IMAGINE LIVING DIFFERENTLY,
LEARNING, CREATING, GROWING ....
WITHOUT SCHOOLING.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Worth striking for?

There are a number of issues in education I believe it would be worth teachers striking over:

1) The unquestioned authority of Ofsted which stops headteachers and teachers, through fear, doing what they truly feel would be best for the pupils in their care.

2) The SATs tests and the resultant 'teaching to pass tests' by which schools can prove they are 'successful'.

3) The autonomy teachers should have as professionals to make their own assessments and to make the right decisions for the pupils in their care without distant Government interference.

4) The teaching responsibility given to Cover Supervisors and Teaching Assistants which undermines teachers' professionalism, and exploits support staff.

5) The Health and Safety restrictions which mean teachers are too afraid to take risks, restricting educational opportunity and the broad and balanced curriculum.

6) The obsession with CRB checks, which do little to protect children, but put walls around schools and prevent good people in the community from being more involved with childrens' education.

7) Poor behaviour in classrooms and the lack of authority given to teachers and schools to be able to deal with this effectively, to the detriment of many pupils' education.

8) The disproportionate investment in 'average' pupils, to push their grades high enough to make their school appear more successful, without similar investment in very able or failing pupils.

Union representatives are talking on television this week about how their actions are for the sake of the children and their education. Why do the issues listed here not push teachers to the picket lines? It is not the teachers' pay scale or a handsome pension scheme which will attract good teachers, rather good teachers will leave the profession because of their frustrations with the list above. Or, they will keep teaching because they love it, because they truly enjoy being with children, because they believe they can make a difference, because they have found their vocation.

Teachers are striking this week in their own self-interest. I think they've picked the wrong issue.

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