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John Swinney-Set Days - “Swinnservice Days”

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by ladywholunch, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. ladywholunch

    ladywholunch New commenter

    We have this coming Monday and Tuesday assigned as “inservice days” apropos the inset days John Swinney agreed to to “tackle workload”
    Our EIS rep has said these days should be given over to discussing and identifying workload drivers then feeding back to management. The EIS I see is backing him and dictating this nationally. So, rather than SMT hijacking our no-weans days with some old rope and flannel, the EIS is.

    With prelims looming, filing need sorted and marking needing caught up with, I reckoned the inset days would be given over to departments catching up on that/ catching up with each other. I just don’t see the point in using up this time for a circular discussion on workload drivers. We all know them. Colleagues who “self start” extra curricular guff we can say no to anyway and management hobby horses we can nod and smile at but slip right at the bottom of the priority pile anyway (A bit of discretion plus playing dumb and innocent at appropriate times with SLT is slipping).

    What are you doing in your place? I may not be Swinney’s biggest political fan but I’m sure he intended these as unstructured inset catchup with yer work days.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  2. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    I don't think he intended for these to be used for teachers to "catch-up" on marking and filing. That is not going to change in future years, we'll still have to do it, so getting an extra day or two in one school year won't solve ongoing problems

    Don't get me wrong, every teacher wants to be left alone on In-service days to get on with planning teaching and learning - they have been abused by HTs for decades.

    We had staff working in groups to identify things that come their way that are utterly worthless and we are trying not to do them e.g. the huge volume of irrelevant emails, needless profiles, duplication of tasks across a department/school, Guidance teachers asking for information on pupils the week after tracking and so on. It's all the wee stupid things that add up. Don't know if this is going to work but at least some dodgy practice in our place is out in the open now.
  3. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Established commenter

    Wrt duplication, lots of schools are coming up to their prelims now and how many schools arrange to swap prelims with their neighbouring schools to avoid duplication? And why aren't councils enforcing this?

    There are a million other example of duplication which could easily be avoided.
  4. partickz

    partickz New commenter

    I think the Faculty system is partly to blame for this. We no longer have subject PTs who know the subject inside out, working together to develop resources, assessments etc. Lots of working in isolation.
    LINGUIST2 and markbannan like this.
  5. Gavster77

    Gavster77 New commenter

    These are essential days for feeding back to ScotGov on many of the points previous posters have raised. Add to this class sizes and the boon significant reduction in class sizes would bring about and we have a plan.
    AyeRight likes this.
  6. AyeRight

    AyeRight Occasional commenter

    These are extra days and must be used to work on:
    • Workload reduction
    • ASN
    • Empowerment
    If they are not being used for this, inform your Union.
    sicilypat and bigjimmy2 like this.
  7. sicilypat

    sicilypat New commenter

    AyeRight and bigjimmy2 like this.
  8. Miss_Haversham

    Miss_Haversham New commenter

    Ours have been earmarked for "staff development"
    AyeRight likes this.
  9. AyeRight

    AyeRight Occasional commenter

    At national level, hearing a significant no of HTs just ignored national and local advice. Really sad and worrying - especially as they are going to be empowered soon.
  10. Gavster77

    Gavster77 New commenter

    Whatever happens, we need an in-service day immediately after Christmas break - weans and teachers being expected to hit the ground running after the financial and emotional time-sap and turbulence of Christmas is a stress exacerbater.
    autoq and bigjimmy2 like this.
  11. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Established commenter

    Sounds like you had a more exciting holiday than most people, gavvy-baby!
  12. aypi

    aypi Established commenter

    I think I responded positively to a post like this before.
    More fool me.
    As teachers we did what was supposed to be done with the Swinday we have burned.
    Only to have our suggestions trampled over.
  13. AyeRight

    AyeRight Occasional commenter

    Really depressing experience to hear of the number of schools ignoring extra days to discuss workload reduction so they can continue with workload generating tasks. How myopic our profession is.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  14. Miss_Haversham

    Miss_Haversham New commenter

    Our canny head covered his/her back by dropping the phrase "reducing workload" into the discussions every couple of hours but neither day was focused on the topic and no staff felt there had been any meaningful effort to look at ways of reducing workload at all.
  15. Scubadt

    Scubadt New commenter

    I think the majority of ours was put over to "department priorities".

    I didn't mind that, as opposed to what would likely have been 3 hours of SMT PowerPoints followed by brainstorming ideas about ways to reduce workload, which would be completely ignored and filed in the bin within the week.

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