Blackburn with Darwen union boss speaks out over Ofsted claims

A UNION has spoken out over Ofsted claims that some schools have low expectations.

Claims that struggling schools had less ambition in the group’s annual report have seen union representatives hit back. Blackburn with Darwen Secretary for the NUT Simon Jones said: “Allegations of a ‘poverty of expectation’ are insulting to teachers.

“Schools can control some of the factors over children’s lives but not all of them. We have to tackle the inequalities in society if we are to tackle the low achievement of working class pupils.

“While no teacher would use this as an excuse, it is a plain fact that social background has a very significant impact on the achievement of children.

“Good quality early years education alongside a relevant and engaging curriculum and examination system is essential.

“Cuts to education grants, careers advice, the increase in tuition fees and high youth unemployment all impact the most on working class students. Without access to affordable further and higher education, as well as good quality apprenticeships, many students will just not be able to continue in education or training regardless of their ambition, or indeed that of their teachers.”

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2:37pm Wed 18 Dec 13

R Waring says...

We should celebrate the enormous hard work of teachers and lecturers in continually improving the education they provide for children and young people, under increasingly difficult circumstances.
However, in detailing its criticisms of teachers, leaders and schools, Ofsted has failed to put this hard work in context. Many children and young people are now living with poverty, homelessness and hunger, which makes it harder for them to concentrate and learn. Ofsted also fails to examine the impact of government policy, in particular allowing unqualified teachers and lecturers to teach in state funded schools and colleges.
The government continually moves the goalposts, changing what is taught, what will be examined and what will count in terms of success, so often that it’s hard for teachers and lecturers to know what to focus on.
We all want good teachers, lecturers and leaders in all schools and colleges to help raise standards, but this government is destabilising initial teacher training with its untested School Direct programme.
We should learn from the successes of the London Challenge, which, although it was extremely rigorous, focussed on supporting teachers to work together to improve teaching across the city. A good place for the government to start would be by giving teachers an entitlement to quality CPD and building effective teacher training for all teachers in England.
We should celebrate the enormous hard work of teachers and lecturers in continually improving the education they provide for children and young people, under increasingly difficult circumstances. However, in detailing its criticisms of teachers, leaders and schools, Ofsted has failed to put this hard work in context. Many children and young people are now living with poverty, homelessness and hunger, which makes it harder for them to concentrate and learn. Ofsted also fails to examine the impact of government policy, in particular allowing unqualified teachers and lecturers to teach in state funded schools and colleges. The government continually moves the goalposts, changing what is taught, what will be examined and what will count in terms of success, so often that it’s hard for teachers and lecturers to know what to focus on. We all want good teachers, lecturers and leaders in all schools and colleges to help raise standards, but this government is destabilising initial teacher training with its untested School Direct programme. We should learn from the successes of the London Challenge, which, although it was extremely rigorous, focussed on supporting teachers to work together to improve teaching across the city. A good place for the government to start would be by giving teachers an entitlement to quality CPD and building effective teacher training for all teachers in England. R Waring

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