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to think Gove just does not understand what he is doing to schools and the teaching profession

(296 Posts)
kim147 Sat 18-May-13 22:06:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria33 Sun 19-May-13 07:55:13

Art, music and RE are part of being fully literate. If you don't understand why, the education system has failed you too. Do you think they've dropped art, music and RE at Eton?
PE is just as important as literacy as it is the only lesson which teaches you to look after your body: healthy body = healthy mind.
Please leave me school holidays - it's the only time I get to fill in the holes left by my children's education.

kim147 Sun 19-May-13 07:58:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YokoUhOh Sun 19-May-13 08:01:15

Gove-supporters, where is your evidence that literacy and numeracy have reached some kind of all-time nadir? What do you propose to do when your children haven't had a week off in four months, are run-down and ill, and you're forced to take time off work to look after them?

Another Oxbridge graduate teacher here, running a department that Gove would rather didn't exist, because it takes the focus off literacy and numeracy.

spidersandslugs Sun 19-May-13 08:05:37

British children can not spell. They write as they speak. I'm no English teacher but I've lived in the UK for 9 years and I'm continually shocked how many of the English can not read, write, spell, understand their own language properly. You just need to go over to Netmums or live in a town of chavs to witness it.

Eg. Nothing - nuffingk

You're - your

Ad finitum.

This has gone on uncorrected for generations and it's high time somebody took the bull by the horns and put an end to illiteracy in the UK or at least try.

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 19-May-13 08:06:09

I don't believe Gove is the only one not to understand education today or how best to organise it. As a lay person it's incredibly hard to follow changes since my own school days. I'd love to give back and change into teaching but I don't recognise it. It worries me that so many from teachers themselves to business also seem very critical of it at present. It doesn't encourage one to engage long enough to try to see past the shockingly worded "join us!" Website, which is to focused on the "ra ra ra!" and not enough on the detail.

KatyDid02 Sun 19-May-13 08:09:46

Stuff coming in for signatures, time taken to discuss it, decide what to do because X is on the phone and needs to know NOW. It used to be a little interruption not taking long but now it's 4-5 times a morning if you are a teacher who is also on the SMT. It all adds up to less teaching time.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 08:11:33

Michael McCarthy, emeritus professor of applied linguistics at the University of Cambridge has said so this morning in an interview with The Times. After a 20 year study by Cambridge English Corpus, to paraphrase what he really means, we all speak and write like shit! Ok so he said there is a decline with spelling and grammar today amongst students in his lectures. But he his point out royalty and educated politicians are beginning to speak with demotic accent and grammar and we should all be speaking like Brian Sewell or David Starkey, who use correct English grammar.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 19-May-13 08:11:48

I'm a parent of a Year 9 DD. I'm not stupid, I was about to do a Ph.D when I became pregnant with DD. my Mother has just been diagnosed with Dementia.

I have given up trying to understand what is going on with DD's GCSE's because I just don't. I thought she was doing linear GCSE'S and doing exams at the end of year 11 but she sat two English papers last Friday. I'm trying to navigate my way round the Care system for Mum which is taking all my energy at the moment and has turned into a full time job for now. I can't believe that I have to some extent given up on DD's education, the thing I have always valued so highly.

I have though. One minute it's modular v linear GCSE'S , then it's Ebacc, then totally new exams to replace GCSE'S , then that's scrapped. It is laughable if it didn't have such serious implications. Surely if you make a change you implement then measure the effect of change, not make up more changes every few months. I'm beginning to wonder about the rigour of Gove's education personally. Like Boffinmum I'm starting to see standards slipping as the cuts bite. It is totally depressing.

ShadeofViolet Sun 19-May-13 08:12:58

Mr Gove

My problem is the 'academies by stealth' regime. All of the secondaries in our area have changed over, either because they are good, or because they have been forced to because they were bad.

I fear that the changes will not be able to be undone.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 19-May-13 08:14:45


So that is a no to evidence then?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 19-May-13 08:15:11

Yoko business leaders are complaining,you can see it everywhere and I have plenty from my crap 70s/80s education to draw on thanks.Some of the teaching I witnessed during my teaching career was shocking,my blood often boils now with my own dc.

My parents were unhappy about standards all though my education.

The fact they're actually having to push tables and bring in Spag speaks volumes.

As literate adults it's very arrogant and selfish not to want the same for all children.

I don't blame all teachers though.I think this generation has been let down by a succession of previous ed deps,crap policies and poor management.They are now having to deal with a long history of poor education policy and are taking the brunt of the dire need for change in a very short period.

Imvho Gove does care but he knows he won't be in power after the next election,he is trying to rush things through before he goes.

I hate the Tories but think Gove is the only decent part of the party even though I disagree with free schools and academies( to a certain degree).confused

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 08:16:21


A short video by AQA explaining the system how grades are calculated, how papers and CAUs are tied together.

chicaguapa Sun 19-May-13 08:17:56

DH is questioning leaving teaching now. He probably could be described as a lefty but what he is doing is at odds with what he believes. He went into it to inspire a love of science and learning in DC that they can take with them into further education. He prides himself on making DC believe they can do science and want to go on and study it at A level. Instead he is now driving all the fun out of science, squeezing A* out of DC, when a A/B would be enough to go on and study it and still love the subject

He works at a very successful comp and there is no independent learning or resilience. The DC will get very very good GCSE results, but at the expense of other lifelong skills. They will have had their hands held throughout and have been given everything they need bar the actual answers in the exam. It is known at the 2 sixth forms in the area that DC from this school need more support at A level because of the focus on the high GCSE grades at the expense of everything else. But Gove, Ofsted and the parents want the high GCSE grades, without looking at the bigger picture.

I teach in an adult literacy class and it's shocking that some of these people left school with such a low attainment level in these basic skills. But even as adults, they require a lot of very patient one-to-one attention to progress and it is unrealistic to expect them to receive this in a high-pressured results-based education system.

So Gove needs to make up his mind, does he want sky-high results for the very able or does he want everyone to achieve and make education more holistic? Because by putting the emphasis on those at the top getting the A* grades, this isn't going to improve things for those who struggle academically.

spidersandslugs Sun 19-May-13 08:18:24

PE is important. According to my teacher friend few teachers are willing to teach it along with RE, Music, etc.

Surely those are subjects that should also be encouraged at home as well as at school?

If educating about healthy living is important, why isn't breastfeeding in the curriculum? It's basic human biology and a basic life skill.

YokoUhOh Sun 19-May-13 08:20:45

How interesting that David Starkey has popped up on this thread. He might be adept at The Queen's English but it doesn't stop him being 'misunderstood and misquoted' (after the 2011 riots, on Newsnight) and a failure in front of a class of students who themselves were failed by the education system.

If everyone were to treat the English language à la Starkey and Sewell, we'd all still be conversing in Old English and reading Beowulf.

Pompoko Sun 19-May-13 08:21:43

Would'nt an easy way to raise school standerds and improve exam results while keeping schools fun, engaging, productive, simply make class sizes smaller? A teacher will be able to tailor each lesson according to the students learning ability and level. That is impossible when dealing with 30 odd students.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 08:22:25

I didn't realise Old Norse was currently in the MFL melting pot grin

spidersandslugs Sun 19-May-13 08:22:44

BoneyBackJefferson, I think I supplied my own evidence to show that literacy and numeracy should be pushed. As I said, I'm no English teacher.

kim147 Sun 19-May-13 08:24:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 19-May-13 08:29:23

Thank you Hollyberrybush, have watched it. I still don't understand exactly what her year group are doing though. I know she's the year supposed to be taking Linear GCSE'S , so why did she sit two English papers last week when in Year 9?

Even more annoying is she was told she could move up a set in English, said she didn't want to as liked the teacher, then next minute was told she had it sit the Foundation paper as the teacher couldn't teach both Foundation and Higher. Clearly I need to go in and find our how the hell it all works but I am up to my eyes in meetings with SW and Nursing homes and working out how to finance Mum's residential care with fees like telephone numbers.

I know there are and have been issues for some time in Education but to keep changing it randomly is not the answer.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 19-May-13 08:31:35


you provided information that is not based on facts or careful study (annocdotal evidence) but no empirical evidence (measured, unbiased, and replicable).

"business leaders are complaining"

I am reminded of the old adage "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys" everytime that business leaders complain.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 08:31:52

I don't see that class sizes are the problem, per se. The Victorians appear to have managed with far larger class sizes than we have today - mind you they weren't forever having to deal with ill mannered, unruly, ill disciplined children who have the attention span of a gnat, off their faces on sugar, Ritalin, red bull and spouting "I have rights" every thirty seconds..

It all comes back to home life I'm afraid. If you aren't preparing your child for school adequately, if you don't instil discipline and are the sort to perpetually undermine any sort of authority, habitually question any decision and applaud answering back for the sake of it, then you are doing your children a complete disservice when it comes to the real world of work.

Parents are the biggest challenge teachers have.

spidersandslugs Sun 19-May-13 08:32:37

Kim147, I agree, more tests are not the solution.

How would you go about reducing teacher to pupil ratio?

Wouldn't shortening holidays provide extra time to teach RE, PE, art & music, etc? Perhaps Friday could be made a half day too?

Purpleprickles Sun 19-May-13 08:33:21

To reply to a post by Blue earlier. I think the thing that really riles teachers is the image that we are 'whining' and the perception that we are lazy and don't care about standards. We do, we want our pupils to succeed to the best of their abilities and to have aspirations of greatness in their life, their aspirations of greatness I would add as thank god we are still hanging on to being a society of individual humans and not clones. The majority of us are working really hard to provide a high quality education for our pupils, the majority of us think about our pupils constantly, evaluating planning, lessons, teaching strategies to ensure the needs of all of them are met.

However because on mass we disagree with the way Gove is implementing his policies and the way he continually criticises us we must be whinging and lazy. I really feel that if people who believe this lie to be true spent a week in a school they would realise what a devious lie this was. Gove is trying to convince the non-teaching public how worthless we are for his own political means.

lecce Sun 19-May-13 08:34:08

Spidersandslugs, you can't teach literacy in a vacum, you know. Pupils need to be interested to write well - there needs to be some context. What do you envisage - hours of spelling and punctuation worksheets? What would be the impact of that on independent thought and creativity? And you are seriously misinformed if you believe those are woolly skills that have no bearing on what students could achieve at university and in future careers.

Hate Gove and he knows exactly what he's doing.

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