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Why are our schools failing society?

November 11, 2019 1:13 PM
By Florence MacDonald

Floss Pencoys

It's no exaggeration to say that schools are failing. They're failing because they don't have the funds to hire enough staff or enough mental health and SEN support, and because their focus is in the wrong place.

I've got a reputation for ranting in the staff room and derailing INSET's by arguing with management. As teachers, we're constantly reminded that it's the levels children attain that are important.

And if you don't achieve that? Then OFSTED will be on the way.

That's the constant threat that creates a mountain of work which has nothing to do with the children - only with evidencing your work to an inspector.

This in turn also squeezes out the arts and humanities subjects that primary schools should really be all about. I've worked in a school that allowed two hours a week for: Science, history, geography, art, drama and music. So far there has been £2.2 billion cut from schools. One of the first things to go are specialists. My job as a music specialist was lost because I was deemed too expensive. Language specialists, art specialists - these are what make QUALITY education.

Next up are the TA's who, let's face it, should be getting paid a lot more than they are. As a teacher, when you're looking after 30 or more children at a time, it isn't you who has time to listen to the worries of children or to calm them down when they have lost control - it's the TA.

And it's the TA's who bare the brunt of the real crisis: inadequate support for SEN children and no support for victims of trauma or those with undiagnosed conditions. In Cornwall, it can take three years for a child to be diagnosed with autism. Meanwhile, schools just have to deal with it. TA's often take physical as well as verbal abuse and they're not valued as they should be.

Floss School Oz

We need proper mental health support in schools. It's not good enough to expect teachers and TA's to provide it.

We're failing society by:

  • Paying more attention to data than children.
  • Providing less-than-ideal standards of education in arts and languages.
  • Giving inadequate care for the most vulnerable in schools.

You can help turn this around by supporting my campaign to be elected as the next MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle.

Floss Teacher Westminster