Showing posts from January, 2012

Teacher Voice: we need more than #askgove. Teachers need to speak up

Have you heard of Student Voice? Of course you have. If you haven't been interviewed by a twelve year old, or sat in the stocks of a 360 degree performance management assessment while your more feral EBD customers pelt you with mouldy tubers, then you, my friend, teach on the Moon.

Have you heard of Parent Power? Stupid question; when they aren't demanding to know why their children haven't completed their A-level in Further Maths in year 7, setting up a Free School, or crucifying you with league tables, they're logging onto the new 'Rat on a school' website designed specifically for people with personality disorders and bleak, flavourless lives to bleed their neuroses online while cry-w*nking into a sock.

Have you heard of 'Teacher Voice', the bold new initiative launched by the DfE to create a representative body that regularly polls and consults acting teachers, asking them about issues of pedagogy, how children best learn, what needs to happen in s…

League Tables: Teachers to blame for stupid people, new report shows.

The league tables are out, and everywhere education analysts and correspondants are spontaneously giving birth parthenogenetically in their scramble to sieve and distil evidence that justifies exactly what they already thought. You can almost hear the collective sigh, from Whitehall to the Western Isles, as people look at exactly the same figures, the same data, and deduce completely different conclusions. Fill in the blank: '___________ category of students did better/ worse then ________ category of students. This clearly shows ___________. Glasses will flip elegantly between half full and half empty for about a week, I should think. And then, like December the 26th, everyone will clear the wrapping paper away, after a bit of a scrap, and think exactly what they always did.

If ever you needed proof that decoding data was akin to reading the entrails of a butchered goose, then feast your eyes over the bloody giblets of the educational commentatori over the next week or so. Let m…

Crystal Bollocks 2: A response song


The Bones Have Spoken: Is Value-Added Crystal Bollocks?

NICK GIBB  HAS HIS BALLS OUT TODAY! Calm down, major, his Crystal balls. Today's piñata is the Great Satan of Fischer Family Trust data, and the lesser demons of value-added and predicted grades, and boy am I going to beat the HELL out them.

He's- quite rightly- spoken out against the gamification of league tables, where schools, in an attempt to meet the success criteria dictated to them, put their shoulder to nothing but those criteria. Every teacher knows about this- intervention classes aimed at C/D borderline students; not entering the hopeless for final exams; press-ganging children into high-value BTECs for point score advantage, and so on. It's evil, but perhaps understandable when the stakes for schools are so high; let your slip show on the league tables, and you might as well load all six chambers of your gun with dum-dums and press the muzzle to your temple.

So what's the Funky Gibbon proposing? Stand easy citizens- schools will be exhibiting their Context…

Newsnight, and the Dark Arts of Exclusion


Doom would be alone! The world's oddest comic about teachers. And the Fantastic Four.

There exists, in at least one of the galaxy's infinite universes, a comic so bad, that even putting Doctor Doom in it can't save it. And it's about teachers. Here's the link. My blog can only contain so much..whatever it is. The horror. The HORROR.

Ten reasons why your sixth formers are late to lessons

DfE Guidelines now suggest that the following reasons for being late to your lessons should be considered as acceptable:

1.It’s 'a bit cold' out. Research has shown that, on average, the ambient air temperature of ‘outside’ is less than the temperature ‘inside’. This variance increases when one uses the average temperature of the air pocket inside a duvet as the base line. Teenagers may express this excuse in the following way: 'I read this thing, right, that said if they school goes below, like, ten degrees, has to shut or it's breaking the law.' 2.It’s bare hot Equally distressing as (1), above. If, at any time, the temperature in the school looks likely to exceed the exact, perfect preference of the student, then this entitles absence, on the grounds that, well, it’s nice. At this point, students should be entitled to request that all lessons for the rest of the week should be held in the park. Note that, making this request should be taken by the teache…