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How many observations, learning walks and planning scrutinies?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by LittleBrownBear, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. LittleBrownBear

    LittleBrownBear New commenter


    Just wondering if anyone knows if there is a limit to how many observations, learning walks, book scrutinies and planning scrutinies are acceptable in a half term? I know there was a limit of 3 per yr but I think that has changed now? Not sure though.


  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    The limits you refer to were down to union guidelines but schools are under no obligation to follow these and, more pertinently, teachers were/are not a.r.sed to fight over it. This is before the confusion over what is a drop-in, learning walk, observation comes to the party.

    So it's down to how often the SLT leave their ivory towers to mingle with the Great Unwashed and there's never a satisfactory outcome for any party. I'm currently aggravated that my long-term supply is being made more difficult as SLT aren't wandering into classrooms helping to manage behaviour. But I need to be careful what I wish for as they will no doubt come along to see me going, "Errr…. can you look at Page 64, no I mean Page 23....errr….."
    lbambridge likes this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Schools can pretty much do what they like.

    However, given recruitment and retention difficulties, you could always state what you find acceptable and what would keep you at the school.

    Mind you if they're having all these "scrutinies," I'd be tempted to find a more professional workplace anyway.
    agathamorse and drek like this.
  4. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    too flipping' many! And I say that as a HT who has to do the flipping things!!
  5. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    If schools can do what they like now and you are the head teacher why are you doing "too flipping many"?
  6. LittleBrownBear

    LittleBrownBear New commenter

    Thank you. Every morning learning walk during handwriting (interrupting me in the process), book scrutinies every wk, lit and Maths every 3 weeks, weekly planning in by Friday, wkly planning scrutiny, Maths and lit marking every night. Other drop ins during the day.

  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Tricky one to fight too hard over.

    "We are going to strike because we don't want anyone checking up on us" is how it would be portrayed in the press, we would be unlikely to get much support with that one.

    Workload, yes that is a different story.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Excessive and stupid.
    ashlaura and agathamorse like this.
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I wasn't thinking of striking or even anyone outside the school hearing of it.
    More like:
    • teachers meet and discuss the problem (which could be workload as well)
    • the Union rep realises there is an issue here and with the backing of the members approaches the Head.
    • Discussions ensue between the Head and Rep(s)
    • A more reasonable compromise is arrived at.
    There's a lot wrong with this scenario and as a union rep I've come to grief at the point where I ask the teachers. "Are you prepared to back me over this?" and the answer is Errrr…….. However it is what union representation and membership should be about, not necessarily confrontation. Striking should ideally be a weapon of last resort.
    MsBehaving and Sir_Henry like this.
  10. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Our reps have made the teachers position on these plain in meetings with the head, to no avail.
  11. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    There's no limit but your school sounds mental! My school loves a good book scrutiny and the odd learning walk but it's nowhere near as bad as that.
    agathamorse and Fluffy_Koala like this.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Head teachers used to do a "learning walk" at least once a day. No need for a clipboard in those days, just the best way to actually know what was happening in the school and keep on top of discipline.
    Now it all seems the most convenient way to avoid doing any teaching for some.
    8sycamore, 1970devon, bevdex and 3 others like this.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well of course.
    But with time and jaded experience of management, comes the chutzpah to mess them around just for the sake of vindicating the pain.
    For example, you could intersperse your weekly plans with made up words and see if anyone notices. When nobody says anything after four weeks of offering partial nonsense, then it is confirmed to you that the plans are never actually read. At which point you can safely submit exactly the same plans week on week.
    Depending on your hitherto record of diligence, this could save you up to two thousand and sixty seven working hours per year.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Sadly teachers are not allowed to do like for like work place scrutnies on hts and slt and on how long they continue to refuse to teach ...typical:cool:
  15. drek

    drek Star commenter

  16. drek

    drek Star commenter

    a non specialist SLT has been teaching a couple of ks3 lessons a week in our department, due to a shortage of specialist teachers.
    This person has been the 'friend' of the rude and disruptive students, partly owing to the fact that their subject allows a greater deal of informality with students and partly because it is far far less academic and does not count on the league tables.
    They have been advising teachers (via leaning walk observation feedback), about how many chances we should give the daily disruptees, how to 'differentiate', how to keep ringing parents, how not to 'shout' at whole groups of students, how to avoid keeping a whole class behind at break or lunch..........
    Well after only a couple of lessons or so last week, their group of students were at the receiving end of all the above 'donts' minus the phone calls home.....
    So much for talking the talk but then being unable to walk it........
    They had refused to do the 'written' work as instructed.
    Spent the lesson chatting and messing about, then answering back apparently....:)
    Do you think this 'teacher' needs 'support'?
  17. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I've been there as well. :(This is where it comes down to the Rep saying to staff, "You said you were prepared to back me, I've tried but nothing has improved. We need to take action over this as it's the only way to show how serious we are about this"

    I'm no longer a rep (another perk of long-term supply) but I despair of hearing a correct answer to the question above. At least the only other option, leaving, means I'll never be short of supply work (and pay).
  18. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Because the Headteacher is accountable for EVERYTHING in the school from the presentation in y3 maths books to the specifications of the utilities in the bathrooms.
    Headteachers (and SLT) must know EVERY strength/weakness/improvement in every area of school life.
    digoryvenn and cornflake like this.
  19. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Because schools can't do as they like! Autonomy is an illusion.
    Because HMI tell me I'm rubbish because I don't monitor enough.
    Because the LA then implicitly indicate my career is on the line.
    Because children not scoring high enough in a test is down to me not monitoring enough.
    Because I have to pay the bills too.
  20. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    digoryvenn likes this.

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