrangement, Mrs Figg... I will have to keep that date.... unless, something was to come up... something unexpected... I'm sure you understand, my love. You being a hobbit of the world and all.... I love you

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:15 am

Banghead

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:46 am

Mrs Figg - I hope we're not going to have one of those relationships where a hobbit lad can't go off sowing his wild oats with other lasses in the village - providing something else truly of import doesn't come up, of course, Kafria... Now, Mrs Figg, take a deep breath and get used to it... I'm more than enough hobbit to satisfy lots and lots of hobbit lasses - and don't call me fat! ... I think you're just being silly... Nod

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Eldorion on Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:27 am

Orwell wrote:Mrs Figg, quite some time ago - about a year or so - Kafria thought I was bluffing about all my womanizing...

She wasn't the only one. Laughing
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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:50 am

:facepalm:

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:57 am

The data is still inconclusive on this...... gotta see if you show yet! Very Happy

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:08 am

I'll be there alright, Kafria. Then you'll see me for the devourer of women I am! Nod ... So long as nothing unexpected comes up to thwart my wild half-hobbit, half-lion, half slow-handed-machine-like Lady-pleasuring ... Once a woman has known Orwell in the flesh, no other hobbit (or man) will ever satisfy them again... Unless, of course, afore mentioned totally unexpected, obviously unpredictable and therefore un-prophesiable 'thwarting' situation does arise... Unlikely - but you never know...Shrugging

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:23 am

All mouth no trousers. Another good reason not to wear any. Nod

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:25 am

It's like you an look right into my house, Petty.... Nod

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:36 am

I can. Just dont tell Primmy. Wink And I'm pretty sure you shouldnt eat that jelly now. Very Happy

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Mirabella on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:38 am

Primmy? Suspect

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:42 am

Primmy? Pimmy? Primula Banks? One of Odo's wives- never shuts the curtains. Nod I get confused over Odo's maritial status. (I am assuming of course that you stay with the Bankses Orwell, would explain why I am always seeing you in her room, helping out with the jelly, very civic minded of you if I may say so).

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:46 am

I'm sure you must be mistaken, Petty... Embarassed

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by odo banks on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:50 am

Hey! I've noticed a few odd things lately --- Primmy's headaches; Bella's sore back; the au pair's drooping pears.... What's going on, Orwell? Suspect

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:55 am

Don't think so Orwell, sure it was you as when I was passing by I was certain I heard Primmy call out "Put it deeper Orwell"- no doubt you were lending a helping hand in the garden with a spade planting the jelly vines- for all your bluster you can be very helpful to the ladies of the Community in your spare time it seems. Although you'd think she'd get Biffo in for any sort of digging. Suspect

{{{Here Odo, I'd keep an eye on Orwell if I were you, I think he is been digging in your garden!}}}}

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by odo banks on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:58 am

{{{Too right! I'm keeping a close on him from now on, Mr Tyrant... Damned handsome... Dangerous, I reckon... You know, Primmy whispered to me the other night he is every bit as good looking as me... and then she giggled. Strange business 'tis; strange! Suspect }}}

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