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Thread to talk about the Gillian Keegan webchat

17 replies

noblegiraffe · 27/05/2023 12:05

Because there didn't seem to be anywhere to discuss it after it happened.

Some highlights were Gillian saying that recruitment went back up after they reintroduced bursaries - recruitment figures for September are the worst they've ever been.

The schools budget is 'a lot of money' and 'the highest ever'. Yes, but it's not enough, is it? Comparing £35 billion in 2010 to £58 billion in 2023 is just balls.

Being very pleased that she got the £2 billion that headteachers were asking for in 2022 to pay for pay rises and energy costs, ignoring the fact that schools weren't given it in 2022 to pay for pay rises and energy costs, it's not due till Sept 2023 and she's now telling schools that they have to use it to pay for next year's pay rises and energy costs.

Something about pritt sticks that I really couldn't figure out.

Undergraduate apprenticeships for maths and physics teachers (18 year olds teaching 18 year olds?).

Separate funding for school buildings that might fall down (yes, but less than last year even though the risk of collapse has increased, and they won't publish which schools are the most in danger).

Looking at higher pay for maths teachers (schools can't afford it - trading off higher pay for maths teachers by sacking the music department maybe?)

If I didn't know that she was talking crap, she sounded very slick and was giving lots of figures and stuff that sounded reassuring.

Unfortunately for those in education who know what she is talking about it was not reassuring in the slightest.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts puts users’ questions to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan | Mumsnet

Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO of Mumsnet, has put Mumsnet users’ questions to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan MP.

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WGACA · 27/05/2023 12:33

Thanks for starting this. She does not come across well at all. She kept saying ‘he’ when referring to poster’s questions or referring to them as ‘listeners.’ Surely if she was doing a Q&A for ‘Mumsnet’ she would have been briefed to assume the person asking the question would be female, or not make any assumptions at all? What’s even worse and completely unforgivable is referring to Ruth Perry as Ruth Kelly. How utterly disrespectful. She says she met her sister the previous day.

The glue sticks comment was crass. She went into one school where there was a huge pot of pritt sticks in reception so now she assumes that all schools have them and have been misleading her.

I thought her constant ridiculous hand gestures emphasised her insincerity. Now I better understand why we are no further forward after 6 days of strike action.

Piggywaspushed · 27/05/2023 12:45

I didn't think she sounded slick. I started counting the fillers.

She came across as a pleasant enough person promoted entirely above her ability, insight and knowledge.

It was utterly bland and inane. So many personal anecdotes. The most passion we got was iced gems are definitely a biscuit.

Disappointed a bit in Justine too who didn't really push her.

Piggywaspushed · 27/05/2023 12:46

I noticed the hes too!

noblegiraffe · 27/05/2023 12:50

Yes, I noticed the hes, I wasn't sure if I misheard the Ruth Kelly.

But in terms of slick, she sounded like she was answering the question in a way that other politicians don't manage. And she was on top of her brief in that she knew what posters were referring to and actually knew some figures. I guess other politicians have set the bar pretty low in terms of expectations for me.

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noblegiraffe · 27/05/2023 12:52

She came across as a pleasant enough person promoted entirely above her ability, insight and knowledge.

It was very clear that she was in fact a businesswoman, and with no idea about actually working in education.

Talking about pleasant enough, she is opening the Margaret Thatcher conference this year.

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Iamnotthe1 · 27/05/2023 13:00

Utter bullshit from question one.

People are leaving teaching in record numbers and applications to train are down, yet she claims people want to teach.

She claims oversubscription in some subjects before the pandemic but that's misleading at best. Firstly, it's nothing to do with the problem now and, secondly, there were only oversubscriptions because the DfE forced teacher training providers to accept any and all applicants unless there was a significant reasons not to (e.g. criminal record with violence towards children).

Piggywaspushed · 27/05/2023 13:01

Heaven help us.

Yes, she made everything into business. No interest in education.

It annoyed me how many times she referred to 'special needs '. I don't think she knows anything. Unlike a lot of politicians she had been briefed and listened to them about what to bring up to 'show empathy'.

Piggywaspushed · 27/05/2023 13:20

I'd love to hear her now on the desperate remedy of bribes for overseas teachers.

SleepyMathematician · 27/05/2023 13:39

She knows so little about anything she’s talking about it’s laughable. Teacher pay is appalling in real terms compared to 15 - 30 years ago when I started and taught full time; no wonder no one will do it. Conditions in school are so many times worse than a decade ago ( I didn’t think that was possible 10 years ago but apparently the government have been able to achieve it!).

Unless they pay more and put more money into education generally, nothing will change. It’s all very well recruiting people (and they aren’t even doing that successfully) but that’s a pointless waste of money if they don’t stay. DD has a physics masters and went into secondary teaching. Nice bursary, yes, but a year in and she’s looking at the huge relentless stress of the job and her partner who graduated with the same degree as her already earning three times her wage for a very cushy work from home job with a ton of perks. I don’t think it will be long before she decides the stress is too much and the pay is too low for her skillset.

I’d love to teach maths in school again and miss being in front of a class. But I can earn in 3-4 hours tutoring what I can a whole day in school, at home, on a one to one, with children who are engaged and keen to learn. So it would mean a pay cut for a whole ton of stress and exhaustion.

All her flimsy excuses and platitudes are utterly meaningless. The glue sticks comment shows how little she understands. She seems determined to get one over on teachers with the strike. Which, unless you don’t want any teachers left (it’s going that way) seems a crazy policy.

WGACA · 27/05/2023 13:54

The most passion she had was indeed when she was talking about biscuits at the end. I assume she had the questions beforehand. She talked about SEN training at uni. It can be as little as one day in some cases. She didn’t mention PP children at all and Justine didn’t ask which leads me to believe that neither women care about the poorest children in our society. Also the referring to children as ‘kids’ throughout; no one who works in education does this.

Shinyandnew1 · 27/05/2023 13:57

Disappointed a bit in Justine too who didn't really push her.

Me too-I thought it was a tray wasted opportunity. Such a shame.

Shinyandnew1 · 27/05/2023 13:58

Ignore the stray tray there!

noblegiraffe · 27/05/2023 14:37

Tbf to Justine, she was reading out questions written by other people and most likely doesn't have the knowledge needed to point out when Gillian is confidently talking nonsense.

If Justine wants any volunteers for future Gillian webchats, I might know someone who might be interested.

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Summersizzle · 27/05/2023 14:39

I didn't watch it but when she was minister for mental health I had some dealings with her and my dept considered her to be so toxic they actively avoided having to meet with her.

noblegiraffe · 27/05/2023 14:41

That's really interesting, Summersizzle. What in particular was the issue?

I don't think the teaching unions have much time for her either. They say they put to her all the recruitment and funding issues facing schools and she didn't give a shit.

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Piggywaspushed · 27/05/2023 14:46

I pretty much got the 'don't give a shit' vibes from her.

noblegiraffe · 27/05/2023 14:50

A bit like when the headteachers said that they couldn't afford to give teachers a 4.5% pay rise next year and her response was to run a webinar telling them that they were wrong because she had a spreadsheet that said it was fine.

And then had to clarify that actually on average it would be fine.

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