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Are schools redundant?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by needabreak, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Ok perhaps the thread title was a tad click bait like... but go easy on me folks, I have been mulling this weekend, mulling over the past few months, years and in fact decades... often with the threads on here in mind, thus I am wondering why we still teach secondary school (particularly KS4/5) in the manner we do when it seems some schools were functioning in different ways recently. Can we not take a look at the best and pick the best ways forward, particularly as schools are obviously in the main valued by society as a babysitting service... come exam factory, thus I propose a research programme into a full scale review of key stage 4/5 national provision to start with, along the lines of the following... *I'm definitely winging it here... so help me out if you will.

    1) Provision for all KS4/5 students with IT equipment and associated monitored safe and exclusive internet connections either at home if safe to do so or in a hub of some description that does not demand the same level of qualified supervision as KS's 1-3, thus instilling a sense of personal responsibility with less qualified teacher supervision of students who can learn independently while prioritising this as a skill lower down the school in preparation for KS4/5.

    2) Provide safe spaces for independent learning with less face to face contact with academic staff who could manage workload remotely on or offsite, again with access to appropriate IT (in many cases simply as secure laptop solely for work use).

    3) Scale down class sizes for the rest of the school as they utilise space now available onsite as KS4/5 are supervised differently... we now have less movement around school so it could work.

    4) Treat academic staff as academic staff for imparting knowledge making a clear division between pastoral roles and academic ones, since clearly we each have strengths in either/or and not everyone in both.

    5) Extra curricular activities across the board taught by specialist area teams dedicated to keeping children occupied out of hours in a constructive manner where they can learn new skills, offsite if need be. *Bring back Sure Start if need be and the concept of wrap around care can truly be seen for what it is, parenting by schools... thus taking the parenting burden off the actual birth parents who it appears were not terrible well equipped to cope without school child care provision (I understand this it isn't a criticism, but meant to help).

    6) Take some of the burden off everyone by removing unnecessary meetings and the emails meant to replace them, it's often simply not worth the time.

    We try to be all things to all people and it is clearly not working so surely to goodness someone somewhere is looking how to improve things holistically. While we are at it perhaps it's about time we look at loosening the ropes on KS1-3 so that teachers have the time and freedom to make learning fun again and allow children to be children before they get labelled as successes or failures through the testing and exam system.

    While we are at it we might consider the need to treat each other as professionals, with dignity and respect as we so often expect our pupils to behave towards us and each other. Surely it is time, isn't it, or have these unprecedented times taught us nothing?

    Anything we should add, what have I missed?

    *Do I need to wake up now?
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Having done online lessons during lockdown, I have begun to wonder if government, looking to save money on buildings, might start to push for more teaching online. So a teacher would be assigned 60 pupils who will engage with a session. Attendance monitored via electronic registration. Maybe only be in a school building for one day a week.

    Not advocating for it... but it'd be cheaper than the present analogue system.
    agathamorse and needabreak like this.
  3. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    That is pretty extreme, but we have seen extremes during lockdown, I guess associated with that should parents require additional childcare they might be asked to pay for it, like you I'm not advocating it but just taking your thoughts a step further.

    Edit - we have to admit bricks and mortar are costly whichever way we look at it and if we have maintained them so long and are still not top of the ed stats internationally I expect someone somewhere will be looking at value for money.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    If Covid has shown us anything, it is that schools are essential to keep children out of their homes and off the streets during the school day, regardless of the quality of education which is or can be offered.

    Online education could be fantastic, but lots of parents wouldn't agree.
  5. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Existing parents wouldn't but over time people would build it into their life plans so future parents would be better prepared... who knows it may place greater value on more mature people who are qualified to support them in their pastoral/parenting role.

    Not bringing older teachers back into the classroom as such but ensuring they have a role in childcare/educational supervision on a bubble type basis... but they would require remuneration of some description by the birth parent, there could be a "tax credit" type support system for those in lower income jobs to ensure the childcare is accessible. I am not suggesting it would be cheaper but it may be more effective than large scale babysitting in school
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Wouldn't millions of younger pupils need someone at home to supervise them?
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    This has been their direction of travel for a few years now.

    Scripted lessons and approved resources etc.
    emerald52, agathamorse and nizebaby like this.
  8. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I'm not convinced that scripted lessons etc is a good idea, what do you think?
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    There is absolutely nothing worse than delivering a lesson someone else prepared.
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    And yet this is the norm now in my experience [powerpoints with extensive teacher notes and handouts] to cover for non-specialists.

    Go off the script ... then you get warnings.

    Creativity is now frowned upon in lesson planning [in my experience obvs.]
    emerald52, agathamorse and nizebaby like this.
  11. costermonger

    costermonger Occasional commenter

    Scripted lessons are not the work of the devil. They are much worse, they are the work of the ignorant bureaucrats that now infest our formerly public services.
    I'm so glad I am out of it.
  12. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Damn right older teachers would require remuneration of some description!
    Alice K, agathamorse and needabreak like this.
  13. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    The MATS will be all over this.
    lanokia, sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  14. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    It deskills the profession. There will be no need for qualified staff as anyone with basic training can supervise the lesson.
    nizebaby and lanokia like this.
  15. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Like I've said before; after a decade of taxpayer funded, government directed and government inspected education half the kids at my college still arrive needing remedial maths and English.
    We're not doing these kids any favours by carrying on with business as usual. Because business as usual ain't working.
  16. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Under what regime? Distance learning?
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed, unless there was a childcare hub with other wrap around activities for this purpose staffed by suitably experienced and qualified pastoral staff.
  18. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    If you really are @Eureka
  19. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I think that you are destroying the life chances of many youngsters. I think that you are deskilling many skilled people and driving them to lower standards of life as a consequence.
  20. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Beat me to it.

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