Thursday, 25 February 2016

Primary Assessment Problems Solved

Please click this video to watch it.

The government has been making many changes to education in England over the last 5 years. Of the latest changes, our colleagues in primary schools are much concerned about the new assessments for 11 year olds, which have to be made this year (Summer 2016).

The Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, has accepted that there are issues, and has released this video to help primary teachers, and to explain what the cause of the problems is. Basically the problem is caused by "the media" and "some unions".

So there you have it primary colleagues. Problem solved.

I think it was jolly nice of the Secretary of State to take the time to explain this to us all. I am sure teachers in primary schools will feel relieved, and will appreciate the kind and sympathetic way in which Ms Morgan has explained this to them.

Three cheers for Ms Morgan everyone!

Because this video sets such a high quality benchmark for how to manage your workforce, we at AssemblyTube Straight Talking felt it only right to store it here. If you are a headteacher, you might want to copy this style of delivery when reassuring your staff. We suggest that you bookmark this page so that you can refer to it frequently.

If you want an insight into what is coming next from the DfE, take a look at our exclusive DfE Press Release Generator.

The Road to Educational Success

Schools Week Reports here that "CfBT Schools Trust pulls sponsorship from three failing schools"
First we had grammar schools where you selected the most able and thereby were able to demonstrate your school was academically better than the rest. Success!

With Comprehensive education all students had to be catered for but one way of improving your results was to "suggest" that the most challenging students might be better at the neighbouring school. Alternatively you could fix your admissions policy so that only the wealthy had a chance of getting in, or only allowing in particular middle class religious groups. This immediately improves your results. Success! 

Next we had "Free Schools" where you could create your own school and let in your chums. The average Joe is not going to get their child in there with the Eton style uniform and its high cost. Success!

With Academy Chains, it now seems that one way of improving your performance is to dump the most challenging schools. Results for the chain will immediately improve. Success!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

If the DfE Was a Car Would It Look Like This?

If the DfE was a car, what sort of car would it be?

If the DfE was a car it would go at 100 miles per hour on no petrol! Yeah right!

If the DfE was a car it would claim never to have hurt anyone even after killing 50 pedestrians. We believe in high standards!

If the DfE was a car it would allow OFSTED to inspect cars but not car factories.

If the DfE was a car it would say drivers can take a rest, whilst at the same time making them drive for 48 hours non-stop.

If the DfE was a car it would change which side of the road we drive on, but not tell anyone to begin with. It would say that the new rules will be coming soon but they will only be interim and will change again next year. They think!

If the DfE was a car, the highway code would only apply to cheap cars or those that could not get a special badge.

If the DfE was a car it would say that no-one needed a licence to drive. All the best drivers have no licences and we don't want to deprive the public of experiencing lots of unqualified drivers.

If the DfE was a car it would put all its privately created buddies in charge of the car factory.

If you were buying a car, what sort of car would you like to buy?

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Predicting Our Educational Future

There is a lot of educational change on the horizon for English schools. What difference will it make to teachers, children, and standards. AssemblyTube gazes into her crystal ball.

  • The DfE will say "we make no apologies for blah rigour blah achievement blah standards blah ..."
  • Children will reproduce parrot fashion, the phrases they have learnt to put on the test papers.
  • Teachers will be accused of gaming the system.
  • PISA results will tell us that our standards of basic education have continued to fall when measured against countries that do not test their kids to destruction.
  • The teacher recruitment crisis will get worse and Nick Gibb will deny that there is any problem.
  • The head teacher unions will continue to make tiny ineffectual noises whilst their top members get large pay increases as MAT executives whilst waiting for their "good boy" peerages.
  • A new DfE friendly Head of OFSTED will be appointed to confirm that the government’s policies are all on track to making a "world class education system".

  • Nicky Morgan will announce the seventeenth review into teacher workload which will report in 2024.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Should Teachers Be Like Cheap Wine?

My beef about the current fad for producing teachers super-fast is that I found it took me about 5 years of full time teaching before I became even a passable teacher. I did not realise this after one year of teaching, but looking back after 37 years in the job I don't believe most good graduates can achieve a good teaching standard without this length of experience.

When I contemplate the underlying philosophy of the DfE, that any graduate can become a teacher with little or no training, or experience, I know we are being led by adolescents. Teaching is an intellectual activity, but it is also a job requiring a high level of skill built up through much experience.

We should put in place a training system which treats teachers like a fine wine, that develops slowly, becoming rounded, and improving with time. We can all buy cheap, fast produced wine, with little subtlety and rough taste, but is that the model we aspire to in a high quality education system?

Friday, 12 February 2016

Under the Lens - Testing 4 Year Olds

A Better Education System?

We are constantly being told that we need to raise the standard of our education system to equal that of many countries in the Far East and Scandinavia.
We send out ministers, who come back with the latest wheeze that will transform learning, and boost ministers' chances of advancement up the greasy career pole.
Teachers are told to do this or that because they are useless when it comes to education, and ministers know best. (Independent schools of course do not have to follow any of these diktats).

Testing 4 Year Olds

So, how many of these high performing countries test their 4 year olds in order to provide a good education? - None!
Who thinks the tests for 4 year old are a good idea, apart from ministers? - The companies that are making lots of money out of creating tests! 
Where is there a teacher recruitment crisis? - The UK. 


The likely outcome of the tests is for calls to sack head teachers whose schools are judged below average when the 4 year olds get to age 11. In this way we will supposedly improve education in the UK.
As an aspiring teacher would you want to be part of this madness? Will there be any good teachers left in a few years time?

An Alternative

Maybe we would better improve our education system by investing in our teachers, encouraging able people to join the teaching profession, and allowing children to enjoy learning.