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"Improving Teaching" Programme

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lardylegs, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Hello. I was wondering if anyone else has been 'enrolled' on this programme? (Primary teaching, 20 years in post)
    Following an RI obs by NEW HT and some bod from the LEA, I have been sent on this. [As well as being given yet another bloody Action Plan!] It involves a programme of learning in an Outstanding school with tasks to complete in your own school under the guidance of a mentor (NEW HT).

    I am kind of getting the message that this could be the first step on the slippery slope to capability, and just wondered if anyone else had had a similar experience?
  2. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    No experience of what you ask @lardylegs , but just wanted to offer my sympathy. Poor you. :(
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    These people need to be drummed out of our profession. Complete idiots.

    What about all the other good observations you get? Do they "do numbers" on any level whatsoever?

    20 years you say...? Mmm..... you sound expensive.
    guinnesspuss and Mrsmumbles like this.
  4. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    About 18 months ago I along with a number of other 'experienced' teachers got a letter for the head regarding our appraisal and a satisfactory (oh sorry RI) observation comment on our performance.

    They left the document folder where the letter was held on the network in the corner of the letter. Something like C:/Staff/Teachingstaff/nameofteacher/pre-capability. I can't help thinking that this wasn't deliberate.

    When I complained I was told that I was 'not to read anything in this', yeah right.

    These teachers were 'encouraged' to go on an improvement programme of more observations.......
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
    notsonorthernlass and Mrsmumbles like this.
  5. Noja

    Noja Senior commenter

    That sounds really horrid - so sorry for you. I find it really difficult taking support and help from people I don't value or rate so I would find this extremely difficult.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there, and welcome to our forum. I hope that if noting else, you will find here support and friendship.

    I believe that you are right in your assessment of this. It is, as @Compassman knew from her/his experience, most probably a preliminary stage to formal capability.

    But only if you don't improve. So give it your best shot.

    That is actually an excellent opportunity. Go along with a notebook and pen, take loads of notes, ask masses of questions and write down the answers. Prepare the questions beforehand based on (a) the observation report that you got from HT and (b) any problems you encounter in your class - a particularly challenging pupil, for example. Make the very most of this, it could actually be very fascinating and an experience that you enjoy!

    If you have the details of the tasks before going to visit the school - and it might be a good idea to ask for them so that your observations there can be more focussed - then ask ask ask about those tasks too. Get all the help you can for these. Re-read your notes, so you can say to your mentor As I observed in X school, and on discussion with the teacher she confirmed, my strategy here is to . . .

    So, as I said, give it your best shot, go in there fighting!

    Best wishes

  7. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I am sorry but cannot agree with these comments. Clearly the management are either very cruel, intentionally leaving that folder name visible on the document, or inept. Very positive words here from Theo, and I wish I could believe them, but the disgusting and inconvenient truth is that new, often young, 'keen to demonstrate change' managers want to clear out all older and costlier staff. If you and your partner had to make cuts in your household budget, and you worked out three easy areas to cut down on, would you offer your utility companies the chance to engage with you, develop, and improve, or would you just cut them off and switch to a better supplier? I have not met or emailed with a single teacher who has successfully navigated through capability and stayed off long term. The damage this is doing- and has already done- to the profile of teaching and to the stability and quality of teaching is catastrophic. I was sent on courses, observation carousels, and training days. Very nice too. But I also knew, again, due to a HOD's sloppy management of his paperwork, that none of it would proItect me from capability. Union reps know all about the 'process', and the 'offers to improve' are, to me, smoke and mirrors to buy time before they gear up for capability. But offering the 'improvement' ensures that the school are adhering to their capability policies and that twaddle about giving staff a chance to improve. You know, in that minuscule time frame of under one term. It is basically a case of 'take what you can, give nothing back' for both scrutinised staff and slippery managers.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Gather evidence to contradict what they say.
    Polish your CV. There's a world of other opportunities out there. Not all of them pay well though:(
    Mrsmumbles and Scintillant like this.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Sadly, it is very often nothing to with improvement. We should stop pretending these things are done with professionalism, honesty and transparency.


    Says it all
    notsonorthernlass and Mrsmumbles like this.
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    What did I say?

    Oh, you didn't mean me.


    Not always very clear . . .

    Best wishes

  11. PEmonkey

    PEmonkey New commenter

    Hi, I haven't read all of the comments above but thought I'd give my view of the ITP. We sent some RI teachers on it a few years ago and since then we sent as many members of staff as we could. Done properly it is a chance to reflect upon your practice (as teachers we never actually stop and think about our profession) and a really positive experience and I've not known a single teacher not coming out of it feeling positive about it.
    However, your suspicion seems to suggest there is an agenda behind you going. Again, be positive about the course, get what you can from it - it won't turn a RI teacher to a good teacher, but it will get a teacher thinking about their profession, in a alternative environment to their school so make the most of that opportunity if nothing else. You'll also be mingling with all sorts of folks from your local area, perfect if you're looking to move on!
  12. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Have you been on it?
  13. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    Just what I was wondering too.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    What constituted a RI teacher?
  15. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Maybe a satisfactory one?
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    1. It might be fun.
    2. You might learn something.
    3. It's a day out.
    4. There will probably be a couple of others.
    5. The HT probably HAS to send someone on it or they lose their bonus because it looks as if they think you're all marvellous which is clearly NOT POSSIBLE because everyone knows 23.75% of teachers are rubbish so you'd better identify 23.75% of your workforce to go on a course!!!!!
    6. It probably is 'writing on the wall'.
    7. But it might not be.
    8. Give it a go.
  17. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    Who says we don't? I think most of us, probably too much & find it hard to switch off!!
    Noja, Anonymity and Mrsmumbles like this.
  18. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I wish I could be positive about the improving teacher course. You can find descriptions of it on the Internet.

    It seems to enable the school to say that you have had relevant and recent CPD. SLT can claim they have acted on RI observations. A box ticked for them. One defence against the capability death star is then closed to you. Give the possibility of having to leave in the future some serious consideration.

    “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is.”

    – Yoda
    Compassman and Mrsmumbles like this.
  19. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    No just mean that i would love to share your positive view on the improvements and hurdles facing the OP...just can't. Sorry!
  20. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Wise words Yoda.
    notsonorthernlass likes this.

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