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Nicky Morgan live webchat, Thursday 28 May at 5pm

Discussion in 'Primary' started by TES_Community, May 20, 2015.

  1. TES_Community

    TES_Community Administrator

    TES is offering teachers the chance to put their questions directly to the secretary of state for education, Nicky Morgan, on Thursday 28 May at 5pm.

    What will the new Conservative government mean for schools? What changes or improvements would you like to see happen in education? Whatever you'd like to ask, let us know – you can post your questions here or tweet them using the hashtag #askNicky.
  2. What is your definition of a "coasting school"?
  3. lindsay84

    lindsay84 New commenter

    How can schools be expected to improve/ keep being great with funding cuts? I teach in a small town school - numbers are over the maximum, every inch of the building is used and our teaching assistants are highly trained so that they are an amazing resource to our school. Schools now take children that traditionaly would have been in SEN schools. In my class alone I have 1 child with the mental/physical ability of a 3 year old, 2 asd children and 1 with complex learning needs. All of these children are brilliantly catered for and are making good progress. HOWEVER, we are expecting a HUGE funding cut due to the way schools are financed, this wil mean redundencies and I will be expected to support these children as well as the other 25 in my class as we will not be able to afford any of the TAs that help support them.

    I also want to know what is going to be done about the huge shortage of teachers? In my area there is a massive shortgage. It is not inner city, it has mainly good schools yet schools are struggling to recruit. Teachers are leaving for a job with a better work/life balance, one where they arenot constantly told they are not good enough and not having goalposts moved all the time. We have had several students this year - some have not managed to cope with the workload and some others are going for jobs in cheaper places to live.

    Finally, I want to know how many people in the DFE agreed the changes in the new curriculum and assessment that had actually been to visit schools or went to state schools? I now have 7 years old (some will be 6 at the time) that are expected to know equiviant fractions, know vocaulary that is no use to them take a SPAG test. Some children will never reach age expected even though they are doing great. Some kids will always be better at art than spelling, dance than number or music than reading. They may go on to lead great and amazing lives - or they may not because on every school report they were told they were not reaching age expectation meaning their self-esteem and confidence was damaged.
  4. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Before the election, the Conservative party mooted the idea that a child who 'fails' (a word I really do not like to use in the context of primary aged children) to reach the required level in the KS2 SATs they will be expected to resit them in Year 7. Is the new government pressing ahead with this? What will happen to children that resit and still do not reach the required level in Year 7?
  5. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    How do you expect primary children to receive a broad & balanced curriculum when the results of English & maths tests are the main criteria by which a school is judged by Ofsted? Teaching Year 6 used to be the cherry on the primary cake. Now, few teachers want to teach there and the pupils have a year of endless revision & test practice, with the rest of the curriculum sidelined. The pressure on them is immense. none of it is done for the pupils' benefit, but solely for the school's benefit.
  6. Trackerthecat

    Trackerthecat New commenter

    The government has said that any school which is deemed to be failing will be forced to be turned into an academy. What will happen if an academy is deemed to be failing?
  7. Are educational standards higher now than before the National Curriculum was introduced?
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    What does Ms Morgan think teachers feel about what she and her predecessor have done?

    Why does she think so many teachers are leaving, or want to leave teaching? What will she do about this problem?
  9. MrMedia

    MrMedia Lead commenter

    Why not uncap the number of trainee teachers each HE provider can recruit? In an open market the different providers could compete fairly. Currently, HE providers could recruit some courses ten times over those that School Direct providers are still trying to fill. If high quality students' preferred choice is a PGCE with a HE provider, why shouldn't those students be able to sign up for one? I don't criticise SD providers, I say you are intervening in the market against the rights and choices of those paying £9,000.
  10. GrammarBear

    GrammarBear New commenter

    I applaud the TES for getting Nicky Morgan to engage. Sadly like many politicians she won't answer any questions in the way she should or we would like.

    However though Some great questions posted. I hope she answers with clarity and honesty. We will see!
  11. jocool35

    jocool35 New commenter

  12. Next month I will sit with each member of my year 1 class on a one-to-one basis and 'test' them on their ability to decode a selection of real and pseudo words during the phonics screening test. I already have an excellent knowledge of how each of these children cope with this assessment and could quite easily tell you now which children will score highly and which ones will struggle. I have listened to these children read since September last year and together we have worked out some great ways to overcome any problems that they may have when they read something new. We look for clues in the pictures and images on the page, we read the rest of the sentence and think about how the word that they are struggling to read would make sense given different contexts and of course we use phonetical strategies. Convince me that I am not wasting my time and putting these very vulnerable five and six year olds through undue stress. As you will be fully aware, children need to be taught in different ways that suit their own strengths and abilities. This assessment is very much an example of one size fits all!
  13. @stuartrgdyer If we now trust teachers to assess effectviely between milestones, why do we need end of key stage tests at all? Aren't they ineffective?
  14. Ephelyon

    Ephelyon New commenter

    What about the other professionals in education? Finance, HR, Site, IT... no support for the support! "Line and staff", anyone?
  15. We are networking to look at standardisation and moderation in our new era of life without levels....with mixed success as many schools are panicking and getting on the publishers' bandwagon....so Ms Morgan, how will you ensure that Ofsted will have a clear understanding of these processes? When they look at my Year 6 writing, how will they decide whether the children are at expected or exceeding stage? Because I would welcome their feedback on this in a non-judgemental situation.
  16. justmathssharing

    justmathssharing New commenter

    With the end of the year looming large and still no Sample Assessment Materials for the new maths GCSE Can I ask Nicky if she is confident that the government have been provided with the assurances that Nick Gibb asked from Ofqual in his letter (that I had to get through a Freedom of Information request) from Nov 2014? Twice Mr Gibbs office fobbed me off and referred me to Ofqual but I want confirmation that our government have confidence in the process for accrediting our new GCSEs.

    We are no further forward than we were 6 months ago and it has been a farce from start to finish despite Glenys Stacey saying we would have the materials we needed by LAST September. It all flies in the face of Nicky's workload challenge, so is it any wonder that maths teachers are becoming rarer than "rocking horse poo" ...

  17. regretbeaucoup

    regretbeaucoup New commenter

    What evidence is there that teaching detailed grammatical terminology and archaic usage such as the subjunctive mood improves children's ability to understand, write or speak English? Does she have any suggestions for how primary teachers working in areas where it is a daily battle to correct "We was..." should teach "If I were...." without utterly confusing the children? Or to teach the 'present perfect' without leaving children stumped as to what the ideas of past and present actually relate to?

    What are her views on the editorial at the front of last week's TES? How does she propose to address concerns that increasing the stakes of testing is leading to the corruption of children - whether in honest schools which have to drill them relentlessly, or dishonest schools which lead their pupils to believe it is not acceptable to get a question wrong, but it is acceptable for adults to 'help' children to cheat?

    Why do Ofsted put out a myth-busting press release, then contradict it in their school reports (eg by praising 'daily marking' and detailed marking which children respond to and which responses teachers use to gauge learning)? What is her estimate of how long it takes to detailed mark 60 books?
  18. This is an open letter to Nicky Morgan after a question I asked during her Guardian questions.

    Hope it isn't too long!

    Dear Ms Morgan,

    Thank you so much for sharing your views in response to my question dated 21st April 2015 which is written below:

    Children are being exploited and groomed, cybersex and sexting are on the rise, children?s mental health is suffering and our teen pregnancies are the worst in Europe. Why does the government still refuse to make PSHE statutory and train new teachers to support our children?s welfare?

    Melonie Syrett, chartered PSHE teacher, London

    Your answer was as follows:

    I think good PSHE teaching is essential. I simply don?t think making PSHE statutory and forcing schools to teach it in a set way prescribed by me in Whitehall is the answer. Schools and teachers should design and implement their own programmes that are right for them and their pupils and flexible enough to adapt to the changing social factors of their communities too.

    I prefer to help teachers deliver these lessons in the way they choose, which is why my department has agreed to work with the PSHE Association to ensure high-quality resources are available and to publish guidance that will help teachers do an effective job.

    I?m so glad you replied because when I first read your answer I was outraged! I think you missed my point, or maybe I just didn?t make it clear enough? Let me take a few minutes of your time to share what I really meant?

    First a little bit about my background: I co-ordinate PSHE in my school. I have done in each school I have worked in. PSHE has not been statutory throughout the entire 13 years I have been teaching. Now I am a chartered PSHE teacher and have the PSHE CPD accreditation. I run a cluster group supporting co-ordinators; I speak at conferences and at my newly formed borough network meetings. I am well trained. I might even go so far to say that I can deliver quality first PSHE/RSE lessons within a primary school. PSHE is my passion.

    I agree with you. I think good PSHE teaching is essential. Discrete teaching time per week per class for all children is essential. As is a whole school approach to PSHE where everyone deals with issues the same way, gives good models for relationships and there are people for children to seek help from.

    As I?m sure you know research shows that the happy, safe, confident child, who is able to deal with conflict, take and assess risks etc attains higher at school. Of course high quality PSHE is essential! I?m not disputing that.

    I?m disputing the fact that the Government won?t make it statutory. You thought I was saying we need you to tell us what to do. That isn?t the case. I agree that schools should design their own programmes. I agree that it should fit their pupils and community. I?m right there with you! Communities are different, each child is different and we cannot take a one child fits all approach. I agree with you!

    But you were missing my point entirely.

    Maybe it wasn?t clear enough? How on earth will we get quality first PSHE/RSE teaching in every school, in every class and for every child without trained teachers leading it? How will we get trained teachers without money? How will we get money without status? How will we get status without a statutory ruling?

    PSHE in many, many schools has little or no place at the moment. I have spoken to so many co-ordinators (like me) who were thrown into the role because there was nothing else or because they came out of their NQT year and were given it. They face no support. No schemes of work, no training, no budget, no status in their schools because the subject is NOT STATUTORY!

    I?m so lucky. My previous head teacher was fully invested in a whole school approach to PSHE. She realised relationships had broken down within the school and implemented PSHE in discrete lessons and across the school to help repair these. She employed me to support the staff and to give them training.

    There was resistance. Not every teacher, in fact more than likely ?few teachers? understand the worth of PSHE as a subject. They don?t understand it. They are likely to have had little or no input on it in initial teaching training. They see little need for working on ?feelings? or ?wellbeing?. They worry about approaching drugs and alcohol education. They are scared of the ?relationships? and ?growing up? elements of it. They get visibly uncomfortable at hearing the words ?vagina? and ?penis?. They freak out at the idea of teaching older children about the scientific facts of ?puberty getting the body ready for sexual maturity?.

    So, hopefully my concern is getting clearer. We have a problem. Why would a teacher, who has little or no support and experience in teaching PSHE, make it a priority? It is not statutory. No one is likely to check up on them and see if they are teaching it and particularly if they are teaching it well as it is likely that no one in the school knows what quality first PSHE teaching looks like!

    Statutory status isn?t about you telling us how to do it. It is about raising the bar in PSHE education. It is about giving more money to budget holders for resources and things like membership to the PSHE Association. (Yep, people don?t join because they don?t have the money in their budget for it!) It is about having money to pay to go on a course and to receive excellent training. Then it is about having that teacher trained in the school who can lead it well.

    Statutory status is about having clout! No status = no need for SLT to be on board. With status your managers have to listen. They have to demand that people make deadlines such as planning and display. They can implement CPD within school so that good practice can be shared. They can ensure that the co-ordinator is monitored just like the other subject co-ordinators.

    Statutory status is so much more than you giving me planning.

    I?m in a fortunate place. My school embraces PSHE. It sees it as integral to a child?s wellbeing. I have been able to raise PSHE?s profile in the school. Each teacher plans for PSHE. Most teach it quite well! I am included in the CPD programme we have and this autumn every staff member saw how I teach PSHE. I?ve supported those who struggle and I have an open door policy for teachers and parents to ask questions. I have had 4 slots for PSHE staff meetings, (one on AfL, one on RSE, one on PSHE in the school and the expectations I have and one on wellbeing.) I run parents meetings and share our curriculum. I ask them to help me build in what they need. Our PSHE fits our community.

    Awesome huh?!

    The reason that I can do this is because of the status on PSHE in the school which comes from the head teacher. I have clout. We have clout! PSHE is integral to our curriculum. 9I?m not saying there isn?t work to do, there is, but you get the idea don?t you?)

    Sadly this is not the norm. Too many schools let PSHE slide off the edge of the week. Someone said to me the other day that people ?finish other work? in their PSHE slot. Many Secondary schools have ?drop down days? (1 day of PSHE a year). People shy away, ignore or ?forget? PSHE. It has no status. It has no clout.

    As Ofsted said it is ?Not good enough? and as the Life Lessons Report shared the ?situation has worsened? and that ?young people report that sex and relationships education they receive is inadequate? and most importantly ?that this situation wouldn?t be tolerated in other subjects?. No it wouldn?t. You wouldn?t have it. I wouldn?t have it. So why on earth is this happening?

    I hope this makes my concern clearer and maybe you could help shed some light now on my question of why PSHE is not a statutory subject?

    With warm regards,

    Melonie Syrett

    Chartered Teacher of PSHE
  19. Hi, I would like to put the following question to Nicky Morgan...

    I've taken part in a few web chats which you've been a part of... The telegraph and netmums. On both I asked about summer born children being given the opportunity to start school in reception at compulsory school age and not be penalised at any point of their education by being made to skip a year (which your government doesn't allow in any other circumstances eg family holiday as even a few days of school are deemed detrimental to that child's education!). On both instances you answered my questions (thank you) and stated how the system already has flexibility; that there is no statutory barrier to being educated outside of normal year group; how preschools continue to receive funding until a child starts school and how testing takes place at the end of a key stage not at a set age. Unfortunately whilst this may be true in legislation local admission authorities and schools do not seen to be aware of this. Or are, incredibly, using this 'flexibility' to their own advantage (or hidden agenda) and simply not allowing any summerborn to start school in reception at CSA. This issue now needs resolving, rather than pre Election spin which didn't really address the very real discrimination that exists. What will you actually do now to ensure the fairness for #summerborn that you have promised and assured us will happen?
  20. Art and Design has the capacity to develop and enhance one's creative identity through intellectual enquiry and individualistic expression both of which encourage active and experiential learning. Despite this and Art and Design providing an alternative route for creative learners it is a discipline that is truly undervalued within Further Education.

    I would therefore like to find out your response regarding the recent letter Lesley Butterworth (General Secretary NSEAD) wrote. I would be grateful if you could address these two areas in particular: Art teachers having to self fund CPD development and the lack of financial support for individuals considering to train as Art teachers.

    Thank you.

    Miss Karapinar (Teacher of Art and Photography)

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