A very interesting, well written article about Mr. Gove's wishes (and formation of policies which is just a little bit more frightening) to create outstanding schools based on the private school system. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by summing it up as I couldn't put it better but it does seem to me that educational professionals need to unite and take up the mantle of reforms in education ourselves. Schools can and do make a difference every day. Is it too idealistic to believe we can make a difference at a higher level? After all, the people who are doing the job every day have a lot to offer policy makers. Could the anger and sheer frustration at the way education is going be steered into discussion to give solid, real practical direction in the way we would like it to be going.
Head's Roundtable has formed to take matters into their own hands and contribute to those discussions:
The Headteachers’ Roundtable originated from a roundtable meeting on 12 October 2012 at The Guardian newspaper offices. It grew out of frustration regarding current government educational policy and the Opposition response to it. Its origins and subsequent growth are down to the power of Twitter as a tool for connecting people to try and bring about change where they feel it is needed.
We are a non-party political group that wants to influence national education policymakers so that education policy is centred upon what is best for the learning of all children.
Composition of the Core Group
Dave Whitaker – Executive Principal, Springwell (‘Special’) Community School and Barnsley PRU
John Tomsett – Headteacher, Huntington School, York
Tom Sherrington – Headteacher, King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford
Chris McShane – Headteacher, Quilley School of Engineering, Eastleigh
Ros McMullen – Principal, David Young Community Academy, Leeds and CEO Leaf Academy Trust
Vic Goddard – Principal, Passmores Academy, Harlow
Jon Chaloner – Executive Headteacher of GLF Schools; Glyn School & Danetree Junior School, Epsom; Lime Tree Primary School, Reigate
Rob Campbell – Headteacher, Impington Village College, Cambridge
What about primary heads? I know there is some representation on the Roundtable but a little under represented so far-they would welcome more HTS from the primary sector. Are primary heads able to become more involved at a national strategic level? Can we use our primary associations to come together and formulate, steer, support educational direction? There is much talk on social networking sites, in the media, between teachers and parents too but can we harness it and use it to make change for the better as we see it?
I think we can; that we can make a difference. I feel if we don't everything primary practitioners hold dear will be squeezed out. I truly understand how folk feel - there's no time as every day your energy is taken by the immense amount of paperwork and piling standards pressure from govt, LA, parents etc. But is there time to actually think about what is the most important thing about our job, what are we doing it for and why? How many meetings do people have to attend when we talk about making unattainable levels of progress, testing at 4, drilling the children to improve their results, having booster classes in holidays. I've only just stopped-I hear about it from those around me, people do go out of their schools to do the above-to almost become complicit in these changes ourselves. I know I've done it! Before you know it you're coming home with glossy booklets suggesting boostering children to within an inch of their lives and making 3 levels progress as 2 is just merely rubbish now a days. Rarely was there a suggestion about how to engage children and inspire them into learning. I wonder why we are all in it in the first place. For this? For this constant drive to all become average (I didn't think that was possible mathematically anyway).
Surely there comes a point when we have to stand up and say this is wrong-use our time to be proactive and at least TRY to change our system from within for our own children's sake.