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Has anyone seen anything of the £80 million?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by binaryhex, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. 3monkey

    3monkey New commenter

    Thanks BH. I wrote to the Head yesterday on the advice of my Union, asking the Governors consider my voluntary redundancy at the end of August in return for four months salary. I’m no expert on redundancy procedures but apparently it will save a lot of time and money for the school. We are guessing that the school will keep one full time teacher and a part time one, with the department being made part of another (we have a good HoD so a shame) and get rid of two full time ones and two part time ones. As well, the school looks like it will get rid of one technician, stop offering all Computing courses next year except in ks3 and reduce the Computing labs from four to either one or maybe two.

    I’m okay with it really. I was going to apply abroad anyway next year but it just means moving plans forward. I spent the weekend joining international agencies and doing my first two applications so quite excited really. Others at my school with families and more settled are gutted. They are a bit angry over a number of things, especially the time it has taken to get (or rather not get) proper continued computer training in place on top of all the other jobs they have to do, to help them change from an ICT focussed department to a Computing one. We’ve all been in overdrive for the last few years trying to get the pupils to embrace the subject but it was always an impossible job. Our results were always not so good as it is so hard to teach all the topics in the time and to make algorithms fun! I think I’m glad to be out of Computing in UK schools now. It seems a right mess with no clear path to make it better.

    And totally agree - we have no faith in the organisations supposedly set up for supporting us real teachers. It seems full of Hoo Rah Henries who don’t have a clue what proper teachers face every day.

    Right, let’s check the jobs section of the Guardian now ....
     
  2. flishflash

    flishflash New commenter

    Hey monkey - I just happened to visit this forum after a year and saw me in you! Visit this:

    https://community.tes.com/threads/great-school-interview-but-no-ib-experience.770826/#post-12398077

    Your exact same situation happened to me only 14 months ago. I'm now in a brilliant school, in a brilliant job teaching Computer Science, loving every minute, in Singapore!!!!!!!!! I love this place, and it's also fantastic for weekends away. I spent last weekend in Bali with my Singaporean girlfriend. You work hard here but the rewards are great, the children fantastic and everyone pulls together. No politics dragging everyone down, well-resourced, courses I can actually teach, reasonable class sizes and hardly any of the never-ending stupid behaviour issues I had to do battle with daily, nearly every lesson in the UK. No gutless SLT, no pointless "training" on bullying for the ninth time.

    TBH, I can't imagine ever teaching in the UK again. My salary is £53K (thanks mainly to a pitiful pound exchange rate though) plus flat, medical and flights and for the first time in my life, I'm actually solvent!!! Don't worry about anything. You sound well-qualified. It will happen. Asia is the place to head for, and Singapore is THE best.
     
  3. flishflash

    flishflash New commenter

    It was interesting visiting the CAS forum recently as well. Are you a member? They have good resources for all courses there, but everything else is pants. I cannot believe they are still debating whether or not there is too many topics in the UK courses after years of doing the same thing over and over again. And I see that the Head of their working Party is still not actually a mainstream teacher, and most of the members of their working party are not teachers, either. What is the point of CAS?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2019
  4. 3monkey

    3monkey New commenter

    Thanks FF. That's really encouraging that it happened to you but worked out well. It sounds brilliant and Singapore is certainly my top preferred destination, with Hong Kong then Vietnam next, then China, Thailand and Malaysia. I went to Singapore two years ago for a holiday and absolutely loved it. For city animals, it's brilliant. Easter this year is cancelled for me, as I will be filling out application forms for jobs in Asia. I've decided that I'm really not interested in the Middle East and teaching Arabs, unless one of the absolute top international schools advertise with top pay. I also have to get the (very long) process finished for joining a few of the better known agencies for international jobs. Two of the others in our department have also volunteered for redundancy but we won't know until after Easter. It's all quite exciting, as I am pretty sure that whatever happens, I'll be working somewhere abroad in August :) :)

    I know what you mean about CAS. TBH, I stopped looking at the site last year. It used to have a lot of good discussions but suddenly stopped being relevant to teaching computing - too many non-teachers posting and too many esoteric threads of no point whatsoever to classroom teachers in my type of school. And no real training was ever offered in my part of the UK. I think it's more for the Home Counties toffs teachers who are in the club and wear the tie if I'm honest, or that's the impression I got.
     
  5. flishflash

    flishflash New commenter

    No worries mate. We hang on in there for far too long in the UK making excuses to ourself why we should stay where we are, working like a donkey all hours and all days, teaching ***** kids in ***** schools, doing impossible poorly thought out Computer courses and endlessly trying to show 'progress' to satisfy SLT. Unless they have been there, people don't see what the problem is. Computer Science in the UK is all but dead in many schools in the UK now so getting out early before the stampede is very very wise. Sometimes, we need a push to get our life back again and redundancy is one such push - it will turn out to be a blessing. I hope you get a job in a Singapore because it is fabulous but competition is pretty tough here. Once in though, there seems to be lots of opportunities. Loads of foreign teachers have been at my school for over a decade and I can see why. This is my life now I hope for many years to come, although it helps to have a really hot Singaporean girlfriend! There are plenty of other really great places to be in Asia so just go for anything half decent and see where it leads you. I had 8 or 9 Skype interviews before getting the job I have - you need the practice and get much better with each one. Treat each one as a formal interview, with a suit on etc, read tips online about Skype interviews, maybe put together a website together to showcase some of your programming, apps etc. I did that and it really helped the recruiters, I found out later when in Singapore. If you need any help or advice, just send a conversation.
     
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Another vote for Singapore - a brilliant place to work and still cheap by western standards apart from rent. I gather the potential for savings is enormous via tutoring rich kids though but if you can embrace the humidity and like city living, go for it. If I were in my 20s or 30s again, it's where I would aim for, but look at Hong Kong as well.
     
  7. ParakeetGreen

    ParakeetGreen New commenter

  8. 3monkey

    3monkey New commenter

    Busy busy busy. So, for what it's worth, the fog has cleared and my future and the school's computer science department has been decided. We nearly guessed it right.

    From September, the HoD kept their job but drops to being just a mainscale teacher and two part time teachers kept their jobs. Two full time teachers lost their jobs, including me. Our old department won't exist anymore, computing becoming part of the Maths faculty. From September, no A Level or GCSE computer courses will be offered, current offers have been cancelled and pupils have had to select different courses. Existing courses to be seen out. KS3 to continue 1 hour a week, and some kind of noddy skills thing in KS4, I think it's just a sink class to teach keyboard 'skills' to low achievers. One full time technician is going too, to be replaced with a term time only part time one. One computer suite to be closed completely and turned into a normal classroom, with another going the same way next year. The school is going to look at rolling out Chromebooks apparently - good luck with that one.

    Me? I'm off to Vietnam in August to teach Computer Science / ICT for my first overseas job. Very exciting times. I will get two months redundancy at the end of August and a top reference so the extra will help me get settled and on my way. Generally, I'm happy to be out in half a term but sad the school is another statistic in the decline of computer science.

    Where did the £80million go? I have no idea, but our school was offered no training by anyone. We were offered no support by anyone. No one visited us from this new organisation. No one mentored the SLT or helped them with a roadmap. No one helped us do anything, or change anything. And now it's too late for pupils at our school, and for two teachers. But it worked out really well for me personally so am very happy.
     
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I would love to hear the education ministers view on your experience.
     
  10. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Surely we already know the answer, Computer Science is a fast growing subject and more students than ever before are taking it. We don't care that a generation of students has no skills with ICT or that schools drop Computing, as long as someone does it that's all that matters
    Signed
    Numbnuts Guffaw (Minister for Edjumacation and whatnot for oiks and miscreants)
     
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Computer science is a fast growing subject???? Less than half of English schools offer gcse computer science.
     
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    It looks like the CAS love fest is continuing on their forum. Lovey lovey lick lick. This, despite not a single NCCE so-called hub opening. Despite all hub opening dates being pushed back. Despite no one being quite sure what an NCCE hub is actually going to do. Despite no teachers being employed yet by any of them to write materials for them or run them or teach in them. Despite courses in schools still being cancelled and teachers still losing their jobs. Lovey lovey lick lick. Is it time for the bonuses to be paid, yet?

    Incompetent is not the word.
     
  13. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Stats don't lie, or do they? Sounds like a task from some IT qualification, CS schools have gone down, number of pupils taking CS went up. The Department for Education will have us believe that the latter stat is most important, they do not care that Computing is being made niche, they have been pulled up time and again for misleading stats. We know the truth, we know it is not growing in the way it was supposed to. Five years after the new Curriculum came in to being and schools do not want to waste their meagre budgets on specialist teachers for computer science, or up training the old ICT teachers that need the support and help of the so called NCCE. My issue is that the better CPD offers are only for schools in the so called opportunity areas, many schools do not have the budget for the staff, or the CPD so it leaves them with only one option shut down or scale back. I have heard Head teachers talking about ECDL as a mickey mouse qualification, then in the same breath asking HoD's to find a better option than computer science for our students "something they can all pass".
    Something is going to give, and before long it will be computer science teachers.
     
  14. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Obviously stats don't lie. If one pupils takes Computer Science and the next year then two take it then numbers have grown - the indicator is how many take a digital qualification i.e. Computing and IT compared to five years ago I think that would show a very different story.
     
  15. ParakeetGreen

    ParakeetGreen New commenter

    I think there are some very thoughtful commentators in this section.

    I don't have a full picture of the situation so am mostly at a loss why the above approach is a "clear and present" outcome. I was speaking to a young friend of mine who is from abroad and studying computer science at university in this country. His thoughts were a case of serendipity as they chimed with what I already thought but am cautious to put forwards to quickly too soon and too forcefully without knowing much more background.

    His thoughts were simply that in this country CS is thought of as a mathematical/logical reduction mostly, whereas to him it is much more about the "tinkerer/hacker" ethos of breaking stuff up and finding out why it works, what makes it tick and putting together again. The attitude or spirit of enquiry is "playful", behind this.

    In effect, CS has 2 alternative outcomes:

    1. Be a practical application course for skill-learning and project experience building up a portfolio for the student with learning of CS concepts and principles alongside and this process be continual towards more effective outcomes for post-school leavers into the job market.
    2. Be a theoretical information heavy subject which suits the "form factor" of schools eg class size, resources, lesson time et that is logistically easy for exam boards and schools.

    As above, in the CS, it seems it's too theoretical so therefore it's excessively "academic". I guess from a policy pov, start here and then improve the subject and politically "working wonders!"

    The various BTEC/CTEC qualifications could be a lot more relevant to students who want to learn topics and applications and skills closer to getting into the IT industry especially IT Support / DevOps and branching out from there. They can already learn the basic certification topics and be much closer to industry and this is more relevant to a lot more students than CS theory (which as with say physics and mathematics will appeal to those higher aptitude/numerate students of which the population % is quite small for this sample at the top end). What is missing is constant PRACTICAL PRACTICE and COACHING as opposed to report writing for awards of grades... by examination/inspector bodies.
     

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