Skip to main content

Elizabeth Truss speaks about improving teaching



For umpteenth years, teachers have complained again and again about not being able to teach due to the many conditions imposed upon them by government, local authorities, the nonsense excuse that is ‘What Oftsed expects’ and their very own SMT. Teachers have had their professionalism ripped from them by bureaucracy, politics and SMT fears thus creating the predicament we find ourselves in today - teaching by numbers, by box ticking, by Performance Management Expectations, by SMT created policies and all of these overseen by the nonsense excuse ‘What Ofsted expects”. 

Yesterday, Education Minister Liz Truss gave every teacher in the country hope, hope that they could once again be professional, hope that they could teach without adhering to ridiculous SMT enforced policies such as APP, hope that they could once again be teachers not part of some caged monkey pressing buttons manufacturing line.


Her speech can be read in full here. It has been met with agreement and disbelief. I see hope in her message, others view it with fear and suspicion. She does emphasise the use of textbooks and the purchasing of such textbooks from government approved providers, this in itself has caused much anguish but at no time does she say that this is the preferred teaching model. She mentions the mastery of Maths and thank goodness for that as Maths today has become a consultant’s brew of confusing ideas, methods and explanations. She wants schools to take the initiative and create assessment models that work for their children, this has been met with derision and fear - ‘

how will we compare results across the country!!! How can we ensure consistency with other schools!!!  We’ll end up with 100’s of different assessment models!!! 

How can we arrgghhhhh!!!!!!……’

Get a grip.

This speech has given us everything we have wanted - the authority to teach as we see fit. 

And we reply with fear.


GET A GRIP. It's a speech that gives us the power to once again be teachers. We need to take this initiative. If we don’t, we will continue to be seen as a profession that has no idea what it’s doing and better off caged and ticking boxes.

Popular posts from this blog

How to use proxy setting with Linux Mint

The dreaded proxy server has reared its head again. If you read my post about Linux OS for old tech you would have found me advocating Ubuntu, Elementary and Linux Mint. Unfortunately, I have found Linux Mint to be problematic if your school server uses proxy settings to get online. Ubuntu and Elementary also require changes to the network settings if you use a proxy, but this only involves a simple change in the Network Settings panel. This doesn't work in Linux Mint, the settings can be entered but will not remain saved.

So, here's the 'how to' courtesy of the askUbuntu Q&A section - if you're not keen on using terminal commands I suggest you either don't bother using Linux Mint and stick to Ubuntu or Elementary (or any other Linux distro) or swallow your fears and give this a go.

Use terminal to open /etc/environment using a text edit app as superuser - e.g. interminal type sudo gedit /etc/environment     (enter password when asked)Add the following line…

My latest lesson observation feedback

This was the outcome of my latest lesson observation - I received Good with Outstanding features (whatever that actually means). The form is based on the 2013 Ofsted criteria for a whole school observation, such criteria is not meant to be used to grade individual lessons so why are schools doing exactly that?
To achieve an Outstanding grade on this form I would have needed to do the following in the length of time the lesson observation took place.  Almost all pupils make rapid and sustained progress across the curriculumMarking and feedback from the teacher and pupils is frequent and of consistently high qualityTeaching of reading, writing, communication and maths is exceptionalUse of well judged and often imaginative teaching strategies that match individual needsTime taken to develop skills in other subjectsAppropriate and regular homeworkNow to pick some of these apart. No teacher can possibly be expected to ensure all pupils make sustained and rapid progress across THECURRICULUM

Marking in primary schools is verging on the ridiculous

Marking in primary schools used to be done with a red pen or whatever colour happened to be closest at hand. I've even marked in pencil once, but most of that marking was rubbed out by the children. What's happened now however has been steadily creeping in over the last few years - red pen is seen as bad, a terrible colour to mark with. Children view it as negative even if their work is correct. Red is now a banned marking colour in many primary schools across the land and has been replaced with a plethora of colour coded marking schemes, all followed to the colour due to the ridiculous nature of some primary school marking policies.