Michael Gove and the research(27 Posts)
Is anyone else concerned about the way Michael Gove is pressing ahead with changes in spite of all the advice from experts?
There's a parents petition on www.thinking-about-education.co.uk/parents-petition
I read his latest 'speech' as reported in the national press today. So, schools are expected to open from, say, 7:30 until 5:30. Hmmmm.
Apparently, this is what they do in east Asia. They also still have Gulags, the death penalty and prison for dropping chewing gum (no bad thing) in some of these countries. Would he like to bring those back too?
In addition, teaching unions are supposedly putting the interest of teachers (their members) before children. No shit sherlock. Isn't that the purpose of a trade union - to represent their members? Now I quite agree that some trade unions use their members as political pawn in order to further their own agenda but, FFS, why should any trade union make pretensions that its agenda is anything other than to represent its members?
Ministers can talk drivel, but his latest speech really takes some beating.
I think he's trying to bait teachers. They don't get paid for the holidays - salary is spread pro rata so they can't afford to shorten holidays. He's trying to prompt an unpopular strike.
But squeezedatbothends most teachers still work under STPandC. This dictates that 'directed time' is spread over 190 teaching and 5 inset days during the academic year? Presumably, he wants to entirely tear up this contract.
Whilst, on the other hand, implementing new 'national' teacher standards and pay/appraisal policies.
Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it.
I am sure that there will be no additional funding for these extra hours. I am quite sure that if my HT asked me to work another 5 weeks' a year for no extra pay I would tell her where to stuff her job.
At the end of the day he's doing this to get around the thorny issue that a single wage no longer supports a family (be that a male of female breadwinner). He is looking for cheap childcare to get more parents into work REGARDLESS of the fact whether this is the best for the children.
My DC are tired after a day at school they eat, play and go to bed. When exactly are children supposed to eat and play in this dictorship. Let alone those like my dd2 who need over an hour of addition care, (physio and nebulisers). He can forget parent partnerships, there will be no time for reading daily with your child. All in all like most things he spouts it's shit.
I'm not a teacher and I do agree he's looking for a fight with the union where he can ponce about spouting yet more crap. How soon can we vote this poor excuse for an education secretary (who appears to have no idea of the needs of children) out of office?
Teachers are this Government's miners. I've said that from the start.
Teachers are this Government's miners
That's so true
Gove has put a lot of effort into painting teachers as greedy with regard to the pensions already. Teachers have already lost public sympathy.
Removing teachers pay and conditions makes education much easier to privatise - that's his next target.
If Gove does extend the school day to the ridiculous levels he had as his latest daft idea in the shower this morning - I'll be home-edding my kids. If he's ever SEEN how badly a class of primary kids can be flagging by the end of a half term, or how tired the littlies get by the end of the school day when they're adjusting to being at school - I almost said he'd be thinking twice... but he wouldn't! I didn't fight tooth and nail to have my kids to send them off into governmental childcare farms (which seems to be what he'd like to make schools into sometimes... other times he seems to want to make them all into Eton) for every waking hour of their lives.
Think half the problem with the idiot is that he has absolutely no censor mechanism between his brain and his gob and he just runs his mouth off with whatever daft idea's wandered into his brain with his nostalgia trip back to his own school days that week.
And yep, he's nicely demonised teachers - I'm so glad I'm out of the profession at present - was meant to be temporary but it's looking more and more likely it'll be permanent... when they're old enough for me to work - I'd rather go stack shelves in Tescos than go back into schools with the way they're heading.
He only presses ahead until a committee of his own Tory backbenchers tell him that his ideas a rubbish and then he scraps them. (The ideas not the backbenchers.)
This is longer than my work day including commute. We are talking about children not adults here.
Where is then the time for sport, hobbies, playing, one bit Mr. Gove seems to think not necessary for good development. Also a lot of schools don't have the facilities to offer good clubs like the private ones do.
Do we really want robots and suck the fun out of a child before it even grows up? Japan is such a sad country to be a child.
And school is not childcare. I work and DD needs after-schools and holiday clubs but that is my problem not the state.
I'm just a parent and I don't know what to think about this but thought I would say that as a parent not working in education the school hours & holidays from my perspective aren't always a great fit and take a lot of juggling (and have created problems for me at work - as in having to bring my kids to work when school closed for broken boiler/ inset days/ snow days).
OK I can understand teachers are concerned that their working day will extend beyond 7:30 - 4:30 (which as I understand is fairly close to a 'normal' working day from teachers at our school) but I suspect, in reality, extending the school day for pupils is about convenience for families where both parents work or the only parent works (which probably is now the majority situation, rather than minority).
Like any 'new idea' being floated (and my understanding is Gove's asked the independent School Teachers' Review Body to look into this from what the Guardian reports here: www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/18/michael-gove-longer-school-day-holidays - this is about trying to align the school day (which from a parental perspective is 9 - 3/ 3:30) to something more similar to the working day.
Length of day: well many people have infants in nursery 9 - 5 or longer and they seem happy and appear to thrive. A mixture of activities, rest times and meals/ snacks gives them an eventful and nurturing environment whilst Mum/ Dad are off at work.
I suspect that if the extension to the day is overseen by additional teaching staff/ non-teaching staff the impact on teachers would most likely not be in their overall working hours, but would be in a new schedule of holidays & possibly children in school during inset days.
I also suspect that a bit of clever & community orientated thinking may mean that groups like girl guides/ boy scouts, dance clubs, karate clubs, etc... can be invited to host clubs through the schoool. It may also be sensible to have local music teachers consider offering lessons in school. Opportunities like inviting in performances could be encouraged.
I don't know what will come of this idea (this isn't the first time it has made the papers - Blair suggested similar back in the day www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=332616) - but right now it's just an idea. If it doesn't actually involve teachers in 'more work' but does mean you have more terms in the school year and more frequent, but shorter breaks - that may be different but doesn't seem unworkable. If ultimately it improves student performance and helps working parents maybe it's worth considering?
I just spoke to my sister whose child has just started in reception. She said if anyone had told her that her DD would have been so tired at school, she wouldn't have believed them - she used to be in nursery from 7.30 until 6. If you look at what he's cramming into the National Curriculum, you'll see that there will be little time for nice clubs and relaxation - it will be phonics, facts and more facts. Why is it that Finland, up at the top of the international league tables have longer holidays and shorter school days? The evidence doesn't support his view.
I know I've already mentioned it once, but I do think it's a good letter if you read it - there is a parent's petition at www.thinking-about-education.co.uk/parents-petition - I think it's called 'Our Children Are Not Political Footballs.'
My DD was in nursery but school is so much more. And Gove ill want teaching not playing around otherwise his comparison with Asia won't fit.
Yes, it can be difficult to juggle but this is what I signed up for and it is my responsibility to deal with it.
I've told this story before (but I don't care), under a different name.
I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Gove and I asked him about his 'research'. He couldn't substantiate his arguments and fell apart under my amaturish questioning. His response verbatim was 'I don't know the answer to that, but there will be people who do'.
Well it was a room full of 100 educational professionals and not one of them knew what the hell he was on about, so I don't think it likely there is anyone who does.
The research in question was relating to free schools and examination standards. Two things, despite his lack of research, he has subsequently ploughed on to implement.
The man is a lunatic. A very, very dangerous lunatic.
I just don't see how the government could afford it. Cuts are being made everywhere as it is. I think this is why it has never got much beyond discussion before. Added to this the unpopularity of this idea. An expensive idea nobody seriously wants. Great news, journalist's dream... but not such a great vote winner!
Think I heard this on the radio this morning ... that by the time a child is 16, s/he has been at school for 10,000 hours ... and fewer than half of all 16 year old manage to achieve five A*- C GCSEs.
I don;t think Gove et al have considered the impact a longer day would have on rural children who already have a substantial journey time to and from school. At Ds's school the largest school bus ( and there are also a number of school taxis) starts its journey at 7.45am , the children arrive at school at around 8.30-8.40. The bus returns after school and the lats child on bus will arrive at their home bus stop at about 4.15. Not home, but home bus stop, it might be another mile to home, the bus doesn't go down farm tracks or narrow lanes.
So for a 8am start and 5 pm finish, a child would be at the bus stop at 7am and not home again till about 6pm. Bonkers.
The government have also said they want hospitals to move to 7 day working with consultant delivered rather than consultant led care.
Both ideas are expensive because it requires either having more teaching/ medical professionals or paying the ones you have more to work longer.
As far as I understand the state of the country's finances we can't afford more expensive models of public service.
Yes my two have an hour each way on a bus to secondary and would have had 35 minutes each way to primary except I took them.
The buses are shit, by car it takes 15 and 10 minutes to get to their schools, council are to tight to swap to minibuses.
Yes but the move to 24 / 7 consultant cover is based on hard evidence, Abby, specifically that the hospital mortality rate is higher out of hours ( when there are no consultants on duty). Not sure that the move to extend school hours has anything like such robust evidence.
Also DD1 is dyslexic and somehow doesn't get making friends. She had a really hard time YR-Y8 being left out at best and often actively bullied.
Both her schools have been great, but by 3.30 she wants her own company or the company of her friends from Guides who she does get in with.
I'm certain she isn't the only child who doesn't want to spend extra time with her school cohort and wants to do extra curricular things with other friends or just chill.
Small village schools are insular enough without forcing DDs to stay longer. DN is the only girl in her year in her entire school. I think she might like some time in an evening to meet others.
I think Michael Gove just hates children. Except the children of his little elite circle, of course, who will continue to have the benefit of the loooong private school holidays...
I never thought I'd say this, but I will seriously consider home education if this goes through.
We've moved this over to our Petitions noticeboard now.
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