"All things are wearisome, more than one can say." - Ecclesiastes 1:8

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Short education rant

From the Scotsman:
"SCHOOLCHILDREN across Scotland are being taken out of class and put in large cages assemblies instead as headteachers struggle to meet new working-time limits for staff.

Primary-school heads in nearly half of Scotland's local authorities say they are having to resort to the measure to meet the conditions of the landmark McCrone pay deal, which reduced the amount of time teachers spend in front of a class to a maximum 22 and a half hours a week.

The move was designed to give teachers more time to mark pupils' work and plan their lessons. But a teaching union's survey found pupils were having to sit through whole school assemblies to ensure teachers did not break the rules."
Now, while some of my secondary colleagues are disparaging about our comrades in the sand-pit supervising business, I think this is unfair. Imagine having just one class all day, every day and there's someone in it you can't stand. Hellish. Plus the responsibility. I fuck up, the worst that can happen is some kid's put off history for life. Primary teacher fucks up and kids can't read, underachieve, become unemployed and die in drive-by shootings. Plus you'd have to cope with weans peeing themselves and stuff. Not good.

So they deserve a break, dammit. The McCrone agreement says they've a maximum classroom contact time of 22 hours so that's what they should have. Yet all these headteachers are bitching about it. Concerned about the quality of education that's being delivered, are they?
"The Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS), which represents primary-school heads, also found most members were having to take classes themselves because staff had reached their weekly class-contact time-limit."
Nah - there's the reason right there. Headteachers actually taking classes? Bet they found that a traumatic experience. No wonder they're upset.

1 comment:

dearieme said...

I'm so old that my Primary head taught a class himself and "ran" the school when we'd all departed. During his teaching hours, the school was "run" by the secretary and the jannie. Class sizes were 45, and there were no assistants. Loos were outdoor, the playgrounds (plural: one for boys and one for girls) were tiny concrete patches. I wore clogs at first, with strict instructions that if anyone tried to bully me I should put my back to a wall and kick them on the knees. And it all worked rather well.

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