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What one thing would you fix in your school and how?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by LeanProcessManager, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. LeanProcessManager

    LeanProcessManager New commenter

    In a previous thread I introduced myself as a management consultant who wanted to learn more about schools. The comments indicated that many teachers think
    • management in their school is dysfunctional
    • only teachers can possibly know how to manage a school
    Since most school managers are teachers to believe these two things a the same time requires a bit of mental agility.

    So here is my challenge to this forum. What one thing would you fix and how would you go about doing it?

    Rules: No new money or contractual changes - I am interested in the nitty-gritty something that will actually make teachers (or other staff) life better.
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Imo too many Head Teachers got there either by being useless in the classroom and got "booted upstairs" or were perceived by someone not up to the job as "special" (probably off the back of some judicious creeping) and again a poor classroom teacher but perceptive enough to recognise that they needed rapid promotion before that became noticeable, or taught a minority specialist subject either only to academically able students (and hence were identified as a "good teacher" by those without too much discernment) or a compliant girl subject like..... Cooking (how many here know of Heads/Advisors etc who were previously cooking teachers?) I apologise to those who are good and considerate HTs but I have seen too many of the other variety. I only worked for one HT who I would describe as good,decent etc. I have worked with many people who would have made good ones but either they didn't wish to take it on or were not recognised - possibly failing the above criteria I mentioned.
    I would suggest that schools be run by a team of directors - like assistant heads we have now - so Director of Curriculum, Pastoral, Finance etc and run the school as a board. The odds then might be a little more in favour of the more decent getting their way and reduce the possibility of "megalomania "
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Allow teachers to discuss how statistically generated pupil performance estimates can be formulated into realistic individual targets based upon the teachers' professional judgment, as was originally envisaged by the statistical data providers.

    Allow OFSTED Inspectors to tell classroom teachers directly what they are looking for, by arranging meetings that have nobody above subject leader/co-ordinator level present in them. Let's stop managers from interpreting the mystical OFSTED runes like some closed self-perpetuating priesthood.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    The roof, to stop it leaking.

    Seriously though I was looking up a school today where i might be doing some supply. According to their website they have 380 kids on roll. They have 18 teachers then 3 (yes 3) assistant HTs, a DHT and an HT.

    How can a school (it is a middle school) justify that much management? If a school that small can't manage with just 2 at the top then there is something wrong. Those 3 ASHTs exist just to make work for the people actually doing the work.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Put me in charge.

    Let me lead by example. Benign neglect.

    I'd improve staff morale within 3 days. My golden rule would be: if it ain't broke then don't fix it.
  6. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I would remove any management consultants and consider whether or not to seek expert help to handle the most important issue identified by the school community.
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    You do relaise that 'nitty gritty' has racial conotations ?
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Get rid of school league tables.
    All else will then fall into place-data, targets, measuring improvement, proper inspections, labelling teachers, pressurising kids the wrong way, punitive budgets, I could go on but I wont teach my granny to suck eggs.
    Get rid of league tables, because it is not a competition in which children should be pawns-it is education, in which children should be nurtured.
    Anybody had time for any nurturing yet this term?
    Thought not.
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    ONE thing? Get real!
    To be honest, you only have to read many threads on this forum to find out how to improve schools generally:
    - get rid of league tables: they set school against school, and cause schools to teach to the test in order to get a higher position;
    - remove high-stakes testing in primary schools: such testing has skewed the curriculum, reducing it to mainly English & maths - and only those aspects which can be tested easily;
    - have a slim, light touch national curriculum fit for 21st century, enabling schools to teach what is appropriate for their pupils at a time when the pupils are ready;
    - get rid of linking teachers' pay to pupils' test outcomes: we cannot control the raw material (children) so we cannot be held solely accountable for the outcomes;
    - reduce teachers' workload by eliminating much of 'modern' practice: over-detailed planning; the need to provide evidence of everything you've said & done (annotated planning, photographic records, triple marking in a range of colours, etc, etc);

    I could go on - you get the picture??

    IN SUMMARY: allow schools to teach children, with children at the heart of what we do and why.

    Incidentally, why do you want to know?
  10. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    As a consultant, I assume you know the need for data (qualitative and quantitative) to draw conclusions about the institution you are working for and provide them with informed advice.

    Collecting anonymous testimony from a forum is a poor methodology for consulting.
  11. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Can you please confirm what you are expecting here as it appears that you are actually a management consultant who is asking teachers on here to use the benefit of their experience and knowledge to give you information on how to best improve schools, you will then use this information to go into schools and sell those ideas to HT's who will in turn implement them as your ideas to quite possibly the very teachers who came up with them for you on here?

    May I ask what your role is and your qualification and experience is in regard to educational consultation?

    Is it just me or is there something fundamentally wrong with the process that you are asking us to partake in, that which involves making money from the the public purse for something that is not indeed your own initiative and could have been accessed freely via teacher consultation?

    This is surely a prime example of how broken the system really is.
  12. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    I don't think the premise of this thread matches reality.
    It's not the schools who come up with the carp in education but inspectors Ofsted politicians and out of touch bureaucrats.
    Get teachers in the clsssroon to have an input not those promoted according to the Peter Principle.
    Then we will have an end to Leahye tables, stupid and degrading teaching strategies, endless testing and data gathering and stop treating kids as consumers and more like the by and large decent human beings they can become.
    I'm surprised ,or am i, by a management consultant starting this thread...:(
  13. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    I have had 5 heads only 1 was good in terms of he understood the staff, wasn't judgemental or nasty. The other 4 were power driven lunatics.
    HelenREMfan, install and theworm123 like this.
  14. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    I'd like to know this too if the OP would be kind enough.

    I'm happy to give my personal opinions on the question but I'd first like to know why they are sought. If it's to inform a consultant with a view to implementing some new ideas in a particular school then I think it's the teachers working there that should really be consulted.

    In the previous thread, the OP has provided a link above, it states that they are new to education, would they object to saying what sector they worked in before.
  15. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Given the above, I'd say make @grumpydogwoman my headteacher.

    Alternatively, if she's not willing to take on a majorly dysfunctional school then the one thing I think would improve it would be a workload impact assessment for any new initiatives. We somehow seem to have A LOT of additional meetings this year which means after-school hours are now mainly dedicated to meetings; when the actual flip am I meant to mark/plan/prepare/see my own kids? It's OK for SLT who are either total non-teachers or teach one lesson per week to decide on this - they have so little prep and marking that they have utterly failed to consider the fact that this means that instead of marking after school so we don't have to take anything home that now they have forced us to take work home or stay in school until 7pm.
    sabrinakat, Calpurnia99 and install like this.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Make the CEO teach- along with the headteacher and slt

    2 Get rid of the password locked doors to the slt corridor

    3 Stop expecting teachers to read emails from slt and to respond by the end of the day - when they are teaching and marking all day anyway

    4 Allowing teachers to say No - without being bullied back

    5 Stop triple marking and parents evenings
    HelenREMfan and peggylu like this.
  17. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    :eek: Really!
    galerider123 and install like this.
  18. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Why should we give ideas for you to sell to heads at £1000 a day, especially one who clearly understands little of what actually happens in a school. There are too many so called consultants as it is.
  19. Calpurnia99

    Calpurnia99 Star commenter

    Dump league tables. Reinstate catchment areas.
    Return all state schools to LA control.
    Banish free schools, academies, anything presenting itself as a charity (make public schools taxable), faith schools out of state system.
  20. Calpurnia99

    Calpurnia99 Star commenter

    I know I said I would click the ignore button in your instance, but if I had, I'd have missed the rare opportunity to agree with you.
    sabrinakat and red_observer like this.

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