Friday, February 09, 2007


As an enthusiastic critic of the Teaching Unions, let me be the first to praise the NASUWT for its efforts at the fairly awful Ridings School in Halifax.

Believe it or not, 71% of their members at the school have decided to actually try and do something about the behaviour of some of the horrors that go there. I hope their efforts are rewarded.


Anonymous said...

If they manage to think of something that works - apart from the previous, only temporarily successful tactic of offloading staff and pupils to another school - I'm sure that schools in similar difficulties all round the country will be eager to learn from them.

However, I was informed via the press that the last attempt to "turn the school around" had been successful. If the rotatory miracle is performed again, will that turn it back to where it was before? I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in Australia for a number of years. the comparison between Australian state teacher's unions and those in the UK is Chalk and Chees (no pun Frank.

The Australian Unions are large, organised and enjoy the membership of the vast majority of teachers.

It sometimes doesn't matter, for instance that a violent, dangerous and thoroughly obnoxious student is given a second chance by the system, the unions simply direct their members not to offer instruction to that child. And when the vast majority of Principals are also members, it really gets the state government's attention. And if push comes to shove, a state wide strike is always on the cards.

It's good to see a union in the UK trying to do something, but the key is numbers. The sooner there is only one (or perhaps two) unions, the sooner the LEAs, and the government can be made to listen to sense. Politicians understand and repect power and right now, teachers in the UK have little.

Anonymous said...


I was reading an entry at nhsblogdoc about doctors going private for their own healthcare. I'd be interested to know if there are any surveys on how many teachers would send their own kids private (if they could afford it)?



Anonymous said...

Without hesitation. My kids were all of well above average intelligence and all that the local comp did for them was destroy any vestige of work ethic they had, make them despise their own achievement, encourage their natural laziness and turn them into chav-hating snobs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily of the Field
"rotatory miracle" wonderful! Excuse me if I use it.

Anonymous said...

Three of my four children went to comprehensives and all have jobs that they are happy in but are not terribly well paid. One of them has a local university (it was a polytechnic when I went there 20 years ago) Arts degree.
My other child went to a selective girls school and has a BA from Liverpool and an MSc from Oxford. She earns more than any two of the others combined despite choosing to work for charities in the public sector.
You can't beat small classes and specialist instruction, but who can afford it on a primary teachers wages?

Jennytc said...

Weren't they supposed to have sorted out The Ridings several years ago? Like lilyofthefield, I am confused.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'm not having a cheap shot at the Ridings, which even some supply agencies won't send teachers to (especially since I have taught for many years at their Leeds equivalent), but "Investors In People, ECDL test centre, Arts Council England, Sport England and New Opportu ities Fund"? Even their Welcome greeting doesn't sound much like Eton College's ("The Ridings School is a vibrant learning community with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures with aspirations typical of many young people in the country today......The curriculum is changing to reflect both the interests of our young people and to offer appropriate qualifications for both academic and skills based careers. In future months we shall be developing additional vocational courses in Hairdressing; Health & Beauty; Bricklaying; Painting & Decorating...."

.....As 42% of our students are on the Special Needs Register we have worked hard to develop excellent Learning Support provision.

...The LEA is aware of the need to finance the school outside the constraints of formula funding "

Horses for courses. If anyone can think of a sensible, practicable way in which a school that serves that particular community can improve its set of Ofsted 4s, I will assume they are Tinkerbell brandishing a magic wand with which to effect a total personality change over the entire cohort of pupils and their families.