Friday, 29 May 2015

When Will Headteachers Make a Stand?

Given that schools are generally led by very capable people, does anyone know why school leaders are unable to influence government policy?
When leading a school, a good headteacher will have a strategy and a plan for delivering success. Why does it seem that state education blows in the wind of political dogma? Are headteachers just too nice? Are they so good at fixing problems that they are happy to accept any old baloney from a politician. Or are they resigned to being the whipping boys?
It’s a genuine question. Why do headteachers have such little influence on how the country’s education policy is developed? What would it take for them to say “enough is enough”?
Maybe state school headteachers are happy with what is done to them and their teachers, and it is true that there are all these incompetents running state schools whilst brilliant unqualified people are running independent schools. I guess that’s what the Daily Mail reading general public are led to believe, and it seems no-one is going to challenge that view.

When Will the Headteacher Unions Wake Up?

Experienced teachers know that if you turn a blind eye to bad behaviour in the classroom, that bad behaviour generally gets worse. In effect, turning a blind eye condones the behaviour. This is how young people learn. They will push at the edges until someone stops them. If no-one stops them they push even harder. Weak teachers find that other students copy the bad behaviour and chaos ensues.

Nicky Morgan is like a naughty student who is copying the bad behaviour of Michael Gove. The Headteacher organisations turned a blind eye to the frankly outrageous behaviour of Mr Gove. By not challenging him they gave the message that it is fine to denigrate teachers and headteachers, to build straw men of under-performance statistics, to push reform so quickly that no-one could keep up with it or have any idea where it was going. Ms Morgan is only copying her mentor.

To anyone outside the classroom, the deafening silence of headteacher organisations must seem as though headteachers are in agreement with all these loony ideas.

For goodness sake, when is someone going to get a grip and say “enough is enough”! Or are the headteacher organisations going to tell us in 5 years time that they knew it was all going to end in tears. (Rather like the current Labour leadership candidates all knew that the strategy they had been selling for 5 years was pathetic all along, but they had kept quiet at the time.)
Wake up and start leading, before you have no-one left to lead.

Should For-profit Service Providers Take Over Coasting Schools?

James Croft, Director of the Centre for the Study of Market Reform in Education argues here that we should allow for-profit service providers to take over coasting schools.

Here's my view.

Question: Should we allow for-profit service providers to take over coasting schools?
Answer: We have already tried "for-profit service providers" and it failed. So the answer is "no".

IES Breckland was the first for profit free school and it was judged "inadequate" by OFSTED, as reported here
The Academisation policy has become like some sort of pseudo religious Aztec sun worship cult. In order to placate the population, the high priests deliver more and more sacrifices as their promises fail to deliver. There is absolutely no evidence that Academisation makes any difference to improving educational outcomes. But the political class does not need evidence. They want to drive up standards. Because standards are not improving fast enough they need to make more human sacrifices.
When they argue that all children should be in good schools, who can disagree? Without a GCSE maths pass between them they tell parents that all children should be in above average schools. So they reclassify “satisfactory” schools as “requires improvement”, and then sacrifice the leaders.

Most of us know what happened to the Aztec empire. It was a society based on fear, power, and human sacrifice, and it became extinct.
The Aztecs did not have the benefit of scientific reason. Let’s get some science into our education policy decision making.

The high priest of Academisation was deposed for a reason. Mr Gove was moved aside because his policies were pure voodoo. He dressed up his own fantasy ideas using a public school ability to put down reasonable people with a sharp wit.
Nicky Morgan does not have the intellect of Mr Gove, but she should be able to see where these crazy policies are leading us. Let’s stop sacrificing the teaching profession to a cult. Privatisation is not the answer.