Posts Tagged ‘Christine Blower’

Teachers, if you don’t like being measured, fix the problem yourselves

08/01/2013, 07:00:03 AM

by Kevin Meagher

As schools started back yesterday for a new term, it must have felt like another upward trudge with a boulder for our leather elbow-patched Sisypeans. We know this, after all, because a recent poll found 55 per cent of teachers describe their morale as “low” or “very low”.

The gripes are familiar enough. As well as the usual complaints about pay and working conditions, 77 per cent of teachers in the poll commissioned by the national union of teachers thought academies and free schools were taking education in the wrong direction; while 71 per cent said they rarely or never felt trusted by the government, (up from 54 per cent in April 2010).

But it’s the issue of school standards that still seems to grate most. Last November, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the new chief inspector of schools, presented Ofsted’s annual report. It found that schools in England are getting better – although there is still a long way to go before the nation catches up with the best in the world. There are also wide variations in the performance of schools across different local authority areas, leading to serious inequities for children in some parts of the country.

The product of nearly 25,000 inspections across schools, nurseries and colleges, it is a rigorous and useful reminder of the challenges we face in making all our schools the best that they can be. However Sir Michael’s analysis of the problem is not entirely shared, it is fair to say, by the teaching unions.


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