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REWARDING THE COMPETENT…

By David Vance On May 1st, 2012 at 9:17 am

Quite honestly, this SHOULD be a n0-brainer but State controlled education works in an odd way;

Poor teachers could be paid less than competent colleagues under government plans to improve standards of state education.

I disagree. Poor teachers should be given every help to become better teachers. If they remain poor teachers, sack them. Simple. Yet the reality is that in the UK State education system, sacking poor teachers on performance grounds is almost impossible. Here is why;

Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “Payment by results is total nonsense. Children are not tins of beans and schools are not factory production lines. “Successful schools rely on a collegiate approach and team working. Performance-related pay is not only inappropriate but also divisive. “Children and young people differ and class intakes differ from year to year, making it impossible to measure progress in simplistic terms.”

Or, if you cut through the self serving waffle, we do not want to be measured on how we perform, it’s soooo not fair. Waaaaaaugghhh!

ACADEMIC LABS…

By David Vance On April 20th, 2012 at 9:07 am

Once academic standards are determined by political priority, everything is lost. Just reflect on this, happening under the direction of a CONSERVATIVE Minister;.

Top universities are being told to set “ambitious” new targets to increase the number of students recruited from poor homes and underperforming schools. The Office for Fair Access said the most selective institutions had “further to go” to create a “socially representative” student body. In official guidance, the watchdog suggested that universities in England should consider employing data on students’ social background and school type during the admissions process to fast-track disadvantaged pupils on to degree courses. It said that institutions charging up to £9,000 in tuition fees should spend a third of extra income on bursaries and recruitment programme targeted at “under-represented groups”.

So, more social experimentation guaranteed to reduce, not widen, social access.

Look, I come from a working class background. I was the first person in my family to go to University. How did this happen? I passed my exams, I worked hard, I got the grades. Simple. I didn’t NEED politicians telling University to make life easier for me to get in – in fact that would have been an insult. And yet, remarkably, this patronisation of the lower order and manipulation of the academic standard is portrayed as an act of enlightenment. It’s not – it is crass.

THE IRON LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND

By David Vance On April 16th, 2012 at 9:06 am

I think one of the most cruel tricks played on young people by politicians and educationalists is to lure so many of them into Tertiary Education on the promise that once they get that University Degree employers will be queuing up to pay them so much more than those who do not have such a qualification.

The cost of living has outpaced typical graduate wages so much that salaries are expected to fall this year to their lowest level in real terms since 2003, the report from Incomes Data Services (IDS) reveals. The typical pay rate for entry-level graduate roles will be frozen at £25,000 this year compared to 2011. But when adjusted to account for high inflation, graduates face a 2pc pay cut, from £19,020 last year to £18,705 this year, IDS said. The last time salaries were lower than this year’s forecast was nine years ago, when they stood at £18,524. Over the past decade, graduate pay hit a peak of £20,601 in 2008, the report showed.

Yes, and this is based on AVERAGE graduate wages. An uglier reality is somewhat hidden because of the relatively higher income young doctors, engineers, scientists, chemists etc can command. However the average ARTS graduate, or perhaps some poor sap with that vital MEDIA STUDIES degree, will be lucky to get much more than the minimum wage.  We have too many students, not enough jobs. That means salaries DROP. Simple. Worse still, we have too few graduates in essential disciplines and an excess in frivolous disciplines.

It’s a mess and the biggest losers are those young people coming out of University clutching a relatively worthless degree in one hand and a massive debt in the other. I blame the politicians and the educationalists for betraying this generation.

PERVERSITY IN EDUCATION

By David Vance On April 11th, 2012 at 8:54 am

This is the strange world that leftists deliver us into once they gain control;

Children with parents on unemployment benefit have been given priority status for nursery school places. The news has angered the 1,500 parents in Northern Ireland who still do not know where, or if, their children have qualified for a nursery or pre-school place. It emerged that children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds were being offered a disproportionately high number of places. Frustrated parents were reported as claiming they were being “victimised” and “penalised for being normal” after receiving letters last week telling them their applications were unsuccessful.

So, the parents who go out to work and contribute to our society are placed below those of generation idle who sit at home. Their children are also placed below the children of the unemployed. If you work you are now targeted for disadvantage in the shiny new Sinn Fein driven world of Education. Enjoy!

ALL IRELAND EDUCATION

By David Vance On April 10th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

You have to laugh at the stupidity of it all.

Parents should have the right to send their children across the border to school in the Irish Republic, Education Minister John O’Dowd has said. Mr O’Dowd was speaking to the Irish National Teachers Organisation’s annual conference in Killarney. He said parents should have the right to choose and the border should not be an issue. “People are not emigrating, they are moving across a line on a map,” he said. “Their social connections, their economic connections, their community connections, their heritage, their cultural connections all remain the same.”

Just a few points that the Minister has overlooked;

1. The curriculum is different North and South.

2. The Irish taxpayer should not be asked to pick up the bill for educating children from a different country.

3. The families wanting to send their children south should, of course, pay for it. Under no circumstances should the UK taxpayer fund their nationalist idyll.

WE’RE ALL GOING ON A SUMMER HOLIDAY, NO MORE WORRIES FOR SIX WEEKS OR SO..

By David Vance On April 10th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Get this latest nonsense from the uber militant National Union of Trots Teachers.

A six-week summer holiday for schools is “essential” to give hard-pressed teachers a break from excessive workload and stress, it was claimed today. Any attempt to reduce the traditional summer break to four weeks would represent a “major attack” on the profession, activists said. Teachers insisted they would resist all moves to impose changes amid claims it would force thousands of staff to leave the classroom and lead to a recruitment crisis.

I’ll be debating this issue on BBC Radio5 Live tonight at 10.30pm or so with a spokesman for the NUT. Do tune in if you want to hear a NUT cracked.

TEACHER, TEACHER…

By David Vance On April 10th, 2012 at 8:45 am

What a surprise –  a trade union threatens to strike if the Government dares impose a sense of financial balance in the benefits that accrue to its members!

Northern Ireland’s teachers could join future industrial action against localised pay rates if the government persists with plans to introduce them.A member of a major union said teachers in Northern Ireland might strike in a move to signal the profession’s “utter rejection” of plans to introduce regional pay for UK public sector workers. Over the Easter weekend, the NASUWT supported the National Union of Teachers’ plans to escalate their campaigns on pension cuts and pay and conditions.

In essence, these teachers demand a 28% MINIMUM wage superiority over those who fund them in the private sector. They also demand much greater holidays, final salary pension provision and the opportunity to enjoy tenure for life. Nice work if you can get it, right? I would like to ask local teachers what they think but of course they are all off for a two week Easter break.

 

TROUBLE IN THE CLASSROOM

By David Vance On April 7th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

The General Secretary of the NASUWT union, Chris Keates, addresses a rally at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham: Teachers union votes for strike action

Perhaps the most cosseted part of the public sector speaks out…

A teachers union has voted to step up its campaign of industrial action which could result in strike action in schools in the autumn. Delegates at the NASUWT’s annual conference in Birmingham unanimously backed proposals to continue the union’s industrial action campaign in a dispute over pay, pensions, working conditions and job losses. They passed a resolution that said industrial action was “the best means of protecting and safeguarding the interests of teachers and state education until the next general election.”

That’s half right. It IS all about protecting the interests of teachers and to hell with the pupils and parents. With so many young unemployed teachers, how about we let NASUWT have their little strike and we simply replace disruptive teachers with those prepared to work?

DUMBED DOWN TEACHING

By David Vance On March 6th, 2012 at 9:34 am

This is the sort of little detail that the media and the educationalist establishment tend to brush off come the August exam result jamboree. I guess the sound of so many backs being slapped tends to obscure this damning statistic;

The majority of pupils in more than half of Northern Ireland’s schools are failing to achieve Government targets of five good GCSEs, according to new data. Analysis of 2010/11 GCSE examinations shows that of the province’s 213 post-primaries, 111 had less than 50% of pupils achieve five GCSEs including English and maths at grades A* to C.

Given that the actual grades themselves have been systematically downgraded beyond all belief, for the majority of pupils NOT to achieve 5 decent results is stunning and an indictment on the quality of teaching that is prevalent in our schools.

Is it possible that contrary to human evolution, pupils are getting more stupid by the year? Of course not. Or, is it possible that the standards of teaching have been downgraded as Government prefers to turn schools into laboratories for their social engineering? How can we harness the potential of our young people if so many of them are so poorly educated? Why is this not a front page issue? How many poor teachers have been sacked in the past twelve months? An effective education system lies at the heart of a successful society yet that is the one thing State education denies us!

 

DO THE MATH

By David Vance On March 2nd, 2012 at 3:34 pm

If someone cannot read, they are at a major disadvantage. The same applies if they are void of basic numeracy skills;

Seventeen million adults – nearly half the working population – have the maths skills of a child at primary school, a report revealed yesterday. Their grasp of numbers is so poor that they struggle to work out deductions on their pay slips or calculate change.  The number who struggle with basic numeracy has grown by two million over the past decade, even though billions of pounds has been poured into schemes to improve standards.

Here’s my question. During this same decade our teachers were lavished with praise and salary increases for the ever increasing grades that they helped pupils achieve. And yet when it comes to one of the most basic and essential skills – numeracy – we have almost half the working population with staggeringly limited numerical skills. Educationalists can conspire with students to produce pretty results but in the final analysis, we can all work out the scale of the con job. You don’t need a formula to work that out.