Your child is our lowest priority unless they're exam-age.

(19 Posts)
Wizard19 Sun 13-Mar-16 10:13:22

www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2016/mar/12/secret-teacher-child-lowest-priority-exam-gcse-aleve

I came across this article and found it interesting. I appreciate teachers have a very tough job.

BossWitch Sun 13-Mar-16 10:16:26

Pretty much spot on, sadly.

mrz Sun 13-Mar-16 10:19:43

It's a very shortsighted view. Focusing on exam years rather than building skills and knowledge year on year isn't a good strategy as most schools know only too well.

ShowMeTheWonder Sun 13-Mar-16 10:24:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wizard19 Sun 13-Mar-16 10:24:48

Seriously mrz for education minister. And I mean that genuinely, I read many of your interactions on here.

SurvivalGuide Sun 13-Mar-16 11:51:25

What a fantastic idea! At the very least she should be a government advisor for education. Note for Mumsnet HQ, please set up one of those official online petitions and we'll all sign it! Would love mrz to be my DCs teacher!

Feenie Sun 13-Mar-16 12:46:44

You might do better posting in secondary! As primary class teachers, our job is very different. We see our children all day, every day and have the opportunity to build relationships that high schoolteachers seeing children 2 or 3 times a week do not.

StBosco Sun 13-Mar-16 12:46:48

Mmmm, I think at this time of year that is correct- but it probably always has been!

We certainly work very hard on transition etc.

mrz Sun 13-Mar-16 13:03:35

Thanks I'm flattered but I think I'm too opinionated wink

Feenie Sun 13-Mar-16 13:05:35

And you actually know what you're talking about, which is always a no no in an Education Secretary grin

MsMermaid Sun 13-Mar-16 13:10:49

My exam classes don't get much more attention than my ks3 classes. I teach maths and they absolutely must have a good grasp of the ks3 content before they reach y10, especially now there is so much more content in the GCSE syllabus. The only thing exam classes get that ks3 classes don't is revision sessions after school, I fit extra help for ks3 pupils into lunchtime.

SurvivalGuide Sun 13-Mar-16 13:45:44

💐 to Mrz!

mrz Sun 13-Mar-16 17:51:19

Thank you smile

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 13-Mar-16 21:23:12

I guess I should be particularly to my year 9 daughter's teachers for the amazing job they do, proving constructive and detailed comments at every parents' evening. And the head who greets every child by name. I usually enjoy "secret teacher" but this one is depressing.

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 13-Mar-16 21:24:50

Particularly "grateful" .

bojorojo Sun 13-Mar-16 21:41:40

Ofsted would have a field day at any school they thought was coasting with non-exam groups! It is in no-ones' interest to do this. Too much angst and catching up in years 11 and 13!

anxietyisthespiceoflife Mon 14-Mar-16 16:19:14

Perhaps the Guardian should stop giving a platform to teachers who want to run down their own profession. How could someone write this without feeling they were shaming themselves and tarring their hard working colleagues with the same brush? Perhaps the "secret teacher" is stringing the Guardian a yarn and secretly endorsing the private sector!

That's not to say it's untrue of course, but it's probably exaggerated for dramatic effect - try turning the headline round to say "Your child is our top priority when they're exam age" and it doesn't sound quite so bad does it?

Of course there are ways to make sure your child is high priority if you feel confident in taking a punt on a new school. My own DS is in the first year of a new (free) school and I'm happy to say the teachers are putting 100% of their effort into a very lucky Year 7 cohort. They are having very exciting, stimulating lessons and doing GCSE-quality work in many subjects. They will always be the priority, because they will be the first year to do their GCSEs in the school and all eyes will be on their results.

So maybe Secret Teacher should change school if she doesn't have enough energy for all of her students and is concerned enough about the issue to broadcast it nationally.

BossWitch Mon 14-Mar-16 20:15:50

Teachers who are sadly in this position know that it's a shit long term strategy. School leaders know it's a shit long term strategy. Of course it is. But they get forced into it because of short term pressures. If you have a couple of members of your department off on long term sick, with uneven supply cover as your only option (because there is a teaching staffing crisis) obviously you rejig the timetable to put the permanent teachers in with the exam groups. If you have to split a class between two teachers because a significant number of your staff work part time, would you do that to a year 8 class or a year 11 class? If you are working yourself to the point of illness, as many teachers are, which set of books do you mark in detail - the year 7 or the year 13?

I've neglected ks3 in the past. I had gcse and a level groups with coursework and exam practice and I had a finite amount of time. I've been the head of department trying to put together a workable timetable, who put the sixth form classes in first, then gcse, and then fit the ks3 around that. I managed to avoid any three way splits, but most ks3 classes ended up split between two teachers. I'm currently working as a supply teacher in an ofsted "good" school, and I'm the fourth or fifth teacher this year for a lot of my groups - including year 10. The year 8 geography class I hear rioting next door are on their 6th teacher so far this year. When they get to go see they I'll be behind - so the school will exert pressure on the poor sod who has them on their timetable to pull up their results by a huge amount in a short space of time, which will mean they will be taking up more than their fair share of the teachers time, which will end up coming away from their ks3 classes. And round it goes...

The system is broken. Teachers are broken. Schools hide this stuff from everyone they can because it's shit. But it is happening, and it isn't rare. It's pretty normal.

BossWitch Mon 14-Mar-16 20:16:54

*to gcse

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