Kalinski1970's Blog

My own personal view on UK Education and bits n bobs

Paper work schmaper gerp

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These are the words that ring out across every school in the land. The huge amounts of time spent reading, drafting, discussing, amending these documents you’d forget what the key purpose of a school was.
A small army of consultants & companies set up to enable leadership teams from around the country to evaluate their schools performance in the minute detail. Enormous amount of data are produced analysing every aspect of school life. Examination results are compared to targets, broken down into groups (girls, boys, ethnicity), comparisons to national figures, local figures, similar schools. Questionnaires are prepared and students, parents, local community are asked their opinion. The school is judged by its international component, the social emotional aspect of learning, the teaching and learning, student progress against national statistics and has it added value. We analyse the school lunches to ensure that they are ‘healthy’, that the students adopt a healthy lifestyle, the playground is suitable, that our clubs are suitable. We have to check the provision for special educational needs (SEN) and ensure that each SEN student has an individual learning plan (ILP) with relevant targets for each individual. Our curriculum must be personalised to meet the needs of each individual learner. It should have pathways of progression ensuring that students can see where each choice can lead, whilst making sure that all students can change their mind. We must have acceleration for the brightest student, whilst offering alternative curricula for those that can’t cope. We are judged on how well we meet the needs of the local community and how our school ‘extends’ itself for the local community with adult classes, medical care, access to social services. We observe teachers in lessons to ensure that we can make accurate judgements on teacher performance in the class, whilst at the same time judging them on how well the students are making progress in each and every lesson.
Then once all of that is done, we pick out the keys areas that need improving and write the development plan. With headings such as “expected impact” , “who is responsible”, “deadline”. Then the action plans that are exactly how we are going to meet the outcomes of the development plans.
Each year it gets harder and harder. Each year the goalposts move or the game changes. In the end it all boils down to the same thing. Does the adult in the room have a sufficiently good relationship with the students to get them to work for them? But we don’t measure things that are immeasurable, but I bet in the end we will!

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Author: kalinski1970

Headteacher at a school in rural East Sussex! Trust me the problems are real and difficult. Married to an amazing woman with two wonderful children (sometimes...)

One thought on “Paper work schmaper gerp

  1. “Each year it gets harder and harder”. Definitely. And more and more time consuming. Thank God kids are funny or what would be the point?

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