Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ofsted putting the boot in...

I don't have a lot of time for quango's (see previous post) but this did amuse me if only for the predictable response it garnered.

Thousands of pupils are being wrongly labelled as having special educational needs when all they require is better teaching and support, Ofsted has said.
It said up to 25% of the 1.7m pupils in England with special needs would not be so labelled if schools focused more on teaching for all their children.
The education standards watchdog said the term "special needs" was being used too widely.
The National Union of Teachers said such claims were "insulting and wrong".
Now a lot of us blogging types have been saying this for years, but it's sort of nice to see Ofsted pile in as well. Not that having bad teachers in the system is fully the cause of our poor education standards and our slipping down the league tables of education exams. But it does highlight the tendency to label difficult pupils (feral youth types) as having special educational needs rather than disciplining them and focussing their attention on learning. Then again years of wishy washy leftist dogma in the teaching trade have left the pupils as the masters, rather than the teachers, the teachers can't really deal with them and the pupils know it.
The NUT response is predictable though, it is kind of their job to defend teachers, it's just that often enough they shield the really bad along with the best. They also later on in the article claim that over full classrooms don't help, but I grew up going to schools with full classrooms and managed, just about all my class were quite rowdy too, but never to teachers, we knew what would happen if we did!
I think it's time to tilt the balance back to giving the teachers more power when it comes to discipline, however that would mean tearing up so many bits of EU and leftist child protection rules that the only way it could be done is to start from scratch. Make teachers self employed ans allow any two of them to set up a school anywhere that they can, even a house or pub with a spare room. Give all kids an education voucher and let the system sort itself out. The best teachers will survive and thrive, the bad wont be kept on in place when their contract runs out. Parents will be far more involved as trying to find a good school or teacher will be their responsibility, behavioural contracts can be drawn up. Small villages can source teachers to teach their kids in the local pub and keep communities going that way rather than export their kids to the nearest town.
I know there may be problems with implementing the scheme, but our current system isn't working too well anyway. We need to do something and moving the emphasis back to discipline and teaching rather than child care and SAT's cannot hurt. Getting politicians out of the process would help too.

5 annotations:

subrosa said...

Some good ideas QM, but you'll never remove politicians from the education system. That's their reason for being, to influence future generations. They're the easiest.

William said...

"you'll never remove politicians from the education system. That's their reason for being"

Why not just get rid of the politicians as this act alone would solve many thousands of similar problems?
Rumour has it the frogs are currently shipping gypsies back home rather quickly so some clever make up and a bit of scurrilous spin in the ear of Sarkozy (is Mandy available on contract yet?) should see the whole lot of them on a Eurostar on their way to Romania by tea time.
Apologies to any Romanian readers of this blog but we have got to send our shit somewhere!

James Higham said...

Not that having bad teachers in the system is fully the cause of our poor education standards and our slipping down the league tables of education exams.

Damned right. It is the drip drip of socialist policies over the last three decades which have affected the teachers, those who teach the teachers, those who appoint those who teach the teachers and decide on curriculum and then those who appoint them.

Trooper Thompson said...

James, 'three decades'? This goes all the way back to the foundation of state schools. I agree with Quiet Man: the answer is to smash the state system, but I guess as long as parents are prepared to hand their children over to the government to bring them up, we're stuck with the current situation.

Anonymous said...

In my school days there were the bright kids, the thick kids and the badly behaved kids.
These were sorted out after the first year and placed in according grades instead of all together.
This enabled the bright kids to do well and not be held back by the others.
It also enable the teachers to be able to focus on the bright kids instead of wasting time on the ones that either couldn't lear or didn't want to. If they ended up with poorly paid menial jobs then tough shit.