The clocks tick ever closer to the start of the term and the start of the academic year. A mutual dread perhaps for teachers and children with many mixed feelings. Parents face the old routine without child minding and the roads suddenly being cluttered as kids are dropped off and collected. It is like a seasonal change, a precursor to the next phase; the clocks going back.
But this year it is different. Teachers are faced with new threats and opportunities. The Secretary of State for Education is the same one that was in place just before the general election. Nicky Morgan was obviously marking time leading up to the election fearful that any radical move could affect the election outcome. Now the brakes are off she will be anxious to stamp her mark all over our schooling system. Trepidation looms in our schools. Here we go again a common theme in every staff room.
There is a need to do something, our educational standards are slipping in comparison to other countries. We compare, review and frankly wobble in a constant flow of educational solutions. Change is here to stay the mantra of the DfE. But rather than a comprehensive overhaul, the subject of research and development that would take at least two years and involve teachers at the operational end, and Universities and employees at the receiving end of schoolchildren we have a piece-meal approach.
The very foundations of schooling process is being undermined through bolt-on additions. Exams are being updated, replaced, reviewed and reconsidered. Confusion and consternation rule within the content of the national curriculum, all this rather than a well founded structure thought through in a long term plan than makes sense and gains significant support from all concerned. In the meantime the threat of a £500 fine from OFSTED on any failing school is just what they didn’t want. The stress behind the scenes has just got worse and the schooling year is only just about to start.