Posts Tagged ‘National College of School leaders’

Queens Speech Stirs Up Educational Nightmare Says Association of School and College Leaders

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

They mean well, we have an educational system that is far from being envied. With the problems that surround the DCSF perhaps the latest series of government initiatives to improve schools and empower parents could have been checked with the guys in the know. The Association of School and College Leaders are deeply concerned about the proposals which could absorb yet more teaching resources in litigation in primary and secondary schools. School Guarantee “whingers” Fear

Teachers Versus Tutors In The Schooling Equation.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Alistair Owens

The annual mayhem in the educational cycle to get children into the ideal primary or secondary school has just ended.  Every parents wish is to get their child into a good school and give them the best education.  But what happens when an application is rejected.

The appeal process is arduous, oversubscribed and veering towards litigation.  The probable winners are the legal profession who generate fee income.  The losers – everyone else.  Schools are not equipped with a solicitor on the staff and have little budget to mount a defence. Appeals are time consuming and the legal implications need defence by the education authority. By the time a conclusion is reached the child may have already missed a term.  At best a successful appeal could dislodge another, possibly more worthy, child.  We’re playing educational games with the system and this must be avoided.

The alternative to boost learning, open to parents who can afford it, is the use of a tutor. But there are hidden costs to the school and parents.  Teachers can earn an average £35,000 per year for a 60 hour week (includes PPE) Tutors, charging for 40 hours a week over 46 weeks a year, can earn £76,000 per year for the same job. In London this income rises to £150,000 a year. Unsurprisingly many good teachers have pursued the tutor opportunity and become lost to the school and children. Ironically their departure from the school might possibly swell their new customer base.

The simple answer is to establish more good schools but this is a gargantuan task. Despite the infamous promise of the future of the UK lies in “ education, education, education”, at the recent National conference of School leaders the Director, Toby Salt, quoted “The positive effect of a good Headteacher at a good school has a 50 year legacy extended through its pupils”. But we only have 400 secondary schools rated good or above out of the UK total 6000 schools. The vital strategic role for the UK is currently governed by a normal succession of “temporary” cabinet Secretaries whose tenancy in the educational role has lasted around 18 months. Hardly enough time to formulate a strategy let alone introduce the fundamental changes needed that will benefit generations of children.

The pivotal importance of UK education in the future global markets should be regarded as the most significant appointment in the cabinet. The “Educational secretary” and lets give it singular dedicated focus, should be elevated to the number two in the cabinet behind the chancellor, and the incumbent required to hold the position for at least four years.

In the meantime should a child fail to get into a preferred school it is not the end of the game. Parents have a lot to offer than they realise.  Modern teaching resources include an extensive range of educational games. Used in class as fun learning resources; they have equal application at home. Reinforcing the classroom lessons this enjoyable activity knocks spots off conventional homework and can be enjoyed by parents whilst helping their child. The heightened interaction is a reward in itself to many parents. Failing that there are the tutors. Many tutor agencies now enlist tutors with a degree in the subject being taught. This tends to attract the cream of teachers who are then lost the school. It can be a vicious circle.