What are we teaching for?

Here we go again, with more threats to those schools which do not fulfil the Ofsted requirements.


What is it about people and politicians that they cannot see that Ofsted reports are not a valuable reflection of the real picture? Why is it that folks cannot understand that schools in areas where over fifty percent are special needs children are never going to be able to achieve the same results as schools with creamed off children in elitist affluent areas. How can Gove possibly expect to measure them with the same criteria and scales.

We need to seriously ask ourselves; what is it we want to teach kids for?

Do we want to use methods that drill them mindlessly to get grades that push schools up the league tables, but often fails to develop well being, self esteem and a wide range of other skills, as the universities are now complaining? Or do we want rounded, caring kids who have had a broad education that shows them how fulfilling it can be and what a valuable asset it is to their lives both in school, but more importantly, in real life beyond?

Ofsted reports are a farce. They fail miserably to achieve what they set out to do. They are about politics. Not about nurturing our kids’ education.

A young teacher said to me the other day that’s she’s teaching for the government not for the kids. And a head teacher, who has worked her arse off in the Primary sector for years, recently told me that schools used to be nurturing places that had a climate of care and focussed on the development of children. Nowadays there’s more of a climate of big business where everyone’s watching their backs, everyone’s anxious about pushing kids to achieve results irrespective of whether it’s appropriate to them, creating unhappiness and tensions among staff and children alike.

This is not the kind of climate I would want my kids to be learning in. It does not promote education as something of worth – neither to the kids nor the teachers.

Gove is making education into something where politicians gain and teachers and children lose out.

More of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that cannot possibly work. Or works simply for a selected few. Fails the rest. And which drives even more parents to seriously consider home education!


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