Sunday, 8 April 2012

Education: a country at war

The latest news in the show of force between government officials and the National Union of Teachers is that the regulator OFSTED could be locked out of classrooms and denied key data on pupils. Why? It might happen as part of a major protest over the “destructive” inspection system.

The report indicates that the National Union of Teachers backed plans that may lead to a campaign of “non-cooperation” with the regulator amid claims inspections have a major impact on staff workload, damage morale and promote a culture of exam cramming.
After all the debacle related to pensions and increased contributions, we hear that relationships become ever more confrontational.

Now let’s see how we got here. Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems and their acolytes are fully supportive of flood immigration. As a consequence of flood immigration, teachers had to try and obtain better results with classrooms in which only a minority of pupils spoke English as their first language.  Suddenly, the subject of league tables appear and teachers were put under huge pressure to deliver results with more red tape, more paperwork, bigger classrooms and standards it would have been impossible to reach even in ideal conditions.
The political establishment blames the teachers. The teachers blame the political establishment and the policies that the teachers themselves have supported. The NUT complains about being under pressure in conditions created by flood immigration that the teachers help to maintain.

Not long ago a Labour representative said that in September there was going to be a shortage of not less than 100,000 school places and this at a time when most schools are overly subscribed.  Not long ago I went to a local schools meeting. The issue was that local schools could not cope with demand for new school places and they were talking about getting rid of playgrounds.
Teachers are being forced to work longer and pay more for their pension contributions, forced to teach in almost impossible conditions with supernumerary groups many of which don’t have English as their main language and told to achieve even higher standards.

We have seen what is happening in Britain. Any rational person should have seen this coming. What did they do? They attacked the British National Party that has been telling them again and again that this was going to happen.
When the situation in schools gets out of hand, who will suffer? Everybody will suffer but the useless angry exchanges between the authorities and the National Union of Teachers will continue.

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