Schools ‘must do more’ to help disadvantaged pupils – Are they presently not trying??

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29478935

Schools and teachers are not to blame for social immobility, disadvantage and poverty. This is a grass roots social problem, so blame can really only be apportioned in one direction – towards the Government; past, present and future.

There is an implication here that schools and teachers carry a bias. Teachers want to teach and they want ALL their pupils to succeed regardless of their social status. The suggestion that they can and should ‘do more’ for those with less is insulting to the profession.

The government needs to cut the red tape, unify the system and support teachers better instead of always making them the scapegoats for problems which are totally unconnected to the classroom.

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Academy regulation ‘too weak’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29219757

Unfortunately this is what can happen when you give these schools free reign with their budgets and accounting. The system for non academies where local authorities award funds after consultation creates checks and balances. That system is not perfect, but at least it is fair. In a local authority containing a mixture of academies and local authority run schools funding is not balanced, with academies getting greater sums of money. This system leads to the elitism that the original ethos of academies – to help struggling schools – was designed to prevent.

Ofsted warning over provision for school leavers

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29145874

We need PROPER vocational skills taught in schools alongside core subjects. Help the less academic gain vocational skills whilst still having the opportunity to study mainstream academic subjects.

Free School head checks scaled back… unbelievable!

** Free school head checks scaled back ** Documents leaked to the BBC show ministers agreed to scrap pre-appointment checks on inexperienced free school heads despite warnings from civil servants.

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-24653574 >

Why do we allow this sort of thing to happen? Would companies consider employing managers of any description if they had no previous experience?

And yet the government is endorsing a system of ‘free’ schools where no qualifications are required. Although there are perfectly good teaching staff with no formal teaching qualifications, To base an entire teaching hierarchy on this premise is fraught with potential problems.
As in almost any profession or skill there is no substitute for training and experience. Only with plenty of both can quality be guaranteed.
Unfortunately, perpetual changes within the teaching profession over the past decade or so have made it less and less attractive as a career prospect. Mountains of paperwork, league table pressures and backsliding over pension promises are just a few of the reasons why teaching is not appealing to our talented graduates.
Introducing an easy route in is not the answer. The answer is proper training, proper pay and a clearer, less complicated education system. If we had this, teachers might get the respect they deserve and encourage future talent to lend their skills. Teaching as a career should be in demand, not a last resort.
Headships should be earned through service and experience in the same way that employees in other fields progress through the ranks as their experience and expertise grow.
This is all just more cost cutting in disguise. And as with all cost cutting the victim is quality.

 

 

Free school sites…plugging the dam with tissue paper!

** Free schools site rules to change **
Changes to planning rules in England will make it easier for new free schools to open in offices, hotels and shops from this summer, the government has confirmed.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-21197489 >

Just another knee-jerk way of saving money with little or no thought for standards, facilities or conditions. Anybody with any sense knows that devolving the education system makes for a disparate, disorganised system lacking standards and standardisation. Free Schools ‘…cannot be run for profit.’ but charities (as many private schools are) do not make profit. 

However, profit is just the difference between income and expenditure. Salaries of staff in charities are not controlled, increase the salary, decrease the profit. We haven’t made any money again sir…

This is plugging holes in the dam with tissue paper. Cannot any government ever have a decent, sensible long-term plan?

 

 

Free schools idea flawed..focus needed elsewhere such as GCSEs!

School funds cut before opening
Government funding to a free school in Bradford is withdrawn a week before it was due to open.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-england-leeds-19396745

I am personally totally opposed to the whole ‘Free Schools’ enterprise. If there is one thing that requires a carefully managed, centralised system it is surely compulsory education. How can we possibly standardise if we encourage a sub system that is virtually autonomous?

 

There are many problems with the present system, not least the woeful standard of GCSE qualifications, but surely we should be working towards changing and improving the system, not looking for cheaper alternatives beyond government control?