- Phew! It looks as if Labour will continue to push forward its educational agenda even if it may occasionally need some fellow travellers. I say Phew because, although other parties have welcomed The Donaldson Report, you never can be sure of consistency in politics. In welcoming the report and setting up Pioneer Schools, the last Welsh govern ment started to give more respect to the practitioner and to develop a portfolio of experience which follows teachers from NQT status to retirement, with entitlements for professional development. This was inspired.
- Some finer details:It looks like the changes suggested by Donaldson and Furlong continue, but there are some fine details in the Labour manifesto to look out for, such as:
- a long overdue overhaul of work experience;
- an emphasis on teaching coding which fits with the renewed status of digital literacy;
- endowments for music which are in keeping with the creative arts agenda;
- the creation of a taskforce to look into ‘behaviour, well-being and mental health.
With British children considered some of unhappiest in Europe and mental health problems escalating, this will be an important priority. Wales has areas of staggering deprivation. To make any inroads into those poverty gaps will need multifactorial approaches, involving educational support, health issues and job opportunities.
- Meanwhile, over in England …oops. If you are considered successful you don’t have to be an academy…yet.
If you do work at a successful school [which is not an academy] could it be that being a success is not necessarily to do with that status? Has the government in England been guilty of false logic?
Hubris High is successful. Hubris High is an academy. Therefore, to be successful all schools must be academies.
‘Damn it, minister, they just found some exceptions but never mind, we can still force the status on Heartbreak High.’
Nice to know these issues are debated so carefully.
- Lastly, dear reader, I have just finished researching what outstanding teachers say about their own training and practice; it is called ‘Chameleons of our craft’. More will follow on these findings in the months to come, but what a privilege to spend time with these teachers who have both differences and similarities. What they all share is a passion for learning and improving practice. These are the gems of our profession who need to be looked after, not burnt out, encouraged to stay in the classroom and to share their expertise.