When I first took over the new role of Associate Senior Leader – Pupil Premium, it was a step up from my role as Faculty Leader for Maths and Science.
In principal the jobs are very similar, data analysis progress in English, Maths and Science, and obtaining 5 good GCSE’s including Maths and English. I went from overseeing a team of 17 to being a one man department. I went from being in control of a budget of £12,000 to being responsible for nearly a quarter of a million. The biggest budget in the school after wages.
If we were an outstanding school how we spent the money might not be scrutinised as closely by OfSTED, but we were satisfactory so we need to track and we need to monitor and we need to make sure that every student makes good progress no matter what their background. This should be the goal for every student, my job is to make sure that pupil premium student are supported to this aim.
This blog will track my progress towards this aim…
If I was cynical I’d say that our first INSET day was put on a Tuesday knowing that the whole school had been turned upside down during the summer, offices moved, ceilings pulled down, asbestos removed and everything in boxes, so that staff would come in on the Monday to sort everything out so that it didn’t count towards the 196 days we we’re meant to be in… I was in last Wednesday sorting my office out so there goes the new school year resolution to sort my work life balance out! I will also be in tomorrow to get things sorted for the new term… So objective achieved, well played SLT!
Every time someone talks about the amount of holidays teachers get and the amount of time we have doing nothing; I bite, I don’t mean to but so much of my time is taken up by school that it makes me cross. Not every teacher does 10 hour days in school (I’m in from 8 till 6 most days) but nearly all carry on working at home. I’ve just read an article in the news about how parents’ relationships come under stain during the summer holidays. Is it really saying that parents cannot cope with their kids full time and that a couple of hours in the evening and at weekends is all they can manage? It’s a good job that schools are there to take them off their hands or goodness knows how many more broken marriages there would be.
My hope for this academic year is that the way things are now will be the way they are next summer. Exam board syllabus’ will be the same, the marking criteria will be the same, OfSTED guidelines and measures will be the same… Except before we have even started I know they won’t be. OFQU/AL have already said that the speaking and listening part of the English GCSE will no longer count towards the overall grading (back to how it was in the first years of GCSE, I got a separate grading for this) It does seem very unfair for all of last year’s year 10’s that worked hard towards achieving a good mark to be told it was all for nothing. Surely it would have been fairer to bring this is for the New Year 10’s?
OFQUALS job is to ensure that the exam boards get it right; yet they say that grade inflation has been going on for years. Doesn’t that mean that they haven’t been monitoring the exam boards well enough for years? Why the sudden urge to do their job properly without thinking through what the impact of all the changes will be on the students who, quite frankly, like many staff are left not having a clue what is needed for their qualification nor the level they need to perform at to achieve a good grade?
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