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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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 31-May-13 19:33:48


The man is utterly clueless. And frighteningly powerful.

Tubemole1 Fri 31-May-13 19:32:46

Further to my earlier post, have just learned my primary school teacher friend has quit teaching because the workload was too much. She was part time and a mother, but couldn't cope. She never had any complaints about her professional performance but her stress levels were such that she couldn't continue.

BoffinMum Thu 30-May-13 18:14:39

Ah, that would be the NZ where immigrants have to pay school fees then, while nationals get credits subsiding school places in a relatively expensive and well resourced private sector. Easy to get good results when school places are resourced 3x or 4x as well.

BoffinMum Thu 30-May-13 18:13:55

Ah, that would be the NZ where immigrants have to pay school fees then, while nationals get credits subsiding school places in a relatively expensive and well resourced private sector. Easy to get good results when school places are resourced 3x or 4x as well.

Toadinthehole Thu 30-May-13 13:11:13


I note the scare-quotes. By "peer" I mean countries similar to Britain, ie, developed countries rather than countries composed entirely of aristocrats. It appears that Britain doesn't compare particularly well to them.

As I mentioned here I'm delighted to be proved wrong on this point, but the evidence from surveys, plus the opinions I've canvassed from teachers indicates that state education in the UK needs significant improvement.

I am delighted to be proved wrong on this point because I live in NZ, am homesick, and remain here primarily so my children can be educated in NZ schools. It is unpleasant, because if my judgement is incorrect, everyone in my family loses.

Abuela, who seems to be regarded as something of a guru on Mumsnet had something to say, but vanished off after a few posts.

gobbin Wed 29-May-13 00:24:30

Tubemole you should be grateful your child's school is offering any extra-curric activities. The way I feel at the end of the day these days I'd rather be going home.

Maybe you could rally some creative, talented parents to come in after a day's work and lead the activities? Can't see why they wouldn't be jumping at the chance...

Gove is a twat and history will prove him to be so, in time. We're not much better off in Wales with Leighton Andrews, but at least he did time in a classroom.

MrsHerculePoirot Tue 28-May-13 22:57:03

Just marking place...

mercibucket Mon 27-May-13 23:41:02

tubemole1, what on earth kind of school are you describing? a 'clap clap' word?? a 'describing word'? is this the 1980s?

SuburbanRhonda Mon 27-May-13 23:07:52

Gove makes me shudder every time I see him on TV.

He is going to bring our education system to its knees and then become Prime Minister and fuck up everything else that hasn't already been fucked up by his mates.

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 22:58:30

I think he knows exactly what he's doing . As a parent it's a real worry.
My SIL is a teacher and although she really likes the actual job of teaching, she's utterly sick of the constant changes and the criticism of the profession. I take my hat off to her: I couldn't do her job and it worries me that excellent hard working people like her are feeling as they do

WafflyVersatile Mon 27-May-13 22:48:25

I think he understands that he wants to privatise education.

Tubemole1 Mon 27-May-13 22:46:33

Also, I have teacher friend (primary school) who hates Mr Gove. She also ignores OFSTED reports because she says they only see 2 days of the school and what is presented is not always typical of the school. She says these inspectors can never have a true picture of a school in just two days. She says she regularly updates her parents on their children's progress and her head keeps an eye on her, and the parents will soon know if something is up. Her class parents are happy with things and that's all she can hope for.

Tubemole1 Mon 27-May-13 22:37:39

Things that annoy me about school:

dressing up days
calling a describing word a "clap clap" word and other stuff that makes no sense.
Calling a sum, a number sentence. Wtf?
all the equality teaching shit. My kid has friends of all kinds of different heritage and doesn't need to be told who to love or hate.
The lack of creative arts in Y1. where are the paintings, construction, ART?
PE being cancelled, often.
Too much focus on three Rs. I really mean it. The curriculum is too fookin narrow. It's dull.
A lack of variety in after school clubs. ooh, ballet, football, karate, piano...dull. What about photography, gardening, garment design, creative arts including sewing knitting etc., using DJ stuff, computer based design...

The day needs to be longer, to five o' clock, and a more diverse primary curriculum is needed. Also agree need to knock 6 week hold on the head. This would aid continuity in learning between years. Kids are being hothoused! Its ridiculous!angry

BoffinMum Mon 20-May-13 22:43:32

1963 Half Our Future report here tells you what the 'golden age' of education really looked like for half the country.

Do we really want to go back to a system that wrote off half of young people before puberty?

Look at the Charley's Schooldays film for a very rosy tinted view of the tripartite system.

Think about female education for a start. We have made monumental strides since the days when 50% of girls spent their days learning to do housework and typing instead of studying languages and science to age 16, for a start. This was still going on after the Tories came into power in 1979, as the National Curriculum didn't kick off until the period 1991-1993. Now we have a much more level playing field, with girls studying very similar academic programmes to boys, and getting university places on the back end of this.

Schnullerbacke Mon 20-May-13 19:04:29

I'll add my 2 cents worth as a parent....

I'm really worried about these changes. I help out in my daughter's class with reading every week and what I see despairs me. Bearing in mind that there are only 18 in her class, I feel the teacher has hardly any time to make a real impact. They do the register, 10 mins of this and that, then its assembly time, then break, then 40 mins of this and that and then lunch time comes around.

My daughter is progessing ok although I feel that more could done. But already that level of competency between the lowest and top set in class is massive. I read the new proposed curriculum for Y1 - its crazy! How are teachers going to find time teaching all this? I bet its all in anticipation and preparation in sending kids to school until 5 or so.

hackmum Mon 20-May-13 18:30:13

I (mostly) agree with Boffinmum. If you look back at the "golden age" of grammar schools, very few children actually left school with five O-levels. Secondary moderns in many cases were offering a substandard education - there's a great first-hand description in David Kynaston's Austerity Britain of a teacher trying to cope with a hugely disruptive secondary modern class.

We actually expect a lot - perhaps too much - from our education system. We expect teachers to deal with a massively diverse population - bright kids and slow kids, kids from advantaged backgrounds and from deprived backgrounds, kids who can barely speak English, kids with a variety of special needs such as dyslexia, ADHD, autism etc, as well as children with severe behavioural problems. It's not easy or cheap to devise an education system that can satisfactorily meet the needs of all those children.

Gove's way of dealing with it seems to be to insist that we teach all children long division and the names of all the kings and queens of England since 1066. Which, as a way of solving the problem, seems to be so way off the mark as to be borderline insane. I would just like to put him in front of a class of 30 12-year olds in an average comprehensive for a week and see how he gets on, I really would.

pointythings Mon 20-May-13 18:20:34

The PISA survey has the UK twenty-somethingth in everything. Another survey has us sixth. Everyone has statistics they can cherry pick.

Problem with PISA is that its founders admit that it is not an accurate ranking because it does not compare like with like - countries are, for instance, free to exclude the results of children with SEN, and many countries do. The UK does not exclude, so will always look worse. There are other inconsistencies too.

But Gove likes to use PISA as a stick to beat teachers with, as ever.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 20-May-13 18:19:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointythings Mon 20-May-13 18:18:13

I luffs you, BoffinMum.

Talkinpeace Mon 20-May-13 17:25:02

Where is the evidence that the UK system is worse than our "peers"
and if it is, what makes you think Gove has any of the answers?

BoffinMum Mon 20-May-13 15:28:51

Interesting article by Steve Richards in the Guardian today saying that the Conservatives have come to office very early in their political careers, and have therefore not thought things through sufficiently well. I think there's a lot in that observation.

I come back to something I say a lot - the UK education system isn't completely knackered, it's actually about as good as we would expect give the amount of resource put into it, and aspects of it are even admired internationally (eg our primary education and its cross curricular work).

However we are in the process of serious amounts of money being diverted away from teaching and learning and being given away as professional fees to cover academy conversions as well as the setting up of free schools. Over £9 billion pounds and rising, last time I looked. This is not a good situation. We can't afford it. To give an indication of what that means in practice, we could halve primary class sizes for two years for that. Or put 5-10 extra teachers in every secondary school.

Secondly, we are painfully aware that in this highly diverse country, there is a rift between the achievement and attainment of rich and poor, and yet we are in the process of making that worse via removing certain benefits, failing to tackle the housing crisis, and failing to address low paid work. Again, this may have some sort of useful impact at some vague point in the future (I am not convinced, but it is a possibility), but at the moment, once again, this is not a good situation as far as the next ten years in education are concerned.

We need to calm down, consolidate what's happened already, and focus on immediate improvements to the quality of teaching and learning, rather than structures. Spend money in what goes on in the classroom, and things will get better. This means focusing on teachers, and focusing on getting children ready to learn, as well as motivating kids to engage and higher and higher levels because there is a virtuous circle for them.

Nothing else matters.

Routinely sniping at the very people involved in education on a day to day basis, namely pupils, teachers and parents, is not going to be the answer. This much I know.

Tanith Mon 20-May-13 11:38:43

Truss is the same re: evidence-free.

She has visited more French Early Years settings than British (and only a handful in any case). None of them are childminders. Yet she's Minister for Early Years!!

mummytime Mon 20-May-13 11:29:19

You have to think he has something wrong when the Checkout staff at Sainsbury's tell me what a bad job they think he is doing.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 20-May-13 10:35:22

grin at hackmum and the dancing anecdote!

I've seen the description "evidence-free reforms" used to describe Gove's all-out attack on education. Somewhere along the line he has become convinced that he is the only person - probably in the whole of the UK - who really knows what's right for our children's education, and that he is right to make policy with no reference to evidence, expertise or other people's opinion.

If I had a DC just about to start school, I would emigrate.

Jux Mon 20-May-13 10:17:12

He's looking at his place in history, the guy who 'saved' British education. Tosser.

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