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One primary teacher's open letter to the government: 'The standards expected are now untenable'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Are you implying that a small minority of primary staff are doing this?
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  2. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I am implying that some cheating does go on as evidenced by the number of HTs that you read about who have lost their jobs through "amending papers"
  3. paramelvina

    paramelvina New commenter

    I agree with the open letter. Until politicians listen to experts in education or read the evidence and act on it, we will have a top down, fragmented system, that is not fit for purpose. When did education stop bring about children and became a privatisation, money spinner whilst we are distracted by unnecessary, unwanted, unworkable socially divisive changes.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  4. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Yes, I agree that they are untenable. However, this does provide an excellent array of reasons to allow a teacher to be Performance Managed out of the door.
    I don't think any other occupation in Britain has this management tool.
    Suerichardson likes this.
  5. becksterboo

    becksterboo New commenter

  6. SportyK

    SportyK Occasional commenter

    Something worth noting is the transition from Primary to Secondary. In year 6 pupils are taught to the test week in week out in the lead up to exams. For example, in my school the whole of Spring Term has been given over to testing children on past papers. Then the year 6's sit their SATs in May-June. This leaves roughly 2 months where they are not motivated to work. Then there is the holidays. That's 3 months dead time where these pupils could be transitioned post SATs into high school. Become familiar with new surroundings and processes and have far less of a struggle come September. If we sent Y6's up straight after SATs they would be far better prepared. Anyone agree/disagree?
    stupot101 and schoolsout4summer like this.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I've written a similar letter, although not open, to Nick Gibb, who also happens to be a local MP. I have not heard anything back (not that I am shocked). However, I think we should all be doing this, at the moment the whole profession just seems to be taking these ridiculous curriculum changes, assessment changes and unrealistic expectations. It's time we did something, they do work for us. There is a website of the name 'they work for you' or something similar, which has MP contact details.

  8. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    In my primary experience, post SATs we did all the things we hadn't had time to do before: you know, those foundation subjects, especially art, DT, music, PE. Not to mention putting on a Leavers' Performance of some kind. The children were more than happy to work, provided it wasn't the Gradgrindian diet they'd had for the previous 6 months. I don't see why sending them after SATs would make them better prepared for secondary.
    Suerichardson likes this.
  9. SportyK

    SportyK Occasional commenter

    Fair point. I came to my view from speaking with my friend a HoD at a secondary school, we discussed drop off post SATs and trying to avoid remedial work come Y7. It's good to hear that you can focus on children's passion for the arts and wider curricular interests so good on you.:)
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I'm retired now (apart from half a day a week), and looking back over my career, it's stuff like the Leavers' Performances which stand out in my memory. We did several memorable BBC Music Workshop productions of Shakespeare plays, for example. And also the Y6 residential trips which now generally only take place post-SATs - fantastic opportunities for different children to shine, especially if it's Outdoor Pursuit activities (thus ticking THAT off the PE NC).
    SportyK likes this.
  11. SportyK

    SportyK Occasional commenter

    chelsea2, this is what we need to hear more of at present. There's so much focus on govt expectations and stringent testing that these memorable experiences children gain so much from are easily forgotten in the tumult of the current climate.
  12. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    But you can't measure them, so they're not of value! :mad:
  13. Suerichardson

    Suerichardson New commenter

    I think her letter is absolutely on point-under this government, those children who have spent six years exceeding expectations, i.e. level 5/6 trajectory, are now going to be lucky if they meet expected standards. This seems to be a harsh and cruel way to treat children-tell them they are doing a great job then smash them down in their final year. It is an absolute direct path to low self-esteem and self- worth. It is cruel beyond belief.
    Two years ago, I was struggling to decide if a piece of writing was a 4a or a 5c. I shared the child's writing with a GCSE moderator who told me it would be a B at GCSE. The figures just do not add up. This is my first year in year 6 and I know that my children are not coping with the sudden up-turn in expectations. I have SEN children in my class, I have Looked After Children, I have children with English as an Additional Language and I have children who have always been high flyers along with those who expected to hit the 4b-this is the year that is going to break so many of these children and kill their love of learning and working hard-what's the point?
    After SATs, our school covers all those curriculum areas we have neglected, we study History and Geography and Art and DT, Music etc and we put on a year 6 end of school leavers performance for the parents. We also perform part of this performance at our historical theatre. (We do study and write cross-curricular because the government want evidence across the curriculum!)
    Finally, after my first year in year 6, I will be breaking and crushing a lot of children's hearts and crushing their love of learning and writing for fun. Their writing has become robotic as they desperately try to tick those boxes. I will not be getting a pay-rise, my performance management target is that 75% (government guidelines) of children reach expected standards-if anyone out there knows what they are, please let me and my children know.
    chelsea2 likes this.
  14. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    That sums it up perfectly.
    Good luck to you and your children 0 and all the other Y6 teachers and children out there.
  15. SparkyTeaching

    SparkyTeaching New commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2016
    stupot101 likes this.
  16. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    @SparkyTeaching. Excellent! (oops misuse of exclamation there)
    They are children, not current buns.

    But you see the politicians need to measure everything - it gives them ammunition to fire, justifies their criticisms of the education system.
    Shedman likes this.
  17. Taramichelle

    Taramichelle New commenter

    WOW. Embarrassing.
    palmtree100 likes this.

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