Teacher, teacher your strike is affecting my life chances..

5 Jul

Thought that this was a quote from a 5 year old kiddie with a day off? Wrong – it’s Nicky Morgan the goggle-eyed blue stocking whose sense of proportion is the inverse of her ambition.

It has long perplexed me that when there is the (very) occasional  day of action by teachers, the main carp is that our hard-done-by pupils will miss such a vital few hours that they will, likely, become failing wastrels who are permanently scarred. Don’t we all know that this is twaddle? Kids leap for joy, parents groan because it’s pisses them off to make alternative arrangements – and the world remains confidently spinning on its axis. Today the 5th of July, sees industrial action by the NUT. Hmm. 5th July. Plenty of really, really meaningful, vital work going on. Are GCSE and A levels affected? No. Have some schools broken up? Yes – almost all private schools. Is my next door neighbour’s daughter in her paddling pool right now? Yes – and much the better for it.

Now I’m not a fan of strikes and the NUT need to be wary of too few voting on behalf of too many. However there is a funding crisis. Rising numbers (huge ethnic and language variation) + teacher recruitment crisis + disaffection with testing regime + academy programme hiccoughs + cash per pupil seriously down + teacher redundancies + n(other pissing off factors) = strike. That man Toby thingy who sanctimoniously runs a group of Free (ho ho) schools just said that class size is unrelated to ‘outcomes’. Clearly he was comparing a Shanghai after-school hothouse of 100 children being forced to do 3hours rote-learning of Maths or Chinese proverbs or some such. Hanging over these lucky students is the threat of a lifetime of scorn and dishonour for the family if they don’t punch through glass ceilings and stir-fry their way to 1st class degrees in doing what daddy and the political greybeards tell them.

Having retired from the honourable profession let me tell Toby thingy that it was easier teaching 20 children GCSE than 30. Indeed it was easier teaching 28 or 27. An A level group of 20 is much, much harder than one of 10. This must be startling news to my readers. It behoves all who enter the education debate to be honest. The NUT need to get their ballots right and be proportionate in their responses when times are tough. Largely they manage this. The Secretary of State needs to be more honest about funding – something Pouty Gove never achieved – indeed more honest about an awful lot of things. It is hard not to come to the conclusion that, for far too long, teachers  and headteachers have been the whipping boys and girls of a political elite who see the process of children’s education as resulting in ‘outcomes’ which are measured in profit and loss. Teachers don’t like Gradgrind analogies. Google him, Nicky Morgan.

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4 Responses to “Teacher, teacher your strike is affecting my life chances..”

  1. John Trotman July 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    More spot-on sense and entertainment from the wise one of the Weald. Well done Sorro!

  2. Theresa Dickens July 6, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Heartily agree! Latterly spent more time on Excel spreadsheets than on literature.

  3. Dai Griffiths July 7, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    Every teacher retired or still working knows this to be true. Why o why do we as a nation prefer to listen to accountants rather than specialists (people who have experience within education) about how to get the best out of kids. The answer is simple, a large percentage don’t care, others believe what they read in the gossip columns, some pay for the smaller classes and great facilities, and the rest try their hardest at home to make up for the inadequate resources available to many schools. If a school is not good enough for your child, it is not good enough for any child.

  4. simplysorro July 7, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Spot on Dai. Thanks for the comment my friend. x to y’all…and hope Kay continues to thrive!

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