Parents are braced for teachers’ strike

This Is Wiltshire: Teachers from Swindon taking part in a rally in Bristol last year, which was part of a long running dispute which continues next week Teachers from Swindon taking part in a rally in Bristol last year, which was part of a long running dispute which continues next week

PARENTS have been addressed in a letter from Wiltshire NUT secretary Mike Harrison, who has explained the union’s reasons for staging a teachers’ strike next week.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has called a one-day national strike for next Wednesday, with schools across Swindon likely to be affected.

Isambard School has around 30 members of staff in the union, amounting to almost half of its teaching staff, so has already sent a letter to parents saying it will not be open for the day.

Youngsters in Years 7, 8 and 9 at Lydiard Park Academy have also been told not to come in if the strike goes ahead while Kingsdown School has asked parents to name a place of safety their child can go to in case the school has to close at the last minute because of the industrial action.

Teachers are not obliged to tell their employers whether they are on strike until the day, while teachers in other unions have been told not to provide cover and supply teachers are not available on that day.

Swindon Council is unlikely to know whether primary schools will be open or closed until just before the strike date.

In addressing any frustrations parents and carers have, Mr Harrison has said the strike has been called to protect pay, pensions and ensure teachers’ workloads allow for the best teaching possible.

He wrote: “The changes the Government want to make that we believe are damaging include teachers working until they are 68 or beyond, increasing pension contributions by 50 per cent, reducing the pension package and introducing performance-related pay.

“Recent figures published by the Government show that teachers in primary schools are working 60 hours a week – we think this is too much and is one of the reasons why so many young teachers are leaving.

“Teachers in Wiltshire never like taking action which interferes with children’s education.

“But it is because we care passionately about the quality of teaching and learning in school that we have to stand up and ensure that all the good practice can continue.

“We hope that you will support us in the strike action on March 26. Teachers and parents standing together to protect the children’s education sends a strong message to Michael Gove.”

Sarah Miller, 39, of Redhouse, has a 16-year-old son at Isambard. She said: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including teachers.

“We’re not allowed to take our children out of school for the day for family occasions, but they’re allowed to strike, even if it affects children’s education.

“It’s a hard one to say where you would draw the line on.

“They’ve got to look out for themselves, just like any profession would.

“If everybody has got to work to that age, why should teachers be any different? They all get so many work holidays throughout the year, which they complain about. It infuriates me that they feel so hard done by.”

Comments (35)

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8:19am Tue 18 Mar 14

swindondad says...

I know this has been “done to death” on the comments sections on previous occasions but can I just say that this strike action is politically motivated and time to cause the maximum disruption / inconvenience.

If teachers genuinely feel that they have no alternative other than to take industrial action they could easily had a “work to rule” or held their “strike” on a “teacher training day” but Oh No that would not have got them the publicity they seek so they will take action that by its nature disrupts not just children’s education but also the functioning of the wider community.

Everyone (even the left wing loonies in the unions) knows that the rise in life expectance means that pensions arrangements must be changed (unless they wish to sign up for euthanasia).
I know this has been “done to death” on the comments sections on previous occasions but can I just say that this strike action is politically motivated and time to cause the maximum disruption / inconvenience. If teachers genuinely feel that they have no alternative other than to take industrial action they could easily had a “work to rule” or held their “strike” on a “teacher training day” but Oh No that would not have got them the publicity they seek so they will take action that by its nature disrupts not just children’s education but also the functioning of the wider community. Everyone (even the left wing loonies in the unions) knows that the rise in life expectance means that pensions arrangements must be changed (unless they wish to sign up for euthanasia). swindondad
  • Score: 4

8:55am Tue 18 Mar 14

Blind Fury says...

I sympathise with any public sector worker, who have no voice left on their futures and need to take action. Pay rises? Pay cuts more like, with massive increases in pension contributions and higher living costs, for a mediocre 1% pay rise...sickening.
Yes, I'll have to take time off to look after my daughter...but fully support our teachers union making a stand against bully boy measures introduced by this government!
I sympathise with any public sector worker, who have no voice left on their futures and need to take action. Pay rises? Pay cuts more like, with massive increases in pension contributions and higher living costs, for a mediocre 1% pay rise...sickening. Yes, I'll have to take time off to look after my daughter...but fully support our teachers union making a stand against bully boy measures introduced by this government! Blind Fury
  • Score: -2

9:14am Tue 18 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Hang on, teacher sympathisers have been telling me on here and other places for weeks/months that it's not about money. Yet here is the NUT saying it's all about money.

"Only" a 1% pay raise? My heart bleeds.

Increases in pension contributions. Well yes, people are generally living longer than they used to so that seems sensible too.

60 hours a week? I call bullplop on that one. There may be a few teachers doing those kind of hours but the average is likely to be much much lower, just the same as it is in every other industry. Without independent evidence of the figures they might as well make up any figure they like.

There are many children in their GCSE years who have been told every single day is vital, and yet here they are not even allowing GCSE students into school for their education. They are holding the government and parents to ransom whilst using the children as political pawns. I can't understand why anyone thinks that's ok.
Hang on, teacher sympathisers have been telling me on here and other places for weeks/months that it's not about money. Yet here is the NUT saying it's all about money. "Only" a 1% pay raise? My heart bleeds. Increases in pension contributions. Well yes, people are generally living longer than they used to so that seems sensible too. 60 hours a week? I call bullplop on that one. There may be a few teachers doing those kind of hours but the average is likely to be much much lower, just the same as it is in every other industry. Without independent evidence of the figures they might as well make up any figure they like. There are many children in their GCSE years who have been told every single day is vital, and yet here they are not even allowing GCSE students into school for their education. They are holding the government and parents to ransom whilst using the children as political pawns. I can't understand why anyone thinks that's ok. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 3

9:40am Tue 18 Mar 14

Itssomewheretowork says...

It seems to me very strange that the better teachers in the union don't support performance related pay.
most professionals in the real world have performance related pay and have for many years.
People say that teachers never actually leave school from the first day they stepped through the door as a young child..
I am not sure how they would cope or survive if they got a job in the real world.
If schools close on the day of action, what do the teachers in the other unions who don't support the strike do? Surely they could run classes for those pupils where parents don't have " a place of safety" for their children to go.
It seems to me very strange that the better teachers in the union don't support performance related pay. most professionals in the real world have performance related pay and have for many years. People say that teachers never actually leave school from the first day they stepped through the door as a young child.. I am not sure how they would cope or survive if they got a job in the real world. If schools close on the day of action, what do the teachers in the other unions who don't support the strike do? Surely they could run classes for those pupils where parents don't have " a place of safety" for their children to go. Itssomewheretowork
  • Score: -4

10:13am Tue 18 Mar 14

swindondad says...

Blind Fury wrote:
I sympathise with any public sector worker, who have no voice left on their futures and need to take action. Pay rises? Pay cuts more like, with massive increases in pension contributions and higher living costs, for a mediocre 1% pay rise...sickening. Yes, I'll have to take time off to look after my daughter...but fully support our teachers union making a stand against bully boy measures introduced by this government!
Even if I agreed that their cause was just why have they chosen to take strike action that directly and adversely impacts the students and in many cases families. As I said in the first posting if they felt they had no option but to take industrial action they could have done so during the time that they are not directly teaching and if you believe they work anywhere near the 60 hours a week (BS)they say they work there was certainly scope to do so.
[quote][p][bold]Blind Fury[/bold] wrote: I sympathise with any public sector worker, who have no voice left on their futures and need to take action. Pay rises? Pay cuts more like, with massive increases in pension contributions and higher living costs, for a mediocre 1% pay rise...sickening. Yes, I'll have to take time off to look after my daughter...but fully support our teachers union making a stand against bully boy measures introduced by this government![/p][/quote]Even if I agreed that their cause was just why have they chosen to take strike action that directly and adversely impacts the students and in many cases families. As I said in the first posting if they felt they had no option but to take industrial action they could have done so during the time that they are not directly teaching and if you believe they work anywhere near the 60 hours a week (BS)they say they work there was certainly scope to do so. swindondad
  • Score: -3

10:57am Tue 18 Mar 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

I wonder how many of these striking teachers will actually be on picket line duty on the day....?

I wonder how many will use the excuse of having to look after their own kids because they and their colleagues are striking for not being at the school gates waving placards.
I wonder how many of these striking teachers will actually be on picket line duty on the day....? I wonder how many will use the excuse of having to look after their own kids because they and their colleagues are striking for not being at the school gates waving placards. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: -3

11:00am Tue 18 Mar 14

Highworth Lad says...

60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules.
p!sses me off
60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules. p!sses me off Highworth Lad
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Tue 18 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

i) I am unconvinced striking is the best way for teachers to articulate their case. I would much prefer they campaign in other ways to get their message heard.
ii) However, when a strike happens why do so many people not question the efforts made by the employer to prevent action? (An intransigent and opinionated Secretary of State has not helped matters.)
iii) The Artist etc - there is research on the hours teachers work. Some of it very recent and undertaken by the DfE - which with Michael Gove in charge is hardly a bastion of left wing militancy - it is their research that the 60 hour average figure comes from. Of course, as with any average, there are in reality some teachers who will do less and some who will do considerably more.
iii) Highworth Lad - you are getting your wish. They are choosing another job or not filling the vacancies that need filling. Four out of every ten teachers leave in their first five years in post. The National Governors Association are reporting that it is ever more challenging to get headteacher vacancies filled. If teaching is such a cosy number why is it that there is not a queue of people looking to join the profession? You can talk the language of fining and sacking but it serves little purpose if you have no suitably qualified replacements aspiring to fill the vacancies. It need not be that way - Finland has more people applying to become teachers than there are vacancies. Is is really too much to ask why our political leaders do not investigate how they might replicate such a positive situation?
iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore.
v) The reality is that teacher morale is at an all time low whilst teacher recruitment and retention promises to be a looming crisis. I am unconvinced striking is the best way to draw this to the public's attention - and I think the reality is that on the pension issue they would be better moving on - although it is interesting that MPs kept their pension perks by resisting change. Equally, when I read some of the comments from those with closed minds and an over eagerness to disparage teachers I genuinely wonder how many are open minded enough to recognise the scale of the looming problem. My fear is it will only be when class sizes increase to ridiculous levels and support for the most vulnerable is cut that people will be concerned. By then though damage will have been done.
i) I am unconvinced striking is the best way for teachers to articulate their case. I would much prefer they campaign in other ways to get their message heard. ii) However, when a strike happens why do so many people not question the efforts made by the employer to prevent action? (An intransigent and opinionated Secretary of State has not helped matters.) iii) The Artist etc - there is research on the hours teachers work. Some of it very recent and undertaken by the DfE - which with Michael Gove in charge is hardly a bastion of left wing militancy - it is their research that the 60 hour average figure comes from. Of course, as with any average, there are in reality some teachers who will do less and some who will do considerably more. iii) Highworth Lad - you are getting your wish. They are choosing another job or not filling the vacancies that need filling. Four out of every ten teachers leave in their first five years in post. The National Governors Association are reporting that it is ever more challenging to get headteacher vacancies filled. If teaching is such a cosy number why is it that there is not a queue of people looking to join the profession? You can talk the language of fining and sacking but it serves little purpose if you have no suitably qualified replacements aspiring to fill the vacancies. It need not be that way - Finland has more people applying to become teachers than there are vacancies. Is is really too much to ask why our political leaders do not investigate how they might replicate such a positive situation? iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore. v) The reality is that teacher morale is at an all time low whilst teacher recruitment and retention promises to be a looming crisis. I am unconvinced striking is the best way to draw this to the public's attention - and I think the reality is that on the pension issue they would be better moving on - although it is interesting that MPs kept their pension perks by resisting change. Equally, when I read some of the comments from those with closed minds and an over eagerness to disparage teachers I genuinely wonder how many are open minded enough to recognise the scale of the looming problem. My fear is it will only be when class sizes increase to ridiculous levels and support for the most vulnerable is cut that people will be concerned. By then though damage will have been done. express_a_view
  • Score: 6

12:25pm Tue 18 Mar 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Teachers should be hired via private contracts, this would save us all a lot of money and wasted days whilst sucking the life out of the Unions.
Teachers should be hired via private contracts, this would save us all a lot of money and wasted days whilst sucking the life out of the Unions. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -2

12:58pm Tue 18 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

express_a_view. The research you allude to that was conducted for the DFE was a survey of what teachers said their working hours were. It was not independent and was possibly completed by those with a vested interest in exaggerating their working hours. There is an assumption in the survey results paper that all respondents were telling the truth. The results are here for anyone interested:

https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/uploads/sy
stem/uploads/attachm
ent_data/file/285941
/DFE-RR316.pdf

Despite many in the media suggesting as a result of this survey that there has been a sharp increase in teacher workload, the survey paper itself states this:

"Note, due to significant changes in the survey methodology in 2013, data from this year is not comparable with that from previous years’ surveys."

And the rest of your commentary distracts from the fact that the NUT has now come out and said this is purely about pay, pensions and working hours and nothing at all to do with the (lack of) quality of education our children are receiving - something teachers have been saying is not the issue they are striking about.

Interestingly on the issue of workloads, that same survey suggests:

"Eight in ten deputy heads and classroom teachers felt that only a little or some of their time was spent on unnecessary and bureaucratic tasks."

So if all their time is perceived to be spent on necessary tasks, how do they suggest reducing the workload?
express_a_view. The research you allude to that was conducted for the DFE was a survey of what teachers said their working hours were. It was not independent and was possibly completed by those with a vested interest in exaggerating their working hours. There is an assumption in the survey results paper that all respondents were telling the truth. The results are here for anyone interested: https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/uploads/sy stem/uploads/attachm ent_data/file/285941 /DFE-RR316.pdf Despite many in the media suggesting as a result of this survey that there has been a sharp increase in teacher workload, the survey paper itself states this: "Note, due to significant changes in the survey methodology in 2013, data from this year is not comparable with that from previous years’ surveys." And the rest of your commentary distracts from the fact that the NUT has now come out and said this is purely about pay, pensions and working hours and nothing at all to do with the (lack of) quality of education our children are receiving - something teachers have been saying is not the issue they are striking about. Interestingly on the issue of workloads, that same survey suggests: "Eight in ten deputy heads and classroom teachers felt that only a little or some of their time was spent on unnecessary and bureaucratic tasks." So if all their time is perceived to be spent on necessary tasks, how do they suggest reducing the workload? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -3

1:02pm Tue 18 Mar 14

King Doink says...

Highworth Lad wrote:
60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules.
p!sses me off
Well it's your friends that don't put the hours in letting down the pupils. They must think they have a Nice easy job, soon as the bell goes, straight in their cars and forget about school. You really are a deluded individual, and have no idea what a good teacher does in an average week!!!
You also seem to forget that they will be losing a days pay, striking will not make an breath of difference for them.
[quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: 60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules. p!sses me off[/p][/quote]Well it's your friends that don't put the hours in letting down the pupils. They must think they have a Nice easy job, soon as the bell goes, straight in their cars and forget about school. You really are a deluded individual, and have no idea what a good teacher does in an average week!!! You also seem to forget that they will be losing a days pay, striking will not make an breath of difference for them. King Doink
  • Score: 5

1:37pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Itssomewheretowork says...

express a view-
iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore.

What I meant was "the real world of work" rather than the education system.and public workers.
I am afraid that many jobs, not just teachers, have a less pleasant side that many people don't even know about.
There are lots of people who don't ignore some of the issues that you list and work long hours trying to help dramatically reduce them, so it does work both ways.
express a view- iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore. What I meant was "the real world of work" rather than the education system.and public workers. I am afraid that many jobs, not just teachers, have a less pleasant side that many people don't even know about. There are lots of people who don't ignore some of the issues that you list and work long hours trying to help dramatically reduce them, so it does work both ways. Itssomewheretowork
  • Score: 1

1:40pm Tue 18 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Itssomewheretowork wrote:
express a view-
iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore.

What I meant was "the real world of work" rather than the education system.and public workers.
I am afraid that many jobs, not just teachers, have a less pleasant side that many people don't even know about.
There are lots of people who don't ignore some of the issues that you list and work long hours trying to help dramatically reduce them, so it does work both ways.
You make an interesting point. As a parent, it is very easy to spot the difference between "career" teachers, and those that have switched from a different profession. Those that have switched are also generally more well thought of by the children.
[quote][p][bold]Itssomewheretowork[/bold] wrote: express a view- iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore. What I meant was "the real world of work" rather than the education system.and public workers. I am afraid that many jobs, not just teachers, have a less pleasant side that many people don't even know about. There are lots of people who don't ignore some of the issues that you list and work long hours trying to help dramatically reduce them, so it does work both ways.[/p][/quote]You make an interesting point. As a parent, it is very easy to spot the difference between "career" teachers, and those that have switched from a different profession. Those that have switched are also generally more well thought of by the children. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -4

1:55pm Tue 18 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

King Doink wrote:
Highworth Lad wrote:
60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules.
p!sses me off
Well it's your friends that don't put the hours in letting down the pupils. They must think they have a Nice easy job, soon as the bell goes, straight in their cars and forget about school. You really are a deluded individual, and have no idea what a good teacher does in an average week!!!
You also seem to forget that they will be losing a days pay, striking will not make an breath of difference for them.
So is that 60 hours a week every week or 60 hours a week in term time there is a massive difference! It might be better to see how many hours a year they work compared to their counterparts in the private sector that would be interesting to know.
They still have one of the safest jobs in the country, the best pension and the best terms and conditions, holidays, sick pay, accountability, get paid irrespective of how good they are.

In the latest ratings the UK is 26th in maths and 23rd in reading and 21st in sciences. the only thing we lead the world in is CCTV cameras per capita!

I also find the practice of fining parents for taking kids out of school and then going on strike when they feel like it hugely hypocritical. There are more effective ways of showing their anger than taking it out on the kids and their families, but then the teaching unions don't really care about that anyway.

And as many have said, if you don't like your job, get out and do something else!
[quote][p][bold]King Doink[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: 60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules. p!sses me off[/p][/quote]Well it's your friends that don't put the hours in letting down the pupils. They must think they have a Nice easy job, soon as the bell goes, straight in their cars and forget about school. You really are a deluded individual, and have no idea what a good teacher does in an average week!!! You also seem to forget that they will be losing a days pay, striking will not make an breath of difference for them.[/p][/quote]So is that 60 hours a week every week or 60 hours a week in term time there is a massive difference! It might be better to see how many hours a year they work compared to their counterparts in the private sector that would be interesting to know. They still have one of the safest jobs in the country, the best pension and the best terms and conditions, holidays, sick pay, accountability, get paid irrespective of how good they are. In the latest ratings the UK is 26th in maths and 23rd in reading and 21st in sciences. the only thing we lead the world in is CCTV cameras per capita! I also find the practice of fining parents for taking kids out of school and then going on strike when they feel like it hugely hypocritical. There are more effective ways of showing their anger than taking it out on the kids and their families, but then the teaching unions don't really care about that anyway. And as many have said, if you don't like your job, get out and do something else! house on the hill
  • Score: 2

2:13pm Tue 18 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

house on the hill wrote:
King Doink wrote:
Highworth Lad wrote:
60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules.
p!sses me off
Well it's your friends that don't put the hours in letting down the pupils. They must think they have a Nice easy job, soon as the bell goes, straight in their cars and forget about school. You really are a deluded individual, and have no idea what a good teacher does in an average week!!!
You also seem to forget that they will be losing a days pay, striking will not make an breath of difference for them.
So is that 60 hours a week every week or 60 hours a week in term time there is a massive difference! It might be better to see how many hours a year they work compared to their counterparts in the private sector that would be interesting to know.
They still have one of the safest jobs in the country, the best pension and the best terms and conditions, holidays, sick pay, accountability, get paid irrespective of how good they are.

In the latest ratings the UK is 26th in maths and 23rd in reading and 21st in sciences. the only thing we lead the world in is CCTV cameras per capita!

I also find the practice of fining parents for taking kids out of school and then going on strike when they feel like it hugely hypocritical. There are more effective ways of showing their anger than taking it out on the kids and their families, but then the teaching unions don't really care about that anyway.

And as many have said, if you don't like your job, get out and do something else!
If you take a look at the report I linked to above you'll see the "60 hours" is extrapolated data. The survey which states this (linked above) took the responses from approximately 6000 teachers. Only around 1000 of those teachers managed to fill the response "diary" in correctly to provide data. It also only took account of two days and extrapolated the results, not the full week.

The survey has so many holes that could be exploited by those with vested interests as to be completely meaningless.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Doink[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: 60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules. p!sses me off[/p][/quote]Well it's your friends that don't put the hours in letting down the pupils. They must think they have a Nice easy job, soon as the bell goes, straight in their cars and forget about school. You really are a deluded individual, and have no idea what a good teacher does in an average week!!! You also seem to forget that they will be losing a days pay, striking will not make an breath of difference for them.[/p][/quote]So is that 60 hours a week every week or 60 hours a week in term time there is a massive difference! It might be better to see how many hours a year they work compared to their counterparts in the private sector that would be interesting to know. They still have one of the safest jobs in the country, the best pension and the best terms and conditions, holidays, sick pay, accountability, get paid irrespective of how good they are. In the latest ratings the UK is 26th in maths and 23rd in reading and 21st in sciences. the only thing we lead the world in is CCTV cameras per capita! I also find the practice of fining parents for taking kids out of school and then going on strike when they feel like it hugely hypocritical. There are more effective ways of showing their anger than taking it out on the kids and their families, but then the teaching unions don't really care about that anyway. And as many have said, if you don't like your job, get out and do something else![/p][/quote]If you take a look at the report I linked to above you'll see the "60 hours" is extrapolated data. The survey which states this (linked above) took the responses from approximately 6000 teachers. Only around 1000 of those teachers managed to fill the response "diary" in correctly to provide data. It also only took account of two days and extrapolated the results, not the full week. The survey has so many holes that could be exploited by those with vested interests as to be completely meaningless. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -5

2:28pm Tue 18 Mar 14

swindondad says...

The 60 hour week claim is obviously ridicules even if a teacher teaches a class every lesson Monday through Friday and take both registration that still less than 26 hours a week. So they are trying to say they spend 30+ hours a week on what, marking and lesson preparation. Please bear in mind also that they only reach 39 weeks a year.

For some facts if any one wants them try:
http://www.teachingi
ntheuk.com/go/uk-tea
ching-info/school-sy
stem/
The 60 hour week claim is obviously ridicules even if a teacher teaches a class every lesson Monday through Friday and take both registration that still less than 26 hours a week. So they are trying to say they spend 30+ hours a week on what, marking and lesson preparation. Please bear in mind also that they only reach 39 weeks a year. For some facts if any one wants them try: http://www.teachingi ntheuk.com/go/uk-tea ching-info/school-sy stem/ swindondad
  • Score: -7

2:46pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Itssomewheretowork says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Itssomewheretowork wrote: express a view- iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore. What I meant was "the real world of work" rather than the education system.and public workers. I am afraid that many jobs, not just teachers, have a less pleasant side that many people don't even know about. There are lots of people who don't ignore some of the issues that you list and work long hours trying to help dramatically reduce them, so it does work both ways.
You make an interesting point. As a parent, it is very easy to spot the difference between "career" teachers, and those that have switched from a different profession. Those that have switched are also generally more well thought of by the children.
in the area of science teachers, this is most definately true. If you haven't been employed in the "real working scientific world" before becoming a teacher then you are at a loss.
Some years ago when I was in the position to do so i invited science teachers to come and spend some time in my world of science. It was often a problem for them to get time away from school but some enlightened schools made it happen and some teachers asked if it was possible to come in for a week at half term or in the summer holidays.

these are the type of teachers who "turn pupils on" to science careers.
I am sure it is the same in other teaching disciplines.
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Itssomewheretowork[/bold] wrote: express a view- iv) Itsomewheretowork - take it from me many teachers have a good knowledge of the real world. The real world of young people who live in dysfunctional families; of abuse cases that are immensely distressing; of the impact of poverty on children; of children who are underfed; of parents who neglect their responsibilities with the result that more infants enter school lacking basic social skills, table manners or toilet training; of the lack of careers opportunities for our young people post 16; of the complexity of special educational needs and disability that walk through their classroom doors; the impact on childhood of increasing numbers of parents with excessive drug/alcohol dependency; and of the increasing mental health problems our young people face from family breakdown and living with domestic violence. The teachers world is not an unreal world - just one whose less pleasant side lots of people prefer to ignore. What I meant was "the real world of work" rather than the education system.and public workers. I am afraid that many jobs, not just teachers, have a less pleasant side that many people don't even know about. There are lots of people who don't ignore some of the issues that you list and work long hours trying to help dramatically reduce them, so it does work both ways.[/p][/quote]You make an interesting point. As a parent, it is very easy to spot the difference between "career" teachers, and those that have switched from a different profession. Those that have switched are also generally more well thought of by the children.[/p][/quote]in the area of science teachers, this is most definately true. If you haven't been employed in the "real working scientific world" before becoming a teacher then you are at a loss. Some years ago when I was in the position to do so i invited science teachers to come and spend some time in my world of science. It was often a problem for them to get time away from school but some enlightened schools made it happen and some teachers asked if it was possible to come in for a week at half term or in the summer holidays. these are the type of teachers who "turn pupils on" to science careers. I am sure it is the same in other teaching disciplines. Itssomewheretowork
  • Score: -5

3:05pm Tue 18 Mar 14

trolley dolley says...

Teachers are like anyone else, they want as much as they can get.

So could we please stop saying how much they do for our children, they do the job because they are paid to do it.

The NUT is determined to strike regardless of any damage to our children so maybe it is best to let them get on with it but show our disapproval.
Teachers are like anyone else, they want as much as they can get. So could we please stop saying how much they do for our children, they do the job because they are paid to do it. The NUT is determined to strike regardless of any damage to our children so maybe it is best to let them get on with it but show our disapproval. trolley dolley
  • Score: -2

3:45pm Tue 18 Mar 14

beach1e says...

Teachers work at the very most 9 months a year, yet get paid full time pay. If they cared so much about the education of children, they would agree to up their standards and work harder. When you see a supply teacher getting paid £150 a day, you realise what a cushy job teaching is and why they actually do the job.
Teachers work at the very most 9 months a year, yet get paid full time pay. If they cared so much about the education of children, they would agree to up their standards and work harder. When you see a supply teacher getting paid £150 a day, you realise what a cushy job teaching is and why they actually do the job. beach1e
  • Score: -3

3:56pm Tue 18 Mar 14

King Doink says...

If teaching is such an easy job then why don't you give up your jobs and take on this easy profession!!!
If teaching is such an easy job then why don't you give up your jobs and take on this easy profession!!! King Doink
  • Score: 2

4:41pm Tue 18 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

King Doink wrote:
If teaching is such an easy job then why don't you give up your jobs and take on this easy profession!!!
I for one have never said teaching is an easy job. Very few worthwhile jobs are "easy".

I was merely pointing out that supporting the strike based on the fallacy of a survey that is mostly extrapolation and conjecture, and highly open to abuse by the respondents is not a very clever thing to do.
[quote][p][bold]King Doink[/bold] wrote: If teaching is such an easy job then why don't you give up your jobs and take on this easy profession!!![/p][/quote]I for one have never said teaching is an easy job. Very few worthwhile jobs are "easy". I was merely pointing out that supporting the strike based on the fallacy of a survey that is mostly extrapolation and conjecture, and highly open to abuse by the respondents is not a very clever thing to do. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 1

5:53pm Tue 18 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

http://www.theguardi
an.com/education/201
4/mar/14/teachers-li
fe-inside-the-exam-f
actory

To have differing views is part of the democratic process. It is though worth being open minded enough to at least look at the argument from the other perspective. This articles represents a different perspective for anyone open minded enough to at least take the time to read it. Yes it is written by a left of centre journalist but the issues raised are at least worth considering.

Artist etc - one way to reduce workload is to stop the plethora of politically motivated initiatives that have bombarded teachers for the past ten years from left and right. Another is for politicians to stop rewriting the curriculum on what seems like an annual basis.. One of the big problems is that implementing ministerial vanity projects has diverted time and energy from the core job. Additionally, if you read my post carefully I have expressed misgivings over striking over pay and conditions and would have preferred the unions took the issue of recruitment and retention to the public in a more constructive way. I can respect that you have a different view to my own but I do think we are sleepwalking as a nation into a major teaching recruitment and retention crisis. Regardless of our individual politics being to the left, right or centre that cannot be a good thing.

isitsomewheretowork - the point I was making is that despite the views on here many teachers do work hard. I also totally accept that others in both public and private sector deal with some of the challenges I cited. They are though challenges that I think we can both agree are very much a part of a real world.

houseonthehill - teachers are already getting out and we have insufficient qualified applicants with which to replace them. A knee jerk response does not address a complex problem. I can understand people being against the strike – what I find difficult to comprehend is that people seem unworried about a looming recruitment and retention crisis.
http://www.theguardi an.com/education/201 4/mar/14/teachers-li fe-inside-the-exam-f actory To have differing views is part of the democratic process. It is though worth being open minded enough to at least look at the argument from the other perspective. This articles represents a different perspective for anyone open minded enough to at least take the time to read it. Yes it is written by a left of centre journalist but the issues raised are at least worth considering. Artist etc - one way to reduce workload is to stop the plethora of politically motivated initiatives that have bombarded teachers for the past ten years from left and right. Another is for politicians to stop rewriting the curriculum on what seems like an annual basis.. One of the big problems is that implementing ministerial vanity projects has diverted time and energy from the core job. Additionally, if you read my post carefully I have expressed misgivings over striking over pay and conditions and would have preferred the unions took the issue of recruitment and retention to the public in a more constructive way. I can respect that you have a different view to my own but I do think we are sleepwalking as a nation into a major teaching recruitment and retention crisis. Regardless of our individual politics being to the left, right or centre that cannot be a good thing. isitsomewheretowork - the point I was making is that despite the views on here many teachers do work hard. I also totally accept that others in both public and private sector deal with some of the challenges I cited. They are though challenges that I think we can both agree are very much a part of a real world. houseonthehill - teachers are already getting out and we have insufficient qualified applicants with which to replace them. A knee jerk response does not address a complex problem. I can understand people being against the strike – what I find difficult to comprehend is that people seem unworried about a looming recruitment and retention crisis. express_a_view
  • Score: 5

9:12pm Tue 18 Mar 14

craziifool says...

Highworth Lad wrote:
60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules.
p!sses me off
**** right!!!! They are quick enough to slap a fine on ya ridiculous!!
[quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: 60hrs a week, the teachers I know, DO NOT work that long. Its a load off b0ll0cks. Ban them from striking simple. They are a public service, serve the public like you should or choose another job. They should be fined as we could be if they think taking your child out of school doesn't conform to the rules. p!sses me off[/p][/quote]**** right!!!! They are quick enough to slap a fine on ya ridiculous!! craziifool
  • Score: 0

8:33am Wed 19 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

Can any teachers please explain why they believe they are entitled to a greater pay rise than NHS staff have been awarded?
Can any teachers please explain why they believe they are entitled to a greater pay rise than NHS staff have been awarded? ChannelX
  • Score: 0

10:35am Wed 19 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

express_a_view wrote:
http://www.theguardi

an.com/education/201

4/mar/14/teachers-li

fe-inside-the-exam-f

actory

To have differing views is part of the democratic process. It is though worth being open minded enough to at least look at the argument from the other perspective. This articles represents a different perspective for anyone open minded enough to at least take the time to read it. Yes it is written by a left of centre journalist but the issues raised are at least worth considering.

Artist etc - one way to reduce workload is to stop the plethora of politically motivated initiatives that have bombarded teachers for the past ten years from left and right. Another is for politicians to stop rewriting the curriculum on what seems like an annual basis.. One of the big problems is that implementing ministerial vanity projects has diverted time and energy from the core job. Additionally, if you read my post carefully I have expressed misgivings over striking over pay and conditions and would have preferred the unions took the issue of recruitment and retention to the public in a more constructive way. I can respect that you have a different view to my own but I do think we are sleepwalking as a nation into a major teaching recruitment and retention crisis. Regardless of our individual politics being to the left, right or centre that cannot be a good thing.

isitsomewheretowork - the point I was making is that despite the views on here many teachers do work hard. I also totally accept that others in both public and private sector deal with some of the challenges I cited. They are though challenges that I think we can both agree are very much a part of a real world.

houseonthehill - teachers are already getting out and we have insufficient qualified applicants with which to replace them. A knee jerk response does not address a complex problem. I can understand people being against the strike – what I find difficult to comprehend is that people seem unworried about a looming recruitment and retention crisis.
Reading the article you've posted reminds me of my son. He has always wanted to know why he's forced to do a "pointless subject" such as drama (his words, not mine) and would prefer to focus on core subjects. Many of his friends feel the same way.

Overall though the article presents a picture of a certain type of person who becomes a teacher. One that "feels guilty" if they don't do extra work at home.

It's interesting that plenty of time in the article is devoted to placing the blame on someone else. Plenty of teachers manage to teach within the curriculum and keep the kids entertained. Others are not able to do this - why is that?
[quote][p][bold]express_a_view[/bold] wrote: http://www.theguardi an.com/education/201 4/mar/14/teachers-li fe-inside-the-exam-f actory To have differing views is part of the democratic process. It is though worth being open minded enough to at least look at the argument from the other perspective. This articles represents a different perspective for anyone open minded enough to at least take the time to read it. Yes it is written by a left of centre journalist but the issues raised are at least worth considering. Artist etc - one way to reduce workload is to stop the plethora of politically motivated initiatives that have bombarded teachers for the past ten years from left and right. Another is for politicians to stop rewriting the curriculum on what seems like an annual basis.. One of the big problems is that implementing ministerial vanity projects has diverted time and energy from the core job. Additionally, if you read my post carefully I have expressed misgivings over striking over pay and conditions and would have preferred the unions took the issue of recruitment and retention to the public in a more constructive way. I can respect that you have a different view to my own but I do think we are sleepwalking as a nation into a major teaching recruitment and retention crisis. Regardless of our individual politics being to the left, right or centre that cannot be a good thing. isitsomewheretowork - the point I was making is that despite the views on here many teachers do work hard. I also totally accept that others in both public and private sector deal with some of the challenges I cited. They are though challenges that I think we can both agree are very much a part of a real world. houseonthehill - teachers are already getting out and we have insufficient qualified applicants with which to replace them. A knee jerk response does not address a complex problem. I can understand people being against the strike – what I find difficult to comprehend is that people seem unworried about a looming recruitment and retention crisis.[/p][/quote]Reading the article you've posted reminds me of my son. He has always wanted to know why he's forced to do a "pointless subject" such as drama (his words, not mine) and would prefer to focus on core subjects. Many of his friends feel the same way. Overall though the article presents a picture of a certain type of person who becomes a teacher. One that "feels guilty" if they don't do extra work at home. It's interesting that plenty of time in the article is devoted to placing the blame on someone else. Plenty of teachers manage to teach within the curriculum and keep the kids entertained. Others are not able to do this - why is that? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

11:15am Wed 19 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

Channel X let us rephrases your question. Can you explain why nurses should not be entitled to the pay rises awarded by an independent pay review body? I know very few teachers who would say teachers deserve a greater rise than NHS staff. I do though think there are many who would wonder what point there is in encouraging public sector workers to accept the findings of independent pay bodies when central government ignores them at their whim.
Channel X let us rephrases your question. Can you explain why nurses should not be entitled to the pay rises awarded by an independent pay review body? I know very few teachers who would say teachers deserve a greater rise than NHS staff. I do though think there are many who would wonder what point there is in encouraging public sector workers to accept the findings of independent pay bodies when central government ignores them at their whim. express_a_view
  • Score: 2

11:42am Wed 19 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

House on the hill - all credit for taking the time to read the article. It shows an open mindedness.

i) I am not sure I would agree drama is a pointless subject provided it is well taught. Indeed, it can develop many of the interpersonal skills that employers often want from young people i.e. empathy, improved communication skills, more confidence in speaking and listening, awareness of the importance of body language etc. etc. The reality is pupils are individual and whilst some would prefer to focus on the more academic for others the arts, sports or vocational subjects are what keep them switched on. The centrally prescribed diktats from the DfE limit schools in shaping a balanced curriculum for all their pupils.
ii) Is it teacher guilt or is it teacher exasperation that not everything that is demanded can realistically be done? I tend to think it is the second. Teachers should be encouraged to focus on the basics of teaching and learning in their classroom. Getting that right should be their core task - not implementing half baked whims from here today and gone tomorrow ministers and chief inspectors of schools.
iii) Is it a teachers job to keep pupils entertained? Particularly for the more able some aspects of some subjects are just plain difficult and pupils need a certain degree of tenacity to grasp them. We should not avoid difficult areas of learning just because they might be challenging and, to some extent, boring. That is certainly not what they do in the Far East.
iv) I think the reason teachers blame others is because they are disempowered. Politicians have taken control of the curriculum which has become a political football; the inspectorate constantly change the rules by which schools are judged; initiatives are introduced on a political whim and with alarming frequency. etc. etc. I am currently reading a book on the Finnish education system - it is fascinating how in a nation where teachers are empowered education standards are higher than ours whilst teaching is highly esteemed and sought after occupation. We could learn a great deal from their approach.
House on the hill - all credit for taking the time to read the article. It shows an open mindedness. i) I am not sure I would agree drama is a pointless subject provided it is well taught. Indeed, it can develop many of the interpersonal skills that employers often want from young people i.e. empathy, improved communication skills, more confidence in speaking and listening, awareness of the importance of body language etc. etc. The reality is pupils are individual and whilst some would prefer to focus on the more academic for others the arts, sports or vocational subjects are what keep them switched on. The centrally prescribed diktats from the DfE limit schools in shaping a balanced curriculum for all their pupils. ii) Is it teacher guilt or is it teacher exasperation that not everything that is demanded can realistically be done? I tend to think it is the second. Teachers should be encouraged to focus on the basics of teaching and learning in their classroom. Getting that right should be their core task - not implementing half baked whims from here today and gone tomorrow ministers and chief inspectors of schools. iii) Is it a teachers job to keep pupils entertained? Particularly for the more able some aspects of some subjects are just plain difficult and pupils need a certain degree of tenacity to grasp them. We should not avoid difficult areas of learning just because they might be challenging and, to some extent, boring. That is certainly not what they do in the Far East. iv) I think the reason teachers blame others is because they are disempowered. Politicians have taken control of the curriculum which has become a political football; the inspectorate constantly change the rules by which schools are judged; initiatives are introduced on a political whim and with alarming frequency. etc. etc. I am currently reading a book on the Finnish education system - it is fascinating how in a nation where teachers are empowered education standards are higher than ours whilst teaching is highly esteemed and sought after occupation. We could learn a great deal from their approach. express_a_view
  • Score: 2

12:27pm Wed 19 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

express_a_view wrote:
Channel X let us rephrases your question. Can you explain why nurses should not be entitled to the pay rises awarded by an independent pay review body? I know very few teachers who would say teachers deserve a greater rise than NHS staff. I do though think there are many who would wonder what point there is in encouraging public sector workers to accept the findings of independent pay bodies when central government ignores them at their whim.
You didn't 'rephrase' my question, you asked a completely different one.

Public sector workers have enjoyed pay rises well above those experienced in the private sector over the last decade, especially during Labour's economic crisis period of the last 5 or 6 years. To the point where, in comparable roles, public sector employees now enjoy higher salaries than those who actually generate the money to pay them.

Let's face it, no pay rise is considered good enough by public sector unions and while many people are still experiencing no pay rise at all, 1% is better than nothing. Especially when an organisation has almost 2 million employees to pay.

All governments ignore any number of independent recommendations and research findings when it suits them, it's nothing new.

So, I'll ask again, can any teachers please explain why they believe they are entitled to a greater pay rise than NHS staff have been awarded?
[quote][p][bold]express_a_view[/bold] wrote: Channel X let us rephrases your question. Can you explain why nurses should not be entitled to the pay rises awarded by an independent pay review body? I know very few teachers who would say teachers deserve a greater rise than NHS staff. I do though think there are many who would wonder what point there is in encouraging public sector workers to accept the findings of independent pay bodies when central government ignores them at their whim.[/p][/quote]You didn't 'rephrase' my question, you asked a completely different one. Public sector workers have enjoyed pay rises well above those experienced in the private sector over the last decade, especially during Labour's economic crisis period of the last 5 or 6 years. To the point where, in comparable roles, public sector employees now enjoy higher salaries than those who actually generate the money to pay them. Let's face it, no pay rise is considered good enough by public sector unions and while many people are still experiencing no pay rise at all, 1% is better than nothing. Especially when an organisation has almost 2 million employees to pay. All governments ignore any number of independent recommendations and research findings when it suits them, it's nothing new. So, I'll ask again, can any teachers please explain why they believe they are entitled to a greater pay rise than NHS staff have been awarded? ChannelX
  • Score: -2

12:45pm Wed 19 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

express_a_view wrote:
House on the hill - all credit for taking the time to read the article. It shows an open mindedness.

i) I am not sure I would agree drama is a pointless subject provided it is well taught. Indeed, it can develop many of the interpersonal skills that employers often want from young people i.e. empathy, improved communication skills, more confidence in speaking and listening, awareness of the importance of body language etc. etc. The reality is pupils are individual and whilst some would prefer to focus on the more academic for others the arts, sports or vocational subjects are what keep them switched on. The centrally prescribed diktats from the DfE limit schools in shaping a balanced curriculum for all their pupils.
ii) Is it teacher guilt or is it teacher exasperation that not everything that is demanded can realistically be done? I tend to think it is the second. Teachers should be encouraged to focus on the basics of teaching and learning in their classroom. Getting that right should be their core task - not implementing half baked whims from here today and gone tomorrow ministers and chief inspectors of schools.
iii) Is it a teachers job to keep pupils entertained? Particularly for the more able some aspects of some subjects are just plain difficult and pupils need a certain degree of tenacity to grasp them. We should not avoid difficult areas of learning just because they might be challenging and, to some extent, boring. That is certainly not what they do in the Far East.
iv) I think the reason teachers blame others is because they are disempowered. Politicians have taken control of the curriculum which has become a political football; the inspectorate constantly change the rules by which schools are judged; initiatives are introduced on a political whim and with alarming frequency. etc. etc. I am currently reading a book on the Finnish education system - it is fascinating how in a nation where teachers are empowered education standards are higher than ours whilst teaching is highly esteemed and sought after occupation. We could learn a great deal from their approach.
I can't comment on whether house on the hill read the article but I think your comments are directed at me so I'll answer :)

i) I didn't say I agreed that Drama is a pointless subject, merely commenting on the views of those pupils that take these subjects
ii) teacher guilt was the phrase used by the teachers in the article, I merely used the existing language. Again, the Dfe survey reported that 8 out of 10 teachers do not believe the government is placing unnecessary burden upon them. Therefore the burden they do have should be seen as "part of the job".
iii) Reading it back, that was a poor choice of words on my part. For "entertained", read "engaged". And yes - it is the teachers job to keep the children engaged. You can engage the children on "boring" subjects.
iv) Again, many teachers manage to work within the curriculum, engage the children and produce good results which like it or not are vital.


There is somehow this notion on a national scale that all teachers are good teachers. From personal experience, as a former student and latterly as a parent I can state this is categorically untrue. The reality is that some teachers are better at meeting the demands of the job better than others (just like in any other profession). Perhaps the issue is that teacher training is simply not robust and comprehensive enough to prepare teachers for the job?
[quote][p][bold]express_a_view[/bold] wrote: House on the hill - all credit for taking the time to read the article. It shows an open mindedness. i) I am not sure I would agree drama is a pointless subject provided it is well taught. Indeed, it can develop many of the interpersonal skills that employers often want from young people i.e. empathy, improved communication skills, more confidence in speaking and listening, awareness of the importance of body language etc. etc. The reality is pupils are individual and whilst some would prefer to focus on the more academic for others the arts, sports or vocational subjects are what keep them switched on. The centrally prescribed diktats from the DfE limit schools in shaping a balanced curriculum for all their pupils. ii) Is it teacher guilt or is it teacher exasperation that not everything that is demanded can realistically be done? I tend to think it is the second. Teachers should be encouraged to focus on the basics of teaching and learning in their classroom. Getting that right should be their core task - not implementing half baked whims from here today and gone tomorrow ministers and chief inspectors of schools. iii) Is it a teachers job to keep pupils entertained? Particularly for the more able some aspects of some subjects are just plain difficult and pupils need a certain degree of tenacity to grasp them. We should not avoid difficult areas of learning just because they might be challenging and, to some extent, boring. That is certainly not what they do in the Far East. iv) I think the reason teachers blame others is because they are disempowered. Politicians have taken control of the curriculum which has become a political football; the inspectorate constantly change the rules by which schools are judged; initiatives are introduced on a political whim and with alarming frequency. etc. etc. I am currently reading a book on the Finnish education system - it is fascinating how in a nation where teachers are empowered education standards are higher than ours whilst teaching is highly esteemed and sought after occupation. We could learn a great deal from their approach.[/p][/quote]I can't comment on whether house on the hill read the article but I think your comments are directed at me so I'll answer :) i) I didn't say I agreed that Drama is a pointless subject, merely commenting on the views of those pupils that take these subjects ii) teacher guilt was the phrase used by the teachers in the article, I merely used the existing language. Again, the Dfe survey reported that 8 out of 10 teachers do not believe the government is placing unnecessary burden upon them. Therefore the burden they do have should be seen as "part of the job". iii) Reading it back, that was a poor choice of words on my part. For "entertained", read "engaged". And yes - it is the teachers job to keep the children engaged. You can engage the children on "boring" subjects. iv) Again, many teachers manage to work within the curriculum, engage the children and produce good results which like it or not are vital. There is somehow this notion on a national scale that all teachers are good teachers. From personal experience, as a former student and latterly as a parent I can state this is categorically untrue. The reality is that some teachers are better at meeting the demands of the job better than others (just like in any other profession). Perhaps the issue is that teacher training is simply not robust and comprehensive enough to prepare teachers for the job? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Wed 19 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

Artist - sorry about the muddle.

Point i response - we largely seem to agree.
Point ii - My reading of the DfE survey is that you are not quite right. There was a different perspective between teachers and senior leaders. I think the figure you quote applies to senior leaders and not all staff.
Point iii - We agree on that point.
Point iv - I do not disagree. My contention is that more would do so without excessive external interference.

"Perhaps the issue is that teacher training is simply not robust and comprehensive enough to prepare teachers for the job?"

I think there is some substance in your comment. I also though think other countries like Finland do manage to enhance teacher morale - in Finland's case not through excessive rates of remuneration. If the morale of a profession is raised the numbers attracted to it increase thus ending recruitment and retention problems. Finland hit the pause button and instead of repeating the old mistakes looked in totality at what needed addressing. We sadly have no politician of left or right who has the vision to look into the medium and long term nor the wisdom to recognise that their political vanity projects may worsen rather than improve things.
Artist - sorry about the muddle. Point i response - we largely seem to agree. Point ii - My reading of the DfE survey is that you are not quite right. There was a different perspective between teachers and senior leaders. I think the figure you quote applies to senior leaders and not all staff. Point iii - We agree on that point. Point iv - I do not disagree. My contention is that more would do so without excessive external interference. "Perhaps the issue is that teacher training is simply not robust and comprehensive enough to prepare teachers for the job?" I think there is some substance in your comment. I also though think other countries like Finland do manage to enhance teacher morale - in Finland's case not through excessive rates of remuneration. If the morale of a profession is raised the numbers attracted to it increase thus ending recruitment and retention problems. Finland hit the pause button and instead of repeating the old mistakes looked in totality at what needed addressing. We sadly have no politician of left or right who has the vision to look into the medium and long term nor the wisdom to recognise that their political vanity projects may worsen rather than improve things. express_a_view
  • Score: 2

1:49pm Wed 19 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Point #2 - nope - the figure applies to 8 in 10 normal teachers and deputy head teachers. Head teachers thought the bureaucracy had increased.
Point #2 - nope - the figure applies to 8 in 10 normal teachers and deputy head teachers. Head teachers thought the bureaucracy had increased. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Brasil2014 says...

swindondad wrote:
The 60 hour week claim is obviously ridicules even if a teacher teaches a class every lesson Monday through Friday and take both registration that still less than 26 hours a week. So they are trying to say they spend 30+ hours a week on what, marking and lesson preparation. Please bear in mind also that they only reach 39 weeks a year. For some facts if any one wants them try: http://www.teachingi ntheuk.com/go/uk-tea ching-info/school-sy stem/
30 hours of outside lesson time a week is about right for my wife anyway. Plus accompanying school trips in holidays etc. Other items include, parents evenings, report writing, prep, marking, discipline issues, additional classes to support pupils. Most secondaries have 25 hour teaching weeks and teachers generaly teach 22.5 of those. Also always goes in during non school time for a plethora of other things. But if you aim is to tar all teachers with the same brush I am sure you will anyway. PS it is only NUT striking not all teachers or unions. My kids one in school and one out - year 10 and 11 are in in that school too so as not to disript GCSE work
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: The 60 hour week claim is obviously ridicules even if a teacher teaches a class every lesson Monday through Friday and take both registration that still less than 26 hours a week. So they are trying to say they spend 30+ hours a week on what, marking and lesson preparation. Please bear in mind also that they only reach 39 weeks a year. For some facts if any one wants them try: http://www.teachingi ntheuk.com/go/uk-tea ching-info/school-sy stem/[/p][/quote]30 hours of outside lesson time a week is about right for my wife anyway. Plus accompanying school trips in holidays etc. Other items include, parents evenings, report writing, prep, marking, discipline issues, additional classes to support pupils. Most secondaries have 25 hour teaching weeks and teachers generaly teach 22.5 of those. Also always goes in during non school time for a plethora of other things. But if you aim is to tar all teachers with the same brush I am sure you will anyway. PS it is only NUT striking not all teachers or unions. My kids one in school and one out - year 10 and 11 are in in that school too so as not to disript GCSE work Brasil2014
  • Score: 1

4:09pm Wed 19 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

Artist - happy to concede what you said at 1.49. I could fire back with other quotes from the survey that give an alternative spin. Not sure there is much point as we would still probably not concur. I meant also to say that I agree not all teachers are good teachers - I would though contend the majority are. If though we nationally addressed the morale, recruitment and retention issue then supply would exceed demand making it easier to recruit and retain the best.

Brasil 2014 - I think you are right.
Artist - happy to concede what you said at 1.49. I could fire back with other quotes from the survey that give an alternative spin. Not sure there is much point as we would still probably not concur. I meant also to say that I agree not all teachers are good teachers - I would though contend the majority are. If though we nationally addressed the morale, recruitment and retention issue then supply would exceed demand making it easier to recruit and retain the best. Brasil 2014 - I think you are right. express_a_view
  • Score: 1

4:53pm Wed 19 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

express_a_view wrote:
Artist - happy to concede what you said at 1.49. I could fire back with other quotes from the survey that give an alternative spin. Not sure there is much point as we would still probably not concur. I meant also to say that I agree not all teachers are good teachers - I would though contend the majority are. If though we nationally addressed the morale, recruitment and retention issue then supply would exceed demand making it easier to recruit and retain the best.

Brasil 2014 - I think you are right.
And you've just hit the nail on the head as to what I was getting at about that survey. The very fact that it doesn't deal in independent facts and instead relies on opinion and conjecture leaves the whole thing open to spin on either side.

It is therefore not a valid piece of evidence to form an argument. Yet both sides of the fence are doing precisely that and twisting it to suit their own opinions.

Don't you think morale, recruitment and retention are caused at least in part by the teachers themselves?

Morale is a psychological thing and is the result of many other factors. It's not a "thing" in itself.

Recruitment is definitely an issue, many people would consider becoming a teacher if the job didn't have the stigma attached to it. A stigma that is at least in part caused by the attitudes of some teachers who also refuse to believe that others work just as hard as they do.

Retention is an issue - I wonder how many good teachers have left the industry because of the same stigma attached to the career choice?
[quote][p][bold]express_a_view[/bold] wrote: Artist - happy to concede what you said at 1.49. I could fire back with other quotes from the survey that give an alternative spin. Not sure there is much point as we would still probably not concur. I meant also to say that I agree not all teachers are good teachers - I would though contend the majority are. If though we nationally addressed the morale, recruitment and retention issue then supply would exceed demand making it easier to recruit and retain the best. Brasil 2014 - I think you are right.[/p][/quote]And you've just hit the nail on the head as to what I was getting at about that survey. The very fact that it doesn't deal in independent facts and instead relies on opinion and conjecture leaves the whole thing open to spin on either side. It is therefore not a valid piece of evidence to form an argument. Yet both sides of the fence are doing precisely that and twisting it to suit their own opinions. Don't you think morale, recruitment and retention are caused at least in part by the teachers themselves? Morale is a psychological thing and is the result of many other factors. It's not a "thing" in itself. Recruitment is definitely an issue, many people would consider becoming a teacher if the job didn't have the stigma attached to it. A stigma that is at least in part caused by the attitudes of some teachers who also refuse to believe that others work just as hard as they do. Retention is an issue - I wonder how many good teachers have left the industry because of the same stigma attached to the career choice? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Wed 19 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

The survey was commissioned by the DfE so if it is inadequate take that up with Mr Gove. :)

I do agree that when morale starts to drop it can become a self-perpetuating phenomena . The recruitment and retention issue is a much more complex issue. I think those leaving largely leave because of wanting a better work-life balance. Some of them also find they can earn more teaching abroad or in the independent sector. I am particularly concerned that 2 in 5 new entrants are going within 5 years. If I were Secretary of State I would want to know (a) why and (b) what can be done to ensure that the best new entrants stay, If those 2 in 5 are not suited to teaching that of course raises an issue about how we select applicants for teacher training. If national leaders do not consider the reasons for a problem they have no hope of finding the answers.

I have long said that we need a non-political moratorium charged with producing a blueprint to shape an education system fit for the 21st century. It should involve looking at curriculum; teaching approaches that succeed in other nations; teacher recruitment, retention and development; and a host of other issues. Sadly no politician will run with it because a longer vision does not fit a five year electoral cycle nor an individual Secretary of States tenure in office. It takes a brave Secretary of State to not chase headlines but instead to pause and evidence gather so decisions are based not on political whims but expert input and reflections. They did it in Finland and it worked which leads me to believe it could do likewise here.

Finally, when I started teaching 30+ years ago when a child misbehaved the first reaction of most parents was to support the school - now it is all too often to defend their son/daughter. The lack of respect within society for discipline does make the job considerably more stressful for the modern teacher and a host of others,
The survey was commissioned by the DfE so if it is inadequate take that up with Mr Gove. :) I do agree that when morale starts to drop it can become a self-perpetuating phenomena . The recruitment and retention issue is a much more complex issue. I think those leaving largely leave because of wanting a better work-life balance. Some of them also find they can earn more teaching abroad or in the independent sector. I am particularly concerned that 2 in 5 new entrants are going within 5 years. If I were Secretary of State I would want to know (a) why and (b) what can be done to ensure that the best new entrants stay, If those 2 in 5 are not suited to teaching that of course raises an issue about how we select applicants for teacher training. If national leaders do not consider the reasons for a problem they have no hope of finding the answers. I have long said that we need a non-political moratorium charged with producing a blueprint to shape an education system fit for the 21st century. It should involve looking at curriculum; teaching approaches that succeed in other nations; teacher recruitment, retention and development; and a host of other issues. Sadly no politician will run with it because a longer vision does not fit a five year electoral cycle nor an individual Secretary of States tenure in office. It takes a brave Secretary of State to not chase headlines but instead to pause and evidence gather so decisions are based not on political whims but expert input and reflections. They did it in Finland and it worked which leads me to believe it could do likewise here. Finally, when I started teaching 30+ years ago when a child misbehaved the first reaction of most parents was to support the school - now it is all too often to defend their son/daughter. The lack of respect within society for discipline does make the job considerably more stressful for the modern teacher and a host of others, express_a_view
  • Score: 2

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