When teachers are handed policies and expected to make them a reality, their sense of professionalism, autonomy and self-belief are attacked. Until there are meaningful mechanisms for teachers to be involved in policy setting, it’s impossible to reach a state of genuine policy success.
I have long been an advocate for parental choice in education. It’s what good parents do, but there is a downside to parental choice which has caused schools here in Northern Ireland to become much more socially segregated.
The stage 2 review of initial teacher training infrastructure in Northern Ireland, led by the Finnish educator and scholar Dr Pasi Sahlberg, was published at the beginning of July. It reports that the Northern Ireland system falls short of international best practice in many respects.
The UK government’s recent report on social mobility and child poverty concludes, from a strong and extensive range of evidence, that schools account for around 20% of the variation in attainment between children.
Overtime is firmly embedded in UK working culture, according to a report from the Institute of Leadership and Management. 76% of those surveyed are routinely working late, with over half of us working at least an extra 7 hours a week in unpaid overtime. Many people are worried that if they're not doing the work they'll lose their jobs.
As the dust settles on the demise of Michael Gove the rush begins to define his legacy. Ever keen to contribute to the conversation, here is my pennyworth...
I am currently on the train back from London. It’s been a rather inspiring weekend. I ran an ATL 'teach meet' based on technology and computing with a group of trainee and newly qualified teachers. To get them thinking I challenged them to draw the internet. The results proved very interesting.
Katie Gascoigne is an ATL Future member teaching in a secondary academy based in the North of England and last year’s Conference was her first introduction to getting more active with ATL.
Professionalism is hard. When, like today, after two hours editing lesson plans, an intimate hour with the laminator, 32 paintings of the sea (with approximately 32 litres of paint!), a lengthy and somewhat irrelevant conversation with a seven year old about King Kong and an over-reliance on caffeine only marks 1pm, professionalism is really hard.
I think the stresses and strains of my first week had pinned me to my bed overnight; it was not easy getting up and in to the shower this morning.