EDUCATION

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by odo banks on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:42 pm

{{{ :facepalm: All cleared up.... Very Happy Primmy says she has a headache because she's had to listen to Orwell singing in his room. And Betty has a sore back, because Orwell has been complaining about how hard it is to dig the garden, so she's done most of it herself And the au pair's pears are drooping because she left them on the tree too long and they're full of worms and decomposing pulp! And Primmy tells me she was giggling about Orwell being as handsome as me .... or so HE told her --- and she couldn't help giggling just thinking about it! As to him spying on them - well, they know he is - but he's not once touched them --- every time they try to flirt with him (knowing him for such a pretender) he makes some excuse, and rushes off to his room, slamming and locking the door behind him - and then he starts singing those infernal mournful woebegone songs of his again, and in a voice to curdle milk - and make Bob Dylan sound like Caruso! Oh ho ho ho... and to think, the womenfolk in Forumshire think him such a 'womanizer' - nothing further from the truth as far as I can see... Though he'll deny it black and blue...Laughing }}}

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri May 04, 2012 10:04 am

I see Grove as miraculously discovered yet another way to annoy teachers- dock the pay of underperforming teachers!
After all we all know the main problem with the education sytsem in England is the teachers.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by halfwise on Fri May 04, 2012 3:35 pm

Great, the same infection that's taken over New York has jumped the Pond. We've got a mayor who thinks a school district should be run like a business: downsize and rehire as if anyone would want to work in education if that's the way they get treated. I kind of liked the guy until I found out what his education plan was. We've got the most demoralized pack of highly experienced teachers you've ever seen.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:11 am

So does having tuition fees and stuff have any effect on the amount of folks who go onto higher education?

'SCOTLAND is the only part of the UK where the number of pupils heading to university and college has risen, it was revealed yesterday.
Meanwhile, applications across the rest of the UK have fallen by eight per cent.
Education Secretary Mike Russell said: “Scotland is the only country in the UK with an increase in the number of student places for its young people. Initial figures show that scrapping tuition fees and investing in higher education was the right thing to do.
“This is fantastic news as pupils, parents and teachers across Scotland celebrate the best exam results ever.
“The vast majority of our high-achieving pupils who want a place at university will secure a place.”
The figures for Scots students accepted at institutions here were revealed last week when the Higher results were published. A total of 22,292 chose to stay in this country to study, up three per cent from the previous year. '


Wonder how UK education sec Gove will spin this to England to back up his tuition fees policy down there?
Maybe he will say it leads to smaller class sizes in England!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:00 am

So exam results in England are out and for the first time in a long time they are poorer than the previous years.
Particularly in English- 24 years of grade inflation and this year down go the grades.
Coincidentally at the same time Education Secretary Grove has been going on about exams being too easy in England ect for the last year or so and how the Tories are going to change it.
But plenty of schools and teachers seem to be sure that the reason for the fall off is not that the pupls are mysteriously stupid this year but becasue of political pressure on the exam board.
In some schools English results are down by 10%, but the government say they havent appplied any pressure on the board to mark down papers and its nothing to do with them.

So it really comes down to do you believe Grove the education secretary or not? No brainer that one.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:11 pm

Hmm... C grade boundary on the same paper was 10 marks higher in June than in the same exam in Jan (diff q's, but assessing the same skills from the same syllabus and the same exam board).

Not just english... all subs at school were down a couple %.

From a science perspective marks for June exam and the grades given for coursework look slightly down
(kids whose coursework would have been awarded an A grade for the last 5 years only got B. Dissapointing, but not the end of the world for most, but for those on the C border who got D's instead (3 of my students missed out by a couple of points) it could affect A level and college courses for students in the most competative market for 16 -24 yr olds in over 25 yrs.)

And this after ofqual told the exam boards that they thought they were being too lenient in the spring. The exam boards had basically been told it can't go on and the only way to alter the outcomes in a modular system was to shift the goalposts halfway through.

How Gove can say he hasn't affected this with all the crap in the press I don't honestly know!!

(From a personal perspective, the dept did okay, but the schoolwide picture ain't all that good Sad I fear it is another year of pressure on the way, good job I've got my bolt hole in the Mayoral plalace!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:50 am

'The examinations regulator Ofqual is to "look closely" at concerns over grade changes to English GCSEs.
In a letter to the National Association of Head Teachers, regulator Glenys Stacey said there were "questions" over how grade bands were set.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has said it is "not afraid" to take legal action against exam boards over the grade boundary reform.
General Secretary Brian Lightman said the ASCL, which represents most secondary head teachers, "warmly welcomes" the Ofqual announcement.
Education officials at Leeds City Council have announced they are also considering a "legal challenge".
A statement on the council's website said: "We do not feel this basic principle of fairness has been adhered to in this case and will be looking with colleagues nationally at the possibility of raising a legal challenge to ensure Ofqual and the government put this right." - BBC News

Legal challenges from teachers and councils, the exam board looking again at the grade boundaries.
What a remarkable job Gove has done in Education in England and Wales.
Thank God ours is devolved and nothing to do with the scheming little toad.

But this might bring him down a peg or two, or even see him moved in the reshuffle, because even those who suport his reforms I doubt will be able to support this- changing the rules half way through is unfair- and there is little else will upset the average Brit more than seeing something which is blatantly unfair, especially when its blatantly unfair against folks children.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:11 pm

Well its a right old mess in education down south in England.
The official lot that do the exams have decided the exam results were right- but those who sat the in January didnt have to do as well to get pass grades in the exact same exams- apparently this was becasue the grade boundaries set then were to 'generous'- but its too late to make them resit them.
Head Teachers are apprently up in arms saying its not fair and are threatening legal action- which of course will probably take longer than the pupils it concerns resitting next year and going onto have their lives.
What it is clear there is little of in Englands education is respect between government and teachers. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:24 pm

Teachers in England and Wales are going on strike again, over pay this time.
According to the BBC 'The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said that 82.5% of the members who voted were in favour of walkouts'.
However the turnout for the vote was a measly 27%. Doesn't exactly suggest an overwhelming strength of feeling.- I'm suprised they can hold a legitamate strike on such a low turn out of members.

And although they claim its over pay the press statement does not give that impression-

'Teachers are being undermined by a government whose almost daily criticisms and erosion of working conditions and pay, coming on top of previous attacks on pensions, are unacceptable," NUT general secretary Christine Blower said. "This negative approach to the profession has to stop. No other profession comes under such continual scrutiny and no other profession has accountability systems based on so little trust."

Or in fewer words- its Grove's fault.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:33 am

Came as a bit of a surprise to me and I'm in the union! Shocked

As far as I knew the latest ballot was about agreeing to join with Naswut in their action which was anything short of strike action and is about pensions and the continued undermining of the profession!

On the GCSE mess, it is not only english and the whole thing is becoming ridiculous. Gove says its unfair, but Ofqual is independant. Ofqual says they followed their own rules, but an independant review suggests that this summers english exams only met one of the five criteria they use to determine if standardisation needs to occur. Unions and councils threatening to sue and Wales carrying out their own review, cause they don't trust the english. In the meantime the students this effects will have spent the last week going into the colleges and school they applied for, a number of them being told they are no longer eligable for a course or need to do a foundation year, all the while wondering if they really shouldn't be in this position.

As for it's all Gove fault, not really. The undermining of teachers has been going on for years. Why people who ave no education experience or where soooo good at it and held the profession in such respect they left should have so much control is beyond me. Gove just takes it one step further by simply releasing every new initiative to the press instead of to the schools. Although his actions do form a good representation of how things keep changing.

Just before the tories came to power labour had introduced a change to gcse, no coursework, instead a controlled assessment - coursework under exam conditions to stop unscrupulous teachers dictating coursework to lazy students to ensure they met targets. Because of the two year cycle (old exam courses run long enough for those who started them to finish) this only started last year for most schools and also included a syllabus change, some units thrown out, new content in their place only 1 resit per module allowed, at least 40% had to be taken in the final exam session. Gove didn't like this, so now all students starting this year have to take exams at the end of their two (or in some cases ) three year course. Also he didn'tlike the vocational qualifications so basically decided 100's of them didn't count.meaning a new equivelant has been devised, accredited and rushed out for this year. For the last four...... no five years we have had an old course completing it's run and at least one new course coming in... this year it is modules and old vocational for year 11 terminal exams and old vocational for year 10 and terminal exams and new voactional for year 9.

At the same time the prefered measure of progress has changed to be three levels of progress from KS2. In simple terms this means a child who gets a level 4 at the end of primary (what most are expected to get) should get a grade C at GCSE. Looking at last years results for our biggest primary 82% of the students got this meaning in five years time 82% will be expected to get a C. Question But GCSE are too easy.... due to grade inflation........so we need to make them harder... because too many kids are getting C grades Question

I have given up trying to point out this contradction because the reality of the current situation is we have to find a way of achieving this, because it is what ofsted measure us on and even if they visit scholl and see good lessons and behaviour and support with all necessary procedures and legal requirments in place we will still be deemed to be failing if we don not meet this measrue!

The biggest damage in all this is the apparent perception from a large number of parents that teachers are lazy, don't care and delibrately let their child down. If a child doesn't get the 'right' grades it is because we didn't put them in the right class, make sure their coursework was good enough or make them do the work. In fact it is probably because we don't like thier child and bullied them throughout their time in school. Argghhhhhh!

I tried to resist.... honest I did......

On a side note, any more news on the curriculum changes north of the border?

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:11 pm

Theres not been anything in the news about it for a while- far as I can tell the teachers and government got together- worked through the doubts the teachers had- exteneded the prepartion and training time for the new courses and they are ready to roll out this year- so far anyway.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:40 pm

I was rereading your post Kafria and I was struck by your last point about how teachers are viewed- by society at large and my parents in particular.
I dont know if its a country difference or if its just a local thing here- but there has been a two year fight raging here about merging primary schools into a supercampus.
This is a rural area and it means some village schools can have a yearly intake anything from 0 to about 10 at most. Some entire schools have less than 10 pupils.
Within the main town itself there are 3 primary schools.
But the plans for merging have been shelved after overwhelming support for the schools by parents- and at the heart of it has been the question of how many of the teachers will be kept on because its the teachers much of the concern is on- I have heard all my friends with children at one time site how good the teachers are at the school their children attend (and this seems to apply regardless of which school it is).
And our grammar school here seems a lot better even than it was in my day, and it wasnt bad then, now its a modern new built school with electronic boards, pc's everywhere, a full stage set up and massive tv's on which the the pupils own news and stuff plays at breaks and lunch.
They have a championship winning pipe band, and the drama department has won a few awards for short films its made (pupls wre recently at some event they were getting an award for at the edinburgh fringe) and they have several productions a year including one musical every year (they did grease last time).
There certainly seems to be more opportunities and diversity than when I was there- my little brother just left and he has started college doing pharmacy, so far the system seems to be working for him anyway.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Norc on Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:51 pm

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:00 pm

Laughing thanks for the giggle norc.

Petty - it isn't all the parents and I don't know if it is just worse where I currently am. Very few of our parents went onto further education and a tiny percentage to uni. As such school is seen by many as irrelevant and parents assume things are the same as when they were at school, bring their own resentment with them. On top of that there is little idea that the kids are responsible for themselves. Many parents expect us to write in homework for their child. I had a parent accuse me of watching and laughing as her child was bullied in class and parents come upto school reception shouting the odds as I sent their child out and said child texted parents to let them know. We had a number lazt year who accused another member of staff of losing coursework. In the end there was one piece that couldn't be found, but all the others the kids found it at a later date. Didn't stop parents swearing blind it was true, they're kids couldn't be mistaken, the teacher was rubbish and in one case refusing to let their child redo if as they shouldn't have to. For the rest of the year there were a string of concerned phone calls from the parents of this class questioning the teacher, all completly unfounded.

I maybe a bit jaded at the mo and a lot are very supportive, but we tend to hear from those who aren't Shrugging

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:28 pm

Things are getting interesting, the House of Commons Education Select Committee is investigating the grading in the exams, only day 1 but already some potential titbits of information that might worth keeping an eye on-

'Head teachers' leader Brian Lightman has told MPs that there have been "major flaws" and unfairnesses in this year's GCSE English grades.
Ahead of the hearing, leaked letters showed that exams watchdog Ofqual had ordered the exam board Edexcel to make changes in its grade boundaries.
But Ofqual head Glenys Stacey told MPs: "We played our proper part."
Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg is also writing to Education Secretary Michael Gove to call for the release of all correspondence between Ofqual and his department over GCSE marking - and for the release of correspondence between Ofqual and other exam boards.
But Ms Stacey assured the select committee that there had been no "political interference".
Committee chair Graham Stuart said that MPs were "struggling to understand" why the problems had not been identified from the January results.
Mr Lightman, leader of the Association of School and College Leaders, told MPs that he believed that the exam grades for pupils taking the English GCSE in the summer had been been forced downwards in an attempt to balance an "over-generous" marking in January - in a way that was unfair for individual students.
He also argued that this made it impossible to argue that the exam had used a common standard, when different levels of rigour were applied in different parts of the year.
Mike Griffiths, head of Northampton School for Boys, told the select committee that "Ofqual failed to maintain standards".
Before the committee took evidence, the Times Educational Supplement published letters revealing the pressure put on one of England's largest exam boards, Edexcel to change its grade boundaries.
The letters show that once all GCSE papers were marked, a significantly larger number of candidates than expected - some 8% more - had achieved a grade C.
Ofqual's director of standards and research, Dennis Opposs, wrote to Edexcel urging examiners to act quickly and produce results that were "closer to the predictions".
"This may require you to move grade boundary marks further than might normally be required," he wrote.
Edexcel initially rejected this, but subsequently complied.'- BBC


It seems clear there was pressure exerted from above on the exam boards to change the boundaries- and given during this period Grove was going about publically talking about exams being too easy I dont see how this isn't going to lead back to the Department for Education and Grove.
It will be interesting to see if Grove responds to Labours calls to publish all the correspondence between the department of education and the exam regulators.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:13 pm

I thought this might interest you Kafria- A comprehensive report looking at the state of Scottish education has just been published, here are some of the headline findings-

'It said teachers in Scotland spend 855 hours a year in class, compared to an international average of 704 hours in early secondary school.
The report also said the teaching load was "significantly heavier" than in England.
The OECD's Education At a Glance study, which looked at 38 countries, said pay in Scotland was relatively good.
Teachers earn 95% of the average graduate salary.
The international average is 82%, and pay in Scotland has increased in real terms by 21% over the decade.
Primary teachers are particularly well paid, as they earn the same as colleagues teaching senior classes in secondary - who on average are paid 31% extra across the world.
The pay of secondary teachers in Scotland is the eighth highest in the world.
Pay here is unusual in that unpromoted staff reach the top of the scale (£34,200) after just six years.
The study points out that primary school teachers in England have to deal with larger classes, and that the workload in Scotland has dropped by 10% in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
The study confirms that the new curriculum for excellence is unusual in that individual schools have immense freedom, deciding on what subjects they teach, course content and design.
They are not subject to an overarching framework from local or central government.
The report states: "Only in Indonesia and Scotland are these decisions taken by schools with full autonomy."
Cosla, the umbrella body for local authorities, said teachers in Scotland have one third of their week - three times as long as their counterparts in England and Wales - for preparing lessons, correction and marking.
The EIS teaching union said: "This shows both the dedication of Scotland's teachers - who work many more hours than they are contracted to - and also highlights the workload pressure that teachers have to deal with in the course of their jobs.
"In an environment of budget cuts, falling teacher numbers and rising class sizes, local authorities and the Scottish government must look very closely at today's report and consider how they can better support Scotland's teachers and Scotland's education system."- BBC Scotland

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:25 pm

Something I've had to explain to non-teachers who are befuddled when they offer to pay teachers for the hours they spend in workshops and then find that sometimes they show up, sometimes they don't:

Teachers don't work by the hour, don't work for the money, they work for the job. You offer to pay them for something that takes them away from the kids, they'll finish with the kids first and then show up. Doesn't matter what you pay them, otherwise they wouldn't be teaching.

When teachers go on strike, it's usually because they feel they can no longer do what's needed for the kids under the current conditions.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:29 pm

The exams thing just gets sillier. Welsh government insisting on a re grading,but the board also has students in England. It may be forced to re grade the welsh students, leaving students in England who got the same mark with a lower grade as ofqual reject regrading. :S.

Petty the repot made interesting reading, but made me wonder what the school. day is in scotland. To teach more hours and still have a greater percentage of.time to plan prep.etc suggest that the school day is significantly longer. (a quick mental.tally suggests at least 2 hours per day for the whole year).

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:37 pm

They start at nine and finish at 3.30pm. Hour for lunch I and one break each in morning in afternoon.

But thats the kids- no idea what a teachers working day is. I will see if I can find out.

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