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General Chat Thread, Strike Day in General; #5 in the list of 15, if the teachers drop their standards after their CPD, as I've said before, they ...
  1. #76

    nephilim's Avatar
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    #5 in the list of 15, if the teachers drop their standards after their CPD, as I've said before, they are banned for life.

  2. #77

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Wanting teachers to be the best they can be, and preventing them from teaching if they simply aren't good enough is not negativity. It is ensuring kids don't get damaged by mediocrity.
    The way to help teachers to be the best they can be is to support them and give them give them what they need to develop, not to threaten them with the sack if they don't perform. That just lowers morale and discourages people from joining the profession. I can't say I know a lot about the Finnish system but I can't imagine they pile a huge workload on their teachers, subject them to minute scrutiny and constantly question their worth, then fire them it they aren't good enough. If someone isn't up to scratch after getting a lot of support and help to develop then I agree that they probably aren't cut out for teaching and should leave the profession in a dignified fashion.

    Incidentally, the negativity comment was actually referring to the enthusiasm shown to toward teachers being sacked. It wasn't a constructive point or a development of the argument but a straight up cheer at the idea. To me it is sad and very negative that someone would find a teacher being sacked something to rejoice in
    Last edited by sparkeh; 27th March 2014 at 07:13 PM.

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  4. #78

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    The way to help teachers to be the best they can be is to support them and give them give them what they need to develop, not to threaten them with the sack if they don't perform. That just lowers morale and discourages people from joining the profession. I can't say I know a lot about the Finnish system but I can't imagine they pile a huge workload on their teachers, subject them to minute scrutiny and constantly question their worth, then fire them it they aren't good enough. If someone isn't up to scratch after getting a lot of support and help to develop then I agree that they probably aren't cut out for teaching and should leave the profession in a dignified fashion.
    As much as that idea sounds great, it has a couple of flaws that I can think of. Firstly, by putting in some complex support system to prop up poor teachers you are potentially knowingly damaging the education of their students. Why do the students of poor teachers who are trying to improve deserve to have their entire lives potentially altered by a poor teacher who needs more hand-holding? Secondly, what other profession does this hand-holding? If you're a poor accountant, you'll be sacked. If you're a poor baker, no-one will want your bread so you'll be sacked. If you're a poor cleaner, you'll be sacked. Why does being a teacher change that process? It isn't the responsibility of a school to educate its staff. It's the responsibility of the staff themselves! Not to mention, why should schools have to shoulder the cost of what is effectively another 2 years of training?

    Look at our own little slice of life. If we do our jobs badly, we will be caught out and we will end up being given the boot. We won't get 2 years to improve, that's for darn sure!

    Incidentally, the negativity comment was actually referring to the enthusiasm shown to toward teachers being sacked. It wasn't a constructive point or a development of the argument but a straight up cheer at the idea. To me it is sad and very negative that someone would find a teacher being sacked something to rejoice in
    Maybe that says something about personality here. I am probably being innocent about it, but I read it as meaning "yay, a system is in place which gets rid of poor performing teachers!"
    Last edited by localzuk; 27th March 2014 at 07:54 PM. Reason: typo

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  6. #79

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Ok the world had truly gone mad. Gove says teachers should be paid more!?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport/26768138
    It's interesting that Gove has said something things outside the party line recently such as how it's ridiculous that so many members of the cabinet are old Etonians. Seems to be trying to position himself as his own man recently.
    Leadership pretensions...?
    Last edited by sparkeh; 28th March 2014 at 12:00 AM.

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    Got an email from Unison today, they're balloting us for strike action over the 1% pay rise that's on the table again this year.

    The lower grades have gone up more as for the first time minimum wage has overtaken them, which says a lot

  8. #81
    zag
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    Its funny how the unions portray Gove as some kind of evil incompetent devil, while in that interview he seems very humble, intelligent and funny.

  9. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    As much as that idea sounds great, it has a couple of flaws that I can think of. Firstly, by putting in some complex support system to prop up poor teachers you are potentially knowingly damaging the education of their students. Why do the students of poor teachers who are trying to improve deserve to have their entire lives potentially altered by a poor teacher who needs more hand-holding? Secondly, what other profession does this hand-holding? If you're a poor accountant, you'll be sacked. If you're a poor baker, no-one will want your bread so you'll be sacked. If you're a poor cleaner, you'll be sacked. Why does being a teacher change that process? It isn't the responsibility of a school to educate its staff. It's the responsibility of the staff themselves! Not to mention, why should schools have to shoulder the cost of what is effectively another 2 years of training?

    Look at our own little slice of life. If we do our jobs badly, we will be caught out and we will end up being given the boot. We won't get 2 years to improve, that's for darn sure!



    Maybe that says something about personality here. I am probably being innocent about it, but I read it as meaning "yay, a system is in place which gets rid of poor performing teachers!"
    Your point presupposes that there is an inexhaustible supply of "good" teachers clamouring for jobs that "bad" teachers are preventing from taking up. Alas, this is no more the case in teaching than in any other profession, you'll get a distribution from the fantastic to the underperforming. I would argue that it makes sense to try and raise up the bottom of the curve as much as you can else you will run short of staff - already schools are finding it quite difficult to recruit both at the lower levels and at the top of management.

    Firing underperforming staff without giving them a chance to improve would, I suggest, lead to increasing polarisation, where the "poor" schools are only able to hire "poor" teachers and fall even further down the league tables, underlining this trend. Its certainly what happened in the school I used to work in - which was seen as the local "sink" school - they couldn't attract the best teachers, fell even further, had unfilled student rolls and were forced to take all the kids other schools had expelled and went down in a nasty spiral.

    I'd also say that I think performance related pay will have a similar effect - its difficult to get good results from kids in a school that is seen as "failing", so standards drop, wages drop, you can't recruit because of the low wages and you're again locked in to a downward (or conversely upward if you're at the other end) spiral - producing de facto grammar/non grammar schools - which is great for those that get into a good school - not so great for those that don't - which is where we were in the 1960s, before the middle classes kicked up when their kids got sent to the local secondary modern.

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  11. #83

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Your point presupposes that there is an inexhaustible supply of "good" teachers clamouring for jobs that "bad" teachers are preventing from taking up. Alas, this is no more the case in teaching than in any other profession, you'll get a distribution from the fantastic to the underperforming. I would argue that it makes sense to try and raise up the bottom of the curve as much as you can else you will run short of staff - already schools are finding it quite difficult to recruit both at the lower levels and at the top of management.
    This is cause for better teacher training then surely? Not on-job, whilst damaging students' futures training?

    Firing underperforming staff without giving them a chance to improve would, I suggest, lead to increasing polarisation, where the "poor" schools are only able to hire "poor" teachers and fall even further down the league tables, underlining this trend. Its certainly what happened in the school I used to work in - which was seen as the local "sink" school - they couldn't attract the best teachers, fell even further, had unfilled student rolls and were forced to take all the kids other schools had expelled and went down in a nasty spiral.
    That's where the "banned from teaching" bit comes in... You get sacked for being a poor teacher? You can't teach elsewhere, unless you've gone off and done more training and have proof you've improved.

    I'd also say that I think performance related pay will have a similar effect - its difficult to get good results from kids in a school that is seen as "failing", so standards drop, wages drop, you can't recruit because of the low wages and you're again locked in to a downward (or conversely upward if you're at the other end) spiral - producing de facto grammar/non grammar schools - which is great for those that get into a good school - not so great for those that don't - which is where we were in the 1960s, before the middle classes kicked up when their kids got sent to the local secondary modern.
    That's a slightly different argument. In my mind, it comes down to what metrics are used to measure success. If a school takes kids in who are under-performing and they improve (but still miss the 'average' target the government has set, the school is marked as being a bad school. That's wrong in my mind. If students are shown to be making greater than average progress then the school is pretty obviously a good school.

  12. #84

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Its funny how the unions portray Gove as some kind of evil incompetent devil, while in that interview he seems very humble, intelligent and funny.
    I think they've got 2/3 right. I don't think he's incompetent; he knows exactly what he's doing and how to achieve his goals. The problem is that his goals are ideologically-driven and fundamentally opposed to the system of not-for-profit state education that I think most of today's teachers support.

    He's also more than intelligent enough to know how to play the game; that most of the general public don't realise how dangerous his cherry-picking of evidence is; that you can easily win parents' support by consistently painting strikes as teachers vs. parents (due to them having to get childcare in when the schools are closed); that his department's policy of constant law-breaking over FoI will go unpunished due to a toothless regulator; that his wife working for the Daily Fail means he has the most popular middle-class fish-wrapping on side... I could go on.

    In my view he's a two-faced, manipulative toad with his eye on the party leadership. I can only hope he never makes it that far.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 28th March 2014 at 09:44 AM.

  13. #85


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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Secondly, what other profession does this hand-holding? If you're a poor accountant, you'll be sacked. If you're a poor baker, no-one will want your bread so you'll be sacked. If you're a poor cleaner, you'll be sacked. Why does being a teacher change that process? It isn't the responsibility of a school to educate its staff. It's the responsibility of the staff themselves! Not to mention, why should schools have to shoulder the cost of what is effectively another 2 years of training?
    Most performance management processes that I have been involved in, start by looking at the issue from both sides. Are expectations clear? Is appropriate support in place? Are there training needs? It's usually a long way down the road, typically a minimum of 6 months before someone is dismissed. In many cases, performance management is successful in that poor performance is corrected. There is often failing on both sides (management and employee). The situation with teachers is more complex, there are at least three sides (management, employee, students). That naturally leads to more complexity in addressing perceived performance issues.

  14. #86

    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    (due to them having to get childcare in when the schools are closed)
    If you're not prepared to look after your kids, don't have them.

  15. #87

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    If you're not prepared to look after your kids, don't have them.
    Get you head out of your fundament, dear
    If you work, (you know, to pay the mortgage and bills etc) you may not be able to take time off to look after your children and finding childcare at the last minute is extremely difficult - fine if you have family locally, but if not - you can't suddenly find a childminder with a space available. Taking the day off unpaid is also often not an option.

  16. #88

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Get you head out of your fundament, dear
    If you work, (you know, to pay the mortgage and bills etc) you may not be able to take time off to look after your children and finding childcare at the last minute is extremely difficult - fine if you have family locally, but if not - you can't suddenly find a childminder with a space available. Taking the day off unpaid is also often not an option.
    To be a little controversial - if you can't afford to either not work or to have childcare, should you be having children?

    I suppose it comes down to the default view that society has - at the moment it appears to be "go forth and procreate". However, we now live in a world with limited resources and overcrowding. Should we be encouraging people to have kids if they simply can't afford to look after them fully by themselves?

    Yes, this means we end up with the 'poorer' classes being childless in favour of the richer classes having kids, but as it stands it is the opposite way round and we can't afford it.

  17. #89

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    I think one thing to bear in mind about teaching, which distinguishes it a little from most (though not all) other professions, is the bond that can arise between teacher and pupil.

    The "rip and replace" model generally does not work well for teachers. It's not the case that "this person is a B-grade teacher, so is that person, so swapping them around should yield the same results". Nor will results necessarily be improved by swapping in an "A-grade teacher". Teachers are role models for their pupils too and they get to know the kids; they're not simply interchangeable.

    Poor teaching should be improved or eradicated (a mixture of both approaches will be needed), but I'd argue there are some cases where getting rid of e.g. a form tutor and replacing them with another teacher who is technically better (and by whose definition when the goalposts keep changing?) could potentially have more of a negative impact than a positive one.

    It's arguments like these that the NUT uses against Performance Pay when they're not in soapbox mode (i.e. Blower isn't speaking), and they're not invalid. The only difficulty is that it can create a culture of unaccountability and complacency if improperly managed (the "proper management" issue there is one reason why I believe we should keep Heads as experienced teachers rather than SBMs, though only if they are supported by a diverse leadership team). As always, a balance must be sought and that's a tricky game.
    Last edited by Ephelyon; 28th March 2014 at 10:04 AM.

  18. #90

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    To be a little controversial - if you can't afford to either not work or to have childcare, should you be having children?

    I suppose it comes down to the default view that society has - at the moment it appears to be "go forth and procreate". However, we now live in a world with limited resources and overcrowding. Should we be encouraging people to have kids if they simply can't afford to look after them fully by themselves?

    Yes, this means we end up with the 'poorer' classes being childless in favour of the richer classes having kids, but as it stands it is the opposite way round and we can't afford it.
    There are many who own their own homes, have plenty of money at the end of the month before payday, and then when children come along and can't cope...then there are others who rent, do lots of agency jobs and cope perfectly well and raise normal well rounded children.

    I've been in and out of work a lot since my child was born, I have a second on the way. By your standards I shouldn't have had children...also, you suggest a class based apartheid...which is disgusting

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