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Network Meetings...

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by lescargot, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    Can we be forced to go to these - does it maybe depend on school working time agreement? What about evening events like award ceremonies, graduation etc?
     
  2. I would have thought so. If they're part of the school's agreed work plan for PTs or Faculty Heads, attendance would be required. If they are twilight meetings outwith the agreed 35 hour week structure, they are surely voluntary.
     
  3. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    I am not a faculty head or PT. Our department 'rotates' it so we all have to go to one. Just wondering what other folk do. I have worked in other schools in the same authority where no-one attended, the faculty head always used to go on behalf of the dept.
     
  4. What kind of network meetings are these? If you are in a subject department, your PT should go. If you are in a faculty (of, say, Art/Music/Drama), are you being asked to go as a Music specialist to the Music meeting because your FH is a dramatist to trade? If it is someting like that, they might have you on the old 'collegiate responsibility' malarkey.
     
  5. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    No and No.
    NW meetings are voluntary. They may form part of your 35hr CPD portfolio but if you have other CPD pencilled in then you can legitimately tell your line manager to take a hike. Your CPD portfolio should be discussed and NB - AGREED with your line manager as part of your professional review. I did this with my colleagues at the end of last term.
    Award cermeonies even more so. They are not contractual like parents nights BUT may be NB - AGREED as part of your school WTA. However, if this time is agreed then something else has to go.
     
  6. Counterpart

    Counterpart New commenter

    Jenmac, a little more to your question would be beneficial perhaps. Are you a network leader or, as others have asked, have you been asked to go to cover someone else either not being able to, or not subject specialised enough?
    C
     
  7. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    No not a network leader ((don't they get paid??). My faculty head is qualified in my subject and does take her turn in going. I would say we are being pressurised to commit to attending networks and evening 'events' other than parents nights.
     
  8. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    That's my pet hate when someone asks you something specific, then doesn't comment back!!
     
  9. Counterpart

    Counterpart New commenter

    Easy Jenmac! I had logged off by the time you had replied - I have just logged back on now. I have had a busy day you know!
    My new pet hate is people looking for an answer and not giving people long enough to get back, after having asked a question to gather further information - to help answer the question first asked!
    Well, as to your question and my comment - I'm going to make you wait a little more!
    ;-)
    C
     
  10. Counterpart

    Counterpart New commenter

    Only kidding! I concur with Dominie on this one. Seems that you are being pushed a little bit.
    C
     
  11. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    To give this a bit more context the dept is already running numerous extra curricular trips and has had to do (literally) hundreds of hours development work for cfe(when there was nothing wrong with courses in first place!). We are also on various 'working groups' as individuals. Time alloted in WTA does not even begin to cover this but ptc thinks they can wave the WTA at us to make us attend networks and awards/graduation etc. Joke when wage are frozen, job situation terrible, new curriculum farcical and pensions under threat!

    Phew I feel better now, anyone else for a g and t??!
     
  12. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    The additional workload you describe would appear to be happening throughout education.
    There was a time when teaching full time was regarded as a full time job. Now it would seem everyone is also expected to write the curriculum, be a member of various working groups and run After School Clubs and Activities in addition to their main, full time job.
    Of course, some will argue that doing all this additional work makes teachers better teachers and enriches the curriculum for pupils. It may even lead to promotion, or a headship, if you are one of the dwindling few who still want to be a headteacher.
    On the other hand, it could also be argued that all the additional work means that teachers have less time, energy and motivation to concentrate on the full time job of class teaching and, as a result, pupils are actually suffering.
    Of course, that is precisely what the Working Time Agreement was supposed to address.
    However, I suspect the devolving of additional responsibilities to class teachers is actually a deliberate management strategy to ensure staff constantly feel overloaded, de-skilled and insecure in relation to their employment. It may actually be encouraged under the Scottish Qualification for Headship.
    Again, it could be argued that such 'unreasonable' working conditions are not uncommon in other jobs and professions, especially given the accountability culture and the competitive nature of the world economy.
    However, in education who are we 'competing' against other than other schools in local, national or international league tables? Yes, politicians will talk, at length, about the importance of having a highly trained workforce but what is the reality?
    For all the changes, initiatives, bureaucracy and additional workload in schools, are pupils really any better educated, or prepared for the workplace and life, than they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago?
    At the very least, it's a question that needs to be asked.
     
  13. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    Very eloquently put FOTW.
     
  14. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    And the answer is NO. Excessive work for teachers means less time spent on pupils. Which is why teachers need to stick together and tell SQH trained managers to "F*** O**" when they try to slice another pound of flesh from their so called "colleagues".
     
  15. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    A bit like the fact that so many LA's are offering fixed term contracts (until June 2012). 'Treat em mean, to keep em keen' seems to be the strategy here. Either that or we really are heading towards a situation where the professionals are viewed, and treated, as 'casual' workers/labourers being fed into, and spat out of, a constantly revolving door.
     
  16. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    How true. Anyone who has been in a school for more than 5 minutes is likely to be bewildered by the pace of change in the last couple of years or so. The notion of workload seems to be meaningless (despite official agreements) and saying "no" to endless initiatives doesn't seem to be in the vocabulary of most Heads of Faculties, now that the old fashioned PTs are nothing more than a memory.
     

  17. Why the vitriol directed at SQH trained managers? My experience has been that those who have completed the SQH route are among the few who actually consider workload and work WITH and discuss practical approaches with colleagues rather than just issue emails and memos and deadlines.
     
  18. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Fair enough.
    Here are some of the key areas of competence assessed as part of SQH training:
    Personal Qualities and Interpersonal Skills.
    Leading and Managing Learning and Teaching - Ensure effective learning and teaching takes place with regular monitoring and evaluation of the quality of learning.
    Leading and Developing People - Build school capacity by developing leadership in others, through the encouragement of collegiate practices.
    I don't think anyone could argue about the importance of headteachers having the right personal qualities and interpersonal skills for the job. If selection and training for the SQH achieves this, it should be self-evident in those appointed to HT posts over the last decade.
    Whether effective learning and teaching is dependent on regular monitoring and evaluation of the quality of learning raises some interesting questions.
    Is the person doing the monitoring and evaluation any more competent to assess the quality of the learning than the person doing the teaching? How often is 'regular' and is the observed lesson typical of all the other learning and teaching that takes place? And, perhaps most importantly, is there a general agreement that a CfE, and the associated teaching methodologies, are consistent with effective learning and teaching?
    Finally, whilst leading and helping people to develop is no doubt worthwhile, is the development of 'leadership' the primary task of a school? How many 'leaders' do you need in any one school?
    Perhaps a clue lies in the phrase 'through the encouragement of collegiate practices'. The implication seems to be that by devolving work, formerly undertaken by SMT, to class teachers, the school is developing their 'leadership' skills.
    This does, therefore, raise one important question in relation to SQH selection and training.
    If, since 1998, there has been the stated aim to 'Build school capacity by developing leadership in others, through the encouragement of collegiate practices' why are LAs finding it extremely difficult to find teachers who actually want to be HTs and Deputes?
    There wasn't the same problem 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
     

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