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science supply teacher damaging prospects?

(9 Posts)
mary21 Mon 03-Feb-14 18:29:56

Ds2 year 9 is in set 2 science. At the start of the year they were told all of set 1&2 would have the option of doing triple next year. This year they have had various supply teachers all year. They have only done 1 experiment since September.They haven't finished the work they should have finished at Xmas. He complains half he class just mess around.
I am concerned they are going to turn around and say the whole of set 2 have to take core nd additional as they are so far behind. The lack of practicals and poor behaviour is also damaging his enthusiasm for science. Apparently set 1 do lots of experiments.
What to do. I want to prepare for parents evening

breatheslowly Mon 03-Feb-14 18:44:22

Don't wait for parents' evening (not sure how soon it is). Call the head of science tomorrow.

Starballbunny Mon 03-Feb-14 18:47:21

Similar problem with a maths supply teacher, I'm trying to word an email to the HOD and keep chickening out.

ravenAK Mon 03-Feb-14 18:52:48

Yep, talk to HOD. They probably can't magic up a qualified science supply, but should be able to ensure that no-one misses out on being in the triple Science GCSE group if they have the ability to do it - even if they have to do some catch up sessions at the start of year 10. Flag it up now.

I've taken on a middling ability GCSE group (English) halfway through after a young, inexperienced colleague left.

we've had to move them from Eng Lang + Lit to combined English, because they're so far behind & all their Controlled Assessments are crap. So your concerns are entirely valid.

MillyMollyMama Mon 03-Feb-14 19:17:49

Yes. Continual changes of teacher is a great concern. Work tends to stall as the new teacher tries to catch up with the prior attainment of the class and plan accordingly. Repeating this takes valuable time. Ofsted will criticise a school for not securing consistency of teaching too. Why Heads do not communicate with parents what they are trying to do to remedy the situation is beyond me. Maths and science teachers are hard to find and good supply teachers likewise. Complain.... Definitely! Whether the school will be able to do anything about it is another matter.

mary21 Tue 04-Feb-14 08:26:31

,I will speak to them today

looplab Tue 04-Feb-14 12:34:24

Supply teachers can keep the class going but they don't really move it forward. But its sort of inevitable in the state system. If I were you I would see if your DS couldn't maybe pull out the stops to get in set 1. At the very least get some good revision guides (I guess KS3 although GCSE maybe) so he can keep his confidence up by doing well next assessment. And if the disruption gets too much, complain to head of year, that sort of thing needs to be constantly stamped on.

MillyMollyMama Tue 04-Feb-14 13:20:39

What I do not understand is why the senior leadership of a school gets into this unsatisfactory position. The HOD will have little influence here and there has to be a reason why there is a succession of supply teachers. Why can they not get a good supply teacher to cover the whole absence? All schools have to cope with sickness but use one supply teacher who gets to know the children and teaches effectively, so why can't this school do that? Why don't the senior leadership ensure high quality teaching at all times? I would definitely be asking that question.

ravenAK Tue 04-Feb-14 17:26:53

Because it's a subject shortage.

we've struggled to recruit decent long term supply for core subjects - good specialist teachers of English/Maths/Science tend to have permanent positions.

So the choice of long term cover for a missing Science teacher might well be between a crap Science teacher or a really good DT/Geography/music teacher, say, & neither's ideal.

It doesn't help that most schools now employ unqualified cover supervisors to handle short term staff absence - being a supply teacher just isn't very attractive any more, as there aren't the short term jobs to keep things ticking over.

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