The College Of Not-Actually-Teaching

Scenes From The Battleground

An article in the Independent yesterday reported that:

Mr Laws [the schools minister] said funding for a Royal College of Teaching would be announced before the election, to put teaching on an equal footing with professions such as law and medicine. “This has the potential to finally give the teaching profession the recognition, respect and high status it deserves,” he said.

It has always been a likely prospect that clueless, but publicity-hungry, politicians would be making announcements about this in the run up to the election, although there is some irony that that plans to subsidise the education establishment were announced in an article claiming that Michael Gove still had lots of influence over education policy.

I’ve argued repeatedly against the latest plans for a College of Teaching, largely on the basis that they are plans for a body that non-teachers can join which would, nevertheless, seek to speak for…

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Learning with Manic Miner

Class Teaching

manic miner

The other night I remembered this great ZX Spectrum game of the mid-80s.  Me and my friends loved it.  In fact you could go as far to say as we were obsessed with it.  Imagine my delight when, following a quick google search, I found that you could still play it online – right here. Go on, have a go – you won’t regret it!

There are 20 levels to complete on Manic Miner.  My expectations were low – I hadn’t played the mighty game for almost 30 years!  With this in mind, I was amazed (and quietly impressed with myself) when after just 3 attempts, I reached level 4 – the ‘Abandoned Uranium Workings’ level.  The bizarre thing was how much I remembered – when to jump in the ‘Central Cavern’, to avoid the killer bushes or in the case of ‘The Menagarie’, those menacing dodos.  It all…

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You can have too much of an Outstanding thing

Ramblings of a Teacher

I’ve never been a fan of the “Outstanding” label. I’m generally of the view that Ofsted would be much better focusing its energies on simply whether or not schools meet a required standard.
But in recent years the reverence afforded to schools which have at some point been graded as Outstanding has begun to far outstrip that which they necessarily deserve. And perhaps more importantly, the scrutiny which they are given does not match the freedoms they are afforded.
The decision to exempt Outstanding schools from inspection was always a mistake. We know from inspections forced upon previously Outstanding schools that they can slip from the pedestal – some dropping directly into RI or a category. Yet we continue to allow some schools to work for years unexamined. That’s particularly surprising considering the changes due to come in from September for ‘Good’ schools. The new ‘light-touch’ one-day review process could…

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