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Does this worry you?

(98 Posts)
jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 10:50:58

I'm so worried about my children going through the education system at the moment. I can't afford to send them to an independent school.

www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/nov/14/secret-teacher-cant-bear-ofsted-going-teach-australia

As a primary teacher myself I can confirm that this is not just one teacher feeling like this, in fact i can't think of a single teacher who doesn't feel like this. It makes me so sad.

What can we do to stop it?

mrz Sun 15-Nov-15 11:14:25

I always feel Secret teacher represents extreme opinions. The title is misleading Ofsted isn't causing distress it's SLT (and often LEA advisors) who try to second guess. Ofsted can be a relief compared to the months of anticipation.

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 11:41:40

Yes, it does often represent the extremer side of opinions but I think this time it represents most, if not all, teachers I know.

I agree that SLT often cause distress by second guessing what OFSTED want. They shouldn't have to guess though, OFSTED should have consistent criteria and inspectors so that school management can confidently ask from teachers what is needed, getting rid of the reams of other nonsense that takes teacher's time, energy, and enthusiasm away from the actual planning and teaching parts.

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 11:46:26

I want my children to be taught by teachers who are supported to do their jobs properly and have some energy and enthusiasm left to make it fun.

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Nov-15 12:37:50

I agree with mrz- the fault lies with SLT rather than directly with Ofsted. I recently changed school. My previous school was very much like the one in the link, only more so. The pressure was immense, nothing was ever good enough and the children were reduced (by SLT) to statistics.

At my new school, it is very different. Much more relaxed. I feel trusted and supported to do my job without someone monitoring my every move.

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 12:53:45

So, as a parent ow do I find out how the teachers are treated at my children's school?
I know that professionally they can't say anything negative about the school.
You are very lucky MrsK & mrz - there don't seem to be many schools with sensible SLT around at the moment.

Rainbowcolours1 Sun 15-Nov-15 13:13:44

Posts like this always make me sad. I agree with mrz regarding extreme views. My teachers are creative and have the freedom to be so, no planning is done at home and marking is designed to be effective for the children, it isn't for Ofsted and Ofsted make that clear. If heads and SLTs are always blamed by the staff they work with then negativity will breed negativity, if no body appreciates you then it is very difficult to actively appreciate others. My question to many teachers would be 'when did you last show your appreciation for your head/SLT?' Yes it works both ways which is why my staff will be eating cake in tomorrow's staff meeting and find chocolates in any pigeon holes that are empty/tidy!

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 13:47:26

Rainbow, surely the leaders of the school by the very nature of their role are the people who should be creating a positive atmosphere?

You sound like a wonderful leader who shows appreciation for your staff.

The majority of schools are not like yours. Too many teachers relate to what the Secret Teacher has said and are leaving. If SLT treat staff in this way then yes, of course there is a culture of negativity, like you say if no body appreciates you then it is very difficult to actively appreciate others but it is not teachers who have created that atmosphere. They are trying to do a difficult job with no support and constant criticism.

BTW Do tidy pigeon holes help student learning though? Perhaps you are micromanaging more than you think Rainbow?

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Nov-15 13:58:47

"My question to many teachers would be 'when did you last show your appreciation for your head/SLT?"

In my current school, very frequently. Generally only with a 'thanks, I really appreciate your help' but then that's all I would hope to receive.

In my previous school, I literally did not have the time or mental space to think about anything other than finishing the next task, or getting to the next meeting on time. And when I arrived at the next meeting, I would face a list of 4-5 extra tasks which must all be fitted in over the next day or so. So no, I didn't say 'thank you' very often there.

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 14:09:25

MrsK, how did you know your new school treated teachers with respect before you joined them?
I'm thinking of leaving teaching completely, colleagues that have worked in others school say it is no different in the schools they came from so it is heartening to know that there are still good places to work out there.
I also want my children to go to a school that treats it's teachers properly. How do I find this out?

ragged Sun 15-Nov-15 14:16:57

PISA testing exposes a huge educational underclass. in Australia. 13th place joint with New Zealand.

UK was 6th in another education league table, just below the Finns.

Meh, I don't believe any of it, really!!

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 14:40:02

Any of what ragged? The tests? Or what teachers are saying?

ragged Sun 15-Nov-15 17:14:09

League tables, international comparisons, "Woe is the state of British education" blog articles. Etc.

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Nov-15 17:18:09

That's the problem, isn't it? You never really know what a school is like for teachers unless you've worked there or have a good relationship with someone who has. I had an idea that the new school would be better, but I think you always take a chance with a new job.

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 18:40:23

But ragged loads of teachers have left, schools are really struggling to recruit teachers. The amount of money spent on supply teachers has gone through the roof. There really is lots of woe out there and it's not just blogs reporting it.
League tables etc. I'm with you.

ragged Sun 15-Nov-15 20:04:29

Aussie teachers feel undervalued
www.theage.com.au/victoria/australian-teachers-feel-undervalued-oecd-report-20140625-zskw7.html

and work too long hours...
www.saveourschools.com.au/teachers/australian-teachers-work-longer-hours-and-face-more-challenges-than-teachers-in-many-countries

I can't search in Japanese or Finnish or I'd find some news coverage where their teachers are unhappy too.

jellyfrizz Sun 15-Nov-15 20:29:19

But they are not all leaving are they? Australia does not have enough jobs for it's teachers. And did you notice the countries that have longer working hours?
It's one thing to feel undervalued and overworked and another to be so fed up / ill that you leave a long term career that has such good holidays and is not too badly paid.
Does it have to get to the point where there are no teachers left before anyone listens?

mrz Mon 16-Nov-15 15:51:29

www.news.com.au/national/stressed-teachers-quitting-over-high-workload-australian-education-union-report-reveals/story-fncynjr2-1227349535411

mrz Mon 16-Nov-15 15:53:37

www.news.com.au/finance/work/why-are-so-many-teachers-fleeing-the-classroom/story-fnkgbb3b-1227560880445

mrz Mon 16-Nov-15 15:55:41

www.theguardian.com/education/2013/aug/06/teachers-leave-profession-early

Lozza1990 Mon 16-Nov-15 16:01:01

I agree that Ofsted is a huge waste of time. From my experience when I was at school, if you misbehaved while ofsted were in they would come down on you 10x harder, they sort classes by behaviour as well as ability which is so wrong. One of my classes got sent on a school trip purely because Ofsted came in one year because we were the worst behaved class. Something's gotta give.

futureme Mon 16-Nov-15 16:13:58

My sister in law teaches in Australia. No where near the micromanaging. She chooses much of the curriculum. If she fancies a particular science experiment she teaches it... She decided to try phonics for her readers and chose a programme. Wasn't overly fussed with wall displays in first term as getting a feel for the class...it looks like she's doing work a couple of years later than my daughter is here in the UK though.

I'm not sure its as good for inclusion or checking progress but so much more freedom as a teacher.

I do worry for my daughter. We've had a change of head and already in yr2 there's much talk of yr 6 SATs and it feels so much more target driven and less freedom. Basically the superhead says that although being an academy means freedom to choose curriculum only english and maths are examined so they are the focus. However brothers school still fits forest school in somehow?!

Foxyloxy1plus1 Mon 16-Nov-15 16:54:14

The reason that SLT are micromanaging, is because of Ofsted. So the root of the problem is Ofsted and data and marking and learning walks and everything being thrown up in the air and chsnged every couple of years.

There are many schools where there is no effective behaviour system, so obviously behsviour deteriorates. There is no consistency and no back up.

Because progression depends on results, any teacher who does not triple mark in three colours, have data to demonstrate the on going progress of every student, run after school clubs, work every evening and weekend and always 'go the extra mile' will soon find him or herself in a meeting where they are told that they will not move up the pay scale because their targets have not been met. Rather, they will be placed on capability, which is shorthand for being managed out in short order. There's always an NQT!

mrz Mon 16-Nov-15 16:56:00

I've never triple marked in my life! Sorry it's schools that impose these stupid ideas not Ofsted

mrz Mon 16-Nov-15 17:03:25

www.tes.com/news/tes-magazine/tes-magazine/overcome-your-ofsted-fear-%E2%80%93-and-be-outstanding

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