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General Chat Thread, Secret Teacher Letter in General; This was amusing on the Guardian's website... The Secret Teacher writes an honest letter home | Teacher Network Blog | ...
  1. #1

    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Secret Teacher Letter


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    DocHouse (22nd May 2012), stevenlong1985 (21st May 2012)

  3. #2

    bossman's Avatar
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    Just about sums it up Gareth, myself, I am losing interest by the day because of the constant mass of paperwork that has to be done before I actually do anything thus creating twice as much workload.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    I'm not saying anything as I use my real name on here :-)

    Gareth

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    webman's Avatar
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    To plan an outstanding lesson can take hours. I can't do that for every lesson I teach. ... I know how to make it better. I just didn't have the time to do it.
    Interesting. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

  7. #5

    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Um!! I have no idea what you are thinking.

    G

  8. #6

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    to be honest primary and secondary education has been awash with middle manager roles for years. also Plenty of management-graded jobs were were created outside of schools in some subdivision of the LEA or some centrally funded body for those who didn't like teaching kids on a day to day basis very much, to scuttle off to. On good money swell.

    The cuts have meant some of those have taken retirement or moved on, but those who've moved on can always be relied upon to advise schools based on years of experience in not teaching day in day out!! In schools themselves, i've always wondered about the need to create additional asst head roles in addition to traditional role of deputy heads and heads of years, whether it's a response to the increasing beuracracy. Management creating more management, and whether it's the inevitable result of a very performance-centric profession that it seems to have become.

  9. #7

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I really do like the letter ... but I have to say a few things in defence of Management and Leadership (and there is *such* a big difference between the two).

    The nature of the world we live in has forced a lot more accountability on anything where public money is spent. That, in general, is a darned good thing, but it does mean that more time is spent making sure that others are doing things. That is the bad side of it ... and a very bad side at times.

    Ultimately this falls down on the Head teacher at a school ... even more so with the recent changes due to the Education Act 2011 where you might previously have thrown things up to LA level ... and it would be impossible for a Head to do all the things that they are expected to do ... and so some of the work is devolved downwards. And this is where you get management.

    It is not just in education that this happens but in lots of other places too. In the lovely world of Project Management you can see this with a Project manager, then team managers and so on ... and in good projects it works well ... in poor projects it is dire ... but it tends to be that you trust people to be good or bad ... and deal with things when they don't go to plan.

    You don't shift goal posts ... you don't exclude others from plans ... you don't change the funds available in the middle of the project without planning for the consequences of it.

  10. #8

    bossman's Avatar
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    I agree with @GrumbleDook on the accountability side of things which with the proper guidance and training can be advantageous but with some of the beaurocracy it beggars belief when in essence it just creates more work which in turn creates more stress when the whole thing could be managed in a much better way.

    Not all events can be monitored in the same way as work which can be scheduled by way of timetabled events throughout the year. With education changing so frequently and technology advancing in a much quicker vain the only thing that slows it down is us humans in the way we have to adapt by way of learning new ideals and technology and then delivering them to students in a way that they will absorb that knowledge.

    Teaching seems for quite a while to have been stuck in a timewarp in the way it was delivered but gradually this has been acknowledged and slowly other means of teaching have become apparent through the use of technology, could it be that this government are looking for a way to determine that fact and realise that it is time to change the way we teach?

    Very thought provoking I realise especially when things are happening in the background which re-enforce how the education of students has slowly been directed to private industry to take charge by way of new buildings and the way in which teaching and learning is delivered. I feel that students are evolving very quickly and are so very much aligned to digital learning using more than one media in which to access this, are we to see the gradual decline in teachers to such a point that schools will become a thing of the past and that students will learn from home?

    Lots of private companies are lining up waiting for the opportunity to provide services to which they can gleen profits from and use whatever means necessary to achieve the figures that the government want by way of exam passes and the like. Just listening to the news and watching different media programs it is quite plain what is on the governments minds. With the way cloud media has evolved it is only a matter of time before one of these large corporations takes a hold of the educational sector and turns it into another business which creates profit instead of a constant drain on the government coffers.

    Change is just around the corner, how we as the people who have delivered this for so long adapt to the new ways of education is up to us but I feel a lot of changes will happen shortly and not always in a good way.

    This is just a stab at what seems to be happening throughout the country, not just in the educational system but in every public service accross the land. Hope it hasn't spoilt anyones Sunday afternoon but its just food for thought nothing more.

    Thank you for listening or viewing in this case

    Regards
    Bossman

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    Quote Originally Posted by alttab View Post
    Management creating more management,
    The current Private Eye mentioned this interesting management structure for a free school (you just *have* to read it).

    with some of the beaurocracy it beggars belief when in essence it just creates more work which in turn creates more stress
    Absolutely, that is my biggest complain about public sector: Everyone and their dog seems to be hell-bent on everyone counting/measuring things (they can blather about in too many decision-free meetings) *that don't matter*, which I assume is because too many manglement folk are too witless to look at [anything at all] and sift out the key stuff in terms of strategy, organisation and employee efficiency. The ratio of truely productive work to 'housekeeping' is appalling.

  12. Thanks to PiqueABoo from:

    Linfit (20th May 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    The current Private Eye mentioned this interesting management structure for a free school (you just *have* to read it).



    Absolutely, that is my biggest complain about public sector: Everyone and their dog seems to be hell-bent on everyone counting/measuring things (they can blather about in too many decision-free meetings) *that don't matter*, which I assume is because too many manglement folk are too witless to look at [anything at all] and sift out the key stuff in terms of strategy, organisation and employee efficiency. The ratio of truely productive work to 'housekeeping' is appalling.
    that school couldn't possibly afford to fill all those roles in Y1 were they subject to regular per-pupil funding model. Indeed, as someone commented, they'd fill in those roles as pupil intake increased...and fill them all in i've no doubt most schools would, the asst heads, the 'inclusion leaders' etc they'd all be there. But the funding model would have dictated that it not all be done in Y1. It's a given that those roles would exist for a 700+ school at those kind of salaries whether they be free, academy or pre-academy secondary. That mgmt structure is pretty much a baked in template these days (which i think is a point that is not often discussed), just not at 210 pupils!!!

    i've seen really bonkers examples of top heavy staffing structures. The examples i've seen came about as a result of some of the previous governments pet projects whereby the new initiative get's a disproportionately high portion of funding from the get go (so no change there then). This is another problem with the public sector, the way funds can be allocated leave you scratching your head, especially if it's a government project which is designed to occupy column inches. And some of the characters who are given autonomy at a local level to spend those funds equally leave you scratching your head, i don't blame them though. They're being promoted to positions that didn't need to be filled plus it means they don't have to spend several hours a day teaching several days a week...i wouldn't expect them not to apply or accept a one-way ticket to better pay, pointless meetings and housekeeping duties to occupy the time.
    Last edited by alttab; 20th May 2012 at 06:27 PM.

  14. #11

    witch's Avatar
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    Hmmmm - whilst I agree with much of the content of the letter - I am wondering whether the 'too many managers' model only applies to secondary schools?
    One of my jobs is in a middle - deemed - secondary (goes up to yr 8) and we have:
    Subject leaders
    Year Leaders
    Key Stage Leaders
    Inclusion Leader
    Deputy Head
    Head
    That seems pretty reasonable to me..the Year Leaders have more of a pastoral role with reference to the children.
    Year Leader upwards are part of SLT
    All posts are teaching apart from Head. Deputy has small timetable. Inclusion Leader has less than full timetable
    The main issues I have with the free school management structure are the Principal AND highly paid Heads, and secondly Assistant AND Deputy Head - I wouldnt have said the schools were big enough to need both. Both my schools are bigger than that and we have no Assistant Heads. That would be something for the fullness of time as the schools expand IMHO

    What does everyone else have?
    Last edited by witch; 20th May 2012 at 06:43 PM.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I'm sure it's secondary... they're talking about teaching 1 lesson of RE per week.

    I also agree with the sentiment about 'too many managers'. It seems that the only way for secondary teachers to get extra money is for them get a leadership role of some sort... and there seem to be so many. Too many?

  16. #13

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    I'm not saying anything as I use my real name on here :-)

    Gareth
    Now you see, @garethedmondson, that is partly why I always advocate an forum name that is NOT your own....

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I'm sure it's secondary... they're talking about teaching 1 lesson of RE per week.

    I also agree with the sentiment about 'too many managers'. It seems that the only way for secondary teachers to get extra money is for them get a leadership role of some sort... and there seem to be so many. Too many?
    Rewarding teachers for taking on extra responsibility or for being outstanding teachers i sort of understand, although again it depends on the measures used to judge performance. But 55k or so (as is often the case with the 'asst head' role) is an awful lot of money to pay someone to be part of a leadership group with the division of responsibility that implies as being part of a 'team'. The individual buck stops here still rests with the head. IT just smacks of being the way to promote a few ambitious teachers into the 'boardroom' as it were. With Middling-executive pay to match, but with not necessarily the skills you'd expect of 'business leaders'. 'Cos that's what they are if they're making decisions on whole school improvement.

    then there were the one's that flew under the radar because they were outside of schools and filled by qualified teachers in the roles 'supporting' schools in some way or another. i consider many of these just as much a promotion route into middle-manager positions for teachers looking for an out. And positions that we can do without, because the cuts show that life goes on.

  18. #15

    bossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I also agree with the sentiment about 'too many managers'. It seems that the only way for secondary teachers to get extra money is for them get a leadership role of some sort... and there seem to be so many. Too many?
    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.
    Last edited by bossman; 20th May 2012 at 07:40 PM.

  19. Thanks to bossman from:

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