Governance Simplified!

Today, November 19th, we were delighted to welcome John Swinney , Deputy First Minister, back to our full forum meeting.

Mr Swinney emphasised that the Governance review is not prescriptive. When our Chair, Joanna Murphy, explained the consultation is very hard for parents to engage with, Mr Swinney suggested that parents answer these points and send them to Government

How do we want schools to be run?

Where should influence lie?

What adds value to the learning experience?

What should parents do ( within education)?

5 thoughts on “Governance Simplified!

  1. Never understood why we changed from the old “O” grade and “H” grade system.
    Where gaining a C grade and upwards was a pass. This was a well regarded system by universities and colleges as well as employers. Now the whole curriculum is too confusing for pupils as well as teachers and because of budget constraints and too many subjects for timetables pupils do not have the freedom to make choices of subjects. When two subjects they want to take fall on the same part of the timetable they are forced to choose between them.

  2. I’d like to see a flipped system where our schools are run by the teachers who know their work and know our children. A top down approach, where initiatives are decided by those removed from the classroom and/or without years of experience working with pupils will unlikely lead to an learning environment with a cohesive vision. I’d like to see teachers who are given the freedom and time to properly collaborate with each other and to drive forward the learning in their schools rather than follow directives from above that may not be In tune with what the needs of their learners or their school. Can we please invest money in schools and give teachers more time to plan–this means more teachers in schools with less class contact time so that they can adequately innovate and properly research and improve things for the kids. Because that’s why they do the job.

    The influence lies with the pupils and teachers–do we really want it any other way? As a parent I expect that the person who has the most influence on my child is the person or people who see them in the classroom everyday. I don’t expect a standardised test to tell me much that I don’t already know and I doubt that I’d be able to see the results anyway. I care about the conversations I have with their teachers who know them much more deeply than a test paper.

    Time talking to my children, getting to know what their interests are, taking them on trips–this is so important. These are the things that kids remember.

    What should parents do? Start demanding that politicians stop seeing our children as products to be standardised. Education is not a factory. We need to resist business models in our schools, to resist believing that a test will make things better and that comparing/rating our schools will improve them. As parents we need to make our schools a community and talk to each other about what we really want to see happen in our school in reaction to what we feel our own unique needs are.

  3. Sadly our schools are failing our most vulnerable children with additional support needs, they are being failed by no appropriate supports in the classrooms, not being given enough time to digest and process information, lack of training and understanding by teachers and their inability to deal with these vulnerable children in an appropriate manner without making them feel excluded, dejected and totally misunderstood which has a serious effect on their mental health. Head teachers should accept all training offered to schools that parents can arrange to give them a better understanding of their child’s particular needs especially when it is being offered for FREE!! This adds to the learning experience as children want to go to school. My 7 year old looks for any excuse not to go!
    Parents should be kept more informed with what is being taught to their children and any assessments given to the children should be made available to the parents. I asked for assessments to be undertaken on my son in August, I still have not found out the results.

  4. How do we want schools to be run?
    By competent, compassionate professionals whose knowledge and skills are both developed and respected. Those who have the ability and autonomy to know and to justify what will work for the children in their community.

    Where should influence lie?
    With those competent and compassionate professionals. Education should not be a political pawn.

    What adds value to the learning experience?
    Equity. Respect. Knowledge.

    What should parents do?
    Respect the competent and compassionate professionals.
    Demand a system that does not support those in education who lack competence or compassion.
    Allow their children to thrive by refusing to acknowledge the stress imposed by schools seeking ‘good’ results. Refuse to engage home tutors who add to the attainment gap.
    Demand that education is not permitted to remain a political pawn, seek ring fencing of funding and greater transparency on how the budget is spent.

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