Posts Tagged ‘Education Secretary Michael Gove’

What Age Should Children Start School At?

September 12, 2013

 

bell

 

Prolonging the commencement of school by 2 years is a nonsense. There is nothing wrong with the current system when it comes to the school age requirement. However, there is a great deal wrong with the system when it comes to helping support children through the transition and developing an environment which is just as determined to boost a child’s sense of self as it is their grade average. Better they work on reinvigorating the current system instead of changing it radically:

Children should not start primary school until they are six or seven-years-old, according to a coalition of education experts who warn of the damaging pressure to perform in class at a young age.

A letter written by 130 teachers, academics and authors said the UK should follow the Scandinavian model and put off formal lessons for two years.

Under the UK’s current system, children start full-time schooling at the age of four or five.

Experts say this is causing ‘profound damage’ in a generation which is not encouraged to learn through play.

But the call was last night dismissed by as ‘misguided’ by a spokesman for the Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Children in the UK are obliged by law to be in school aged five, which the lobby group said is creating a ‘too much, too soon’ culture.

The warning singled out recent government proposals which mean five year olds could be formally tested from the beginning of their schooling.

Under the current system, children are first assessed at the age of seven. But under Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s proposals, a ‘baseline’ test could be introduced in the first year of primary school.

The group of experts warned that monitoring a pupil’s progress from such a young age promotes stress and fear around learning.

 

Click on the link to read Fun Facts about Children

Click on the link to read Teaching Children to be Honest Yet Respectful

Click on the link to read The Children of Today Show a Lack of Respect For Authority

Click on the link to read Is There Anything Better than an Inspirational Child? (Video)

We Must Allow Parents to Parent

July 8, 2013

caf

The proposal to ban parents from packing a lunch for their children is sheer lunacy. Whilst some packed lunches clearly contain too much sugar and fat, this is none of our business.

What’s next? The Government providing consequences for children just in case parents spoil their children by not setting parameters? The Government recruits personal trainers to switch off family television sets and take the children for a run?

And anyway, the lunchbox ban will be limited to lunch. What about breakfast? What about dinner? What about snacks and weekend restaurant visits and holidays?

Why can’t we just allow parents to parent without them being restricted, judged or lectured? Surely, a much better approach is to educate and work with parents rather than taking away their ability to do what they think is right for their own children:

Parents who make packed lunches for their children should stop, as it is making them fat, government food advisers warn.

Restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent argue school dinners are healthier than packed sandwiches, crisps and fizzy drinks, in a report to be published next week.

The report will also suggest that take-up must rise to at least 50 per cent to improve nutrition in meals and to save school dinners.

The pair’s school lunch plan, which will be launched this week alongside education secretary Michael Gove, also puts it down to head teachers to improve quality and take-up of school lunches.

‘A lot of heads will feel exasperated by this,’ Ian Bauckham, head of Bennett Memorial Diocesan school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent told The Sunday Times.

‘Many focus on a limited number of high priorities and we already have a big agenda to raise academic standards.’

As reported earlier this year, cooking lessons at school will become compulsory for children ages seven to 14 from September as the Government aims to ensure they can make up to 20 dishes before taking their GCSE exams.

And don’t get me started with compulsory cooking lessons at school. Remember when teachers were charged with the responsibility of helping students to read, write and become numerate? Boy, times have changed!

 

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post Exercising Wont Help Overweight Children: Study

Click on the link to read my post School Weigh-ins Are an Insult Rather Than a Solution

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

The Four Hour Teaching Day Proposal Makes Us Look Lazy

April 3, 2013

lazy

Teachers asking for reduced working hours have to be careful that they aren’t falling into the trap of appearing hypocritical. You can’t ask for reduced contact hours on one hand and then complain that there isn’t enough time to properly teach the curriculum on the other.

I would never be able to sufficiently teach my students in just 4 hours a day and I don’t believe there are too many teachers who can guarantee that standards would soar if such a system was applied. Moreover, those who are looking for better pay must realise that they are largely at the mercy of public perception. As the taxpayer foots the bill for every pay rise, it is essential that teachers are seen as professional, hard working, caring and meticulous in the eyes of the public.

Frankly, this proposal makes us look lazy and selfish:

Teachers demanded a 20-hour a week limit on classes yesterday to maintain a healthy ‘work/life balance’.

Union members called for a rigid 35-hour week, with little more than half given over to teaching children.

Five hours would be used for planning, preparation and assessment ‘at a time and place of the teacher’s choosing’ – meaning at home in most cases.

The remaining ten hours would be set aside for other ‘non-contact’ duties including marking and going to meetings.

The proposal came at the end of a heated eight-day period during which annual conferences held by three teaching unions were used to repeatedly attack the policies of Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Critics were swift to accuse the union of being ‘out of touch’ with reality. Craig Whittaker, a Tory MP on the Commons education select committee, said: ‘You can’t change these things in the current economic climate.

‘It just shows how incredibly out of touch the unions are with what’s going on in the real world.’

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said teachers should have their hours ‘expanded, not diminished’. He added: ‘In the independent sector it is normal to have 60 hours of contact time a week. They are living in fantasy land if they want 20 hours per week.’

He said the hours of work should be made less stressful by giving them greater powers to suspend or exclude disruptive pupils. The NUT saved its bombshell for the last motion of its five-day conference in Liverpool. Cambridgeshire primary school teacher Richard Rose said: ‘We’re fed up with arriving at 7.45am … and most people are there until 6.30pm.

‘During that time there is no time to go to eat, no time to talk, no time to think, no time even to go to the toilet in many cases.

 

Click on the link to read Sometimes the Union Makes me Embarrassed to Call Myself a Teacher

Click on the link to read If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One

Click on the link to read Pressure in the Workplace

Click on the link to read Sick Teachers Need to be Arrested not Fired!

Click on the link to read Teaching Union Wants Porn on the National Curriculum

School Allegedly Turned a Blind Eye to Peter Forrest’s Relationship with Schoolgirl

September 26, 2012

Let me start off by saying how surprised I am with the sympathy Peter Forrest is getting from readers. Not only did he cheat on his wife Emily, but he broke the number one commandment of teaching by behaving inappropriately with a student.  I am stunned that there are people who consider a relationship between a teacher and a student is healthy. I am equally stunned that they have no issue with the fact she is only 15. Would it be alright if she was 13, 10 or 5?

Now lets turn our attention to a school that seemingly refused to act when they had the chance. Bishop Bell C of E School allegedly allowed Peter Forrest to work for seven months after his relationship was brought to their attention. How can a school in today’s age be so inept?

The police were told as Bishop Bell C of E school in Eastbourne, the school Forrest taught at and Megan attended, also investigated their relationship.

Huge questions have been raised about how they dealt with the warnings after the Mail revealed they were warned seven months ago that something inappropriate was going on between the pair.

Students had seen them holding hands on a school trip to Los Angeles.

Headteacher Terry Boatwright has revealed that the school, the council, Megan’s parents and Sussex Police were working together when they went missing.

‘The school, in conjunction with the local authority, Megan’s parents, and the police had been addressing and investigating those concerns, in line with procedure, when this happened,’ he said.

The authorities involved are remaining silent on what exactly they were doing about the relationship.

The school, county council and police will not give details about their investigations, so it is not clear what action they were taking against Forrest or what Megan’s parents were told before they went on the run.

It has also been revealed that a child protection expert wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove expressing concerns about the school’s protection policy.

Lucy Duckworth said they were ‘extremely hostile’ when she began asking questions about the issue but the school maintains it had a ‘robust’ safeguarding policy in place.

‘The policy does not commit to informing parents or the local authority of any suspected or known abuse. If there was a robust policy in place, the parents would be informed,’ she said.

‘What we found was there was a whole section on safe recruiting but very little on how to effectively protect children. I’m convinced that, had that policy been in place, the parents would have been able to make a decision on their prolonged contact and Megan would be with us.’

With a reaction as astoundingly pathetic as that, should we be surprised that this has happened before?

Parents at Megan Stammers’ school demanded an inquiry into its child protection procedures last night as more under-age sex scandals emerged at the Church of England comprehensive.

Incredibly, another teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne was jailed three years ago for preying on teenage girls after grooming them on a social networking site.

In addition, a former chairman of governors at the same school is due to stand trial on alleged child sex offences next month. Some parents said their children were too scared to attend class after it was revealed how staff failed to remove married maths teacher Jeremy Forrest despite warnings that he was having a relationship with Megan seven months ago.

Robert Healy, a supply teacher at the school, was jailed in 2009 for sleeping with two girls aged 15 and 16 after grooming them on a social networking site. In a striking similarity to the Megan Stammers case, other pupils knew what was going on before he was caught.

Please click on the links to read two related posts on the same story:

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