I was thinking about why I need to get out of teaching so badly yesterday and I realised that it’s not because I don’t care anymore – otherwise I wouldn’t put in the effort that I do – it’s that I do still care but feel helpless in a system that is increasingly separate from those it is set up to help.
Then today there was a story a colleague sent me from the BBC Website about the panic starting to set in with Curriculum for Excrement in Academies http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-25615110 There two fantastically ridiculous things about this – one the call is from the EIS, and the other is the comment from The Scottish Government.
For those who don’t know the EIS is a teaching union that is so cosied up to the Government that no matter what the members say decisions have already been made – so much so there has been a huge exodus from it over the last few years over working conditions, pay & pensions and most specifically the issues and workload that CfE would bring in. They didn’t listen to their members, lost a vote and then reworded the question on a recent ballot and won due to apathy. The EIS complaining about this is like the Mum of the little boy who shouted that the Emperor was naked realising that her son is right. Too little, too late.
The biggest victims are the generation of pupils who are being screwed over by a diluted and SNP manipulated system that does nothing to help anyone and has overall been an embarrassment to one of the world’s former great education systems. Employers don’t understand it; Universities don’t want it; Colleges are nodding and smiling inanely at it as they are already overawed by the ridiculous mergers forced on them by this Scottish Government; Local Authorities are pretending everything is fine; schools are running around in case the inspectors come in to see evidence of CfE; Teachers are overworked and as confused but cannot say so; pupils don’t get it; and Parents just assume everything is okay not realising they and their kids are standing on a giant X from a Looney Toons short. In short we’re F*cked.
And the response from Government?
“Scottish government, SQA, Education Scotland and other partners have provided teachers with unprecedented support for Curriculum for Excellence and the new qualifications. This includes more than £5m of additional funding since 2012, two extra in-service days, course materials for each of the 95 National 4 and 5 qualifications, and subject-specific events for thousands of teachers. We will continue to listen to teachers to ensure they get further help if needed.”
A few notes for you Edinburgh:
- Money doesn’t buy time – this was a rushed job and a botched one
- If you think two extra days equals a full understanding of two brand new courses then you are idiots
- Course materials have been delayed, thin and ultimately useless
- The events told us very little more than we could have read in the paperwork.
Teachers have had four/five years and because of the constant changing of the goalposts by the SNP led government they are more confused than ever today. So when the SQA don’t give benchmarks and exemplar materials for teachers to work to and understand what is expected in this new system it’s no wonder that the sh!t is about to hit the fan. The SQA are taking in work from across this country without ANY guidance or standard. They will then use this work to find a standard.
See the problem – it’s like saying to an architect or house builder:
“We need to build a house, so we need bricks, mortar and wood. Off you go.”
“Where is the plot?”
“We’ll sort that out later”
“We haven’t decided yet”
“Oh we’ll throw money at it don’t worry about that.”
“So what am I supposed to do?”
“Design and build a house – made with Scottish materials mind for a location we’re not telling you, and a size we can’t define with no planning permission or workers to do the job because they are all leaving to find work elsewhere. Any other Questions? No? Good.”
“Oh and they move in at the end of next month.”
So all in all if you have a child between 11 and 16 you will find that they have been done a huge disservice by this Scottish Government. But don’t worry, in a few years those running the country and in positions of power will be this very generation we let down. Nothing to worry about then.
So on reflection I want out because it’s difficult enough at a ground level where individuals get in the way of the job with their egos and red tape stopping the learning experience for so many of our pupils, without the whole system being stacked against the kids too. I’m leaving – as are hundreds of others with early retirements and a brain drain at the bottom end too with the younger teachers leaving to find work elsewhere – to go somewhere where I don’t have to look at the faces of those that we can’t help in the way they want to. It’s not that I don’t care any more – it’s that I do.