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So what about schools?

(116 Posts)
goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 12:24:16

I read someone on here the other day suggesting we need to build more schools.

I've been thinking about it and couldn't agree more - if indeed social distancing will be required for the foreseeable. If it isn't the drop it now, and get back to normal on school. The kids are jumping on each other in the park after school anyway.

But if they insist on distancing, build more schools and fast track teacher training. Invest like we did in the Nightingales; like it mattered. Like it's a looming crisis FGS.

I'm furious for the thousands of children being let down. I never thought they should have closed in the first place.

The vast divide between rich and poor, state and private provision only grows wider. It will be HUGE.

What do we need? Protests?

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goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 12:27:52

*then drop it now

Typing in rage!!!

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attackedbycritters Tue 09-Jun-20 12:30:51

And train more teachers to work in the new schools .....

goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 12:33:17

Yes! Get TA's teaching, bring back career leavers, be creative about it! Literally seems as though no one is giving it the same urgency that was applied to the NHS at capacity. But if our schools are now full, then what do we do about it?

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goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 12:34:57

University buildings, museums, libraries, where else could kids be taught? How many empty offices with meeting rooms are lying unused at the moment. I'm not suggesting this is an easy option of course there's parameters, but why not try to find a solution?

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greathat Tue 09-Jun-20 12:35:03

Yeah I think you need to sort the teachers first and tackle the massive retainment issues to make sure you keep the ones that are already there. In my dept alone there are 2 that have decided to take early retirement during lockdown. Maybe there's a massive queue of people out their now ready to sign up as a result of their home schooling experience. But yes I'd love a nice new big classroom to teach in with enough space that I don't have to hope someone's away each lesson each group so everyone gets a proper desk to sit at

goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 12:39:57

It's just clear that this is the next crisis, but literally a case of "sorry, no plan until September at earliest" is shit! I haven't been able to homeschool my DC in any meaningful way because of both work and mild SEN issues. He needs to be in school. Like sick people needed to be in hospital. When is the penny going to drop??

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Clutterbugsmum Tue 09-Jun-20 13:24:03

The trouble is it takes so long for new schools to be given permission for them to be built.

My dd's high school was supposed have new replacement school built when dd1 went into Yr 7 it's only now 5 years later is it being built.

The government needs both inject more money and make it quicker to have schools built.

goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 13:27:07

I'm sure the same is usually true for hospitals, but, y'know, it's an emergency!!

They could easily make something possible, portacabins on playing fiends, lessons streamed in if need be if staff is an issue, supervised by uni students etc etc. No innovation applied here whatsoever.

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BrieAndChilli Tue 09-Jun-20 13:54:10

I wondered if half the classes could go into school for learning (Maths, literacy etc) while the other half went to sports centres, village halls, scout huts, libraries etc for extra curricular activities - music, drama, sports, art etc.
Proper teachers could do the teaching while TAs and other support staff could supervise the other activities along with brought in entertainers - all the club binjour/codingdojo/tennis teachers/leisure centre staff etc

Littlescottiedog Tue 09-Jun-20 13:56:47

Firstly, many schools have nowhere for mobile classrooms to go. Or only room for a small amount, which still raises questions about who goes back next. If additional buildings around the place are commandeered there are lots of other factors to consider: security, outdoor space, internet access, child-size chairs/tables/toilets, moving equipment from school building to these new classrooms and overnight security of anything left on-site, ensuring there are separate staff and pupil toilets. One two-form entry school might need an additional 10-14 extra buildings/rooms which would almost certainly be spread out across an area. How would you guarantee safety of staff and pupils? At least the hospitals were in one big building that could be contained.

Secondly, staff. Where would all the additional staff come from? Okay, supply teachers would fill some gaps, as would those who've just finished their teaching (despite only spending half the time in schools they usually have to to qualify). But they all need up-to-date DBS checks. They would need paying. Who is going to check on them if they're teaching in a remote classroom? They may be trying to deliver the curriculum with no books, resources, technology.

It's not as easy as you think, saying "just whack up some mobile classrooms".

mollypuss1 Tue 09-Jun-20 14:00:02

The problem is not just finding the space, it’s finding the teachers. If class sizes are cut in half then teacher numbers need to be doubled. Many subjects are currently short of qualified teachers as it is, where are all these new teachers supposed to come from exactly?

goldpendant Tue 09-Jun-20 14:03:38

@mollypuss1 - supply teachers, recently retired, almost qualified or studying.... there are many many options to be explored.

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Littlescottiedog Tue 09-Jun-20 14:12:33

goldpendant

*@mollypuss1* - supply teachers, recently retired, almost qualified or studying.... there are many many options to be explored.

Where would all the additional staff come from? Okay, supply teachers would fill some gaps, as would those who've just finished their teacher training (despite only spending half the time in schools they usually have to to qualify). But they all need up-to-date DBS checks for the schools in which they'll work - money and time. They would need paying, schools have some supply budget but not much. Who is going to check on teachers, especially if previously unknown to the school, if they're teaching in a remote classroom? They may be trying to deliver the curriculum with no books, resources, technology. Recently retired will often be either older, or retired on ill-health grounds or have a different job or responsibility that means returning isn't practical.

EmperorCovidula Tue 09-Jun-20 14:29:31

You don’t seem to understand the situation. The state sector will need to practically double its capacity. This is nothing like building a couple Male shift overflow hospitals.

GalesThisMorning Tue 09-Jun-20 14:36:28

If I was in need of intubation I would be quite happy getting treatment in a Nightingale hospital or a bit of old sports hall if that was available. I would be happy being treated by a final year med student if the alternative was death.

I don't know that I want my 4 year old in a portacabin being supervised by a uni student while lessons are streamed in. Or, I guess I would if I had to but I wouldn't call that an education. That's straight up child care, and yes we desperately need it but we can't really call that schooling.

CarrieBlue Tue 09-Jun-20 14:53:57

Many supply teachers don’t want permanent jobs due to what teaching has become. I have never met a recently retired teacher who had any desire to be back in the classroom ‘properly’ (I know many who’ve done supply but nothing permanent). Almost qualified have already been deemed qualified due to this crisis because the number of teachers available would be even more dire if this years cohort weren’t available in September. You’d still need to replace all those who are leaving the profession. Not a chance of doubling the workforce, unless you’re happy with any warm body in front of your children.

BlessYourCottonSocks Tue 09-Jun-20 15:03:20

For secondary teachers you need 3 years in a relevant degree, a year's teacher training and an NQT probationary year to be a qualified teacher. And even at that point I'm not that confident about your ability to deliver a really quality A level course where you understand absolutely the exam board specifics, what past years have looked like, the pitfalls of coursework etc.

As with any job experience is vital. We all have to start somewhere but it's a long process of training - and as others have said there just isn't this keen army waiting in the wings and burning to become a teacher. I know of not a single retired teacher who would return to the job which sadly says much for conditions.

mollypuss1 Tue 09-Jun-20 22:43:50

@goldpendant I’m a qualified teacher. I left teaching. I have no desire to return. I doubt any retired teachers would either. You do know there is a huge shortage of teachers in many subjects don’t you?

MurrayTheDemonicTalkingSkull Tue 09-Jun-20 23:40:51

I’m not sure people outside of teaching understand that training is not just a bit of theoretical work and then you’re into a classroom, able to deal with everything immediately. It takes months of observing lessons, team teaching and teaching while being observed and getting feedback until student teachers are ready to teach on their own.

I said on another thread, I don’t know how that will happen this year. Do we kick a child out of their bubble so that the student teacher can have their place in the room?

Even if we do manage to find the time, space (and energy!) to mentor effectively this year, how prepared are these student teachers going to be for the job if they’ve never taught more than 14 pupils at a time? If they’ve never facilitated group
/paired work? If they can’t get next to a child and help them understand something? If they can’t even take a jotter in for marking?

Iggi999 Tue 09-Jun-20 23:58:25

You'd need to bring in some kind of conscription to get retired teachers back into schools.
There's a thought..

pontypridd Tue 09-Jun-20 23:59:40

This made me laugh:

www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/09/williamson-can-hardly-fiddle-the-science-when-he-cant-count-to-two

BlessYourCottonSocks Wed 10-Jun-20 13:46:23

It's a brilliant piece of writing and utterly accurate.

I have no idea why people are blaming teachers rather than the government for the failure to get schools back. I recommend every parent read it.

flumposie Wed 10-Jun-20 14:09:00

For years state schools have had budget cuts and have had to put up with large classes of over 30 in rooms originally built for less. I'm still waiting for the English suite I was told was being built at my interview in 2002! Sadly this pandemic has highlighted how most schools are not fit for purpose. I don't know many retired teachers who would sign up to return.

FrippEnos Wed 10-Jun-20 15:33:36

Iggi999
You'd need to bring in some kind of conscription to get retired teachers back into schools.

I wonder how many would be conscientious objectors and would refuse the draft.

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