head teachers sanctioning the disposal of children's workbooks

(132 Posts)
bullethead Tue 03-Aug-10 23:16:07

There is no valid reason for this; so far on the TES forum, where I have put the question to head teachers about why they destroy the children's workbooks rather than give them out, none have come forward. The only replies I've had are from a TA who has to do it but disagrees with it, and a head who does not have a problem with letting the children take their books home.
Please ask your child's school's head why they weren't given the option of keeping their books if your child did not bring them home. Chances are you won't get a straight answer and they'll hope you forget about it.

Nonie241419 Fri 27-Dec-13 11:20:41

The school I work at leaves it up to the individual teacher to decide whether to send books. My job share prefers not to, so we don't. We do send home books made up from their topic work, and they have a special writing book which has 4-5 pieces of writing in per year, which we save to send home in Year 6.
My sons bring their books home and I always find it a hassle to know what to do with them, as I feel mean throwing them away, but we really don't have the storage space to keep years worth of books.

Feenie Wed 25-Dec-13 17:19:09

Not really, duchesse - to be fair, they both mean different things.

Wouldn't disposal of books be more to do with the day to day running of the school, anyway?

duchesse Wed 25-Dec-13 16:56:13

I should have thought it would have been perfectly obvious from the context that I meant "employed" in the sense of "appointed".

mrz Wed 25-Dec-13 14:35:22

then I would expect you to know who employs headteachers

duchesse Wed 25-Dec-13 13:53:23

mrz- I am a flipping teacher!

mrz Wed 25-Dec-13 12:14:25

There isn't any need for teachers to justify decisions duchess, they are simply pointing out that you need to get your facts right have a merry Christmas

duchesse Wed 25-Dec-13 11:51:36

Oh yes, just what children to grow up happy and healthy- a keen understanding of the balance sheet behind their education. Never mind keepsakes/memories, interested parents, etc. hmm

Every time I read a thread like in which teachers are justifying decisions that re horrible for children I want to remove my child even further from mainstream education.

overthemill Tue 24-Dec-13 19:43:17

At the school I have recently stopped working at we ask kids to take books home and most can't be bothered. We have assessed work in a special folder and that specifically gets shown to parents at parents evenings tho they are welcome to look at books too. We pass folders on to new teacher at end of school year. Any parent is welcome at any time to look at books and our marking comments. Our marking is moderated and of course ofsteded. And we look at each other's marking too to ensure a high standard.
I don't think parents 'own' the books. The taxes we all pay (inc vat council tax etc) are put into a huge pot and redistributed by central govt to local govt and the LEA. Just as I can't opt out of paying towards the armed forces and can't demand my own personal police officer because I pay taxes.

mrz Tue 24-Dec-13 19:15:18

We carry on books too but any full books are sent home

Feenie Tue 24-Dec-13 17:52:19

We do the carrying books on too, jamdonut.

jamdonut Tue 24-Dec-13 17:12:52

I don't know if this has already been mentioned, but our books are kept to go to the next teacher so that there is continuity of work. (This is since our days in special measures - book scrutiny) Ofsted inspectors sometimes ask to see older books to check progression. So last year our year 4's went home with books from when they were in year 2!

But I agree a lot of parents don't want them sent home! They do indeed say, "what am I supposed to do with all this crap?"! I have heard it myself sad

If someone does a particularly good piece of work we will sometimes photocopy it and send it home for the child to show their parents.

mrz Sun 22-Dec-13 16:37:15

Head teachers are employed by the LEA not the board of governors in fact head teachers are members of the board of governors

duchesse Sun 22-Dec-13 16:02:52

The people speaking ill of Stormy's Chair of Governors forget that school headteachers are employed and answerable to the Board of Governors, who as the governing body and ultimate appeal in a school are not the poodle either of the HT or of the LEA, to be removed if they become inconvenient to the staff.

Yes they should abide by their code of conduct but if they are having problems with a HT they appointed, then they need to have all the evidence they can get their hands on to act in the best interests of the school. Removing the CoG rather than the HT in some situations would be quite the worst thing that could be done for the CHILDREN, who are the ultimate point of a school; not the parents, not the LEA, not the teachers or HT.

My DC have been in a school where the HT most definitely needed to go (and did in the end, to Ofsted as an inspector hmm ). I would have been very thankful for a CoG who was on the ball enough to get information straight from the horse's mouth rather than believing the horseshit coming from the HT.

mrz Sun 22-Dec-13 15:20:38

They all want to take them home, that isn't the problem I'm afraid.

herdream1 Sun 22-Dec-13 14:00:08

Yes, that is right, Feenie. It would be a shame if those who are willing to work hard were to miss out opportunities, because of those who are not willing.

Maybe make it an option to take the workbooks home or not?

Feenie Sun 22-Dec-13 13:45:22

But there is still the issue that at least half would not come back for the next lesson.

herdream1 Sun 22-Dec-13 13:25:16

Thank you very much for the replies. I do see the point, i.e. the difficulty in marking if the workbooks were taken home everyday.

My DD attends a foreign language course on Saturdays, where I have seen meticulous planning is in place. Children keep in their school bag; one textbook, two workbooks and two notebooks. The teachers give some marks on these books during the lessons or keep some of them until the following week for marking. There is a test every Saturday which the teacher keeps for marking and return to the children in the following week together with marked printed out homeworks. There is no communication issue between the teachers and parents.

Probably with a good planning, the children can take maths and literacy workbooks once a week or so? That will still update the parents on the child's progress.

mrz Sun 22-Dec-13 07:50:34

I was just going to say that teacherwith2kids. I'm sat here now with a pile of English and Maths books marking.
The other issue is what happens when the child forgets or loses their school bag? I have a battle to get reading books returned once a week never mind daily. Sorry herdream but totally impractical.

teacherwith2kids Sat 21-Dec-13 23:18:37

herdream,

It would be an issue from the marking point of view, tbh. I mark books overnight for the next morning, as I do not have the time within the school day to mark all 32 books for each subject. Extended writing in English, or a detailed assessment piece can take me a couple of hours or more for a set of books (sounds a lot, but it still only means 4 or 5 minutes per book), though Maths is usually a little quicker.

In the course of an average day, I generally have around 35 minutes 'non contact' time at lunchtime, though there are often meetings during that time and I have to eat, go to the toilet as well as set up resources for the next block of lessons. Some days various commitments whittle that lunch break to 10 or 5 minutes - certainly not enough time to mark 32 books x 2 subjects in detail! In lessons, I am always with children, teaching - never any opportunity for marking during those.

When did you think that the books might be marked under your scheme?

mammadiggingdeep Sat 21-Dec-13 23:02:35

Her dream...the main probl with that would be that out of 40 children, on any one day approx 17 would have the bloody books in their bags. Honestly, you wouldn't believe the number if book bags/reading books/reading records that don't come in. Also, books need to be in school after school for marking/moderation and assessment purposes. All in all not very practical. Maybe a greater number if parent 'book look' opportunities would be a starter?

Pooka Sat 21-Dec-13 21:41:10

I'd never let on to the children though - and do hang on to maybe one writing book/particularly hard laboured topic book for example.

But they do so so so much work and there are so many books that I've already seen three times at open mornings, and I have three dcs. I look like w pack horse as I trudge back to the house with at least three carrier bags jam packed.

And of course I tell the dcs how proud I am of their work, at regular intervals.

Pooka Sat 21-Dec-13 21:37:55

Ours all come home at the end of summer term, although I suspect some samples are kept back for assessment/training/inspections.

To be completely honest, I don't actually want ALL of their books home. Leaves me with wounding what to DO with them without appearing like I don't care about my dcs and their work.

herdream1 Sat 21-Dec-13 21:33:38

I always wondered what is the real reason for the head teachers not wanting to return the workbooks home.
I think, the maths and literacy workbooks could be kept in the child's school bag all the time for the parents to see what is being taught on a daily basis, that would enable parents to support learning at home in line with the learning at school, rather than doing their own things at home. Would there be any problem for that?

mrz Sat 21-Dec-13 18:24:05

I'm afraid most of our children's work doesn't even make it through the school gate before it is dumped/binned. It's sad to hear a parent ask a child "what am I meant to do with all that crap?"

mammadiggingdeep Sat 21-Dec-13 16:39:07

Oh and from a teacher's perspective I think all work should be handed over. I would love all parents to take an interest in the fantastic work my class produce. Unfortunately it has been known for us to find beautiful art work and published poems blowing up the road on the last day of term. Breaks my heart sad

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