Speak out!

A blog from ATL

Getting excited about CPD reminds us why we chose to do this job

CPD for teachers is a necessity.  When CPD works well, it is genuinely useful and can make a huge difference not just to the practice of an individual teacher, but to a whole staff body.

Use your vote!

99% of ATL’s members cast their vote in this year’s National Presidential election! 

Teachers want for themselves what they give their pupils – frequent opportunities to learn

Michael Barber recently opined that teachers are ‘semi-professional’. He argued that the profession remains heavily unionised (obviously a bad thing when it comes to Barber’s view of professionalism). Yet consider this fact. ATL has provided CPD to over 24,000 members in the last eight years (as pictured above) – making the union one of the largest CPD providers in the country.

Review of the year

The major educational event of 2014 was the sacking of Michael Gove. Joy was unalloyed among the vast majority of teachers and school leaders as this most ideological of politicians was shown the door.

A national curriculum should help children flourish

A school curriculum is not an end in itself, but a vehicle to realise further purposes. You would think, therefore, that those who devise a national curriculum would start by laying out in some detail what its aims should be.

We need an open dialogue about what 'evidence' is

Tucked away in the ‘evidence check’ documents in the Select Committee webforum is something I have always suspected might be the case.

Teachers don’t want Ofsted to be popular, they just want it to be valid, fair and reliable. It's not.

Sir Michael Wilshaw should not be worried that Ofsted is unlikely to win any popularity contests. Teachers and school leaders set a low bar for the agency. They merely want the school accountability system to be valid, fair and reliable. Yet, Ofsted is none of these things.

Funding effective careers guidance – is another 'lost generation' a price worth paying?

The second of ATL’s series of pre-election policy debates asked if another ‘lost generation’ was a price worthy paying for a dearth of effective careers guidance.

Employers can’t continue to operate in a careers advice vacuum

We all have an image in our heads of what career guidance has meant to us as individuals. I have yet to find anyone who found it instrumental in their career choice as a child. I remember being told I was ideally suited to being a patent officer.

Careers advice should be more than glossy leaflets and free pens

It’s a shame to say that careers advice at school has so far only been an inconvenience to me, but it’s the truth. As a hardworking sixth former missing lessons to do online questionnaires and careers research just seems like a waste of time.