Teacher strike action

As a retired outstanding headteacher of an outstanding secondary school I object to Mr Gove suggesting that I would support his ill advised policies. I believe his policies are retrograde, out of touch with the modern world and will prove disastrous for our nation’s children.

  • Mr Gove is reintroducing divisive policies, such as streaming, which will cause untold harm to our children. It will create a wave of disaffection that will impact on society just as it did in the past.
  • The change to a more knowledge based content in GCSEs is out of phase with the skill based needs of the modern world.
  • The shrinking of the curriculum with less emphasis on creativity will limit our children in their thinking. Our nations strength has been in its creativity, invention and innovation.
  • Higher pass marks will result in more ‘failures’. It will demotivate and exclude a large percentage of our youngsters.
  • The idea of Free Schools is flawed. All schools should be organised with the same rules and regulations. No school should have a religious dogma as its ethos or be able to employ unqualified staff. My children were taught by high calibre teachers in the State system and I want the same for my grandchildren’s’ generation.

Mr Gove’s ideas are a massive step back to the 1950s. No wonder 86% of teachers are opposed to him. In my opinion Mr Gove is the worst Minister for Education in recent history. I think he is systematically destroying the education system.

The government is suggesting that the laws on striking should be changed. Tory ministers want to stop teachers and other public sector workers protesting and making their views known. They want to ensure a higher level of voting to secure strike action which is hypocritical. Where is their mandate? What percentage of the electorate voted for them in order to introduce radical and divisive policies? Do they have a mandate? The answer is a resounding NO!!!
We should all have the right to protest against injustice.
Why is the Labour party so reluctant to stand up and support working people? The public sector is suffering and being treated unfairly. With wages frozen, worsening conditions of service and greatly reduced pensions there is a growing danger of losing quality staff.
I support 100% the strike action of the public sector. Public servants have been made scapegoats by this government. We need to protest long and loud.
I want children taught by well qualified, trained and motivated teachers. I want to be treated by highly skilled nurses and doctors when I get ill. I want to be saved by effective fire-fighters when my house catches fire or I am in a car crash. I want capable police catching anyone trying to attack or steal from me. I want good sanitary conditions, bins emptied and all the unpleasant jobs, like sewage disposal, carried out efficiently. I want the vulnerable cared for by caring social workers etc. etc. I do not want these valuable services to be taken for granted.
If people are treated badly they become demotivated. It is in society’s interest to cherish public servants. They are invaluable even for the rich.The public and private sectors need to support each other. Sadly an artificial rift has been created for political purposes. This should be resisted by all of society.
I would suggest that the government should listen to the justified concerns of its public sector.

Kick out Gove the Swot!! Bring in someone who cares!!

Education is more than feeding in knowledge to regurgitate for examinations. Education should be fun. Education should be a process to foster creativity and make people think. Education should be child centred. It should be a balance between skills and knowledge.

What we are moving towards in Britain is an assembly line to produce fodder for the economy. It is shameful. We will destroy the creativity we are famous for!

Kick out the tick box!!    Kick out Gove!!

Politicians should keep their noses out of it. They always mess things up. The last government did a lot of good things by putting money in, improving buildings, and getting the curriculum going. Then they spoilt it with too much bureaucracy and wanting to control everything in minutest detail. At least they cared about all the kids and not just the brightest ones!

Gove is an utter disaster. Seemingly, according to our illustrious education leader, you don’t need to have any qualifications or training to teach. All you need is a love of your subject. Well over the 36 years in the subject I’ve seen countless well meaning people fall flat on their face in front of a class of rabid teenagers. Teaching is a craft that has to be learnt over many years. No untrained fool should ever have access to young children. Training is essential. We do not need anybody, well meaning or otherwise, teaching our kids if they don’t know how to do it well.

We are long past the days when those who couldn’t taught. Teaching these days is an incredibly hard and taxing job. A teacher has to have a wealth of skills and knowledge. If you can’t manage to plan a lesson to cope with a range of learning styles, teaching experiences, skill development, ability levels as well as knowledge you shouldn’t be in a classroom.

If you cannot deploy a range of strategies to control and interest young people you shouldn’t be in a classroom. It is easier to fly a jumbo jet than teach. Planning a single lesson takes hours and you have to deliver 35 of them a week.

Nearly all the teachers I know put in over sixty hours a week – so much for short days and long holidays. It’s bloody hard work!

This is the narrow-minded idiot called Gove who introduced the fiasco of the baccalaureate – seemingly only a handful of subjects are of any importance. We have to squeeze the unimportant stuff like Music, Art, PE, History, Geography, Business Studies and a range of others into less and less time. Who does he think he is to make such judgements? Someone who’s run a school?

I tell you who he is – he’s the school swot who had his nose so far into a textbook that he couldn’t see everyone else was living a full life. He’s the school swot who was so academic he doesn’t understand terms like fun, enjoyment and creativity. He’s the school swot who is trying to play with the Bullingdon Bully Boys from the snobby Public School.

If only we could get someone sensible, normal and balanced in charge of our schools. Gove’s idea of education is to take us back to the good old days of the 1950s when the swots like him did oh so well in the exams by learning all the facts and spewing them out.

For heavens sake – we are in the 21st century! We don’t need facts – we can get them off the internet! We need skills, creativity, drive, motivation, self-esteem and confidence.

Seemingly, according to Gove we need harder exams and more failures. We need streaming to create failures of our children through self-fulfilment (I watched it happen – tell a child they are less bright and they will respond accordingly) so that half our students have no chance of getting on. We need more facts and knowledge and less skills. What the hell are we going to do with all our disaffected failures? It is the epitome of the unjust society of ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’. I for one don’t fancy meeting any of those cast off failures in a dark alley or breaking into my house. They will be unemployable and extremely angry.

Of course – everyone likes to believe their child will be in the half that receive the better education and not the half left to go to the wall. The richer ones think they can buy their child’s way in through coaching or private schools. Many parents over-estimate the academic ability of their children. What happens when your child doesn’t make it? What happens to the half who get the shitty end of the stick? In my school 83% of the students got the equivalent of a grammar school pass from an average intake and we did not have any failures! No failures at all! Every one of our students was cherished and valued regardless of their ability and nearly all of them were happy.

The same with the ‘Bring back the Grammar School’ brigade.

Everyone likes to believe that their sons and daughters would be the ones getting the grammar school education but in practice in some areas it was only 10% who received that. I don’t hear too many clambering for the return of the dire, violent and failing Secondary Moderns. They were a disaster and a matter of shame.

Then there is the imbecility of Free Schools. Huge money poured in for schools we do not need run by a bunch of nutcases who believe in insane theories like Creationism or want to force a variety of religions down children’s’ throats. I would not want my child education by a radical nutter without any qualifications who is dying to get their hands on our kids. It’s tantamount to child abuse!

Keep religion out of schools!! Protect our children from abuse!! Religious schools are child abuse!!

Gove seems to want to enforce a straitjacket on education. We all know wonderful inspiring teachers who were vital and awe inspiring. They were creative, eccentric and different. They had personality and cared for their students with passion. Now they have to stick doggedly to the curriculum, teach the perfect three part lesson and tick all the boxes. Our children will be on a boring assembly line passing through lesson after lesson produced to exactly the same formula. They’ll turn out either as big a bunch of zombies as Gove or be turned into disaffected delinquents.

My daughter worked in chemical plants in China with the high achievers from the so-called high flying Chinese education system. They had passed all their exams and memorised their facts. They were fine as long as everything followed a linear path as laid out in the text-book. As soon as something went wrong and they had to do a bit of lateral thinking they were lost. Their education system churned out people who could pass examinations but when it came to creative thinking they were hopeless.

Education in England has become a giant tick box for clones.

Let’s get rid of Gove and bring in someone who may be less intelligent but who isn’t a weird, mindless zombie.

England needs creativity!! That’s what we’re good at!! That’s what we’re renowned for!!

We need to value and care for all our children and not just the brightest!

Kick out Gove and bring in someone who cares a damn for our kids. We don’t need a robot for an education secretary – we need a human being!

10 thoughts on “Education

    1. WoW!! I’ve just read your review – gave me a warm glow. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and the second half lived up to the first.
      Thanks again for such a brilliant review.

Leave a Reply