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"No teacher" A Levels

Discussion in 'Education news' started by pair_of_argyles, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    The OU works because the students are motivated to do the work ourselves. And whilst we can contact our tutors pretty much at any time we want we can't always expect an immediate reply.
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    The report mentions "small groups" beeing supervised by TAs. If small really means small, then maybe this is a way round low take-up A-levels being ditched in schools which won't or can't pay for a teacher for a group below a certain number.

    Thing is, if they really are small groups and they really do want to learn, at 6th form then the TA's presence should be entirely uncessesary. And if the students don't want to learn, then it's going to be a complete waste of time. Though I suppose that those who don't want to learn might have less impact on those who do in this scenario than in a standard classroom set up.

    I definitely think that the quality of learning will be less though - and surely language learning is where individual interaction with a teacher is more important than anywhere else?
    palmtree100 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Not having to employ A-level teachers, who really know their subject inside out, and have to be paid a decent salary, sounds like every SLT and head teacher's wet dream.
    But, every cloud has a silver lining. Bring it on, and bring it on soon. Private tutoring businesses will go through the roof.
    catbefriender, JL48 and sparkleghirl like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Truth is, there isn’t much appetite in government circles for small sixth forms with limited curriculums being subsidised by statutory cohort years when a school is killing the government for money. Better off having a local sixth form delivering economies of scale.

    It’s a new conservative v old clash.

    New conservatives want to deliver education at minimum cost - small state. Old conservatives what to conserve strong traditional schools.
  5. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    This has been an option for a while - a previous school of mine did this for Law A level back in 2003
    wanet likes this.
  6. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    You say that but it was this set of conservatives who underfunded sixth form and FE colleges, encouraged existing schools to reopen small sixth forms and opened a significant number of free schools, UTCs and Studio schools with extremely low numbers.
  7. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    You are preaching to the converted. If I ruled the world I'd close most school sixth forms in a heartbeat. A sixth form college or F.E. college, with it's greater freedom, and more adult treatment of older students, is also far better preparation for university. Of course, from a teacher's point of view a sixth form college is infinitely better than an F.E. college where you get your holidays stolen are are paid peanuts.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    What they are doing is what they do to the NHS, schools, sixth form, Local Government and all of them. They underfund and encourage competition. The idea is that the weak ones go. The strong survive. It also forces some to be innovative to survive. If they succeed then others copy their practice and drives down cost. But don't be beguiled, they want economies of scale or innovative smaller providers - whoever can produce the same outcome at the lower cost price will survive.

    I was at a presentation last week which looked at foundation degrees. They are having huge success - far beyond what you would consider a normal outcome. They are taking what are effectively failed sixth formers, spending a year re-educating them and then putting them through a degree. The success rate is astronomical. 70-80% retention rates. For some pupils, a school sixth form is not a good place for them. In towns where education is 11-16 and there are large sixth form provision there really is quite a different in outcomes and range of qualifications for those aged 16-18. If schools can cream off those that are going to get the B/A/A*s, then the local sixth form or FE college is basically a dumping ground. Now that schools have to open their doors to alternative providers thanks to the Baker clause it could expedite the shrinking of the subsidised strata of providers.
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I feel quite depressed about this stuff. It really looks like public services are being deliberately run down. The public are becoming accustomed to poor services.
    My son is currently waiting for an appointment to see a hospital consultant and has been told that it will probably be months before he sees one. He is already beyond the 18 week waiting time target.
    The number of policemen is being savagely cut, police budgets are being slashed yet again and the PM claims in the commons that police budgets are protected. A friend is a retired constable. The nick where he worked for 20 years now only has a skeleton staff. There is never more than 3 police officers on duty where there used to be never less than 10.
    Academies pay CEOs half a million and whine that they are underfunded. The staffrooms of English schools are becoming radically younger as the expensive experienced teachers get capabilitied out and replaced by young, cheap, manageable replacements, much to the detriment of state school students. Reducing lessons to you-tube videos will become the norm in state schools. This saves more money for the MATS, the CEOs can pay themselves more.
    Want to see a consultant? Buy medical insurance.
    Want to see police on the streets? Pay for private security.
    Want your kids to have a decent education? Send them to a private school.

    I am off to mine BITCOIN.
    JL48 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  10. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    It's now the norm for teachers to buy in schemes or work and lessons and just follow them. Some exam boards produce materials for the whole course, e.g. OCR GCSE Computer Science.

    If teachers take so little pride in their subject knowledge then this would seem to be the next step. It's not even that much of a step.
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Some of my students tell me how certain teachers deliver almost all of their lessons as Power Point presentations. No wonder then that some want to replace teachers with computers, as they could do this just as well, if not better.
    JL48 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  12. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    AKA Teach by numbers.

    I've known some SLT that think that it's good practise, and have asked departments to have a pp with accompanying resources and lesson plan for every class they teach.
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Just more confirmation that so many of our schools are run by complete idiots.
  14. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I don't think that they issue is with PowerPoint slides per se; it's more with using PowerPoint slides that someone else has made, and therefore no thought has gone into the structure of the lesson.

    It also depends on what subject you teach - I rarely use presentations for Maths, for example, but use them quite a lot for Computer Science where I can prepare animations (e.g. defragmentation, sorting, etc.) in advance.
  15. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Perhaps this is due, at least in part, to the 'teacher workload' we hear so much about? If teachers are spending as much time as they say they are, on admin and churning out data, then can you blame them for trying to save some time by using ready-made resources?

    If they had more time, maybe they'd be more inclined to invest some of it, into producing their own resources?

    I never taught OCR GCSE, so can't really comment on it, but I was never a big fan of the resources BTEC used to dish out. I could count the number of times I used any of their stuff on the fingers of one hand.

    Valid point. I remember sitting through a 40 minute session at Uni, where the lecturer 'wasn't available', and a research assistant flicked through a bunch of PPT slides, and read each one verbatim. No point asking questions, as the subject wasn't 'in her area of expertise'. Might just as well have sent the slides out by email.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

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