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EDUCATIONAL PRIORITIES

By David Vance On March 26th, 2013 at 7:34 am

When we hear the tiresome whinge from teacher unions that education is being “starved” of cash, it’s helpful to look to see the sort of priorities that they see as important.

Boys increasingly have low self-esteem about their body image, teachers warn.  The Association of Teachers and Lecturers claims the promotion of ideal body images is reducing both boys’ and girls’ confidence in their own bodies. Last year, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image recommended all children took part in compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons. The union will discuss the issue of body image among pupils at its annual conference in Liverpool next week.

We have children leaving our Education system unable to read or write and “body image” is seen as a priority?? CUT their budgets more please!

Hat tip to the ATW reader for the story

MONEY FOR NOTHING…

By David Vance On January 31st, 2013 at 9:45 am

This is how they waste OUR money;

“More than £800,000 has been spent on hiring the services of highly-paid external consultants for an education body that has been in the pipeline for more than six years. The Education and Skills Authority (ESA), which is still not in existence, has so far run up a bill of more than £872,246 in consultant fees — enough to pay for the salary of 40 newly-qualified teachers.”

I am sure the consultants involved will be delighted  at this lavishing of OUR cash on them from the grossly incompetent Stormont regime, a regime which continually demonstrates an inability to manage financial resources. What is worse is that ESA, when it finally comes to exist, has one purpose – the destruction of our Grammar school system and its replacement by a failed comprehensive alternative. The ideologues behind ESA are quite prepared to waste a £1m or more so long as  — in the long run ..they get to destroy that which is good in academic education.

LESSON FOR THE DAY…

By David Vance On January 31st, 2013 at 9:38 am

Good Education lies at the heart of any prosperous economy. The trouble is that under successive Governments the UK has a FAILED education system;

“Britain’s economy will not prosper unless its ‘mediocre’ education system is overhauled, a hard-hitting report says today. Failing schools and poorly performing teachers lead to a ‘waste of human resources on a grand scale,’ causing long-term damage to the UK, the scathing document says. Local councils which do not let failing schools close must see their wings clipped, and the system for assessing teachers must be revamped, it argues.

Quite so. We need to take a number of actions if the situation is to improve;

1. Sack poorly performing teachers and reward those who are excellent.

2. The dead hand of the teaching unions must be removed from our schools. Their baleful influence sustains the very mediocrity that this report highlights.

3. Government should have as little as input into Education as possible. It continually warps priorities in pursuance of political agendas. We have become dumbed down with over qualified people. What is needed is freedom in Education and the continual pursuit of excellence.

OFF THE MARK!

By David Vance On January 18th, 2013 at 9:29 am

Teachers should not use red, say researchers (model pic)

Just madness!

Plans to ban teachers from using red ink to mark homework because it upsets pupils were dismissed as “silly” yesterday. Apparently the sight of the traditional scarlet pen highlighting their mistakes makes students feel like they are being “shouted at” and believe they are being marked more harshly. Instead, teachers should use more neutral-coloured pens in a bid to avoid this, say researchers.

I would suggest that any such researchers providing such farcical recommendations should be given their dismissal notice – in red writing.

TEACH THEM A LESSON…

By David Vance On January 5th, 2013 at 10:19 am

Schools start back on Monday so naturally the Teaching Unions are preparing for….yes, going on strike!

Just days before the start of term, it was revealed that Britain’s two biggest teaching unions may take part in a mass walk-out in coming months as part of a protest over Government reforms to teaching. The National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT union – collectively representing around nine-in-10 staff members – are already taking part in co-ordinated work-to-rule action.

Members are being instructed to refuse to supervise pupils over lunchtime, cover for absent colleagues and invigilate exams as part of a wide-ranging 25-point action plan. But today it emerged that the NUT’s ruling executive also agreed at a recent meeting to “build towards strike action in the spring term” – between January and April. According to the Times Educational Supplement, it backed proposals to “approach the NASUWT nationally early in January about the necessity for strike action in the spring term”.

Beyond a shadow of doubt, the Teacher Unions are a total menace. They obstruct our children getting a good education and are solely interested in placing politics in the classroom and agitating against the Government unless is is their whores in Labour.  I think that they should be broken up and that Education should be about  providing excellence for kids, not cash for lazy and rapacious left wing teachers.

How have times changed?

By Mike Cunningham On December 9th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

As an elderly Englishman, albeit one who has travelled to many places on this Earth of ours, I can honestly claim to have been around, but I still can express surprise at the changes in morality and, more importantly, values relative to today’s youngsters. I would point to two very different stories, with totally diverse and strange choices; made allegedly on behalf of one young man, and in the other instance totally ignored.

I read of young Cyrus Hanlon, a student whose dedication to his studies is totally amazing, and how his dream was completely and utterly dashed by the inactions of  his school, and primarily by a teacher who did not do his job correctly. Young Cyrus studied and completed a two-year course in computing within a one-year period, hopeful that this demonstration would give added weight to his quest to enter Cambridge University. However, the lax and dilatory lecturer, who apparently took loads of sick days, forgot to even send this bright young man’s work in for assessment. All that was handed to young Master Hanlon was a letter stating he had completed all the work, but did not gain a qualification. Not even an apology!

I also read, on the same day, about Liam Hardy, another schoolboy, but this story ended in real tragedy, because he apparently hanged himself whilst in search of a so-called ‘high’ induced by choking himself. This young boy, aged fourteen, named also as a prospective father of a child with a schoolgirl, was said to be ‘a popular boy who was likable, smart and good at sport.’ by his head teacher. The fairly obvious fact that he wasn’t much good at obeying the Law of the Land was somehow not worthy of mention.

In a statement which would seem slightly redundant, one newspaper printed that ‘Medical experts have warned that depriving the brain of oxygen for too long can lead to death’!

And we need reminding of this?

75% MORE TO GO…

By David Vance On November 14th, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Oh no!

About 1,000 jobs at the Department for Education (DfE) – a quarter of its total workforce – are being cut in an efficiency drive. Civil servants losing their jobs will be made redundant within two years, as the DfE focuses on priority work.

ONLY 25%? And in TWO YEARS? How soft is that? 75% more to go and do it by Christmas. Those who work in these Departments are a scourge, not a blessing. Get rid of the lot,

CHEATING TEACHERS..

By David Vance On November 2nd, 2012 at 10:38 am

Anyone surprised to discover that Teachers have been exposed for playing the exam grades system?

Too much pressure on schools in England to get good GCSE grades led to over-generous marking of coursework by teachers, the exams watchdog concludes. In its final report on the controversy over this summer’s GCSE English exam, Ofqual says external examiners had to raise grade boundaries as a result. It says pressure on schools to hit targets was to blame for the debacle. Heads said it was “outrageous” to blame teachers for the fiasco which saw some pupils get lower grades than predicted.

This shows the mess our Education system has fallen into ever since nice Mr Blair told us that his priorities were “Education, Education and Education.”

Of COURSE teachers have been manipulating every aspect of the exam system to create the highest possible grades for their pupils. Head teachers who deny this are either in denial or knaves. Educationalists have contrived to produce a system where everyone is a winner and all shall have prizes.In the final analysis, the “prize” is simply deranged grade inflation and therefore worthless. Even a DODO could spot that. The whingeing coming from Teacher Unions shows just how dangerous they are and how baleful is their influence.

DA DOO DOO DOO….

By David Vance On October 11th, 2012 at 7:33 am

Anyone see the problem with this?

Plans to provide employment for newly qualified teachers in Northern Ireland have been unveiled. A scheme will aim to link graduate teachers with jobs at both primary and secondary school level.

A total of six “signature” projects worth £26m were announced by the NI executive, which it says will create more than 300 jobs. The Ulster Teachers’ Union said it was a “welcome initiative” that would help to raise standards. A scheme to create health intervention posts was also announced. More than 230 graduate teachers and health workers will be engaged over the next two years. The scheme will provide two-year contracts for 150 recently graduated teachers, who have been unable to find permanent work in English and Maths at secondary level.  Another 80 jobs will be available for recent graduate teachers at primary level. There will be a particular focus on helping children struggling with basic numeracy and literacy.

It’s easy to splash £26m “creating” these alleged jobs but I want to know how can such jobs be conjured up IF existing teachers are doing a goood job in these vital areas? Isn’t this just a means of covering inefficiency and incompetency? Numeracy and literaracy are vital, of course, and we know that huge numbers of kids leave primary and secondary school with little grasp of either BUT is the solution to hire even MORE teachers or should it be to weed out rubbish teachers whilst rewarding good ones.

PAMPERED TEACHING?

By David Vance On September 22nd, 2012 at 11:10 am

Is teaching a pampered “profession”?

Teachers who are ‘out the gate at 3 o’clock’ will miss out on pay rises, the head of Ofsted said last night. Sir Michael Wilshaw, England’s chief inspector of schools, said he believed teachers should be rewarded if they ‘go the extra mile’ for pupils by staying on after class, especially when working in deprived areas. But furious teachers’ leaders last night accused him of waging war on their profession, as time outside lessons spent preparing and marking work meant many teachers already work long hours. The incendiary comments come as thousands of trade union members  prepare to stage a work to rule in school. Several unions have made plans to disrupt school life by boycotting all meetings outside official hours to protest about workloads while facing cuts to pay and pensions .

I do laugh at the fantasy concocted by the teaching unions that teachers work “long hours”.  I know several teachers, some experienced and some quite new but the one thing they have in common is that they KNOW  how SOFT their jobs are. I know some teachers who do ANOTHER job because they have the spare time. I know teachers who spend term time planning their holidays.

Let us be clear – teaching IS pampered. FurtherTeachers should NOT be getting any salary increases. Their salaries and benefits are already way beyond the remit of taxpayer affordability! I think teaching needs to be brought into the REAL world. Time to sack poor teachers, reward good ones; time to make them work longer hours and be judged on how successful they can be when forced to put students through REAL exams.