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Are you feeling optimistic about the future of education?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter


    Geoff Barton thinks the future of education is looking more hopeful, he writes:

    I sense a change of mood.

    'We realise we’ve flogged accountability to death'

    For a start, the official response to the funding crisis has become less robotically dismissive. We saw that at the weekend with the education secretary’s announcement of an additional £350 million to support children with special educational needs. It isn’t enough money, of course, but it is a welcome recognition of the reality in the run-up to next year’s spending review.

    It’s the same with accountability. Ofsted’s determination to recalibrate inspection, and help schools and colleges to reclaim deeper curriculum leadership, shows a commitment to improving education in a genuine, long-term way rather than through gimmicky quick fixes.

    I also sense from the officials I meet that the current, oppressive accountability regime – the labyrinthine and ever-changing measures used to quantify schools – have run their course. Indeed, a government adviser said to me last week: “We now realise that we’ve flogged accountability to death. It can no longer drive improvement.”

    I sense an appetite for a fledgling idea that the Association of School and College Leaders' policy team is developing. We refer to it as "inclusive accountability". Our starting point is this: what would it look like if schools and colleges were judged on what they did for the children on the margins, and how they ensured that those with the fewest opportunities had access to the same ones as the privileged?

    No one I’ve spoken to about inclusive accountability has said anything other than “can we be part of it?” It may just be a sign that the age of crushing, debilitating accountability, with its perverse incentives, is coming to an end.

    Understated optimism

    Throughout the year I’ve met school and college leaders who exemplify what Muhammad Ali said about public life: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

    In schools and colleges, I meet great public servants. Yes, I still see far too many who are weary and anxious, worried for their pupils, their staff and their own futures. But they also know that communities look to them, quietly appreciating someone who works hard to give their city, town or village the kind of educational institution it deserves at a time when so many other public services have withered away.

    As always, these leaders step up to play their part, publicly confident, even when privately panic-stricken. And this happens across the system in all types of school and college.

    In other words, this year I’ve seen people who won’t settle for the world as it is, but who quietly and determinedly, and usually without much recognition, are working for the world as it should be. They exemplify an understated optimism that in the current political climate means a lot. They show leadership. And for all of that, they deserve our heartfelt thanks.

    How does the future look to you?
    stonerose and install like this.
  2. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Seriously rose tinted glasses. Sounds like ASCL are admitting they have gone too far with accountability by talking about inclusive accountability. This just tells me that they have made mistakes and have now created a crisis which requires major back pedalling. The public do not give a toss about teachers being public servants and the government care even less so please no patronising.
  3. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    So apparent that many say how much holiday we have and PPA time that’s offered, not forgetting an ‘over generous’ salary. I’d say idiotic mistakes made by tons of political parties have now backlashed.
    stonerose, install and Shedman like this.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    Oh dear....

    He fails to see that teaching is a dead end job. Low pay in real terms per hr,.no Overtime pay, no Bonus pay and little respect in places.

    And even Universities have massively upped their unconditional offers massively since student fees came in. All undermining tge exam process and grades anyway. Education is failing at many levels :rolleyes:
  5. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    'Inclusive accountability' sounds even worse than ordinary accountability. We are already under huge pressure if a pupil premium student fails to achieve their target grade despite the fact that a) we teachers generally don't have any extra money to spend on resources for those students and b) the student is often beset by issues which the classroom teacher would struggle to resolve such as poor attendance, or an unsupportive, chaotic family. If we are only to be judged on these measures I would not see that as an improvement.
  6. DrResource

    DrResource New commenter

    I think teachers should be more anxious about the many millions being invested by private equity firms into online, interactive learning platforms. Teachers will be low paid "learning facilitators" whilst private investors make a mint - 20 yrs from now Teachers will be v.rare in their current form.
    JohnJCazorla, aypi, Sir_Henry and 4 others like this.
  7. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Love the name...?!
    Shedman and install like this.
  8. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    You forgot to mention that many teachers won't be allowed to build up a decent pension, to make up for the poorer pay and that at the wrong time of their life they will likely be looking for a WELL PAID job in an age biased job market, for which they may be ill equipped.
  9. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    My child has SEN. I have no optimism where it comes to the future and hope of their needs being met with the current financial climate in education. Survival to get to the end as unscathed and successful as possible is about the limit.
    yodaami2, Shedman and phlogiston like this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It would be nice to think that things were about to change. Inclusive accountability sounds great, but will probably be paid lip service by the high flying and socially exclusive schools.
    Ambitious and mobile parents will still choose schools that deliver good results and move youngsters on to the right places in the next phase. Parents with less choice may find that the previously castigated bog standard school is given faint "inclusive" praise by an OFSTED that still wants to leave toothmarks all over the place.
    However, the financial crisis looks set to run for the forseeable future, the teachers' pay scale is well and truly smashed and big business is looking at alternative models. I suspect that the high profile independent schools will make little use of online learning platforms other than for independent work. "Inclusive accountabilty" whatever that means won't solve workload issues or the problems of macho (or micro) management or the financial problems that make it difficult for school managements to allow pay progression.
    Good job that I'm at the right end of my career and (mostly) out of mainstream.
    Shedman and install like this.
  11. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    I am feeling really optimistic about the future of the English State Education System.
    There will be pots of gold and fat profits to be made, so fill your boots and vote Conservative for strong and stable leadership and a better, brighter, more profitable future.
    Shedman, eljefeb90, blazer and 3 others like this.
  12. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    We are not held in the esteem that we used to be. We are dictated to and the unions don't work together to sort this.

    Without education where would the country be?
    Catgirl1964 and digoryvenn like this.
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    Barton likes to be everyone's friend.

    "deeper curriculum leadership"

    Beware anyone who says that with a straight face.
    JohnJCazorla and phlogiston like this.
  14. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I missed that line. You're right.
  15. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    Is it just me or do pupils from underprivileged backgrounds already have the same access to a high quality education? It's not as if teachers turn kids away and treat them worse than 'rich' kids (who are not necessarily privileged or from stable families). As has been said already, teachers are unable to counter things like chaotic home life so inspecting us on this basis would be next level idiocy.
    Shedman and yodaami2 like this.
  16. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    It seems to me to be shifting accountability towards ensuring targets are met by SEN, Pupil Premium and under achieving students. Therefore focus may become more on what steps are being taken to address this, such as use of differentiation and teachers spending more lesson time with these students while TAs can spend time with the rest of the class. Perhaps it's just a shift in focus to attempt to 'fix a broken area'.
    yodaami2 likes this.
  17. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    What cat girl said. Yes they have the same opportunities but in fact it means giving them more to counteract the negative stuff. And indeed we are doing this already with Pupil Premium policies. So the accountability for this has always been there! Smacks of something written by someone who doesn't know what goes on in schools.
  18. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Edit. Well he should know what goes on re Pupil Premium having looked at his CV. So perhaps I'm misinterpreting what he means to say?
  19. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    until our MPs of all colours agree an approach and stick to it for 20 years, I have absolutely no positivity toward the future of state education. In fact, closing all the schools and moving towards personalised learning from home might be the only long term solution. It would certainly move the onus onto the pupil and their family while at the same time creating a lot of land for housing, removing the cost of running decaying buildings, reduce the number of commuters on the roads at rush hour. In addition it would remove bullying of both pupils and adults.

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