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England to Scotland

Discussion in 'Scotland - prospective teachers' started by JoeKeenan1974, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. JoeKeenan1974

    JoeKeenan1974 New commenter

    It sounds like a few people, like me, have made this move. I have worked in two secondary schools in the last four years. I'm interested in what impressions of the system people have compared to working in England. I found it incredibly difficult to break into. It was almost like a closed shop to get a job, although GTCS registration was relatively straightforward. No one seems to be interested in recruiting from England where teaching here is more attractive compared to the regime down south.

    Strengths: qualifications that match pupil ability, unlike the recent GCSE changes, supportive colleagues, good CPD opportunities, better pay and employment terms, strong unions that are part of the policy process, funding tends to be better as are class sizes for the most part.

    Weaknesses: there seems to be no accountability at any level, no meaningful inspectorate (no reports for many schools), what is success based on exactly? Some really low expectations, behaviour is an issue in the schools I've been in, and safeguarding would be inadequate without doubt. Some massive blind spots. No evaluation of outcomes.

    Any thoughts?
  2. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    A lot of the old reports got removed when the new system came on last August. That's why you're not seeing a lot of reports. Remember that councils are still involved in schools in Scotland so at least some monitoring is at that level. I'm not sure that lacking English-style "accountability" is a weakness though. I would say it's a strength as the English system is so thoroughly flawed as to be counterproductive.
  3. JoeKeenan1974

    JoeKeenan1974 New commenter

    That's interesting, but it's odd that they're not publicly available. There seems to be a tendency to bury bad reports here. I feel that England and Scotland represent the two extremes. From what I've seen here I can only say that expectations appear to be lower, the kids are not held accountable for their learning or progress and the state of jotters tells a story. I'm not sure if that's systemic or if it's been particular to the schools I've worked in. Certainly none of the schools I've been in would pass an Ofsted inspection. But maybe that doesn't matter? Maybe I'm too entrenched in the system I have spent so long in? There's certainly a more collegiate atmosphere. The CPD opportunities are amazing.
  4. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    Standards and expectations are lower. No meaningful benchmarks. No focus on getting kids good qualifications.
  5. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Really? My experience is the opposite. In England it was all about league tables, using whatever qualifications tick the box to meet whatever the metric of the day is and sod the needs or interests of the students. In Scotland we bend over backwards to accommodate pupil choice and get them the best qualifications they can. Certainly like-for-like comparison of GCSE and National 5 favours the latter in terms of content and standards.
  6. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    I get that to a point and you're right about England's metrics, again to a point, but my comments are directed towards what's actually happening in classrooms rather than systemic issues. No inspection reports, no data on kids coming into S1 on prior attainment, poor behaviour that isn't addressed but ignored by LAs and school management teams, no LA support over attendance which is shocking.
  7. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Do you not get literacy and numeracy SNSA test data? We get it for all P7s coming up, and it's better than KS2 tests because it isn't gamed in the same way. I had far worse behaviour down south (got assaulted multiple times in my first school).
  8. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    Interesting. No, nothing like that has happened in any of the schools I've been in. I really like the system but there are a few things that just need to be seriously sharpened up and behaviour and expectations is the big one. I just don't know how representative my experiences are of the system though, but I have worked in a reasonable cross-section of schools. I feel that without a regular inspection system there's no focus to improve on this or other issues. Ofsted is the other extreme of course, but there has to be some middle way.

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