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Ramite

Cabinet Reshuffle (renamed thread)

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Mrs Griff9of13 is a secondary school teacher. From what I see she has to spend 25% of her time on crowd control. 25% on social work. 25% on data collection and analyse, which only leaves 25% for actual teaching. She often works until midnight on weekdays when she gets in from work, mostly on paperwork from what I can see. And from what I can understand it is the quality and volume of this paperwork on which schools are mainly judged these days when it comes to OFSTED etc. than the actual teaching delivery. The burden of data collection has risen dramatically under Gove's regime and I for one can't see how it aids a child's education.

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I applied for work experience with your organisation after I had finished university and spent a couple of years writing about RL for the university paper; it was heartbreaking for me that you never even responded, never mind turn me down! ;)

On a serious note, I don't tend to like getting involved in UK politics topics on this forum as most people are very set in their ways and beliefs. However, I believe you are absolutely spot on with that post.

Can you PM me with the details of when and how you contacted us?

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I applied for work experience with your organisation after I had finished university and spent a couple of years writing about RL for the university paper; it was heartbreaking for me that you never even responded, never mind turn me down! ;)

On a serious note, I don't tend to like getting involved in UK politics topics on this forum as most people are very set in their ways and beliefs. However, I believe you are absolutely spot on with that post.

my son did his work experience at Open Rugby. He loved it!

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My children now in their early thirties went to the local bog standard comp. One is a builder the other works in civil engineering mainly on major railway infrastructure projects. They did ok

my step grand] daughter goes to the same school. She likes to consult me about her homework and talk about what goes on at school. I'm jealous to death. The work she does in every subject is worthwhile, stimulating and appropriate. She is thriving.

 

I had a grammar school education geared to passing O levels and A levels, much of it was dire, although it means I do ok in pub quizzes. Those of my contemporaries went to the local secondary modern.

 

Until recently I helped a friend take assemblies in high schools in Leeds and other parts of West Yorkshire, based on life choices, decision making and staying out of trouble.

 

in the light of these and other experiences including a 30 year teaching career, I get pigged off when I see schools, teachers and young people slagged off and done down.

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Yes, but

 - they don't offer separate physics, chemistry and biology GCSE exams for most kids; just some combined science thing.

 - they don't do experiments with any remotely dangerous chemicals or solvents.

 - I'm fairly sure the A-level kids don't dissect worms, frogs, rabbits, rats and dogfish like we used to.

 

The schools are playing at teaching science.

 

Yes, but

- Education policy! The destruction of the old exam boards and the creation of the alphabet soup we have now is not the fault of teachers.

- So, benzene then. Carcinogenic. How would you like me to teach children about fractional distillation of crude oil? Put them in whole body protection suits?

- So what? Let's turn the clock back and make today's students use log tables like I used to.

 

There are restrictions. There are Health and Safety issues we have to consider. However, I utterly refute that I play at teaching science. In the last year, my students have, amongst other activities, used scalpels to dissect a heart, carried out reactions with 1M hydrochloric acid (would you like me to use stronger?), used burettes to titrate citric acid against sodium hydroxide (how old-fashioned would you like?), smelt hydrogen sulphide (poisonous, you know).

I could go on, but it's not you I'm railing against, it's the system. Some of the present-day students are incapable of sitting still for 5 minutes, being quiet for more than 5 minutes and completely incapable of following instructions.

 

If you all want the real answer, you won't like it one bit. It is to segregate students on ability so that the ones who want to work can do so. One of today's classes was a case in point. Two disruptive pupils preventing the class making proper progress. I stood them outside for two minutes. The rest of the class then focus and get started. Bring the two back in and I have to go over the instructions again. The class slowly becomes unsettled again. We got through the work, but I'm sure some of the pupils didn't get as much from the lesson as they could have done had the problem two been excluded. Anyone for the return of the 11-plus? No, I thought not.

 

edit. Just seen l'ange's post and I do concur. The majority of students are hard-working and want to do well. The two mentioned above represent about 10% of the class, but are responsible for about 90% of the disruption. The majority are great.

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On the main subject, is it just me or is this just shocking ageism by the Tories?  What's so wrong with middle-aged men?  I'd rather have an older man or woman who has built up a lifetime of experience than someone who takes a good picture and has no real life experience outside of the PPE political circle.

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On the main subject, is it just me or is this just shocking ageism by the Tories?  What's so wrong with middle-aged men?  I'd rather have an older man or woman who has built up a lifetime of experience than someone who takes a good picture and has no real life experience outside of the PPE political circle.

not really Craig. The vast majority of the cabinet is still middle aged men. 

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Gove will now play a key part in the election campaign, im not sure I would see this as a demotion in the sense of a reduction in responsibility. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

Gove will never lead the Conservative party.

Its my opinion that if they wheel Gove out at election time next year the tories will lose the election. The best thing Cameron can do with him is to lock him up in the the downing street cellar

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Its my opinion that if they wheel Gove out at election time next year the tories will lose the election. The best thing Cameron can do with him is to lock him up in the the downing street cellar

Gove will spend the next year lucking behind any tory MP making sure they stay on message

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The trouble with being the Education Secretary is that you can only really be judged some years after you have left office.

And very often the role of Education Secretary seems to be held by a politician hoping for bigger things who wants to cause as few ripples as possible with the teaching unions.

The only two Education Secretaries in the last 17 years who don't conform to that stereotype are David Blunkett (1997 to 2001) and Gove.

Both of them identified the fact that the education system is letting down working class kids, and both were vilified for their troubles by the National Union of Teachers.

Both of them thoroughly prepared their brief while they were in opposition. Blunkett once famously had to hide in a broom cupboard, even before he took office, to escape enraged NUT members.

The truth is that the Education Secretary is dealing with vested interests that see any changes as a threat to their members' terms and conditions, which is where their priorities lie. The only change they will accept is more money being thrown at them, which is what happened when Gordon Brown came to power. And Brown threw money at everything, creating a financial black hole.

But as long as most middle class parents can afford to buy houses in areas that give them access to schools with a decent intake, they will go along with this, without caring too much about schools in poor neighbourhoods.

That sense of smug satisfaction and a desire not to rock the boat seems apparent on this thread, but in my opinion it just isn't good enough.

Because of my role in our company I receive hundreds of emails from young kids at school in some of the less affluent Rugby League towns telling me they want to write about the game for a living, and asking for work experience. And it's heartbreaking to have to turn them down because they have never been taught even the basics of good English.

I don't know why this is, and why teachers can't instil some decent writing skills into these kids.

I feel strongly about this because I came from a school myself that had kids from a very poor background. I was the only boy in my school year who passed the old eleven-plus, so I can see what low expectations lead to.

Blunkett and Gove, in their own ways, both wanted to do something about this problem, and both tried.

In the meantime we are falling farther and farther behind our rivals when the educational attainments of our kids are measured against them.

And I can't see any other politician on the horizon who is prepared to do anything about it.

Anything for an easy life.

As much as I agree with you Martyn, as a teacher in a secondary school I had noticed a catastrophic decline in morale, deep difficulties in recruitment and increased early retirement. This is in schools that has jumped through every Gove hoop. Without the talented people to make the changes, the situation worsens. Picking a fight on every issue, attacking working conditions that attracted many away from other careers and hugely increasing workload causes people to leave the profession. Me included I'm afraid!:(

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I failed the 11 plus.  Our teacher tried to make us feel better by saying that we hadn't "failed" we just weren't suitable for a grammar school education.  When i got to secondary modern, our studies were basically a pale imitation of those my mates at the grammar were doing.  We didn't do latin, but we did all the other subjects including French.  Trouble was we were using textbooks that had been at the school since the thirties.  We were intended to learn technical subjects, but we had no metalwork shop - the grammar school did. Our playing field sloped, we played soccer on it and the girls played hockey on it in the winter, in the summer we played cricket on it and it was our athletics track.  All the money, in our division of the West Riding,  was spent at the grammar school,  they had a metalwork shop, proper science labs, a gym, they had grass tennis courts, proper cricket, hockey and rugby pitches.  That was what was wrong with the 11 plus. If you failed, you truly were on the scrapheap.  My failure meant that in order to get some qualifications, I spent 2,3 sometimes 4 nights a week doing evening classes, until I was nearly twenty.

My children went to the local comp They both went to uni and got degrees - the first in either my or my wife's family to achieve this.My son has a good job and my daughter is a manager with a nationally known company.

Personally I think Gove has been following a dogmatic Tory policy in an attempt to prepare the education system for privatisation, should the Tories be re-elected. I'm glad he's gone. I only wish he'd taken iIDS with him!

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I failed the 11 plus.  Our teacher tried to make us feel better by saying that we hadn't "failed" we just weren't suitable for a grammar school education.  When i got to secondary modern, our studies were basically a pale imitation of those my mates at the grammar were doing.  We didn't do latin, but we did all the other subjects including French.  Trouble was we were using textbooks that had been at the school since the thirties.  We were intended to learn technical subjects, but we had no metalwork shop - the grammar school did. Our playing field sloped, we played soccer on it and the girls played hockey on it in the winter, in the summer we played cricket on it and it was our athletics track.  All the money, in our division of the West Riding,  was spent at the grammar school,  they had a metalwork shop, proper science labs, a gym, they had grass tennis courts, proper cricket, hockey and rugby pitches.  That was what was wrong with the 11 plus. If you failed, you truly were on the scrapheap.  My failure meant that in order to get some qualifications, I spent 2,3 sometimes 4 nights a week doing evening classes, until I was nearly twenty.

My children went to the local comp They both went to uni and got degrees - the first in either my or my wife's family to achieve this.My son has a good job and my daughter is a manager with a nationally known company.

Personally I think Gove has been following a dogmatic Tory policy in an attempt to prepare the education system for privatisation, should the Tories be re-elected. I'm glad he's gone. I only wish he'd taken iIDS with him!

 

Absolutely agree. It was the funding division that made Secondary Moderns unworkable. I could bore everyone here to death by going on about my version of how to do it correctly, but it really doesn't belong on this thread.

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1. So, benzene then. Carcinogenic. How would you like me to teach children about fractional distillation of crude oil? Put them in whole body protection suits?

 

2. I utterly refute that I play at teaching science.

 

3. In the last year, my students have, amongst other activities, used scalpels to dissect a heart, carried out reactions with 1M hydrochloric acid (would you like me to use stronger?), used burettes to titrate citric acid against sodium hydroxide (how old-fashioned would you like?), smelt hydrogen sulphide (poisonous, you know).

 

4. If you all want the real answer, you won't like it one bit. Anyone for the return of the 11-plus? No, I thought not.

 

 

 

 

1. The lessons could incorporate distillations using toluene (carcinogenic but less so than benzene) or isopropanol. Over a lifetime, people must inhale 1000 times more benzene and toluene from filling up their cars with petrol and diesel than they ever did in school laboratory tests.

 

2. Tony, I utterly accept that. You have to work within the rules of the system; I certainly wasn't doubting your abilities or performance. I'm sorry if it appeared that way.

 

3.  -When I did A level Biology I had to have my own complete dissection kit from Swann Morton! To be fair, you couldn't allow any schoolkids to have those nowadays. Either way, mine didn't help me; I failed. :biggrin:

 - In any lab "dilute" acid is two molar; "concentrated" acid is 10 molar. We could only use dilute acid at O level.

 - The quantity and strength of sodium hydroxide required to neutralise citric acid is negligible.

 - Hydrogen sulphide is more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. It's weird that the syllabus allows you to expose kids to H2S and not solvents that are only carcinogenic on long-term (~years) exposure. Perhaps Gove's dept thought that troublemaking working class oiks deserve a good noseful. ;)

 

4. I don't disagree with selective education in principle. I just think the change should be at sixteen, and that there should be a cap on the size of comprehensive schools.

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As much as I agree with you Martyn, as a teacher in a secondary school I had noticed a catastrophic decline in morale, deep difficulties in recruitment and increased early retirement. This is in schools that has jumped through every Gove hoop. Without the talented people to make the changes, the situation worsens. Picking a fight on every issue, attacking working conditions that attracted many away from other careers and hugely increasing workload causes people to leave the profession. Me included I'm afraid! :(

But change is characteristic of any industry, including teaching, especially when we aren't achieving what we'd like to achieve.

 

Nothing ever stays the same.

 

Just try being in the publishing industry.  ;)

 

 

 

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But change is characteristic of any industry, including teaching, especially when we aren't achieving what we'd like to achieve.

 

Nothing ever stays the same.

 

Just try being in the publishing industry.  ;)

 

 

 

 

change is characteristic of education also, young people learn things and use ways of learning things that were unheard of in the past. It's wonderful.

Incidentally, my daughter is giving a lecture in a local high school today. The school invited her employers to select someone to give the lecture and she was chosen. The lecture is about making the most of your education and what this can do for you.

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A teacher friend was telling me over beers last year why he's leaving teaching at the end of this school year.  He's utterly fed up of the persistent drip-drip-drip change from actually teaching a subject towards teaching kids how to pass exams.  He said that when he started teaching in 1993 that kids might have not passed with all As but if they passed then they had probably learned enough to understand a subject and use some thinking to pass exams, now kids are more likely to get an A from a subject yet would flounder pitifully if you asked them a question away from direct learning but could be answered with a bit of logical thinking.

 

His view is that the politicians, Education department and most headmasters would happily trade kids actually really learning subjects for a steadily progressing pass rate in all subjects.  Directions he's had this year are specific enough that he'd be as well just marking all text-books with highlighters on the bits that the kids need to learn to pass then sit back and ignore them for the rest of the year.

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But change is characteristic of any industry, including teaching, especially when we aren't achieving what we'd like to achieve.

Nothing ever stays the same.

Just try being in the publishing industry. ;)

Change in maths when you will have a historic undersupply of qualified teachers is a non-starter. Things will worsen before they improve and that improvement may not get us back to the status quo. A reduced role for calculators when most students have 2 in their possession at any one time. Similarly a continuation and worsening of the 'memory test' side of exams in an era when formulae are a 3 second google search away is utter folly.

Change was needed, but every step has been going the wrong way :(

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Did you know:

 

Greg Clark, the new Science Minister, signed a parliamentary motion stating that homeopathy offers “clinically effective and cost-effective solutions to common health problems”.

 

Nicky Morgan, the new Equalities Minister, voted against the Coalition on same-sex marriage stating that "marriage is between a man and a woman".

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Did you know:

Greg Clark, the new Science Minister, signed a parliamentary motion stating that homeopathy offers “clinically effective and cost-effective solutions to common health problems”.

Nicky Morgan, the new Equalities Minister, voted against the Coalition on same-sex marriage stating that "marriage is between a man and a woman".

Yes I did. A sad state of affairs. :(

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I think Gove at Education was a little like the Khmer Rouge, he wanted to start from year zero and get rid of everything that had preceded him, whether it was any good or not.

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I think Gove at Education was a little like the Khmer Rouge, he wanted to start from year zero and get rid of everything that had preceded him, whether it was any good or not.

good analogy

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