Apr 132009

Last updated on December 1st, 2010

This morning’s news from “The Independent” will of course shake gasps of angst from those affected and that don’t know, but for the folks at the sharp chalky end, the Teachers, and for the Children pushing through life, this will come as no surprise.

Schools hire bouncers for classroom ‘crowd control’

Teaching union in warning over use of untrained staff

The true reality can be gauged from the evidence – evidence from asking:

  • The Teachers
  • The Students

Forget about any puffs of nonsense emanating from government or the myriad of ‘standards’ and ‘examinations’ agencies.  None could exist without the other, and neither could exist without

  • Students to Teach
  • Taxpayers to pay the bills

Forget, also, any claims from the Education Department about what people and schools should be doing.  The reality is that should should be applied to every duty, but most fail in it so often that failure becomes the norm and replaces the standard as an aspiration..

Tell Me About This ‘Reality’ – surely exam marks are higher than ever and more pupils than ever can go to a school of their choosing?

Firstly, forget about the current TV advert saying £20-25k starting salary – you can get up to £35k.

I’ve true knowledge that there is a surplus of teachers.  Hundreds work in supply teaching (a.k.a. as agency staff) in each Education Authority and are lucky to complete a full week.

The priority of the school head is to fulfil their various ‘targets’.  These are educational and financial.

In plain financial terms, it’s cheaper to employ two or even three untrained ‘teaching assistants’ than it is to employ one teacher.

It’s certainly cost-effective to get rid of experienced teachers before they approach the magic £35k!  This is extremely common.  Again, I have true knowledge of this reality.

In plain educational terms, it’s simpler to do MCQ and rote type exercises than to be taught.  The perceived mentality is that all knowledge is on the internet – so look it up and ditch the teacher.

Unfortunately the science chickens are coming home to roost.  This year HM Gov and it’s agencies admitted that the exams are too easy and students aren’t pushed for real knowledge.  This year Cambridge rejected thousands of triple A and higher students…. Everyone can’t get an A!   Say no more.

In educational and social terms, despite a falling pupil role because of a falling birth rate and despite promises and assurances that recognise the fact that the surest way to child improvement is small class sizes, classes are the same size now as 30 years ago.

In plain educational terms, many students don’t have a fixed teacher all year in many of their subjects – they are all supply teachers or assistants.  I have true knowledge of this.   c.f. the Dept Of Education statement in the Independent article reads;

“Our guidance is that cover supervision should only be used as a short-term solution.”

In plain ‘crowd control’ terms, it’s not unusual that the two untrained ‘assistants’ can’t cope, and that otherwise employed teachers must be pulled from nearby lessons to sort things out.  I have true knowledge of this.

And so to the news item at the top of the page.  From the two bouncers employed as crowd control, one has already been sacked because of .. well er.. “a disciplinary offence against a member of staff”!!  There were only two of them.  They’d been ‘checked’.

That’s a 50% failure rate.  Pathetic.

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