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"Outstanding" teachers from girls grammar showing us how to teach!!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mathsboddeen, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I have found that the most frustrating thing is when the "escalation" for non-attendance/bad behaviour in a detention does not work. Failure to attend your detention -> put in departmental detention. Failure to attend that -> put in the weekly "school" detention. You go to do that (already a week down the line from the incident), and you find that they're already in for the next two weeks, one of those being because they failed to turn up last week. Meanwhile, the same child is continuing to accrue "class teacher" detentions at the rate of several a week, knowing that it will never catch up with them.
  2. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    The school I used to attend, a very long time ago, had Saturday morning detention, and I'm told it still does.

    I'm willing to bet that not even the most delinquent student is anxious to accrue too many of these. Yes, it would cost each teacher (if shared out fairly) one Saturday morning every year or two, but its more than worth it for the grief it causes the kids that richly deserve it. Oh, and to hell with their parents' objections.

    On a similar note, detentions after school have far more bite than running them at lunch time.
  3. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    This only works with a strong SLT.
  4. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    David, in the environments frustum is writing about (and all of the comps I've taught in, and the comp my kids attend), the "sanction" for not turning up to detention is a longer detention.

    Setting a detention on a Saturday morning would simply mean they wouldn't turn up to that either.

    The kids know they can ignore detentions and there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about it because, ultimately, exclusion statistics are a Black Mark against the school. So, break any minor rule you like - as long as you're not seen by SLT actually beating someone up, as long as you don't actually hit a member of SLT, nothing will be done about it if you simply ignore the sanction.
  5. Not true. The solution is to send in some maths teachers from your local grammar school. They'll sort out the problems. :) They're greeeeeeeaaaate.
  6. fieldextension

    fieldextension New commenter

    If OFSTED have decided that you need help, it likely means that you are underperforming relative to schools in similar circumstances, not just relative to the local grammar school. Hopefully a school which is in similar circumstances to yours that significantly outperforms yours can send some of their teachers to show you how to improve. I wouldn't like to say whether or not you would accept their help with open arms.

    You tell us that you had a bad experience with teachers from your local grammar school. I doubt their teachers had any choice but to come to your school. Even if the poor teachers who were forced to visit you are the most inept, evil and useless bunch of people on earth (which I am not suggesting for a minute is true), to suppose that one can make legitimate inferences from that one experience about all teachers in grammar schools, as you do above, is ridiculous. The fallacy you are engaged in, of generalising about a large population from just one experience, is called hasty generalisation and I would expect someone who has to teach data handling to be aware of it. I know of numerous teachers who were highly successful working in both difficult comprehensives and in academically selective schools. To suppose that they become clueless about teaching in one type of school after a highly successful career there is sheer nonsense.
  7. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Want some ketchup mathsboddeen?
  8. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    If we are talking about the ultimate kind of exclusion (expulsion) then I find this somewhat ironic. My experience has been that it is the better schools that are prepared expel students. Like what you said in an earlier comment, they are concerned for the welfare of the majority of their students.

    Surely even the most ret@rded SLT must realize that this is a recipe for complete disaster.
  9. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    I taught in a school once where the new Headmaster expelled 6 students in his first 6 weeks at the school. It was amazing to see how quickly all the students sat up and took notice, and the change in general atmosphere that took place in the school as a result was immediate. This particular school had got itself into a downward spiral, poor work ethic amongst students, poor results, low moral amongst staff, dropping student numbers. The new Headmaster's aim was to turn the school around, and he got off to a quick start. 5 years on the school continues to thrive.

    This was an independent school, I guess that is obvious to determine. The reason I mention this story is because its the only time I've worked at a school where this kind of drastic action has been taken. Drastic it was, but the impact it had was remarkable, and the turn around was badly needed and welcomed. I wonder how many Senior Leaders have the nerve to do such a thing?
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Thanks, fieldextension. I could not have put it better myself.
  11. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Now that is strong leadership.[​IMG]
  12. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    So why isn't that the easy, fix-all solution?

    We all know (though some may be in denial) that *the* key reason why selective & private schools do so well is because they have (overwhelmingly) supportive parents [it's certainly not because their teaching standards are generally a great deal higher]. If the parents didn't support the school, and especially its behaviour policies, they would remove their child rapidly. That's the thing about these fortunate / proactive parents - they do have a real, practical choice of school, and aren't reluctant to exercise it.

    SLTs at all schools know the critical importance of 'parental support'. They all *want* to have supportive sets of parents.

    But here's the rub. If some schools go in 'strong' (as above), they risk actually antagonising *more* of the parents in their community. There may be 10% or 20% who, at present, are actively 'unsupportive' of the school, and they risk 'upsetting' another 10% or so. Then things would get worse.

    [Of course, their egos and professional careers are at stake too. They don't want to be seen to fail, and so they are naturally risk averse].

    It's really not that straightforward.

    Also bear in mind (if you understand how state sector schools really work) that Heads and SLT can't just unilaterally change exclusion policies or introduce Sat morning detentions. Such things need to be agreed with the board of governors.

    You can be sure that the 'strong leadership' new Headmaster referred to above was not acting alone. He would have had the full support of his governors (and it was probably *they* who showed the real leadership in appointing a Head with such intentions).

    Although I'm often critical of SLT (usually for a lack of balls in 'leading' on learning, rather than trying to 'comply' with what they think OFSTED want), in this case a great deal more of the responsibility rests with school governors. They often appoint Heads and SLT who are good administrators, but have few real 'leadership' skills. That's why so many can't hope to 'lead' their communities to stronger enforcement policies and sanctions. IMO. :)

  13. Agree with everything MMT wrote there.

    On a different point, lots of colleagues wanting to give bobdeenmaths some advice, no one seemingly too keen on taking his place.
  14. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    If we look at how our democracy works, there is invariably considerably larger than 30% of the population that doesn't support the government. Yet they implement policies, for the good of the majority, that often upset those who did not support them.

    To use a word that's been used a lot in this thread, parents who are actively unsupportive of their school are scum. It really doesn't matter what they feel or think.

    Getting rid of disruptive kids only depletes a school's role in the short term, because the vast improvement it engenders has good parents clamouring to get their child in.
  15. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Err. Remember the Poll Tax riots?

    Events like that every so often remind governments that they can't just do what they want. Even if they may be 'right'. The Poll Tax failed (IMO) largely because the government didn't 'persuade' and 'take along the people' with its idea. It's the same with schools.

    It matters crucially. Their beliefs represent the biggest single problem we have.

    Oh dear. I'm sure, if you think about it, you know a great deal about the conditions of 'market failure'. Especially since the creation of large mega-sized schools (in order to efficiently offer a wider range of subjects and facilities), very many parents effectively have no choice whatsoever in their Secondary school. You, and me, may be mobile and able to choose where we live - but many others are very, very tightly tied to their local neighbourhoods and in practice have no choice of their Secondary school. Market economics OFTEN fails.

    I'm not actually disagreeing with your 'solution', but just trying to point out that it's much harder than you seem to suggest or understand and that, to do it responsibly, you need to think about what is actually going to happen to all your excluded students. Otherwise you might just get some unintended consequences that prove even worse than we have at present.


  16. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Fair point. Yes, you can't just put the miscreants on the street. You would probably need some sort of sin-bin or boot camp (but with a chance for the inmates to turn over a new leaf, and return to a normal school).

    Of course, I'm not that naive, and realize that any real solution is likely to cost a lot of money. But why should those in power bother. Their kids invariably attend the best schools, which gives them a massive advantage. So, a cynic might well imagine that it's very much in the interest of the powerful to keep things just as they are.

    However, unlike the OP I don't have a grudge against good schools, the kids that attend them, or their parents. I just wish many more kids had the same opportunity, and feel it's very wrong for them to have their education (and future) blighted by a relatively small minority or sociopathic students.

  17. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Totally agree.

    Actually, why not? I assume because we think they'll do more damage out there - but that's hardly an excuse for an education policy that sees a few dozen (cos it is only a few dozen even in the worst schools) ruin the education of thousands of others.

    It needn't. The actual numbers are quire small - what makes it seem worse is the hundreds of kids who aren't unteachable but who see that the worst cases face no real sanction and, generally, find it more of a larf to muck about than learn and know nothing will happen to them either.

    And it's this sort of thing Gove's Free Schools could address. MMT writes of "market failure" - that's because of the oligopoly of the state system. Free Schools are intended to create a market where none currently exists.

    A free school catering for extremely autistic kids has just open. I'd say there's room in most towns for a couple catering for those with behavioural "special needs".
  18. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Isn't the whole point of the thread that we have to work with whoever comes through the door in the morning? The OP therefore finds it insulting that people used to a different intake can offer his department advice on how to deal with his intake and have nothing in common with them.
  19. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Actually, we don't know what the OP finds insulting nor what advice was offered he didn't agree with.

    Despite a couple of requests, the OP has not provided that information.
  20. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    No, I really don't think they are anything to do with that.

    They are much more to do with the fact that (outside major conurbations) each local neighbourhood (within practical travelling distance) can only support a very small number of large schools. And large schools are 'required' if you want them to offer a wide range of facilities and courses.

    So what 'choice' of school does someone living in, say, Ifracombe (a town in Devon where I'm on holiday) really have? None.

    If you are in a major conurbation, then schools have limited numbers of places. It's often physically impossible for 'successful' schools to expand their capacities. [Unless we talk about multi-site schools, which I guess could well make an impact (predominantly because they are less accountable / constrained by the wishes of their local catchment areas).

    I just can't see how Free schools significantly help overcome these issues in any way whatsoever.



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