Category Archives: Government

Academies are not the bloody answer!

NUT-No-Academies-placard

In 2011 the government saw fit to introduce the ‘Academy/Free School Presumption’ to the Education Act whereby if a Local Authority felt there was the need to create a new school in its area, it must seek proposals to establish an academy/free school. Schools must then find a sponsor and agree on a location for the school. Therefore, in effect, in time all schools will eventually be taken from the control of Local Authorities. Currently over 60% of secondary schools, and roughly 13% of primary schools are already being run as an academy or free school. So what, I hear you ask, is the problem?

From the outset, let it be known that I have no problem with schools who choose to be academies. There are highly effective Academies out there providing an exceptional provision to education for the pupils that attend their schools. They do a fine job and such schools should be congratulated and celebrated. What I do however oppose is the assumption that the Academy model, as a whole, is a winning formula that should be forced upon all schools up and down the country. The current government’s belief that converting every school in the country to an academy will instantly shoot the UK to the top of the International League Tables is as absurd as it is insulting to all of those who work tirelessly to provide an excellent education in schools outside of Academy run chains.

In November 2012, despite having no legal authority to do so, the government announced its intention to turn 400 under-performing primary schools into academies. Governing bodies were warned that failure to comply with the government’s wishes would result in their dismissal, being replaced by those who would force through the conversion. In cases where the pupils, staff and parents voiced strong opposition to such a measure, the government sped ahead with their plans regardless. They have, in the time since, maintained the supposition that academies improve standards. The more sceptical of you may also wonder what would motivate ministers to deviate away from Local Authority intervention.

Academies, as independent state-funded schools, receive their funding directly from central government rather than through a Local Authority. This gives them more freedom over their finances, curriculum, term dates and pay and conditions for staff. Upon conversion to an Academy, a school will be awarded £25,000 and can receive access of up to 10% more funding which would previously have been allocated to the school through the Local Authority (This is money that would have been used to provide services for the school, and so isn’t extra funding per se). Should the Academy acquire the services it acquires more cheaply, it can benefit financially from becoming an academy. As such, large academy chains are now emerging being run by companies. Although they have the freedom to employ teachers without Qualified Teacher Status and pay teachers less, it is often the case that they follow the pay structure implemented in state run schools. They do, however, often differ in terms of conditions and expectations from their staff. Therefore academies can expect teachers to work longer contractual hours and alter their sickness and maternity arrangements should they wish to do so.

‘So what if academies have the potential to offer a slightly rougher deal to teachers; it will provide my child with a better education!’ I hear you say. Not quite. Yes, the government have been quick to point to academies that have rapidly improved following their transition from state schools, but careful interpretation of the data available suggests that there is a general upward trend in under-performing schools throughout the country. Many cases have been brough to public attention whereby schools that have already begun to see rapid improvement have been forced through the conversion process irregardless and then can be held up as examples of the process working. Despite countless soundbites by the current government, few of their claims stand up to any form of serious analysis. On the whole, progress markers as well as school improvement figures suggest that state schools and academies are working at strikingly similar levels. However, removing a school from Local Authority control removes their access to:

  • specialist help for pupils with special educational needs as well as monitoring of this provision
  • support for governors
  • CPD for staff
  • legal advice and guidance to make sure schools comply with the law to keep children safe.

Crucially, the Local Authority also has the ability to liaise between schools to co-ordinate admissions. With more than half of secondary schools now working independent of this body, organising schools admissions has become increasingly unclear. Gaps are appearing in accountability, admissions monitoring, school support services and school place planning. By 2023, it is estimated that there will be a surplus of 880,000 pupils in England alone and schools are already beginning to run out of places. The current government have spent £5bn in an effort to tackle this. Unfortunately, due to the amendment to the Education Act, sponsors of new academies haven’t always sought to place these new schools in areas of need. According to the National Audit Office, there have been no applications to open mainstream primary schools in half of the districts with a high or severe forecast need of new school places by 2015-1016.

I’m not here to argue that state schools are better than academies or vice versa. There are fantastic and terrible academies much in the same that there are fantastic and terrible state schools. My objection is to the rational that all schools must be academies; that academies are the savour of our school system and must be implemented all over the country. They do not raise standards any more dramatically than state schools already do. They are no more viable. They are the result of dwindling coffers for our local councils and efforts to break the unions. This policy of conversion at all costs bears the potential to be the onset of privatising the education system and is opening the door of our children’s education to businessmen with ulterier motives. The current government have raised many questions within education; academies are not the bloody answer!

Secret Teacher

The Importance of Effective Middle Leadership

For the last twenty years or so, the means by which a school’s capabilities are judged has been on a perpetual pendulum of change. In 1992, under a government which (largely speaking) had been privately educated and had no real trust or respect for the state school system, OfSTED was given the task of externally assessing a school and so the pendulum made a great stride to the right. Then the more liberal Labour government came about, a government that initially did place a great deal of trust in schools. They placed more emphasis on Local Authorities and school’s being responsible for their own judgements and development (although OfSTED was always used parallel to this) and so the pendulum swung back to the left. These Local Authorities had teams who would observe practice, develop staff and lead school improvement. Such teams are rarer than the ill-fated Dodo these days. Eventually Gove came along and pushed the pendulum so far right that it entered space that had previously been unknown to exist. A distrust of teachers and a climate of fear has hung over the education system in this country like a sullen mist ever since. And so, a year before the next general election, the only proverbial clogs of the pendulum that have remained unchanged since it first began swinging continue to churn out students and strive to provide the best learning opportunities for their pupils.

This is all well and good, but what has it got to do with middle leadership I hear you ask? Although OfSTED have the right to inspect schools under Section 5 of the Education Act of 2005, they very rarely do. They claim to carry out an ‘idependant external evaluation’ of a school’s effectiveness and state that their judgements are based upon a national framework. Such a framework might ensure that the information provided to parents and the Secretary of State for Education was consistent and reliable, and based on this OfSTED have a reputable place amongst the mindset of parents the width and breadth of the country. However, those who work in the education system know that this is a facade. Beyond the smoke screen, OfSTED are a much more haphazard, ill-informed and inconsistent group of self-employed ‘experts’ than is generally stated. OfSTED has carved up the country into six large zones, each sub-let to an independent and privately run company which carries out inspections on behalf of OfSTED. These companies work independently of each other, but are nonetheless expected to follow the guidance on how to inspect schools. The problem is that most of the inspectors are retired or have left the profession and have, at best, failed to read the guidance and subsequent updates and, at worst, simply ignore it. Whatever their reasons, OfSted are anything but reliable, consistent or reputable. More often any Tom, Dick or Harry subcontracted to a shady contractor shows up to inspect your school whatever way they see fit. If you’re lucky, you will have a well-informed, professional team who are understanding and know what to consider when making judgements that will impact upon every person in the school. If you aren’t, it’s time for your leadership team to earn their pay… and that is when it pays to have a strong middle leadership team.

In order to see off any OfSTED team, but more importantly to improve the opportunities of the children in the school, the self evaluation process cannot be overemphasised. A strong leadership team will ensure that the school has a strong vision and that staff are united in their determination to reach the aims which are set out in order to achieve this. The school will then need to gather evidence to support any judgements it makes, identifying areas of strengths and areas to be developed. This will then be fed forward to the Senior Leadership Team which shall decide upon the school action plan to move the school forwards. Middle Leaders are pivotal the to self-evaluation and evidence gathering elements of this process. Through strong management and gaining an accurate picture of where they are up to with their area of the school or curriculum, middle leaders can gather the evidence needed to ensure the school continues to improve. The best schools in the country develop their middle leaders and afford them time to get to grips with their responsibilities. They also utilise them effectively and develop them professionally so that the school ultimately isn’t being led from the headteachers office only. A strong headteacher, although responsible overall for the running of the school, will have the ability to delegate responsibilities and develop staff whose judgements are dependable and constructive.

The pendulum is ever-changing and out of the mess of the Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, things looks to be getting worse for teachers in this country. Despite most of the schools involved being part of Gove’s pet project of Free Schools/Academies and therefore out of Local Authority control, Gove has seen fit to say that there is an epidemic problem in schools. Although the minutes of their governors meetings should have been forwarded to Michael Gove himself, and although Gove was in a position to send two advisors to the academies to prevent this mess (perhaps even resulting in Gove being guilty of dereliction of duty, you might conclude), he has managed to spin the situation so that we are ever closer to no notice inspections; a concept that drives fear into the hearts of teachers everywhere. Whether or not they ever arrive, the pendulum has a chance of swinging back over the next year as Gove seeks pastures new and we seek any other government on offer to us. Regardless, we will still have an OfSTED force who are very inconsistent. To give yourself the best chance of fighting your corner, and indeed to truly improve your school, the development of middle leaders is pivotal.

 

Besides all of this, we are in the midst of a headteacher crisis. You may just find that by the time you next reach work, your head will have jumped ship! Middle leaders are going to be headteachers very soon. Within years we are going to have the youngest set of headteachers this country has ever known, many of whom are middle leaders now. If we want the education system to continue to flourish, we have to prepare them adequately now.

 

Secret Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gove Up to his Old Tricks

Oh dear, I must admit I feel rather silly this morning after realising I’ve been doing it all wrong for years now! I’ve been trying to plan engaging lessons which will focus the pupils on learning, using non-verbal strategies to challenge bad behaviour in a timely fashion, praising positive behaviour and using my school’s behaviour management system to sanction pupils who go beyond the boundaries. How foolish of me! Well, from here on in it will be straight out to weed the garden, pick up rubbish or indeed I will stick them up the chimney with a sweep to get to the hard to reach areas!

What utter nonsense emanating from the DfE this morning. Maybe I have a class that differs somewhat from the norm, but tidying my classroom seems to be more of an incentive than a punishment. Kids quarrel over who can keep the library tidy, clean the tables and organise the surroundings. Perhaps that is because they take pride in their work and their environment. They don’t settle for second best. I help to embed in the kids a set of values that will assist them in later life. Are all of the kids eager to clean up? Of course not. Do teachers already have enough strategies to tackle challenging behaviour? Of course we do. Yes, primary will differ somewhat from secondary, but a good school will have a clear policy that teachers know and works effectively. When even the Daily Mail sees it as a gimmick, you know it’s absolute blather.

Mr Gove takes us all for fools. He thinks that if he throws enough nonsense into the press (in this case about behaviour) or slips policy through when other major headlines are in the news, then we will fail to notice the way he is interfering politically with the education system. The real news here this weekend is about the removal of Baroness Morgan, the head of Ofsted. Despite (at the Education Secretaries’ own admission) giving ‘distinguished service’ and doing a ‘really good job’, Baroness Morgan has been relieved of her duties after one term in office in order for the government to bring a ‘fresh perspective’ (though I think that is read as ‘Tory appointment’). Baroness Morgan has claimed to be the victim of a determined effort from Number 10 to appoint more Tories, and you might be hard pressed to disagree. Indeed, Lib Dem minister David Laws was said to be so furious that he told a friend of his displeasure. Well you showed Gove, and indeed us, Mr Laws that the Lib Dems are no pushovers! Whatever next; maybe you’ll actually tutt about policy in public or shake your head in disagreement? Great leadership.

Don’t be fooled folks, this morning’s headlines have nothing to do with behaviour. It is merely an attention diverting exercise by Mr Gove, as Andrew Marr sits across from him ‘gooey eyed’ and not asking any probing questions. But hey, what do I know? I’m only a teacher. Now I’m off to put my blackboards back up in the classroom so that I can get the naughty kid to bang the dusters together at break time.

Secret Teacher

An Open Letter to Tristram Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary

This post is part of the January #blogsync project. Other blogs on the theme are available here.

Dear Mr Hunt,

Please allow me to begin by explaining the context in which I write to you. I am a primary school practitioner based in the North West of England, currently in my third year of teaching. During my time as a trainee, and then as a teacher, I have watched as the coalition government was formed and took office. I have watched as the current Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, was instated and began to run the system in an almost antonymous manner. I therefore have come into the profession at a time of great instability and change.

I was shocked and saddened, initially, by the daily attacks on my profession, my pension, my pay and conditions and indeed my credibility as a teacher. For months I waited for your predecessor, Stephen Twigg, to interject; but to no avail. You now, as Shadow Secretary of State, have been given the challenge of convincing the public that you are fit to hold the office with the greatest potential to influence the world of tomorrow. As you set out on what is undoubtedly an arduous task, in what will be a defining year for you and your party, I ask you to consider the following points:

Consistency

The teaching profession seems to be perpetually floating on a sea of change. I would never advocate that we shouldn’t be consistently reflecting and altering our practice slightly, but as teachers we already do this on a daily basis anyway. Like our pupils, in order to flourish we need some sort of stability and consistency of approach. With the changing of governance in this country, the education system has always ebbed and flowed from the left to right and vice versa. However, even by those standards the vast amount of change enforced on the current education system in such a limited period of time since the previous election has, in my opinion, proved to be detrimental and risked the futures of the pupils it serves. If you plan to make changes to policies or to the curriculum, Mr Hunt, they must be well thought out and enforced in a realistic and supportive way. Take change one small step at a time; it is better to implement one change properly than to make multiple alterations in a hasty and shambolic fashion.

Qualified Teacher Status

It seems an absolute travesty to me that pupils in this country are allowed to be taught by teachers without QTS. The pretence that the removal of this requirement in Free Schools was to enable professionals to stimulate the minds of our youth has been by eroded by the emergence of schools actively seeking to employ non-qualified teachers in an effort to ease their budgets. The simple fact is that pupils deserve better. If you take power in the next general election, I implore you to reinstate the requirement of QTS in ALL schools in the first instance. It is issues such as this with the current government that has led to a massive deal of mistrust between the teaching profession and those in power. The lack of transparency and constant vilification of teachers has eroded whatever relationships we, as a profession, once had with government. Reinstating QTS at the earliest opportunity would go a long way to building positive links with the profession again.

Teaching Licence

So too would trusting us, as professionals, to do our jobs. In order to teach in a state school, I am required to have QTS, somewhat like a licence you might say. There are various methods of obtaining this, but for me this meant training to be a teacher for four years. Over these four years I had professional training and a substantial amount of practice in school. When I qualified and found employment, I then needed to complete my induction into the profession. Since then I have continued to develop professionally. I receive or attend CPD numerous times each term. I take my work very seriously, and am good at what I do. I know this because I have continual observations, book scrutiny and data meetings which hold me to account. If I were found to be underperforming, the structures are in place to support me adequately. If it was still the case that I was not fit for the profession, my school has the power to remove me from my post. I simply do not need a licence to teach as it would serve little purpose.

Invest in the Future

If you are going to spend money, spend it wisely. Put a stop to academies and free schools being built in areas where they simply aren’t needed. Take that money and invest in updating existing schools which are crumbling in around the pupils. Invest in providing teachers with quality CPD. Invest in our amazing Teaching Assistants who do the most incredible job and ensure that no child is left behind. Provide teachers with the tools they need to produce the workforce that you will need.

Quality of Teaching

A number of months ago, when writing to the Education Secretary, I included a quote from Mr Gove. He had stated that we currently have “…the best generation of teachers ever seen in our classrooms- including the very best generation ever of young teachers.” In short, Mr Hunt, I ask you to realise that we have a teaching profession in this country to be very proud of; one that is ever improving and which is only going to get better. We have some of the most talented and hard-working practitioners in the world; engaging, challenging and stretching the minds of our youth on a daily basis. The methods teachers use to engross children in learning nowadays, incorporating new technologies and new teaching strategies are having a profound impact on pupil’s development. Despite continuous attacks from Ofsted and the government, we have continued to provide a public service that is second to none, regardless of what International League Tables may state. It isn’t perfect but, but none are. Data can be manipulated, but thanks to the diligent effort of those in classrooms up and down the country, we are preparing our pupils to emerge into a world where some of the jobs they will obtain don’t even exist yet. Champion your teachers, Mr Hunt, and champion your education system.

I don’t envy you, Mr Hunt. You face a daunting trial. Should you be elected, you will inherit a battered and bruised profession that will be guarded towards you, at best. You will accede to an education system which will require much toil and labour, if you will excuse the pun, but I assure you it is a surmountable challenge. If you wish to be elected, indeed if you genuinely wish to advance the education system in this country, begin by valuing teachers and the job they do. The current government has sought to fight, divide and conquer. Why not be more radical than that, engage with us and allow us to work together. After all, our goals are the same.

I wish you every success in your endeavours,

Secret Teacher

An Open Letter to Mr Tristram Hunt, Shadow Education Secretary.

A passionate, powerful and beautifully written letter to the Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt, via @nancygedge

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

An Open Letter to Mr Tristram Hunt, Shadow Education Secretary.

 

Dear Mr Hunt,

I am not much given to writing letters to politicians.  This is not to say that I am uninterested in politics, very much to the contrary; it is just that I have tended to express my politics through discussion, rather than letter writing, the personal rather than the public.  In fact, rather to my shame, I have only ever before written to one politician.  I wrote that letter in a spirit of hope that Things Might Change (or even actually get better) back in 1997.  I wrote then, as I do now, to the Labour Party politician responsible for Education.  Only back then, he was the new minister, rather than the Shadow Man, equally keen to make his mark, to make the headlines.

In those days I was a young, inexperienced teacher who had yet to…

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Giving Teachers an MOT

I got home from Friday exhausted. The first week back in school is always tiring as you settle back into old routines and the pressure, stress, and difficulty of maintaining a healthy work-life balance reappear. It was with a great deal of relief then that I retired to read my book, and a great deal of exasperation that I rose to see Tristram Hunt’s new proposals.

Mr Hunt told the BBC:

“Just like lawyers and doctors they (teachers) should have the same professional standing which means re-licensing themselves, which means continued professional development, which means being the best possible they can be.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I am all for continued professional development and being the best I can possibly be. So too do I agree that ‘If you’re not a motivated teacher – passionate about your subject, passionate about being in the classroom – then you shouldn’t really be in this profession.’ but forgive me if I approach political proposals with scepticism and an air of caution.

The proposals are not completely clear yet it seems that:

  • Teachers would require a licence in order to teach.
  • The licence would need to be renewed every few years (somewhere between 5 and 9      depending on what report you read).
  • The licence would be controlled by a professional-led Royal College of Teaching.
  • There is an emphasis on CPD but removal of INSET days.

That last point seems to contradict itself, particularly as some outlets have reported that CPD would be part of the structure of everyday work. If there is a genuine commitment to teacher’s development, enabling them access to training that will have a positive impact upon their teaching and the pupil’s learning then this is a welcome development. However, if this is some money scrounging technique to cut back on the amount of support a teacher receives from outside of their school, it is loathsome.

The direct comparison being made in reference to a license is to doctors (although we have considerably less respect and a much smaller wage). There is talk of restoring teacher’s professional standing. Now my experience may differ from yours, but the standard of teaching within the profession is as good as I’ve always known it to be, if not better as the years have gone by. However the reputation of teachers has nose-dived in recent years. The governmental rhetoric has bordered on propaganda in an effort to blemish our reputation so that they can break our pensions and pay and conditions. Yet, to their eternal credit, any teacher I know has dug in and continued to devote themselves entirely to obtaining the best possible outcomes for their pupils. It is with great distain that I hear Tristram Hunt speak of ‘rooting out incompetent teachers’. They are very few and far between. I wish I could root out incompetent and idiotic members of parliament. Yet, the silver lining here may be if Labour devote themselves to reinstating the requirement for ALL teachers to have QTS.

I also worry about how a teacher’s governing body would assess teachers. We know that one-off lesson observations are unreliable. So too do we in the profession know that judging teachers on ‘value added’ is unsustainable as pupils do not learn in some rhythmic linear fashion. Yet these are the two main ways in which we are ‘held to account’.

I won’t sit here and oppose every single governmental proposal for the sake of stubbornness. However, neither will I endorse it until I am sure of its value to teachers and to education. The sceptical side of me has an eye on the summer of 2015 and the election that hangs over those in power, and those who seek it. If there was a vote tomorrow, I think I would abstain. That last sentence hangs heavy on me, as my forefathers fought and died so that I had the liberty to appoint those to speak for me. Yet nobody does. These days politicians seem to see a route to more power and self-promotion through teacher bashing.

These latest proposals raise more questions than answers:

  • Is it a political stunt?
  • Will there be a genuine interest in investing in teacher’s development?
  • Will a Royal College of Teaching lead to teachers being respected again?
  • Will all teachers be expected to obtain a licence?
  • Will teachers ever be trusted to do what they are skilled at doing, as trained professionals?
  • Will education ever be allowed to flourish by removing it as a political football?

All we can do for now is wait to see how the unions and political parties play this one out. I, for one, remain unconvinced.

Secret Teacher

Dispelling the Myths

During my relatively short time in teaching to date (in relation to the 46 years I will have to work from the beginning to the end of my career to receive a full pension), I have witnessed a massive amount of change. This isn’t just in education policy, but also in the way that the teaching profession is perceived by the wider public. The teaching unions state that as never before, education policy is being driven by ideology and not evidence. Every statement the DfE has made in recent years, which is a sizable amount, has been loaded with myths about teachers, schools and the wider education system. It is my belief that the education secretary, Michael Gove, is leading a propaganda war against the teaching profession in his mission to privatise the school system. In this blog, I wish to address a few of the many myths floating around about teachers by passing on information I have come across.

9-3: The working day

The old myth that a teacher works from 9am to 3pm is still out there. Granted, the time we have with pupils is shorter than standard office hours but when you add in the preparation, marking, assessment, extra-curricular activities and wider responsibilities, the teaching week can be upwards of 60 hours. Research has shown that 55% of teachers regularly spend more than 56 hours a week working[1]. Even when you take into account the time teachers have off for holidays, this still amounts to an annualised average working week of 48.3 hours. Indeed the DfE themselves accept that almost all teachers work in excess of 50 hours weekly[2]. The long hours and increasing pressure is having an alarming effect on the profession. It is no coincidence that there is a worrying level of stress in teaching in recent years and a recent survey has found that out of 37 European countries, UK teachers scored the highest for ’burnout’[3].

Qualified Teacher Status

The best education systems in the world place the highest status upon their teachers as they realise that no education system is better than the quality of its teaching force[4]. South Korea, for example, recruit from their top 5% of graduates and Finland from its top 10%. Both of these countries have demanding initial teacher training programmes and teachers cannot enter the profession until they have completed this. The rigorous criteria involved in achieving Qualified Teacher Status ensures that all teachers are trained to a basic minimum level. It ensures that all teachers enter the profession with a solid understanding of planning, monitoring, assessment and class management. Non-qualified teachers may be experts in their individual fields, but may also be ill equipped to deal appropriately with behaviour issues, child guarding issues and may not have the skills required to convey their expertise. This cheaper alternative may lead to a decline in educational standards. A recent YouGov survey found that 89% of parents said they do not want their children to attend a school where teachers do not have professional teaching qualifications[5].

Pensions

The government wants teachers to work for longer, pay more into their pensions and receive less after retirement. Ministers say that public sector pensions cost too much and that they aren’t affordable. However they have failed to prove this claim. The Hutton Report found that the cost of the existing structure of public sector pensions would fall from 1.9% of GDP currently to 1.4% by 2060[6]. The government have also still failed to carry out the overdue 2008 valuation of the Teachers Pension Scheme that should have informed any changes to the scheme. Therefore the changes to the scheme by ministers are carried out on an uninformed basis. Since the TPS was set up in 1923, teachers have paid in £46.4bn more to the scheme than they have been paid out in pensions. Knowing that most teachers wont be fit to work until 68, the vast majority will have to retire early on significantly reduced pensions.

Floor Targets

Schools are expected to meet floor targets which currently requires all primary schools to have 60% of their pupils at Level 4 or above in English and maths. In 2014 this will increase to 65%. Every teacher in the country would wish for much higher figures than this and works to ensure their pupils achieve all they can, but being above floor targets isn’t always possible. These floor targets can therefore be counterproductive. There is no explanation about how floor targets are set or how increases in them are determined. Moreover, national exams measure performance only and thus fail to account for challenges a school may face. As educators, we know the effect such factors can have on pupils’ learning. Schools who are below floor targets tend to have more pupils from areas of deprivation and more pupils with special education needs. Under pressure to meet targets, the broad and balanced curriculum pupils are entitled to disappears in an effort to raise standards in maths and English. Schools below the targets should be supported adequately, not intimidated into narrowing the curriculum significantly.

There are many more issues that could be discussed here. The impact of forced academy status on school improvement, Britain’s ranking in the International League Tables, the policies surrounding Free Schools, the possibility of profit-making schools and school league tables are other issues that immediately spring to mind. The government often seeks to misrepresent the information available to paint teachers in a bad light and push ahead with their agenda. We, as teachers, shouldn’t let them. At the end of the day politicians are elected to government to represent us and to listen to us; not to dictate.

Secret Teacher

[1] http://www.standard.co.uk/news/education/please-sir-will-you-wake-up-hopelessly-outmoded-headline-that-probably-has-very-little-to-do-with-reality-in-modern-schools-7853999.html [2] Teachers Workload Diary Survey 2010 available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teachers-workload-diary-survey-2010 [3] Impact of psychosocial hazards on education and workers’ health: Teachers Work-Related Stress European – wide survey  http://teachersosh.homestead.com/Health_and_Safety_in_Crisis/HealthandSafety_PLA.html [4] http://mckinseyonsociety.com/how-the-worlds-best-performing-schools-come-out-on-top/ [5] http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/17949 [6] http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130129110402 ttp://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/indreview_johnhutton_pensions.htm

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