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(50 Posts)
itwassolongago Mon 15-Dec-14 10:09:11

An occasional thread in which I plan to note examples, not of the odd misspelling or grammatical error, but of sustained poor usage amongst those charged with the education of our children.

I hope others will join in.

"Senior Leadership Team". A term crying out for parody. Is there a junior leadership team or indeed any other kind of leadership team? I don't think so. In which case "Leadership Team" should suffice.

And then of course, "gifted and talented". This one always reminds me of an ice-cream flavour: I'll have one rhum&raisin, one cookies&cream and one gifted&talented please.
Either "gifted" and "talented" are supposed to mean the same thing, in which case one should be eliminated, or they are supposed to mean two different things, in which case it makes sense to talk about a gifted child or a talented child but not a gifted- and - talented child.

Hakluyt Mon 15-Dec-14 13:50:36

Large schools have senior management. The senior management team is made up of members of senior management. Hence SMT. Perfect sense.

Gifted and talented are two different things. However they are usually both death with by the same member or members of staff, and come under the same budget heading. Hence gifted and talented. Makes perfect sense.

sinclair Mon 15-Dec-14 15:40:03

JLT at our school! What we call the School Council. Have their own SDP rag rated and everything. Don't suppose we are alone in this.

MN164 Mon 15-Dec-14 15:44:50

Oh that's what G&T stands for! fblush

callamia Mon 15-Dec-14 15:49:56

There is 'Middle Leadership', I think training for each is somehow related to Teach First too. It's about getting staff to learn to be 'leaders' and management, fairly sensible.

I'm always a bit dubious about G&T, but it's more to do with the way children are identified rather than the concept. It seems to be very narrow and doesn't really entertain the idea of potential (for example, a child with a very high IQ, but a dx of dyslexia meaning they find done aspects of schoolwork really tough).

itwassolongago Mon 15-Dec-14 17:12:29

You were hoping it was gin and tonic?

Middle Leadership. splendid, splendid. Related to Middle Earth, perhaps?

SDP rag rated = ? I like the idea of Junior Leadership Team existing but being the children. That puts a humourous spin on the idea of the 60 child primary with the "senior leadership team".

callamia, I think that what something is called does have a bit of an affect on its quality. If we allow people to use English so very badly in a context where they are supposed to be identifying those with talent, that indicates a problem I think.

CharlesRyder Mon 15-Dec-14 20:01:40

I think you are going to need to be very careful with your own spelling and grammar on this thread.

Hakluyt Tue 16-Dec-14 10:25:34

Spelling, grammar and facts too. Or you might end up looking just a little silly.

Taz1212 Tue 16-Dec-14 10:45:45

DS' school has a Senior Leadership Team and then others below it (deputies etc) who could effectively be called a Junior Leadership Team, if you were so inclined.

I'll add a pet peeve- I don't like the term "Food Technology". grin To me it's a hyping up of what we used to call Cooking & Nutrition.

itwassolongago Tue 16-Dec-14 17:52:46

You are right. I don't mind looking silly though. And I used to know the difference between affect and effect smile

Re Food Technology, yes. I think these words and phrases come about because a particular problem needs to be solved, a committee solves it and the new language is part of that. In the case of food technology it might have been, for instance, a way of making the subject sound more important.
But then the new phrase outstays its welcome and we end up with impoverised George-Bush speak.
The fact that the Bush-speak has an identifiable origin doesn't make it ok.

itwassolongago Tue 16-Dec-14 18:01:59

To put it another way, I think that convolution, jargon and tautology are far bigger problems than minor errors in semi- colon use.

But, as with so much in education, we teach what can be tested.

So I think that edubabble goes unchecked whilst minor slips are pounced on.

I have, for instance, received a curriculum newsletter telling me about my child's achievements in "PPA" and "PHSE". For me, this is a failure of communication at a basic level, but it goes unchanged whilst the odd rogue apostrophe is, in contrast, treated as a disaster.

Hakluyt Tue 16-Dec-14 18:05:08

Is your child a teacher, then? <baffled>

CharlesRyder Tue 16-Dec-14 19:20:09

Education has become business like. With it comes business speak. These are the times we live in.

Nobody loves it, but you have no idea of the pressure we are under to operate in this way. Give us a bloody break.

Hakluyt Tue 16-Dec-14 20:50:03

I still want to know why the OP's child has Planning Preparation and Assessment time, and why his or her achievement is being noted in Personal, Health and Social Education- which as far as I know is not an assessed subject.

Or is it possible the OP does not know what he or she is talking about....

itwassolongago Tue 16-Dec-14 20:55:38

I didn't even know what those stood for Haklyt.

It's what it says on the curriculum newsletter.

Do you see the problem?

CharlesRyder, OK I will. I can't find the flowers emoticon but I shall assume from now that all edubabble (at least from individual teachers not paid Head salaries) is the result of pressure. Thank you.

Hakluyt Tue 16-Dec-14 20:57:52

"It's what it says on the curriculum newsletter"

The curriculum newsletter talked about your child's achievements at PPA? hmm

TalkinPeace Tue 16-Dec-14 21:23:16

The SLT is the equivalent of the executive board in a small company
and when a school has 200 permanent staff, 100 subcontractors and 1500 customers every day
its a reasonable analogy

holmessweetholmes Tue 16-Dec-14 22:15:05

So instead of asking 'What do these acronyms and terms mean?', you have decided that they must all be stupid, inaccurate or pointless just because you don't understand them. I'm the first to complain about unnecessary jargon, but companies and organisations do actually tend to need to have... well.... names for things. I don't think schools have a monopoly on that.

Hakluyt Wed 17-Dec-14 11:52:29

Still waiting to hear about this "curriculum newsletter"......

itwassolongago Wed 17-Dec-14 13:39:33


I'm sure these terms have a sensible use within the staffroom. But not in letters sent to parents about PE and talks by the local nurses.

So... these letters will be screened and double-screened for things like the odd wrong apostrophe (which is a shame when it happens but doesn't really matter). But there seems to be a loss of real communication.

It's a bit like when we got end of year reports that were a big chart saying "My child can..." followed by things I didn't understand even when I had worked out what bit of the chart corresponded to the numbers.

Happy to accept that given their own heads teachers wouldn't do these things.

Hakluyt Wed 17-Dec-14 13:48:10

Tell me about your dd's PPA time?

And if the PHSE thing mentioned talks from local nurses surely it wasn't a huge leap to know what they were talking about?

itwassolongago Wed 17-Dec-14 14:02:04

" surely it wasn't a huge leap to know what they were talking about?"

You're right. I asked another parent who's a teacher what on earth it meant and she said that they are naming the lesson my child has after what the people not teaching it are doing in another room.

And yes, PHSE was Greek to me but it seemed to be something to do with health and wellbeing.

If you feel that that's a good standard of communication, we're just going to have to agree to disagree I'm afraid.

Hakluyt Wed 17-Dec-14 14:28:26

Why not give us the sentence that PPA was used in?

itwassolongago Wed 17-Dec-14 14:36:20

Because it was a while ago and I don't keep my curriculum newsletters. They get recycled after I've read them smile

antimatter Wed 17-Dec-14 14:39:07

in a venn diagram would they be a subset of Students - or the other way round? grin

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