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Head of Ofsted has not taught...

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Grandsire, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Apparently Amanda Spielman's admitted she's never actually been a teacher.

    Well, there's a surprise.

    With people like Spielman in charge, Ofsted are never going to address issues of workload, teacher recruitment and retention, or that their costs are simply adding to the funding crisis schools currently face. Why would they? It's just noise to them, surely.


    Honestly, is it too much to ask that the people making the decisions about education in this country actually have some chalkface experience?!
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    I blame some hts who allowed the art of teaching to be seen as: below them; not worthy of their time; and opened the door to none teachers being allowed to lead schools.

    If only more heads got together and summed up the courage to work as one powerful and professional body fully supportive of teachers and teaching.
    Sally006, agathamorse and stonerose like this.
  3. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I heard the interview. I wasn't impressed with her at all.
    agathamorse and install like this.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I agree with your general points but it isn't really news that Spielman has never been a teacher. It was discussed at length here and in the media when she was appointed, she was even questioned about it by the the Parliamentary Education Committee who scrutinised her appointment.
    chelsea2, agathamorse and install like this.
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    The last thing the chief inspector of OFSTED should be is an ex-teacher. That job requires a mindless civil servant who does what they are told.

    My stomach heaves at the thought of the new OFSTED powers which bojo has mentioned.
  6. WB

    WB Lead commenter

    All the previous heads had taught.

    Were they any good?

    It felt like a kick in teeth to the profession in 2017 when she was appointed but which of the previous ones were any better?
    agathamorse, install and bessiesmith2 like this.
  7. WB

    WB Lead commenter

    Just listened to the interview

    I agree with her.

    In part high workload is the down to individual school ( SLTs) and individual teachers.

    It seems nothing will stop some of my younger, promotion hungry, commitment free colleagues from willingly throwing away their right to a work-life balance.
    tenpast7 and Piscean1 like this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Hts and slt could stop it imho by encouraging a work-life balance and not putting stress and pressure on teachers.

    As for younger staff I find they are more clued up in that they get out and leave teaching asap. Many I have encountered start to rightly resent paying £39,000 to be qualified - only to earn far less. They see their mates in proper careers getting bonus payments, Overtime pay and higher pay scales.
  9. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Is somebody who was not a teacher better than one who was not a particularly good one?
    It was the recollection of a number of students that Chris Woodhead was not a particularly good teacher - possibly quantifies his statement about incompetant teachers, having been one himself.
  10. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    OFSTED could stop it by giving RI to one school for having ridiculous marking policies which make a decent work/life balance impossible.

    I am glad that spielman recognises that slt are to blame. So why not give the slt RI?
    Piscean1, install and agathamorse like this.
  11. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    "So why not give the slt RI?"

    Absolutely. They are paid enough so they should be responsible personally. Too many SLT are next to useless, do not have any skills in managing others and have no appreciation of how their poor decisions and nonstop task inventions overload teachers and makes it impossible to do their jobs properly.
    tenpast7, Piscean1 and agathamorse like this.
  12. teselectronic

    teselectronic Occasional commenter

    Quite a surprise to me!
    I am a fellow of IOM3 and to be awarded a fellowship, you not only have to have the academic qualification, you have to have the technical competence and application, should this not be the case in Teaching?
    I have worked in Education since 1988, as a Lecturer, Teacher and HOF.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    Well, some of your heads (coughs), Academy leaders have never taught and couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag. Many rising 'stars' have only taught for two years.
    Piscean1, stonerose and agathamorse like this.
  14. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    I was quite surprised as I have looked at applying to be an OFSTED Inspector and you have to be senior management.
  15. HazyTechNerd

    HazyTechNerd New commenter

    From experience it seems to me that the type of HT/SLT you get is largely dependent on the experience they had going through the teaching ranks. An HT that went into teaching straight from university, that was expected to work long hours with no real work/life balance and ridiculous marking policies will most likely expect the same from their teachers. Management requires a different skill set to teaching and it’s not enough to be an outstanding teaching when it comes to choosing SLT. Maybe I’m being naive but perhaps someone with a different perspective leading the inspectors will actually bring about a good change where work/life balance and mental health are taken far more seriously
    drek likes this.
  16. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    My school is awful for this right now. I'm dreading returning from maternity leave. There's one young colleague making everyone's lives harder because she's prepared to do anything asked of her by SLT with nothing in return.

    She has been publicly praised for long hours and other staff are told this is the sort of commitment it would be nice to see from everyone. Lovely. But the rest of us have children to pick up. And lives to live. And we have to make our own dinner and wash our own clothes as we don't live at home. Dreading going back.

    SLTs should be held accountable for awful planning and marking policies. If workload is unmanageable, it's evidence of poor leadership and management. That said, as far as SLT are concerned, it's not the workload that's unmanageable, it's staff who 'lack commitment' who are the problem.

    None of our SLT are parents. Most are single. That says everything about the priorities they have and expect us all to have.
    ajrowing and WB like this.
  17. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I think if the dfe is serious about workload (currently there are at least 5 teachers looking for new jobs at my school).... then it needs to introduce and enforce a module where school leaders are required to undertake a time assessment for every new workload policy change introduced.
    Our entire middle leadership and SLT are new to their roles.
    Currently they spend a lot of time going on training courses or having days with ‘consultants’ and each time they come back and introduce a new policy change. (Doing the same thing that we already do but wanting everyone to do it ‘my way’ is now the sign of a great leader).
    They are out of control because unfortunately the new HT is also inexperienced. Spent a lot of their ‘teaching’ practice years having children (7 I think at last count) this gave them enough free time to pursue and obtain headship requirements
    The changes will impact most on those teaching the longest hours. The more non teaching time on the the time table the more energy you have left at the end of the day to spend and the more control you have over your time.
    The 5 teachers who are leaving are those who will end up with the most annual teaching hours, of groups of 30 some whose behaviour and emotional needs require a high level of constant alertness and adrenaline rush from their teacher.......
    Add to this they have to enforce new house ‘rules’ every week. So this is on top of having to make the most phone calls home, the most assessment marking time, the most data reports, the most parents evenings, the most behaviour reports, send reports, hours planning and differentiating.......but this workload is apparently according to the dfe divided equally. Nay nay nay....
    It seems that Headteachers in the UK are the worst trained in the world at understanding what this means in actual teaching practice. Because like childbirth once you aren’t doing it at a frenzied rate anymore the pain is easily forgotten
    They can say....(via middle leaders) I would like to see three paper based activities stuck in every school book for every unit and 2 paper based activities stuck every lesson. So when OFSTEd look at our books they all look the same....... hmmm .......
    For the teacher with the most teaching hours this will amount to ensuring that students who get very little support because of an understaffed send department and an SLT team who spend their day pouring over data spreadsheets, will not only be supporting these students within large groups on their own, they now have to face having to oversee the enforced glueing of over three times of paper based sheets in every book as the lead staff who demands this new policy.

    Add to this these teachers still have to do the same duty time, after school hours spent listening to the lectures of those using us to collect evidence for leadership? It’s absolutely horrendous and disgusting if not inhumane.

    The teacher with the constantly changing 6 groups a day will also have the additional stress of being given the same number of glue sticks annually to achieve this as the teacher who teaches half or even a third of their hours........ go figure!........ the lead staff are also in charge of that side of things! Small things that can make those who actually spend the majority of their time with large groups of students feel less stressed.
    Any fool can sit at a laptop and spend most of their week on it coming up with randomly researched new ideas....... these are the ones who now get the larger pay packets!
    ajrowing likes this.
  18. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    One of the best pieces of advice I heard about (given to HoF and aspirant SLT) was, ‘Remember, every initiative you introduce is someone else’s workload’

    And a frequent response in my last school to new policies, directions etc was, ‘and what would you like me to stop doing in order to .......’

    (Mainly from more experienced staff, those not seeking promotion or were secure in their role or were close to leaving anywy)
  19. drek

    drek Star commenter

    WB likes this.
  20. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    Teachers would be far more productive if SLT left them alone / in Departments to get on with Teaching as they see fit.
    SLT numbers could be decimated, OFSTED removed and all of the savings "plowed back" to where it is needed ie. the Classroom.
    Peer assessment is far more valuable in maintaining standards. TEACHERS WOULD HAVE A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE and therefore have more energy to Teach and seen to have more authority with pupils, when SLT snoopers "go away" (polite phrase), or actually do something useful like Teaching.

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