This is my second #WeeklyBlogChallenge17 and I thought I would record a few impressions of the New Year to date.
On the positive side I am still really enjoying my new role and being as busy as I want to be, and feeling very touched by schools who want me to carry on working with them despite finances being stretched.(I am very reasonable for this reason!) I have just started a one day per week mainstream SENCO role covering a temporary secondment and was made to feel very welcome by the head and staff. I have worked with the head quite a bit whilst at the PRU and was headhunted for the job; I feel hopeful that I can bring something fresh to the school and already staff are asking me questions which is good after one day!
I have also had a variety of work coming in ranging from preparing EHCP paperwork to working with children, including specialist teacher work. I am also keeping up with CPD and have got an Emotionworks training day booked for next week. Then I have some book article editing to do and am looking forward to delivering at the #PrimaryRocks day in March! My life is very varied and interesting and I am in control of my own destiny work and leisure wise! Long may it continue!
On the negative side, apart from getting over a nasty virus still, there seems to be a lot of unhappiness amongst colleagues, both on and off twitter, relating to workload, wellbeing and the looming demands of OFSTED and panic about finances and staff cuts! We seem to be moving in completely the wrong direction as a profession and those in charge seem incapable of steadying the ship or even knowing whose hand is on the tiller!
Sean Harford is doing the best he can at OFSTED within certain constraints, but ridiculous things still keep happening which erode confidence in the inspection process. A two form village school near me failed OFSTED due to safeguarding failings regarding the single central register. Okay, that is bad (although the report stated no children were put at risk)….but the report then went on to slate GEOGRAPHY at KS1 and 2….it went on and on about it!! I alerted Sean who went off to investigate and he took my point about it looking like the report was seizing on everything and anything to put the school in a bad light…..why? Surely it could have stopped at safeguarding if it was so heinous!! Other schools could be forgiven for thinking that OFSTED was on a mass drive to root out failings in foundation subjects now, as if there wasn’t enough to worry about with English and Maths!! It was a poor report (and actually in September how much geography were they expecting to see ???) and undoes the good work Sean is doing on myth busting. Then, in a further little twist, two heads I know went on a safeguarding course after school…..and had to take….their single central registers!!! Sean says this is very odd but hardly when you can be put in special measures for making mistakes!
I’m not even going to comment on DfE nonsense except to say that the reports about funding are extremely worrying and I know schools locally who are having to make stringent staff cuts….TAs are in the firing line coupled with a rise in the numbers of vulnerable SEND pupils, including those in danger of exclusion….not a good picture.
So not the brightest start to 2017 but we have to try our best for the sake of our children and hope for a resolution before crisis point hits us…..we might not be able to effect national change but the kids in our schools need us and we have to believe we can make a difference. Happy New Year!