Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ten Grand

The government has come up with the idea of offering teachers £10 000 if they will accept a three year sentence in Britain's worst Hellholes (sorry; challenging schools). Only £5000 comes from the Government apparently; the other half comes from the school's budget, so in my old school that will soon run out.

I've come up with the idea of improving these awful schools by cracking down hard on the problem kids and their parents, so that the decent ones can actually learn something. I won't hold my breath though. Brown and Co. would much rather use our money to cover up a problem than actually fix it.

Mind you, I suppose the advertisement of a ten grand bung next to a job offer, will be a bit like a lighthouse- warning new teachers of places they should steer well clear of.

ps Somebody recently sent some good advice, urging me to explain what I was talking about at the start of a post so that you don't immediately have to click on a link to another article. Thanks for that; I think it makes good sense, so I'll try and follow it.

26 comments:

seriousteacher said...

I would like to know what these teachers would do that is any different from the thousands of teachers up and down the country who are excellent teachers but are struggling against weak managements who won't support them in disciplining the children.

Rich said...

I think they should have used a picture of a real teacher.

seriousteacher said...

And in a real classroom with a whiteboard - nobody ever learnt anything with boring old blackboards.

Fiz said...

Speak for yourelf, seriousteacher - a blackboard is a method of teaching and it was all our staff had and did they ever get results! I respected all of them, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted that my suggestion was taken in good spirit, and even more so that it has been adopted.

You've given me a big grin for the day :-)

Anonymous said...

"4 out of 10 new teachers leave the profession within two years." When will these idiots in government learn that giving us more money is not the answer? The answer to keeping more teachers, is to take away the pressure teachers are under from having to make sure virtually every child passes their G.C.S.Es, whether that child has done the work or not.

The answer is to stop schools from being nothing more than exam factories and to give teachers their professional autonomy back, scrap the national curriculum and give teachers the freedom to teach what they want. Also to scrap league tables and give teachers the powers to punish bad behaviour and put young people back in their place. That is the answer to improving schools, not just to pay us more!

seriousteacher said...

Fiz - I was being ironic. There was nothing wrong with blackboards and I resent the amount of money our school has wasted on whiteboards! It's all about 'looking good' and having the 'right equipment' in our school. The bottom line is you don't actually need whiteboards to teach anything.

Anonymous said...

I think this demonstrates the fundamental error in governmental thinking. They assume that money is the only thing that people want from a job.

A little respect, security that you aren't going to get punched, and some satisfaction that you are imparting knowledge have value as well. Hand over some help with those items and I suspect that they will find they can keep their money. What is more, they will get better educated children.

Lilyofthefield said...

Thud thud thud thud. That's me banging my head on the wall. Is anyone else DEEPLY HACKED OFF at the implication that "good" teachers are only found in "good" schools? And that therefore crap schools must be full of crap teachers? The refusal to acknowledge that the most important variable in a school is not the teachers, it's the kids and their families?

Most of the teachers I've known in successful (i.e. government definition of successful) schools wouldn't last till first break in a sink comp. And yet those kids take more out the staff in terms of blood, sweat and tears than anyone suffering the terrible strain of making sure that little Piers gets the A*s his pushy ambitious bragging parents are so certain he's capable of.

By all means pay teachers in hellholes more - when I started teaching you got a Social Priority Allowance (about £2K by today's standards, I suppose) in recognition of getting your hands dirty. But don't slap the present incumbents in the face with it.

Anonymous said...

I realize that the blackboard vs. whiteboard debate is really petty compared to the much larger issues we could be discussing, but I have to say I friggin hate blackboards! If I had to use a blackboard instead of a whiteboard, I'd quit! Eeeeew chalk dust everywhere or clean, crisp and in color? Why would you use anything else?

seriousteacher said...

This whole issue smacks of desperation and a government trying to look as if they're DOING something to improve education. Of course it's really about denigrating teachers by saying that only a few deserve recognition for what they do - but the rest of us are hopeless.

With regard to the blackboard/ whiteboard issue - it started off with a throwaway comment by me that was completely misinterpreted by Fiz. If it is so petty, then why bother commenting?

Lilyofthefield said...

serious teacher, it's about this government and every other one in recent years absolutely refusing to acknowledge that parenting plays any part at all in behaviour and/or success at school.

The second they admit it, they point the finger of blame at the voters for their part in their children's vile behaviour, crummy academic performance and limited future choices.

GM said...

£10,000??? Is that it?? They're not setting their sights very high are they? Anyway, as has already been mentioned in these comments, do they really need to patronise us so much that they convince themselves we're all in it for the money?!

Having read, laughed and wept over the "labels, glue and blood pressure" opening of your book, Frank, I am beginning to feel almost guilty at teaching in a school where students want to learn. Sorry, everyone else. I know I've sold out!

The TEFL Tradesman said...

GM - "I am beginning to feel almost guilty at teaching in a school where students want to learn."

Where on Earth are you teaching? Is it in the UK!

Actually, this ten grand 'golden handcuffs' lark reeks of short term measures, and trying to fix the problem by addressing the symptoms. No chance! The money will be wasted, pocketed by the (un)lucky teachers, while the situation in the schools gets worse.

Lilyofthefield said...

£10K over three years is only £3.3333K a year really. Will it be taxed?

Am I right in supposing the Golden Hello will be withdrawn in places offering this glittering prize? Either/Or?

Bridge said...

Why don't they give parents a ten grand incentive to raise their kids to be decent human beings instead of shiftless thugs?

Lilyofthefield said...

They already give them much more than that in benefits and if anything it makes them worse.

Always makes me laugh when they put a child poverty scare item on the news. It's always followed by a demand from The Society Of Bleeding Hearts for heftier handouts to the terminally crap, as though they'd spend it on macrobiotic organic food and Improving Books.

Anonymous said...

Nevermind black or white boards, surely you all have interactive boards with projectors?

We had those at my old college. Well, we did, until someone walked in, unscrewed the projectors from the ceiling and walked out with them.

seriousteacher said...

I agree with you Lily that the government are probably treading carefully so as not to offend these parents and keep a cynical eye on voting figures. But teachers are voters too, and so are the hoards of disaffected parents whose children might actually want to learn something at school but can't because lessons are disrupted. I agree with you about responsibility too, but don't you think that if teachers had more power to control behaviour and were consistently supported by their headteachers this would improve the situation?

Lilyofthefield said...

Yes indeed. But what powers could we be given? Anything involving real fear or pain is out, and expecting wet-arsed parents to deprive their children of internet/Playstation access at our behest is doomed to failure.

SMT and classroom teachers no longer sing from the same hymnsheet. The tick-boxes are not shared. It is almost a sackable offence for a senior manager to admit that any sort of problem exists. It's a poor starting point for getting anything sorted out.

Anonymous said...

What a load of bol....ks! Yet another ill thought out answer to a problem that has a glaringly simple answer!

In the same way that 'Care in the community' doesn't work neither does the concept of 'inclusion'.

When will governments of any political persuasion stop throwing good money around employing these 'numpties' and ask REAL teachers what will and will not work!

Answer simple...turn the clock back to when Thatcher started to unpick a system that, although not perfect, was a damn site better than what have today!

Spend the cash opening PRU units and special schools for the pupils who disrupt, on a daily basis, the education of the vast majority. These can be staffed by well trained and dedicated teachers who should not be confined by the constraints of 'league tables' or a curriculum that doesn't fit anyone of their pupils. This then allows mainstream pupils and teachers to get on with the task in hand without the constant battle that pervades virtually all of the educational establishments in this country to some extent or other!

I challenge any 'think tank' buffoon, 'government minister',or education specialist to argue against this proposal! I am convinced that this would guarantee both improved results and more enjoyable education for all concerned. It may also have the desired effect that the government could save money by OFSTED needing to visit schools on a less frequent basis (God knows how much that costs on an annual basis alone!!) and totally disillusioned and, by their own criteria, 'good' teachers, with decades of experience seeking as earlier a retirement as financially possible.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.56, absolutely spot on! I think you've just hit the nail on the head and I totally agree with everything you say. It is high time we realised that inclusion does not work and our one size fits all is a sham. It's no good trying to make this system work by tinkering at the edges, we need to totally scrap it and start over.

We also need to realise that not everyone gets to be a doctor or a lawyer and that not everyone in life can or will have the same chances, some people will have to do the lower level jobs, can't do owt about that. I think they should reintroduce the tripart system (only this time make it fairer.) Also make it so that students can move from one tier to another if they show the aptitude for it. Our one size fits all education system is a complete joke!

Lilyofthefield said...

You can't make it fairer. "Parity of esteem" was a loser from the start. The type of educational achievement that has the highest status and leads to the most repsected and lucrative jobs os the academic "Grammar" kind. Everyone knows what you mean when you say "clever" and they don't mean good at fixing a blocked drain.

Call a spade a spade and give "clever" children the opportunity of an academic education suited to their temperament and ability. We waste so much talent. The system has been distorted to give those with no interest or ability the best shot at a kind of education that was never within their means, and their moderate achievements - a few D-G GCSEs and a meaningless, usually only partially-completed sixth-form experience - fit them no better for working life than an apprenticeship at would have. Not that I see why employers should be required to take on an idle, spoilt, resentful brat who has seen the previous two generations of his family do just fine with no job at all, much less an ungenerously paid one for which you might have to rise at - gasp - 6 a.m.

I was made to take down the www.despair.com poster depicting a bag of McFries and the caption "Not everyone gets to be an astronaut". Says it all.

jerym said...

Apparently there have been 424,802 enquiries in the last two and a half months from people wanting to become teachers possibly due to the economic cock up.That sounds like 424,802 people hav`nt yet discovered your web site Frank.

Lilyofthefield said...

So, all entering teaching for the sincerest of reasons. Silly sods. Them and the idiots who want to pay them to do the training and then jigger off after four years.

Still, perhaps some of them will turn out to be worth the £10K golden hello and stay.

seriousteacher said...

Lily I salute you...the most subversive thing I've ever done is call the head teacher 'head MASTER' to his face in front of the children - it's fun to watch him wince every time. He's already told me it might scare the kids because it sounds too 'authoritarian'. I just wondered if you had your tongue in your cheek when you put that one up?!