Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How it All Works

A recent email pointed out that not all readers of this blog are teachers and asked if I would explain a few things rather than assume that everyone knows what I'm on about.

So here goes...

Ok. We have State and Private schools. State ones are free, Private ones you pay to attend or get an increasingly rare scholarship.

State Schools consist mainly of Comprehensive Schools, with a few dozen Grammar Schools and Academies. All Comprehensives have been told to apply to become specialists in a particular subject, eg. Performing Arts, Science, IT, Business Studies etc. About two thirds have already done so.

Moving on to the staff. Headmasters and Headmistresses are now called Head Teachers due to political correctness which is the most important part of modern teaching. Competence at your job is of no relevance whatsoever.

There will be one or more Deputy or Assistant Headteachers, depending on the size of the school and possibly a few extra bodies with titles such as Head of Upper School or Head of Lower School.

The Group described above make up the Senior Management Team (SMT) They make all the executive decisions on the running of the school.

Most children start Secondary Education at the age of 11. Their first year is called year 7, despite the fact that it is their 8th year at school. They take their GCSEs in Year 11 and if the school has a Sixth Form the two years are called year twelve and thirteen.

Each Year group usually has a Head of Year and a Deputy Head of Year.

Each Department eg. Maths, English or Science will have its own Head and Deputy Head of Department.

All of the above will usually do some teaching as well.

Then we have the ordinary teachers who do most of the teaching in the school. They may pick up additional points by taking on various responsibilities such as Key Stage 3 Co ordinator (in charge of the work done up to the end of Year 9 including the SAT tests) which gain them extra pay and headaches.

This is a broad outline, for the benefit of those outside Teaching. I'll add to it soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to let me know if I've missed anything out.

(Read VoteFranco's excellent comment below, which corrects my statement that State Schools are 'free')


pen said...

Mr.C ...

"Acadamies" No,no,no.

Academies please.

Anonymous said...

So if they start senior school at 11 and it's called 'year 7' what happens if they start pre-school/kindergarten at 3? Is that 'year -1'?

Vote Franco (fdm) said...

State schools are not free, they are paid for by the taxpayer. Like many taxpayer funded schemes where the receipient of the "service" isn't the person paying for it in any meaningful way, notions of responsibility, duty, and service can be substantially lacking from the ethos of the organisation. Not necessarily the fault of all teachers, although many have in the past been happy to be complicit.

Most if not all of the issues reported on in this blog are unlikely to be found in public schools, where the parent actually pays their own money for the education of the child. The fact people are prepared to do this when they still have to pay for the "free" schools tells us a lot about the quality of the "free" schools.

Anonymous said...

So if they start senior school at 11 and it's called 'year 7' what happens if they start pre-school/kindergarten at 3? Is that 'year -1'?


dearieme said...

It took me years to penetrate the arcane English code of "upper sixth" and the like. And then the bastards changed it. Easier than improving the schools, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

Iam afraid that you cannot use the phrase 'Management' anymore as in Senior Management Team.

The PC brigade has got to it.

You now have to say 'Senior Leadership Team'

Gloria Stitz.

Anonymous said...

but surely 'leadership' implies, er, leaders. and isn't that, ahem, hierarchical? and surely that's not, doobydoobydo, PC?
they're idiots these people, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

There is the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.
The letter of the law is supposed to be a framework that ensures that the spirit is applied fairly. It is the spirit of the law that is respected.

The spirit of Political correctness started off as "let us be polite to one another and put some thought into what we are going to say before we say it". In other words what umpteen generations of parents had passed on to their offspring.

Unfortunately political correctness has been hijacked by people to whom you would not trust to sit the correct way on a toilet seat. These people are hell bent on ensuring that the letter of political correctness has its muddy jackboot firmly pressing down in the face of the spirit.