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General Chat Thread, Secret Teacher Letter in General; Originally Posted by bossman I feel that teachers are given too many roles to which having an industry background is ...
  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    I feel that teachers are given too many roles to which having an industry background is a major criteria, they just cannot accept that there are other professionals who could manage the job so much more effectively, I have recently been challenged by a teaching colleague about Academies employing industry professionals to head them rather than teaching professionals. This really got their goat when I said that I too would see no reason why a professional other than a teacher should be given the Headship of a school as this role is more about man management than teaching.

    As for the amount of assistant headteachers well I feel that this has got right out of hand also in that these jobs should also go to non teaching professionals and let the teachers teach instead of juggling too many balls at once. Surely the teaching side suffers when they also have to do another role to fulfil which usually has nothing to do with teaching rather more like data crunching for the different subjects, surely one person could do all the data crunching within the school for all the departments instead of giving the teachers more pay through different roles.

    I also feel strongly about the way in which this is done throughout all schools in that teachers given more responsibility through management roles actually have contact time taken off them which equates to the amount of time it is deemed taken to fulfil the other role. In effect they are just doing the same amount of workload but getting more pay in the process.

    If support staff are given another role or responsiblilties they cannot drop their other jobs so in effect have more workload to boot and often don't get the remuneration for it in the way a teaching professional would.

    It is time for the double standards within education to stop and everyone paid a fair days pay for a fair days work.
    good point. think of all the costs associated with the training and CPD required to get teachers who move into SMT and headteacher positions merely up to speed on the beuracracy in education they need to know about, let alone the other functionally useful CPD which could train them to be competent business leaders. Professionals from industry already have a grounding in the latter.

  2. #17

    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Now you see, @garethedmondson, that is partly why I always advocate an forum name that is NOT your own....
    Wait... So your name ISN'T Witch?

    And Grumbledook ISN'T called Grumbledook?


    Mind = Blown

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    I love James' blog as he has really dug out some nuggets of information that beggar belief ... however, on the costs of staff with a new school I think that there is nothing out of the ordinary compared to other new schools with this one.

    When new state schools are built / created there is always an element of costs for staff being painful in the first few years ... this is why LAs try to leave it to the last minute (sort of) to get a new school open ... to try to get as many children in as possible across a range of years. When CTCs opened they had similar issues ... perhaps only 2 year groups starting (IIRC years 7 and 10 were the popular ones) and the classes where not full then.

    If you consider that a secondary school with 800-1200 children (which I believe both these schools aim to hit ... much to the annoyance of the other local schools who are still trying to fill their own places) will have a leadership structure of a Head teacher, a Deputy (who is the legal 2nd in command should the Head not be available) and then 2-3 Asst Heads ... then it is not the case that all the SLT positions will be filled immediately. The killer is the Principal / Executive Head (as it is know in some places) ... this is an expensive position ... but does mean that you can get away with lower paid Headteachers beneath it (often a first headship position ... so someone looking for a bit of a jump from Deputy). The middle rung is pretty typical for a new school starting up as well ... and I would expect to see similar in a state school. The difference is that in a maintained school the LA might draft in some of its own resources to fill some of these roles as an interim measure ... but these would be people who were being paid anyway ... just from a central pot rather than the school's own ... so still taxpayers' money.

    In the same way that it can cost more in the first few years when starting a business ... so a school costs more per pupil when the doors first open.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Wait... So your name ISN'T Witch?

    And Grumbledook ISN'T called Grumbledook?


    Mind = Blown
    But I *am* called GrumbleDook ... and answer to such at conferences, events, parties ...
    I'm not going to be at the Discworld Con this year but if I was then that would be the only name used for me.

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    We have 2 deputy's and 5 assistant heads in our school... too many cooks springs to mind at times

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Discworld Con
    Color me intrigued.

  7. #22

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    I think the comments on the Guardian article are more interesting. One teacher pops up to say that maybe it is being a bit cynical, that teachers should welcome feedback and update their teaching and gets shouted down. Maybe we should follow the same model?

    & I'm open minded on this but he says that an outstanding lesson takes hours but surely they should be reusing lesson plans and using departmental resources so that they aren't planning every single lesson single handedly. & my view is that it is the teacher that brings the lesson alive and makes it unboring. yes everyone has a down day where they can't quite give their fullest but accept that for what it is, not blaming it on failing to get something ready.

    Or I may be talking out my ass! Poor donkey

  8. #23

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    [QUOTE=X-13;830345]Wait... So your name ISN'T Witch?

    And Grumbledook ISN'T called Grumbledook?


    @GrumbleDook For me too - yes, Witch is at least one of my real names...
    So you were named X-13 were you? Thirteenth child?

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    I think the comments on the Guardian article are more interesting. One teacher pops up to say that maybe it is being a bit cynical, that teachers should welcome feedback and update their teaching and gets shouted down. Maybe we should follow the same model?

    & I'm open minded on this but he says that an outstanding lesson takes hours but surely they should be reusing lesson plans and using departmental resources so that they aren't planning every single lesson single handedly. & my view is that it is the teacher that brings the lesson alive and makes it unboring. yes everyone has a down day where they can't quite give their fullest but accept that for what it is, not blaming it on failing to get something ready.

    Or I may be talking out my ass! Poor donkey
    Resources usually do get shared but then are adapted a) to suit that particular teacher's method of deliver and how they work with the children and b) to suit the needs of that particular class. You might find the same unit of work taught by the same teacher needs to be adapted quite a bit depending on what class they are taking. Some people differentiate by output (all do the same task but the better children do better) and some differentiate by input (difference resources to get children as far as they can). Both have their good and bad points and rather than drill down into pedagogical theory (Donald Clark's blog has a good summary over 50 posts on different learning theorists for those who are interested) it is worth saying that the Secret Teacher does raise a good point about the amount of work needed to hit the Outstanding criteria now (and it has increased compared to 6 months ago too).

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    So you were named X-13 were you? Thirteenth child?
    My full name is Project: Shards - Subject: X-13 - Codename: Broken Eternities.


    Or X-13 for short.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    When new state schools are built / created there is always an element of costs for staff being painful in the first few years
    Probably, but that just means the insanity is more endemic that I imagined. I can't imagine anyone spending their money (as opposed to the tax payers) paying for a bunch of staff that clearly aren't required for at least the next year.. possibly never. Just what are the compelling reasons for that?

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Probably, but that just means the insanity is more endemic that I imagined. I can't imagine anyone spending their money (as opposed to the tax payers) paying for a bunch of staff that clearly aren't required for at least the next year.. possibly never. Just what are the compelling reasons for that?
    A Free School is an independent school setup and run by an interested group but paid for, primarily, from Govt funds. It is being paid for by the taxpayer.

    As for not being needed ... actually, they usually are. To get a school off the ground (take a 2 for entry primary as an example) then you are employing a Head and a Bursar / Business Manager from at least April if the school opens in September. They might even start in January. Depending on how many classes are starting in that September then you may try to get a teacher or two from the Whitsun half-term ... and you are likely to get one more teacher than needed for the first year to allow for extra cover and to plan for the future years. In a secondary schools, such as those in the blogs, then the time taken to build / design / resource the curriculum also needs to be taken into account. With Free Schools, similar to Academies, there may be a particular focus (sometimes due to a sponsor) which means that pre-existing resources staff bring need to have a lot of work done to them. So ... you get over-staffed for a year or two to save problems further down the line.

    It has been done like this for years ... it is just that previously they were supported and accountable to the LA or to an over-arching group (in the case of CTCs) but now there is a bit of a free-for-all.

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    There's obviously a minimum number of manglers required to get a school 'off the ground', but you're simply not going to convince me that a school needs the full contingent of manglers like that when a) it's only got ~200 kids, b) you'll have reasonably good notice about significant changes to that number. People doing real valuable work are being kicked out of jobs whilst this lot will be twiddling their thumbs and inventing pointless Kafkaesque procedures that likely won't survive collision with the reality of a credible number of kids.

    That's it's been done like this for years is not an argument - those were shameless, decadent, ruinously expensive years with the bills postponed for my/our kids lifetimes - stuff like this just needs to *stop*.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 21st May 2012 at 06:40 PM.

  14. #29

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    The example from James' blog is not a full compliment of management though ... but enough to get things started.

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    I've seen (up close) two Primaries merge into one new school over the summer with 400 kids with one new head, one deputy, a helpful govenor and one person from the LA on the case. The first three still had normal duties to perform beforehand. No way it requires 17 senior posts to simultaneously run a school with just 200 kids and do [whatever] in order to prepare for some day they'll know about well in advance when they might have more kids. If that's really how it is, if the system really has created enough superfluous tat to keep them all occupied, then Western civilisation is more [bleeped] than I thought.

  16. Thanks to PiqueABoo from:

    bossman (21st May 2012)

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