Rise in teachers off work with stress – and union warns of worse to come

This is an interesting article from the Guardian today. UK teachers are getting more stressed. So much so that there has been a 10% increase in the numbers being signed off for sick leave.

You can put much of this down to the fact that Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove has spent much of 2012 slamming teachers over and over again.

How valued would you feel if the government criticised you? Over and over and over and over again and again and again? Pretty devalued?

Like in this country, much of the criticism is centred around teachers’ refusal to accept ideological based reforms such as charter schools (academies in the UK) and national standards and the associated league tables printed with glee by the mainstream media.

Recently Gove even suggested teachers should be disciplined (sacked?) if they threatened industrial action.

Does this remind you of something? 9-11? You’re with us, or against us.

It’s spin 101 really – attack the people who disagree with your policy by labelling them as extremists or mental for daring to have a contrary view. Apart from the fact we live in a free society, I thought we lived in a free society?

Surely it’s better and easier bring in reforms to a sector if the frontline workers on your side? Although when your reforms are ideologically based and not developed using evidence or best practice or the experience and wisdom of the trained professionals working in the sector then you are probably going to have a fight on your hands.

But then common sense was never a big driver of Tory policy. It’s always about the money.

Anyway, best of luck to all my UK colleagues who are struggling at the moment. I hope 2013 brings some better times for you.

Mr B.





Is This the NRA Plan for School Security?

The NRA’s plan for armed guards in every US school may come unstuck because of the economics… It’s going to cost way too much. Or, if you’re a member of the rest of the world, it’s just too stupid for words. http://dianeravitch.net/2012/12/23/is-this-the-nra-plan-for-school-security/

Treasury has doubts over charter schools – Education – NZ Herald News

Here is a link to the NZ Herald article on charter schools advice from Treasury…. Usually they’re the first ones to jump on board the neo-liberal train to Experiment-On-Our-Kids-Land, but not this time. In part due to the fact that the economics don’t make sense. Yet more proof that education policy in New Zealand is being driven by ideology and no real interest in what is best for the kids. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/education/news/article.cfm?c_id=35&objectid=10855881

Outrageous Treatment of Children with Special Needs

If you don’t think this will happen in NZ… think again. One size fits all education is already here! http://dianeravitch.net/2012/12/22/outrageous-treatment-of-children-with-special-needs/

Parata in privacy storm over class-size criticism | Stuff.co.nz

Once again the decision making from Parata shows an astonishing level of incompetence… Although previous experience with this government’s lack of commitment to privacy suggests she knew exactly what she was doing and went to the school board so the teacher would get into trouble.