Archive for National Union of Teachers

How To Evade Responsibility

Posted in Britain, Child Discipline, Children, England, English Schools, Modern World, News, Parenting, Primary Education, Teens with tags , , , , on 26/01/2015 by floroy1942

I saw quite a revealing article in the news today that shows clearly how parents are evading responsibility for bringing up their children. In a survey of 1000 people by Waitrose, questions about respect and good manners among adults and children were put forward. Of those questioned a huge 72% said that good manners had declined in Britain today.

Wise Words

Wise Words

A total of 60% blamed the parents for this, but 70% thought that good manners should be taught in schools and requested it become part of the national curriculum.

Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose

Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose

Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: “In school it used to be the teaching of the three Rs which was considered the mainstay of a good school education but as this survey shows, people would prefer the “four Rs” – reading, writing, arithmetic and respect. There’s clearly a mood for a renewed focus on teaching good manners but, rather than suggesting this has to be taken on by any particular group of people, perhaps the real answer is for all of us to take responsibility through the example we set every day?”

A spokeswoman for the National Union of Teachers said:  “Courteous and respectful behaviour in schools is essential but is as much ‘caught’ as ‘taught’ in the home as at school. The ethos of the school should encourage courteous behaviour in the playground and corridors as well as in the classroom.”

There are a surprising number of people in the U.K. today who do not even bother to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ which is disturbing, for the British were always known for their good manners in the past. In my day it was normal practice to give up your seat to the elderly on public transport, and thankfully there are still some who do this today.

But what I find so disturbing in this report is that so many people think good manners and respect should be taught in schools. This is totally wrong, for teaching these two essentials should come from the parents and be a natural process. To have special classes devoted to teaching good manners to children is too ludicrous for words.

The Way It Should Be

The Way It Should Be

If the parents themselves are kind, polite and well mannered the children learn it without problem, but sadly that is not true today. The fault lies with many of the current generation, for there are many extremely rude people around today.

About three years ago my wife and I were sitting in a local bar having a drink and at the next table were a family with a small child. The grandfather was playing with the child and it was screaming at a very high pitch that went through my head like a knife. I looked across at the child without saying anything and immediately the father started verbally attacking us with “What’s your effin’ problem” etc. Even when his wife joined in, again with a lot of foul language, my wife and I never said a word in reply, but he continued to insult and threaten us with violence. Finally my wife had had enough and called the police.

There was no reason for the outburst and no respect for anyone else in the bar, just a verbal attack using a lot of foul language that was extremely threatening and loud in nature. Sadly there are many such people in the U.K. these days and there are times when it makes me ashamed to be English.

Parents Who Don't Care?

Parents Who Don’t Care?

But the point of this little saga is, how can the children expect to learn respect and manners when their parents behave in such a way. These are without doubt the kind of people who will say loudly, “It’s the schools responsibility.” But they are wrong, very wrong! If you yourself behave like an animal you have to expect that your children will grow up in the same way.

An Empty Vessel

An Empty Vessel

Children are like an empty vessel when they are born, and their future personality is dependent on what you as a parent put into it as they grow. If you are a foul-mouthed thug then your sons will grow up to be just like you, but if you are a respectful and kind person they will grow up to be the same.

Good manners and respect for others is not something children learn in school, they learn from the way their parents go through life and what they are taught at home.

Instead of pushing yet another task onto our education system, modern parents should live up to their own responsibilities, for manners like many other things, must be taught from an early age.

Roy.

2+2+5-7+3+4-8= ?

Posted in Britain, Children, England, English Schools, Europe, Parliament, Primary Education, Teens, UK with tags , , , , on 10/03/2012 by floroy1942

To most people a simple sum, the answer to which would be quickly worked out in the head, but sad to say, that is not true of everyone. According to the charity, National Numeracy (NN), at least half of adult Britons cannot do simple maths.

I have written many times in the past about the failing standards in British education, and this latest piece of news just about  proves what I have been saying. The NN figure of 17 million working age adults with poor numeracy is to say the least a national scandal. 

Essentials In Today's World

A Skills for Life survey questioned 7,000 16 to 65-year-olds, which revealed that almost half of the working age population has numeracy skills roughly the same as those expected of primary school children, and the proportion has risen (from 47% to 49%) in the last eight years, and in my view, this figure will get much higher as we see more of the children currently in school reach adulthood.

Our Hi-Tech World

The research shows clearly that the majority of adults have problems interpreting their pay slips and working out their tax returns. Also, without the aid of cash tills that automatically tell the cashier how much change to give, they are completely lost. Anyone who has a job that requires them to interpret graphs, charts and tables is hopelessly out of their depth.

Very few people will admit to having poor literacy skills, about 86%, but fewer, 49% are loath to tell you they are poor at maths. Many people these days are offering excuses for their deficiency by saying for example; “It’s genetic”  while some wear their lack of numeracy skills like a ‘badge of honour’.

On A Calculator Its So Easy

We have become so dependent on the electronic calculator that even simple math like the title cannot be done by most people without one. This is a shocking state of affairs!

If This Was Written By A Teacher I'm Not Surprised

So far as education is concerned, unfortunately we have a knock-on effect, for as each generation becomes more illiterate and numeracy challenged (politically correct),  so the teaching standards decline further. Its a true case of the blind leading the blind.

To break the cycle, the education authorities desperately need to set a high minimum standard of education for teachers, and train them to a level where they can actually do some good. This could well mean a teacher going back to school in their chosen subject for a minimum of two years. Only in this way can they learn what they should have learned during their time in ordinary school and teacher training.

Back When Teachers Knew Their Stuff!

In my day, every teacher needed to know the subjects he/she taught inside out. When kids asked a question of him/her they had the answer in their heads and didn’t need to consult a textbook like the idiots we have teaching today.

One thing is certain, the country cannot go on in this fashion, because we are getting to the stage where British people will become unemployable in today’s work place.

Pretty Soon Dole Queue's Will Be A Mile Long

After we led the world in innovation, industry and science for so many generations, it is indeed sad to see the rotten decay in our education system that has turned us into a nation of dunces! As I have often said, Tony Blair and his gang have a lot to answer for. It truly upsets me having to write so many negative posts about Britain these days, but from  my viewpoint, the whole country is going down the tubes at an ever-increasing rate.

We desperately need a government with the balls to sort out this mess (among others) and get the country back on its feet and give the people something to be proud of again. The trouble is, like most politicians these days, they are more worried about ‘staying in power at the next election’ than they are of making unpopular choices for the good of the country.

Modern Brit Caveman - Anno 2020

Perhaps it is time for a totally new political party to come along and start the ball rolling, because for sure we cannot rely on the current lot to do what is right, and to vote in the previous shower of crooks (i.e. Labour) will only accelerate the fall into the abyss. Pretty soon the British people will degenerate to the level of cavemen with houses and cars.

The effects of this debacle in education will have far reaching results for the entire country, for pretty soon we will be a generation of idiots with absolutely no prospects for a job, little or no engineering or scientific skills and a floundering manufacturing industry. We will become as useless to the modern technical world as the natives living in the jungles of the Amazon (no offence intended).

Incidentally, for those who are scratching their heads trying to work out the simple math problem displayed in the title, the answer is 1.

Roy.

Speed Up Sacking of Poor Teachers? – About Damn Time!

Posted in Britain, Children, David Cameron, England, English Schools, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , on 14/01/2012 by floroy1942

The fiasco of poor teaching standards has blighted the education system in Great Britain for far too long, and destroyed the chances of many of our current youth to get a decent job. It is no secret that for years our children have been leaving school semi-literate with a total lack of prospects for a decent job and a good life.

Michael Gove - Secretary of State for Education

Long gone are the days when a child left school with a solid education behind them, and moved into the adult world with good  potential in the job market and the likelihood of advancement in their chosen profession. Thanks to meddling by the previous Labour government in the education system, the children leave school today barely able to write their own name and with spelling and reading capabilities of a four-year-old. The whole sordid system is a national disgrace of massive proportions. Now, thankfully, the Conservative Education Minister Michael Gove has taken further steps to improve the situation.

Finally we have an Education Ministry that wishes to swing the pendulum back the other way and improve not only performance, but also make it easier for schools to get rid of under-performing teachers. Plans are also in the mix to prevent a teacher sacked from  one school for incompetence moving on to another.

Give Them A Future

As you would expect, two of the teachers unions are up in arms at the proposals calling the move as “unnecessary and draconian”, with one leader calling it a “potential bully’s charter”. Unneccessary?  Unneccessary? Do these people live on the same planet as the rest of us?

I suppose they think the fact that most of today’s kids are leaving school dumber than when they went in has nothing whatsoever to do with them, well, how could a teacher possibly be thought responsible for poor standards of education???? If they think that, then the problem is far worse than anyone realised!!!

Sounds About Right

As you can imagine, Christine Blower, who heads the National Union of Teachers (NUT) had much to say. She said: “The changes to the appraisal and capability policies will rightly be seen by teachers as an attack on their professionalism and will anger and depress them in equal measure.” adding: “What the Government proposes is potentially a bully’s charter. The union believes that many well-functioning schools, where development and professionalism is prized, will not adopt Mr Gove’s model.” On the other side of the argument Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said the proposals were in the “best interests” of the profession.

Confused? - You Have Every Right To Be!

There are many very good teachers in the education system in Britain who know their subject inside out, and the exam results for their students reflect this. Many have been covering for the incompetent ones for a long time. Its time they didn’t need to do that anymore.

A public poll carried out by Boulten & Co. showed a massive 83% for and just 17% against making the sacking of teachers easier. At the moment it is a long and tedious process to get rid of a bad teacher and it is this process that Mr. Gove is wanting to simplify so head teachers can ween out the dullards.

Help!

He has already made some initial moves to improve the standards of teacher education and to raise the level of teacher qualification exams which should help improve the competence and knowledge levels of new teachers entering the profession. It will take time for all this to filter through to the classroom, but its nice to know we are at last on the right track.

Roy.

 

Britain’s Education System – The Blind Leading The Blind!

Posted in Britain, Children, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, English Schools, Government, Insanity, Liberal Party, Nick Clegg, Parliament, Primary Education, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27/06/2011 by floroy1942

“The truth will always out” and that has never been more amply demonstrated than today with the new literacy/numeracy tests for trainee teachers

Education, Education, Education

Education standards in British schools have been falling for decades, thanks in particular to the previous Labour government that made exams easier to improve pass statistics, and now we are ‘paying the piper’. We have long passed the stage where our ‘teachers’, responsible for the proper education of our next generation, are capable of the task.

The horrifying impact of this situation is that it perpetuates. As standards drop generation by generation, so does the competence of succeeding generations of teachers, and thereby the education of each new generation declines. To put it bluntly, how can a semi-literate person teach literacy or numeracy to a child?

This is the vicious circle we are now in as a nation. In my opinion, we are rapidly reaching a point where British children will no longer be able to apply for skilled jobs, and this is already happening. We will eventually see that born and bred British youth will only be able to get jobs as cleaners and road sweepers because their level of education precludes all else. 

See also:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/young-people-today-unemployable/

It is a well known fact that four out of five youngsters leaving school today cannot read and write properly, and don’t even try mental arithmetic!

Teacher Training

Until now, candidates for Teaching Colleges have been allowed to take assessment tests while they train as often as they wish, so if they ‘got lucky’ on their sixth attempt they would be allowed to continue training as teachers! The news item states that candidates will now only be allowed three attempts, but I have to ask; if they need three attempts, are they fit to teach the next generation, especially considering how ‘hard’ the test is? I think not!

The report gave the following examples of questions that appear in the exam given to those attending teacher training:

  • Q1: Teachers organised activities for three classes of 24 pupils and four classes of 28 pupils. What was the total number of pupils involved?

  • Q2: There were no ” ” remarks at the parents’ evening. Is the missing word:

  • a) dissaproving

  • b) disaproveing

  • c) dissapproving

  • d) disapproving?

  • Q3: For a science experiment a teacher needed 95 cubic centimetres of vinegar for each pupil. There were 20 pupils in the class. Vinegar comes in 1,000 cubic centimetre bottles. How many bottles of vinegar were needed?

  • Q4: The children enjoyed the ” ” nature of the task. Is the correct word:

  • a) mathmatical

  • b) mathematical

  • c) mathemmatical

  • d) mathematicall

Answers at the end of this post for those who don’t know!

 Even the questions (faithfully reproduced) have missing punctuation and spelling mistakes, but that may be down to the reporter more than the real exam paper.

While I am on the subject, mistakes are now very common in articles written for news bulletins and newspapers. Whether this is because the writers cannot be bothered to check their work before handing it in, or is the emergence of the level of illiteracy spreading to reporters today I do not know, but its worrying.

A Time When Teachers Knew How To Teach!

When I first saw the above questions, I realised very quickly that they were like the ones I had to answer in school when I was ten years old! That was of course hrrmmm years ago when school was school, and teachers knew what they were doing. In those days teaching was a calling, much like nursing. People did it because they loved the idea of educating the next generation. They knew their subject inside out and woe betide you if you didn’t learn.

The Department of Education calls this exercise ‘toughening up’ on education, and Ed Gove, the Education Secretary is quoted as saying  the proposals would “emphasise our commitment to boosting the status of the profession by toughening up the recruitment process and ensuring that all new teachers have a real depth of knowledge in their subject”. That was the ‘norm’ fifty years ago for cryin’ out loud!!! I know my old teachers would be spinning in their graves if they could see what is happening today!

The tests taken are for literacy and numeracy, both essential if you wish to embark on a career educating others. To date, 10% of all applicants take the numeracy test more then three times, and 7%  do the same for the literacy test. Although the news rules may well help, I still do not see the need for candidates to be given three attempts at a test. Would you get three attempts at a GCSE? No!

Hmmm!

So what do we have now? For the most part, teachers who can only stand in front of a class and recite a lesson from a book, and why? Because they themselves have little or no knowledge of the subject they are ‘teaching’. In some cases their literacy and numeracy are no better than a twelve-year-olds, which lets face it, is considered ‘normal’ these days.

The reaction to this report from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is predictable. In their opinion the tests are ‘superfluous’. That just about sums them up too! According to them the students requiring more than one shot at these test were either dyslexic, had English as a second language or were unfamiliar with on-line testing. My Goodness! How can a dyslexic person, or a foreigner with insufficient understanding of english, be allowed to teach our young????? It boggles the mind!

Christine Blower

NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said: “The NUT has always argued that the entry requirements for initial teacher education, which include GCSE passes grade C or above in English and maths, should be sufficient and make the additional skills tests superfluous,”

If that is the case, why do so many have to take the test more than once to pass it! Especially when you consider how simple the questions are. GCSE’s have been dumbed down by Labour over the past decade to such an extent I am surprised everyone doesn’t have at least ten! So Christine, You can blow…never mind!

The National Association of Head Teachers has, as you can expect, a more professional attitude to the current problem saying: “it was right to have demanding expectations of recruits to the profession”. Now that sounds more like it!

The Associations General Secretary, Russell Hobby, said: “We should not fall into the trap of thinking, however, that academic excellence necessarily makes someone a great teacher. We want smart people, but we also want visionary, caring, energetic, creative and thoughtful people.” Quite right Sir, up to a point! Without the basic knowledge of the subject they are to teach, the rest is meaningless. All potential candidates should be properly examined for their level of general education and long before they enter the system, not while they are in the midst of training.

Let Me Check That In My Notes

Unless the government makes severe changes to the level of competence of our new teachers, and makes it compulsory for them to have a full understanding and knowledge of any subject they wish to teach, things will never improve and we will end up a with a workforce capable of performing menial tasks only. Whenever companies need skilled workers they will have to be imported. Not a happy thought.

Answers to the test questions: 1. 184     2. d     3. 2     4. b     Just in case you may have had some difficulty.

Associated post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/its-not-mi-falt-i-carnt-spel/

Roy.

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