Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Academies Again

It would be interesting to hear from a teacher who worked in an Academy...

Are they as bad as the teachers' unions make out (and if so, why don't they try and do anything about them)


Dack said...

Not from personal experience I admit, but from those who are (or have been and are no longer, in all three cases)in academy schools... as they opt out of LEA control the agreement between the LEA and unions means naff all, so 'doing something about it' means sticking your individual head above the parapet - something few will do in schools as they are, especially with the new breed of new Labourspeak heads. I can't see new Toryspeak heads being any better. Who knows? Maybe I'm just a cynic.

Ben said...

Dack said: "as they opt out of LEA control the agreement between the LEA and unions means naff all"

Sounds great!

Anonymous said...

What agreement between the LEAs and the unions?

Dack said...

Ben - from personal experience (in this case)... as regards opt-out the assumption seems to be that manangement are good managers. I've worked under a few heads/managers etc who (in my view) couldn't cope with the pressure/passed stress down through the ranks/made unreasonable demands and generally treated frontliners like shite. One, I'm convinced, was mad as a hatter. The involvement/support of the unions and LEA (under pressure from the unions) in these cases made a difference. I don't know what these 'agreements' are tbh, anon, (probably related to duty of care) but I know they exist and it was reported on the news today that such agreements will (obviously) disappear.

I do know of one academy HoD (a good one) who returned to work after Easter to find that two of the best/most respected teachers in her dept had not had their contracts renewed because - she believes - they had complained about poor treatment of/unreasonable demands made on staff. She was not consulted.

Who knows - the grass may turn out to be greener... but I am concerned that privatisation (by whatever name) won't make my job any easier, and may give too much power to those who have no idea how best to wield it.

The cream doesn't often rise to the top when it comes to folk that work in education, seems to me.

Dr Rick said...

I did some of my training in a school that had recently become an academy. I don't think it was entirely coincidental that all but one of the (several) long-serving teachers I observed who struck me as good, hireable staff were gone by the end of the year. Of course, by the very nature of the things, academies may vary widely.

I don't think the money thing's so clear-cut, either - as I understand it (possibly wrongly as I've not run the numbers myself), just like the other public-private partnership stuff, you end up paying the private partner a lot more than it would have cost to build it yourself in the first place, over the lifetime of the project.

phatboy said...

Dack, I don't understand why teachers should be so cowardly.

When I was about 14, my school's headteacher and the governors wanted to become a grant maintained school.

Some of the teachers were against this. So much so that they took to visiting individual parents at home in the evenings to encourage them to speak out about the schools plans.

Result when they held a meeting of the PTA to discuss the plans, they were rejected by a massive majority. Nobody was sacked (there are laws to prevent such things), one of the teachers who came to my house was promoted to Head of French, so it didn't do her career any harm (there's also laws for that).

Anonymous said...

Academies do not recognise the unions at all. This means they do not have to follow the terms of the workload agreement, so they can extend working hours, administrative duties etc etc and teachers have no protection whatsoever.

They can also throw out the pay scales. The idea of this is to reward good teaching with higher salaries, but most academies have only used this freedom to reward and attract headteachers with massive salaries.

All BAD THINGS in my opinion.