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I visited an academy yesterday...

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Oldfashioned, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Give it time. Keep smiling!
    tonymars likes this.
  2. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    What a *******. Politicians on expenses, academy pigs adding up salaries, while the animals grunt and sweat and get sent to the knacker's yard. This government cannot even keep UP with the huge rise in self employement. So didn't that tax system go well....
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Thing is, they cannot keep this scam up. Good teachers are their own natural and very real good competition to rubbish dumbed down el cheapo schools. The cuts have now wrecked the bulk of school teaching. Stupid inept SLT seem largely unaware that teachers ARE their best resource. Parents are missing their children's former good teachers who are suddenly no longer there. They've sussed it, they're paying out a lot of cash privately to get their kids through a new and demanding U.K. GCSE, or the mindless boredom and weirdness that isIGCSE. Particularly in the core subjects. They are filling the gap. I wonder how many tutors will club together soon and form tutorial schools wher kids just fomin and receive good pure teaching from four coaches a few times a week? We can haggle too. We tutors have in demand skills. We are doing a better job o detaching as we are consistent, local, highly trained, and teaching is all we do. Most of us are highly trained pastoral tutors who can offer counselling and help with UCAS. All the real stuff thatbteachers used to be able to do before data **** became the new addiction in schools. So no, can't see many good teachers wanting to go into an underpaid job when they can cut hours and tutor. Idiot situation all round. Hey ho.
  4. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

    Felt that with the news today of academy fatcats this topic was worthy of a resurrection albeit on Good Friday!

    We have known their antics in 2016 ( and earlier)??????? Wilful blindness and deafness again.
    agathamorse and Mrsmumbles like this.
  5. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    There is an academy that I sometimes go to on supply.

    The building is, of course, amazing - brand new, lecture theatre, ICT suite, etc.

    However, I am told there were "tens of redundancies" last year. Now, there is a head teacher in this thirties, most of the staff look in the their twenties. There seem to be major issues involving room allocation - if you follow a single teacher's timetable, you have take a laptop around with you to multiple rooms, and send kids out to get exercise books in the last room where they were taught. When you plug in your laptop, the chances are that it doesn't link up to the Interactive Board, or the sound doesn't work, so you have to send out a child with a note for ICT support (and the answer is often "there is nobody there"). Somebody probably had the idea that this reliance on ICT and personal laptops would be innovative, but it is a huge impediment to learning.

    In addition, class sizes are massive, even for practical subjects. There are no TAs to relieve the burden. There is litter all around the building, to the point that the cleaners threatened to go on strike. The behaviour is on the whole terrible, and many supply teachers refuse to return; at lesson changes, it the situation resembles a stampede of wildebeest in the Serengeti.

    I'm not saying that this academy is representative of the general situation, but I did think that academies were introduced to improve standards.

    The academy is part of a national chain with a fancy website that claims to be a leading light in education pedagogy the twenty-first century.
  6. Jolly_Roger12

    Jolly_Roger12 Occasional commenter

    After my last school became and academy, it was just as you describe, @baxterbasics. From the other side of the road, the place looked like the Emerald City but none of the new buildings were suitable for their purpose, and nothing within them seemed to work. The first edifice to rise toward the sky was the new, swish 'administrative 'block', built as far from the school as possible. What it was like inside I could not say, as I was not far enough up the pecking order to have an entry fob. The school then built a new canteen that was a 'masterpiece' of modern design with lots of room vertically but not enough horizontally, so it was far too small. This made getting all the students through it in the ever diminishing lunch break very difficult. Ditto the 'Community Theatre', which had a central stage surrounded on all four sides by raked tiers of cinema-style seats, but insufficient of these to accommodate a whole year group. Again, the building was airily tall but covered too small an area.

    The upgrade for the school's mainframe computer and peripherals was awarded to a company in which somebody's son-in-law had an interest. After months of misery while these people made a pig's ear of it, another company had to be brought in to sort out the mess created by the first, and then do the upgrade properly but not adequately as, of course, funds were now limited. Ditto for the contract for school meals given to somebody's relative, under whose direction the catering failed inspections for nutritional content and hygiene.

    Behind the façade, the reality of was completely different. Often, we were short of the very basics, such as paper and exercise books. There was never any money to maintain all the new technology, so, for example, IWBs would be out of action for months for the want of projector bulbs.

    Of course, after a couple of years of the new regime, finding anyone in the school who was: over forty, had a degree in the subject they were teaching, and a PGCE, was very small indeed!
  7. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I would contrast my academy experience with another local school that I have visited. Although it is far from a walk in the park, the kids are on the whole more respectful. The building is from the 1930s, but it is still perfectly functional, and has interactive whiteboards with fixed desktop computers, not laptops that never seem to plug into the correct cables. Part of its strength is that it is a smaller school with around 800 pupils. I have never seen the advantage of large, sprawling schools. Although there is obviously staff transience, there is much less than in the academy. It is still under LEA control.

    A shiny new building never makes a good school. In my opinion, whole academy agenda is a complete con, and, as you say, opens the door to all sorts of corruption and nepotism. The LEA model was far from perfect, but there was some level of transparency and financial oversight. I think that the main reason for academies was to break the perceived stranglehold of unions and to rip up teachers' terms and conditions. I have seen no evidence of improved standards, and there is nearly always lower staff morale and worrying levels of staff turnover.
  8. cadenjacob98

    cadenjacob98 New commenter

    Ohh Really! That is too much and You did right to leave such setup. Infect, My suggestion to the owner of the Academy to hire the reboots instead human to teach the students. Because they follow such **** rules blindly.
  9. Jolly_Roger12

    Jolly_Roger12 Occasional commenter

    I agree, @baxterbasics. When I joined the school, twenty years ago, its core was a perfectly serviceable, 1930s building, housing about 850 - 900 students. When I left, five years ago, the roll had risen to 1300, and rising. The building did not so much feel full of students as infested with them, room for them was so short. I think 'improving standards' was just a smokescreen for doing things on the cheap. Looked at cynically, the Govt. has little interest in educating students for whom there are no jobs, so why waste money on them. In two years, my academy had got rid of about 95% of the existing staff, and replaced them with anyone cheap. By the time I left, it was no longer a high turnover of staff, it was a revolving door! The only increase in staff numbers was of the SMT, and the ever-burgeoning 'para-teaching' staff, most of whom had incomprehensibly vague job titles, and whose function seemed to be to check up on teachers (or those who were teaching).
  10. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

    What a disgrace!

    The worst is (IMO) is that this info doesn't see the light of day because whistle-blowers tend to get hung out to dry. All we hear are the govt. defenders blowing their trumpets about how wonderful all this is.

  11. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

  12. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Sounds like the academy I did a coupla days supply at end of last term baxter. History of cheating, huge staff staff turnover, govt flagship etc. They wanted me til end summer. I said no way behaviour was just so bad - kids didn't even notice I was in the classroom. And this was a Very Important MAT. Tell it like it is.
  13. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

  14. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

  15. slick

    slick New commenter

    I am amazed and worried about the impact of academisation on education.... working in a non-academy, I worry about what I read about the other side. I assume that there is good and bad in all systems... BUT there must be positive examples of academies out there?
    slingshotsally likes this.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Cue tumbleweed rolling across the barren educational landscape. I curse Gove to the rotten core of his fetid DNA!
  17. coupdepam

    coupdepam New commenter

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    slingshotsally likes this.
  18. Penguinitis

    Penguinitis Occasional commenter

    My academy is ok. So the building is falling apart, IT usually works and the kids can be delightful or like ‘that yr9 class’. Most importantly, SLT seem to recognise that everyone is working hard and don’t give us stupid stuff to do.
    esther30 likes this.
  19. Penguinitis

    Penguinitis Occasional commenter

    Yeah, hope I haven’t jinxed anything now! ;)
    Janettap and Jamvic like this.
  20. esther30

    esther30 New commenter

    Just a comment about the 'teaching in a gold fish bowl', actually, it's a very good thing, for your safety and the students!
    Deirds likes this.

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