What A Way to Start

So the new term begins.  And it is not with the air of hope and optimism that we know teachers do bring to their new classes.  Straight away the media have laid into the profession and putting pressure on our creaking and overloaded education system.

Mike Baker, writing for the BBC says:

This week, though, how many teachers are going to be slinking back to school, fearful of the response to “their” exam results?

Combine this with the news that >Ed Balls has written to all heads to ask them to tighen up their ships and one gets a picture of a September that is pretty bleak.

But perhaps we need to be beware of the media spin. To read the press one can only feel that teachers and school leaders are under enormous pressure to perform and is a reality of the contemporary picture of education. However, reading beyond the hype, I am starting to believe more strongly than ever that the pressure comes from without.

Yet this pressure ought not to be laid at the door of the teachers at the chalkface. Good management and school governance can help to ringfence a school from these external pressures. Teachers facilitating learning as they see fit, ensuring that all pupils can achieve clearly defined goals, is surely the bottom line. It is a question of the rhetoric of the press versus the reality of our daily experience as educators.

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