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When do I start to get seriously concerned re teacher turnover

(7 Posts)
onetiredmummy Tue 05-Nov-13 13:56:38

OK I've posted about my DS1 & his class before but its just not getting any better.

DS1 is 8 so in Year 4, his class is notorious as a 'naughty' class & certainly has a lot of boisterous boys in it (31 in class). His class have been told by supply teachers & the PE teacher that they are not coming back as the behaviour of the class is so bad. There is a new Head who appears to be cracking down on behavioural issues as 2 children in DS's were suspended last week, so there's a bit of a no tolerance policy going on.

So you know a bit about my DS, he is not sporty, he is quiet, is in the G&T club & every parents evening the teachers say he is a pleasure to teach & sits in the class fizzing over with ideas.

Here is the teacher turnover so far:

Reception - 1 teacher
Year 1 - 1 unqualified teacher who was fired at Easter & replaced by supply teachers
Year 2 - 1 teacher
Year 3 - 2 teacher job share, both left by Christmas so supplies then another teacher who stayed with them until the summer.

He started year 4 2 months ago & the class teacher has been off sick since the middle of October so there is a stream of supply teachers & no word when the class teacher is back. I was hoping he would be back after half term but he's not. When do I get worried about DS's continuity of education or am I being precious?

I know bugger all about this, with all the supply staff is this having a detrimental effect or is it OK?

Imsosorryalan Tue 05-Nov-13 14:07:22

Sounds terrible! To be honest I'd be more worried about the daily disruptions to the class by his peers. Low level disruptions affect the whole class and often the teacher has to keep stopping the lesson to deal with it. It also sounds like the school are not dealing with the problem effectively and they have had long enough to do it!

I'd seriously be looking at another school.

onetiredmummy Tue 05-Nov-13 14:17:46

I looked at another school last year & they don't have any spaces plus DS2 has just started Reception so there would need to be spaces in both classes for them which isn't easy to find.

Should I try again even though the Head is dealing with the discipline of the class?

Say for arguments sake the disruption issue was solved, would the inconsistency of teaching be OK or would it not?

(have to nip & get DC's, the school is miles away so will check for replies later) x

wearingatinhat Tue 05-Nov-13 15:31:18

If the discipline of the class is resolved and I would assume that is a fairly big 'if', then I would not worry too much about the inconsistency of teaching providing the levels were good. I would therefore try to find out about the levels. As these are often very subjective, I would want to be sure that any levels given can be substantiated by standardised testing or similar, particularly as your son is G&T. I would want to know that my DS was working to his potential whilst there was all this disruption.

I also think that much would depend on what your options for secondary education are and what your plans are longer term.

I think I would look again at other schools to keep my options open.

partystress Tue 05-Nov-13 20:32:30

TBH this does not seem that awful, although if the supply teachers were covering longer than 2 or 3 weeks after the job sharers left, and if there were multiple different supplies in the Summer term of Y1, then yes that must have been disruptive. Is there another Y4 class you could use as a benchmark - are they doing similar work, does your DS's class seem to be working at the same level, getting the same homework etc?

A new head might well mean more staff leaving in the short-term, but then a bit more stability once s/he has built a team in their own image they are happy with.

Schools often won't give a permanent contract for vacancies which occur mid-year. I think the rationale is that people on the market at those times might not necessarily be the best, so get them on long-term supply and check them out, rather than appoint permanently. It may be that the supplies your DS has had failed to meet the grade for the school, or were offered permanent jobs elsewhere before your school made its mind up.

Given how many experienced teachers are looking to leave, and how many schools seem keen to lose more expensive (ie experienced) staff, teaching will, I fear, increasingly become a twenty-something job and that means high turnover due to mat leave and career changers.

Imsosorryalan Tue 05-Nov-13 20:33:28

Good point about the levels, do check them also check what extra assistance he is getting via the g&t policies. They may help keep him on task. Some children are very good at tuning out of the disruptions and also get lots of support at home so can get by. I'd check how much the behaviour disturbs your son in class.

Changes in teachers doesn't always effect continuity as long as it's managed well and teachers are assessing and levelling effectively. If you care worried, you can always ask to see his work and discuss levels with the current teacher.

Unfortunately, it seems he will have the disruptions until year 6 so now is the time to decide to cope or move him.

LittleSiouxieSue Tue 05-Nov-13 20:53:20

Ofsted dislike continual disruption and changes in teaching staff and usually it means there is a leadership problem. I would be very worried about turnover of staff as this does not happen in a school that is on top of its game as they get good teachers immediately there is a vacancy. I have never had my children at a school who is trying out a teacher and then getting rid of them. Why can they not get a good teacher in the first place? Over-reliance on supply teachers cannot aid effective teaching, monitoring his progress and assessment let alone lesson planning to meet the needs of the children. You would be very lucky to get a rota of outstanding supply teachers if the school cannot attract and keep good teachers. It is disruptive as the class will have to settle all over again when a new teacher arrives whereas the naughty children need continuity of behaviour strategies. Just coming in and excluding will not do the trick in the long run.
The school has had several years of these problems so I would be expecting improvement very quickly or I would go. A class should not be labelled either. Good experienced teachers would handle these boys and their behaviour will not be conducive to good learning in the class and will affect other children. I would ask the Head what they intend to do about it because low level disruption is another Ofsted No No! What is wrong with the class teacher? Hopefully not stress.

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