Saturday, February 28, 2009

Excelling Against The Odds

Ofsted (who are the body in charge of School Inspections), have produced a report about how schools with a crummy intake can nevertheless do well. Have a quick look at it here

It is compulsory for all these reports to descend into gibberish at some stage and this one doesn't waste any time. I love the phrase "a disciplined focus on being learning communities"

The gist of the report is blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain. ie schools with discipline do better than those without.

The best bit is the list of characteristics of good schools. One of them is 'Highly inclusive' but in the previous paragraph we learnt that one Head suspended 300 kids in a week! How on Earth he got that past the School Governors or the Local Education Authority is not explained.

Anyway my feeling is this:

If we know that discipline in schools is central to success, why doesn't the Government do anything at all to encourage it? Some State Schools have very successful discipline policies which work, but many have useless ones that don't. Thousands of schools up and down the Land are making the same mistakes over and over again, when we could easily have one simple, clear and consistent set of rules to be adhered to by every pupil in Britain.

Oh hang on, I wrote a book about this.


Anonymous said...

I'm all in favour of excluding children from mainstream schools - because I get three SEN points for dealing with the little t*****s that all you lazy normal teachers don't want to bother with.

I have three classroom assistants, a limit of 8 children per class and I don't have to do any marking!

Keep fighting the fight, Chalky. I'm laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

What an unpleasant post.

You show contempt for pupils with learning/behavioural difficulties so substantial that they can't be accommodated in mainstream, despite the fact that you earn a good living by them.

You show contempt for mainstream teachers (the clue's in the name) who seldom have the training or resources to help children with SEN learn more effectively within a mainstream results-led environment.

You ignore the fact that despite their best efforts to instil discipline, mainstream teachers are hamstrung by no-exclusions policies, weak management and ineffectual, inconsistent, toothless sanctions.

You gloat at your small class size and assistants and yet call mainstream teachers "lazy" because they cannot do the same with 32 kids of all abilities and usually no support at all. You gloat at your inflated salary and lighter workload.

I'm not surprised you chose to sign yourself "Anonymous".

Anonymous said...

Ooh - you are cross, aren't you?

Actually, I worked in mainstream for fifteen years, and the attitude there is disgusting. SEN is regarded as little more than a distraction from the single-minded pursuit of Threshold Payments, promotions and the natural aversion of teachers to hard work.

Mainstream teachers and special needs just don't mix. It's not that they don't have the training, but that they don't want it because it isn't fun, or glamourous, or rewarding to deal with the smelly, lice-ridden, unattractive kids who will never pass an exam.

Any teacher who blames someone else for their own failings deserves the sack, vilification and a life of abject misery.

Any teacher who blames someone else for letting down their own students doesn't deserve the same mercy.

You are a professional: you have powers and professional responsibilities. Stop making excuses, you pathetic waste of skin.

If you want to get rid of students because they don't fit in with your own personal professional goals, then you don't deserve to call yourself a teacher.

Special school teachers get paid more because we work harder, and put up with the stuff the rest of the teachers just can't be arsed to deal with.

If you think otherwise, there are plenty of vacancies in SEN schools. If you think it is me who has the problem, apply and show me what I am doing wrong.

But I reckon that with your attitude, you wouldn't last a week.

Malthebof said...

Discipline is the word that the education establishment will not use. Nothing can be achieved without discipline, this is the main reason parents will choose private schools over the public ones. I worked in secondary education (IT Tech), and I have seen whole lessons wasted because of the indiscipline of one or two pupils, teachers have no sanctions at all and are treated with contempt by a lot of pupils. If I were in charge education would be a priviledge not a right, go to Africa and see how scholls are run.