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Victorian teachers speak out against their government ? what about you lot?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Christopher Curtis, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I have previously gone through the battle waged in Victoria against a government that was very damaging to education:


    http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/462500.aspx


    I have also given some examples of speaking out against that government despite an official ban on teachers speaking out:


    http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/464618.aspx


    That party is now back in power and will make education worse again. It won?t do it with the drama and chaos of last time, but it will do it. It is now backing away from its promise to make Victorian teachers the best paid in the country. However, teachers here are not intimidated into silence. Here are some recent examples, of named teachers (including a principal) speaking up against their employer, the government - though not on the pay issue:


    My point is that teachers should refuse to be silenced when under attack and when the children they teach are under attack. They should treat any demands by their employers for silence with contempt.


    I know I make this point form the safety of Australia and that I will not suffer any consequences if a teacher in Scotland speaks out against his or her employer on my advice, but we faced the same pressure here. We just didn?t give in.
     
  2. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I have previously gone through the battle waged in Victoria against a government that was very damaging to education:


    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/462500.aspx


    I have also given some examples of speaking out against that government despite an official ban on teachers speaking out:


    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/464618.aspx


    That party is now back in power and will make education worse again. It won?t do it with the drama and chaos of last time, but it will do it. It is now backing away from its promise to make Victorian teachers the best paid in the country. However, teachers here are not intimidated into silence. Here are some recent examples, of named teachers (including a principal) speaking up against their employer, the government - though not on the pay issue:


    My point is that teachers should refuse to be silenced when under attack and when the children they teach are under attack. They should treat any demands by their employers for silence with contempt.


    I know I make this point form the safety of Australia and that I will not suffer any consequences if a teacher in Scotland speaks out against his or her employer on my advice, but we faced the same pressure here. We just didn?t give in.
     
  3. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your support. It's good to know we are not alone.
     
  4. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    jenmac,


    You know, if teachers just stuck together, they would achieve a lot more. Sadly, there are always some who can be bought off, which happened here in the 1990s.


    I can?t offer much support, but I do think the Scottish teacher unions would find some useful advice by talking to the officials of the Victorian branch of the AEU about their experiences and how they resisted in the 1990s here. The same people are still in charge of the union ? which is a comment in itself.


    Ultimately it is up to teachers themselves. The more they resolve to make a committed long-term effort, the more likely they will be to succeed. Partly that means marshalling information. As one point, Scottish teachers? conditions are not particularly good.


    The Scottish secondary PTR is 12.1:1 compared with 11.9:1 here, and ours was 10.9:1 30 years ago, so it has already suffered a considerable worsening. The Scottish primary PTR is 15.8:1 compared with 15.7:1 here. Scottish figures are from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/12/01091355/3.


    The top unpromoted teacher salary here is $81,608 (£50,957 at current high exchange rates, c£40,800 at more reasonable exchange rates).


    The maximum teaching load here is 22.5 hours in a primary school and something like 19.2 hours in a secondary school, with the 19.2 hours including home groups and extras (which I think you call ?please takes?). (I say ?something like? because it is a calculated on a complicated indexing system based on the old 48-minute periods, which no school should now have.)


    The maximum secondary class size is 25 students. The maximum average class size in any primary school is 26 students, and the maximum in prep to year 2 is 21 students.


    If you are going to make an argument against cuts, you need to know jurisdictions that already do better than Scotland does. When we faced cuts here, those in power found jurisdictions that did worse than we did to prosecute their case, rather than the jurisdictions that did better than we did, as the latter would have undermined their case.
     

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