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What impact is the focus on chasing qualifications having on teachers’ lives?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    “Education should be a joy”, at least that is what one leading independent head teacher thinks. However, Tricia Kelleher believes this is not the case for many teachers because of ministers’ obsession with qualifications. She thinks that many teachers and students’ wellbeing are suffering as a result.


    What do you think?
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    It also infects and spoils the nature of so much else that schools do. Not only are results a very narrow aspect of school life but other things, more enjoyable things, become infected by the mentality.

    So extra-curricular? That becomes something demanded of staff to meet Ofsted criteria.

    Teaching? We have a tick sheet for that [only an idiot of a teacher could have invented a tick sheet for teaching]

    Pastoral? Has to be measured of it serves no purpose.

    I could go on.
  4. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    A trawl of this forum since September should give all the answers you need.
    needabreak and kent1 like this.
  5. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I think that the effect is worse for the students, particularly in subjects such as ICT, where dull, easy-to-pass qualifications are chosen over interesting, but more challenging, ones. It seems that it's better to teach the students nothing but get them a certificate that counts towards your league table position, rather than actually educate them.
  6. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    You could also ask what effect is it having on pupils' lives...But the answer would be the same.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'd say that the effect it's having on teachers' lives is that it's leading to increasing numbers not being teachers at all...
    lanokia, chelsea2 and RedQuilt like this.
  8. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    Indeed. I don't think qualifications matter in teaching especially. It is usually the very well qualified and educated teachers who seem to be deemed unsuitable for the profession whereas young drones who superficially look the part who have limited personalities are the ones hired and respected most in the horrible school environment by idiotic senior management,
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Think the article is more to do with chasing pupils to achieve qualifications, rather than teaching them, supporting them, but recognising that ultimately the responsibility for achievement rests with them. However, because schools are judged on the qualifications our pupils achieve, we work and work and work to make sure they are successful. WE are doing more work than them!
  10. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    That reminds me of the time when I was told by a lovely HT that I should never be working harder than the children I was teaching. It was given as a kindly tip. Can't imagine many Heads giving that advice today!
  11. ChrisKRT

    ChrisKRT New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    Hope you don't mind me joining your discussion here.

    I'll be honest, I can't comment with the same level of experience as I'm just an ITT and about three months into my training, but even I can see that there's clearly more of a shift towards box-ticking, performance standards and making sure we're as experienced as we can be.

    In my case, I'm training to teach MFL, and I've already been subtly advised to take an AS-Level in Spanish, before I've even thought about the NQT year to come. Add to that the fact that ITTs are expected to be reasonably well-versed in all the Teachers' Standards within a few weeks, and that some training programmes now combine school-based training with a PGCE, and it is obvious that there is a significant shift in terms of what the government expects new teachers to be able to do.

    I realise it's not my place to say whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that 'accountability' seems to have become a buzzword in education. What I would say, based on my reflections, though, is that I can imagine a lot of these standards could come across to a teacher who has taught for twenty or thirty years as implying a lack of trust or that their experience is not worth as much as a piece of paper, or up-to-date marks on an excel sheet.

    I don't know - a lot of it comes across as CPD that many teachers are arguably doing already, and I do get the impression that the profession has become harder, and harder in ways that many people wonder are actually necessary.

    That said, I'm still really glad I got into teaching, because it's always been what I wanted to do, but there has definitely been much more of a shift towards crossing off standards, and a criticism culture. I know that I go into this profession expecting to be observed and scrutinised at regular intervals, and I also know from relatives who once taught that this wasn't always the case.

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