Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Teacher reference group. Are you listening?

Earlier this year the DFE invited teachers to apply for the new teacher reference group.

My initial reaction was "Fantastic, a real chance to have our voices heard."

I duly filled in the  application form and waited ( and waited) to see what would happen.

Well, I was interviewed and joined the 20 other new members at a meeting last month.

A fabulous group of teachers all keen to share what is and isn't working in schools at the moment. Ms Morgan made a (brief) appearance , Nick Gibb stayed a lot longer and genuinely seemed to be interested in what we had to say .

Now what?!

The answer seems somewhat elusive .

I think the idea behind the TRG is excellent...for far too long education ministers and civil servants with a range of backgrounds ( few from education ) come up with ideas that have enormous impact on the teachers in our country . And the teachers have little or no say . Could this be a step in the right direction? I really hope so.

Here are some ideas that I think will help move things in the right direction. I am a primary school teacher and fully appreciate that there are issues regarding curriculum and assessment changes for GCSE and A levels and apologise for not including these, but they are of course enormously important and must be addressed.

1) The DFE should take time to respond fully to the NAHT letter regarding this year's KS2 SATs.  http://www.naht.org.uk/welcome/news-and-media/key-topics/assessment/naht-writes-open-letter-to-nicky-morgan-on-assessment/
2) The DFE should respond fully to the questions raised about the proposed resits for Y7 children.
3) A promise to gve schools far more notice about changes. More importantly, adequate time to implement.

I have just been invited to a meeting with the headteacher reference group to discuss KS2 assessments. I tweeted about this to invite opinions that I could take along. Crikey, hundreds of responses flooded my timeline. Such enormous strength of feeling must be fed back to the DFE and I will do my best to do so.

Will they listen? Will it make a difference?

I hope so.

Watch this space.

Meeting on June 27th...

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