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How can we empower the teaching profession and reduce teachers’ workload?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    From protecting newly qualified teachers from SLTs who are willing to take advantage of their willing new staff members’ wish to please to the experienced teachers who are pushed out of their beloved roles because they are too expensive for schools to keep. What do you think is the answer to retaining staff across the profession and do you think enough is being done to try and tackle the issue of workload and it’s crippling consequences for teachers and schools?

    Yvonne Williams, head of English at Portsmouth High School for Girls, gives her view on the issue:

    https://www.tes.com/news/teacher-workload-how-we-can-really-bring-about-change

    What do you think?
     
    shilpareddy_w likes this.
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I despair of there ever being a way out of this mess.

    A basic solution would be for an appropriate power to say to a member of SLT, "You know this BS initiative that justifies your existence and higher salary. Well it is top-end BS and it ends now."

    That conversation will never take place, not least because the 'appropriate power' will also have their pet initiatives and both parties will have that essential SLT skill of deflecting criticism away, usually downwards.

    To rain on the next few posts...…..

    Encouraging union involvement is an easy way to give staff a voice but again that means SLT deliberately eroding their power. Not possible.

    Sorry about the negatives but I can't see any way other than a massive crash in a decade or so, possibly followed by a rebuilding from the bottom up. And no I can't see any politician even avoiding the crash let alone having the skills for the rebuilding.
     
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Where I come from, the word "empowerment" is a weasel word meaning "you're on your own, chum" (only you're not their chum.)
     
  4. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Get rid of head teachers who are too scared to teach. Give teaching the credit it deserves and raise its profile.
     
    a1976, jlishman2158, bonxie and 2 others like this.
  5. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Seems to me the problem lies with the current content of the NPQH.
    There are far too many weasel worder experts on that gravy train, scoffing at the trough of public funding and producing bots who only know how to destroy and remove teachers with valuable experience,
     
  6. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    The short answer is you can’t. I would have no trouble outlining a series of policies to do exactly what is needed, but they have no hope of being adopted because of the power structure in place in English education. To change that power structure requires teachers to unite in and support one education-focused and militant union and to join the various political parties that make education policy and use their mechanisms to effect change from the inside. I did the latter. So did others. Consequently, things are better here than they are there: https://community.tes.com/threads/don-t-give-up-the-eternal-battle.462500. They are not as good as they could be, however, because today’s teachers have no concept of professional solidarity. The Victorian AEU claims as its victories policies that the current government took to its 2014 election and simply implemented, but it is unable to restore the staffing levels or working conditions that existed 40 years ago because its members will not take action. In summary, there is a solution, but teachers won’t take it.
     
    jlishman2158 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  7. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    The divide and rule policy has produced the same effect such policies have always had.
    Chaos, a few making fortunes out of others misery and it takes years to clear up the mess left behind.
    Some pretending to be experts on policy making and ‘the craft of teaching’ which looks and sounds deeply rooted in meaningful scientific research when in fact it is an alchemists dream.... the reality is that it makes little difference if any to an underfunded deeply deeply divided culture.
    Administrators masquerading as teaching experts, underpaid and overworked support staff..... OFSTEd having too much power and too little expertise.
    What do such people do? Run X factor style judgmental shows.
    And somewhere in all this teachers go about their daily jobs forever in danger of being knocked out each year of their existence.
     
  8. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    Get rid of consultants (the vast majority are just there to make a lot of money). Get rid of the layers of leadership (people who want power but aren't interested in teaching). Get rid of league tables which unfairly compare schools levels of deprivation etc against others in better off areas. Get rid of excessive tracking systems that take up a lot of teacher time but don't provide worthwhile information that they don't already know. Discourage the jumping on of bandwagons. Anyone with a new bandwagon should have to prove (by independent assessment) that it works really well before being allowed to promote it to schools. Let individual teachers focus on teaching their classes.
     
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    To answer the question, stand up to the government.

    Teachers have enormous collective power. If teachers got together, made a few simple demands, went on a national campaign to educate parents to the true state of state education and then went on strike one random day per week for a month or two, the government would be forced by public opinion to meet the demands.

    I am saddened that the opposition benches in the Commons and the teaching unions cannot do this and that it must be left up to teachers themselves.

    Will never happen though. More likely that the whole English state education system will just be allowed to crash and burn.
     
  10. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Find this an odd comment. Teaching unions can only take action if teachers take action.
     
  11. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    Spot on
     
    jlishman2158 and lardylegs like this.
  12. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

     
  13. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Yes, when I used to be a rep. Numerous times members were told not to comply with outrageous requests. Time after time, members did not take advice and did it anyway. What do you expect unions to do if members don't back them up?
     
  14. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I agree. But when was the last time you heard a union trying to organise collective action to reduce workload?

    Why am I not reading daily about opposition MPs raising the national scandal of MAT CEOs siphoning off money intended for the education of children?

    State education in England is dying and no-one except the teachers seem to care. I have given up and gone abroad.
     
    jlishman2158 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  15. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Action short of strike action. Problem was, too few actually took part. Once that failed, the weakness of the Union position was exposed. Now they are trying to hide that fact by not asking members to do things that too many won't support.

    It is now at the stage where the demand for action needs to come from an overwhelming number of members.
     
  16. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Overwhelming number or proportion? Just musing that union membership isn't as ubiquitous as it was and so I'm questioning if there will ever be an overwhelming number and if this actually what is needed.
    If there was Union A with fewer members, but all of whom were militant, would that be more influential than a Union B with many members, but a large proportion that wouldn't support any action? Both of these are hypothetical unions, but who would have more clout?
     
  17. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Two problems.

    1) Unions are their members so they cannot unilaterally take action.
    2) even if they did organise something on their won, which they cannot, when the teachers didn't follow them then thileir power would be further weakened.

    In short if you want a powerful, active union then be proactive in the union.
     
  18. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    I think the unions are just as corrupt as the SLT in many schools.
     
  19. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    I think just not going into teaching and teachers and the continuance of teachers leaving the 'profession' in droves is the only way to solve the problem. I honestly think that we are past the point of no return and education can't be fixed now. I for one will be homeschooling my adopted sons.
     
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  20. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    corrupt
    ADJECTIVE
    1. having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.
    Not sure I'd agree the unions are as corrupt as SLT. There's certainly useless SLT and union reps who are clearly not part of the solution but I can't see how the personal gain bit comes into being a union member. Usually it's an unrewarding task in every sense of the word.
     
    jlishman2158 likes this.

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