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What should be at the top of the new education secretary's to-do list?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    'Justine Greening's replacement Damian Hinds will have to follow the priorities of 10 Downing Street and make a series of decisions on important issues as he settles into his new role as education secretary.

    And while Brexit and the NHS have been at the centre of much of the political debate since the election, education is likely to move to centre stage in the weeks and months ahead.'

    But what issues should be a priority for the man in charge of education?

  2. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    1) Order a public enquiry into OFQUAL’s competence over the GCSE Computer Science NEA shambles.

    2) Order a public enquiry into why all the media outlets including TES seem afraid to investigate OFQUAL’s breathtaking incompetance.
  3. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Remove the fast-track capability process.
    Mrsmumbles and bessiesmith like this.
  4. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Treat teachers as partners in the education of our young people rather than as the enemy.
  5. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    Just apologise for the head-in-the-sand mentality that has become synonymous with the DofE.
    Admit there aren't enough teachers, hold your hands up and say "I'm sorry there's not enough money to hire as many teachers as we'd like, and not enough money to pay you what you deserve" (cue millions of people highlighting schemes which they'd like to be cut to pay for more teaching staff).

    I care more that our government gets out of the pit of habitually lying ("There are more teachers than ever before") than if we get 1% vs 2% next year. Every time they avoid the truth, we slide deeper into the Orwellian fever-dream that has defined politics of late.
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    What should be there, as above.

    What will be there?
    1. Open a few grammar schools.
    2. Errr.....
    3. That's it.
    TCSC47 and PeterQuint like this.
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Admit that you know very little about education, other than the fact you went to school, and demonstrate that you are willing to learn by getting out of your Commons office and speaking to real live teachers.
  8. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    You're IT. Abandon hope and do nothing to upset anyone. Probably best to hide in a cupboard and pray T.M. does not find you.
    phlogiston likes this.
  9. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Agreed - and welcome back @snowyhead, seems like a long time since you were last here :)
  11. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Go and spend some serious time in ordinary middle of the road schools, talking to children, classroom teachers, site staff, TAs as well as heads. Find out the hopes and fears, the worries and the triumphs.
    Visit schools covering all ages. Do not pick the showcase free school still spending its extra funding, but find an RI school that nobody loves no matter how much blood sweat and tears are expended by the staff.

    Then there are the nine points in the article. They all need sorting, but you need to be straight with us and actually talk to us like adults if you can't sort them.

    Finally, take it as your starting point that most people working in schools want to do their best, and do something to support them. Administrative structures matter little unless they get in the way of teaching and learning. Changing administrative structures just tells us that you want to mess things up and probably make them less fair.
    The curriculum is still settling down after the reforms of the early part of the decade. Unless something is obviously not working (computing GCSE NEA?) let it settle down and support the people trying to make the dogmatic changes work for as many pupils as possible.

    We have arrived at a time when a significant number of teachers are fed up with misinformation, obfuscation and sometimes downright lies, while your party changes things to benefit the lucky few. I do not believe that yours is a party for the many, or that you care about the strugglers and I will continue to believe this until I see a rise in FSM kids going to Oxbridge, a fall in the number of teachers and children with serious mental health issues and a curriculum fit for those with learning difficulties as well as those who learn easily.
    TCSC47, Rachelmbx and JohnJCazorla like this.
  12. Tartuffe

    Tartuffe Occasional commenter

    Take Education out of political control, a bit like the Bank of England was given autonomy over interest rates etc. Establish a board to manage schools made up of 1/4 serving teachers with at least 10 years classroom experience seconded for a minimum of 3 years, 1/4 Higher Education education experts, 1/4 Business leaders of companies with a good record in training and development, 1/4 others including student representatives, local authority leaders etc.

    Tighten rules on contracts being awarded to companies set up by Trusts selling services back to themselves.
    bessiesmith and JohnJCazorla like this.
  13. MrMedia

    MrMedia Lead commenter

    What should be done and what will be done.

    Continue to create a market in schools where schools compete with each other to drive each other out of existence. Fund the creation of new schools to replace those driven out of existence.

    Continue to erode the number of teachers available forcing schools to hire lesser qualified personnel at reduced salaries making it cheaper to run the the school overall.

    Make it even easier to remove older expensive teachers and be replaced with cheaper lesser qualified personnel.

    Further encourage teaching which can be replaced by automation such as knowledge maps, retrieval, text book learning and teaching to the knowledge based test.

    Introduce automation to replace this teaching and make it even cheaper to deliver education by having fewer contact hours with qualified or otherwise personnel. Some sort of one hour on, one hour off system.

    Introduce a new layer of schools for those parents just below the level of salary needed to afford independent school and call it 'grammar annexe'.

    Continue to change the curriculum and assessment so that only those who attend independent schools and the elite state schools will study subjects beyond the ebacc.
  14. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Careful Mr. Media! Do we have any evidence Hinds understands irony?
    suzychoosy likes this.
  15. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Spot on phlo. Although tell him not to use the visits as utube photo ops.
    phlogiston likes this.
  16. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    1/ Reduce teacher's workload
    2/ Find a way to combat the utter despair and lack of morale teachers have to endure..
    phlogiston likes this.
  17. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

  18. flishflash

    flishflash New commenter

    If / when I have children, I'll do everything possible to get them into a grammar school, and if that fails, would sell everything to get them into a private one. I welcome more grammar schools because the current system full of cheap young teachers with limited training and experience is not working and nothing will change.

    I work in a standard academy and have been on visits over the years around my small midlands city other secondary schools and wouldn't in a million years send them to any but perhaps one of them.

    Behaviour is the biggest problem. Children are now a law unto themselves. Behaviour policies just seem unenforceable. Staff recruitment is another. At my school, it seems like most of the teachers are just out of Sixth Form themselves! They are so young. We have Heads of Department in our school who went straight from qualifying to running a department and they are convinced that they are experienced enough to know what they are doing! Trying to recruit really good teachers and HoDs with some serious experience under their belt is impossible in some subjects. A permanent battle with mobile phones is another huge problem area - I don't think people really understand or realise the damage that they do, with pupils unable to stop looking at their phone, constantly getting them out, texting each other, listening to music instead of the teacher, affecting sleep, concentration, confiscating them is a major disruption and it's maddening.

    At the moment, though, I don't really care - I've given up as trying to get change to happen in my school has been all but impossible. I will very likely be another one joining the redundancy lists soon after 11 years teaching in an academy and leading a department, in a shortage subject (Computing) where recruitment is impossible and the subject is supposed to be a priority, too! I'll be off abroad with a bit of luck in August and very happy about that too.
    ViolaClef and JohnJCazorla like this.
  19. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Sorry to hear your sentiments fishflash. I recognise what you say. All we can do at the moment is keep identifying the problems and telling anybody who will listen.
  20. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    Grammar schools are great for creaming off a small elite who have more of an aptitude and interest in learning.

    However, what do we do with all other kids? Keep them in Academy schools with a never-ending carousel of stressed-out teachers, where behaviour is pretty poor, but it's all due to teachers who are failing to provide "engaging" lessons or who have marked a book in the wrong colour of pen?

    Focusing on grammar schools as a solution is a right wing distraction that might keep some pushy middle class parents happy, but is still letting down the vast majority of pupils in this country, many of whom really want to learn, but the system is constantly letting them down.
    phlogiston, JohnJCazorla and TCSC47 like this.

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