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Showing posts from June, 2012

Looking for an educational outpost ...

In the criminal wasteland of the education system lays an outpost separated from the maelstrom of the system. This outpost lacks form, feature or firmament, many have forgotten its existence, some wretched souls never knew of it and others still cling onto past memories.
The outpost still remains, in the hearts of those who do what they do in spite of the demands of the system. Pioneers who live for the needs of their students, unfettered by targets, tables and standards set by those who know nothing of what is really worthwhile.
Educational pioneers working at all levels, under the cover of normal, never worried what others think. Only concerned that their students will acquire the knowledge, understanding and insight that will ensure that they are of actual value.
Able to transcend the ‘qualification’ and transmit the culture, open to new ideas and free to express how it is all done.
My only concern is that when you try to encourage others to enjoy time in the outpost, they react with f…

Being qualified ...

Whilst writing on another blog, a recurring thought took time to revisit and nag away in the back of my mind.

What is the real value of being qualified?

Working in a world, where one has often been involved in the intricate processes that encourage the development of a range of qualifications from entry level through each level to post-graduate masters. It can be said that I have seen, influenced and experienced a comprehensive range of 'academic' experiences.

Yet in my wide and varied professional walk, within education and beforehand working in my 'sector'. Some of the best, most inventive and capable souls have not come from a world where they are the most qualified, but more likely from talent, experience and ability.

So, can we measure ability, is that what a qualification accomplishes, or is it a crude measure of 'knowledge'. Looking at the different styles, certifications, assessment types and the such like, there seems to be few 'qualifications'…

More than a flesh wound ...

It seems to be a torrid time for our local education federation, already it is beginning to take on the personality of an evil empire portrayed in a low budget science fiction television series. Avoiding an elaboration of the cliche as they are clearly better at doing this than I, the saga described with eloquence here. Takes on a new twist this week.

From a source that cannot be named, one discovers that the federation has decided to appoint a principal of the college, elevating the chief executive to uberfurher of the organisation entire. Whilst at the same time, dealing two interesting punches to staff morale of the college, allegedly ...
Reshaping the current eleven departments into five faculties, where it has been reported that a level of middle management have been given notice.Adding a new clause to the teaching contract of all teaching staff, where it has been reported that all staff can now teach up to 'hours decided' for the college. Therefore setting no upper limit…

Rubbing of salt into a fresh wound ...

Glad I don't work here anymore, the announcement today in her majesty's birthday honours list, whilst excellent news that further education is getting recognition. Comes at a time when many hard working staff are still reeling at their Ofsted result.

I bet they are soooo chuffed, knowing that their chief exec has been knighted.

The report does little to support the notion that there is good leadership, if anything one wonders if they had been sticking their head in the sand regarding their results for the preceding three or more years.

So, lets take a British look at this, you can screw up and still get a good result.

Trends in vocational education ...

I am in no doubt that its too early to form any opinions or conclusively draw conclusions, but something deep inside me, suggests that current government policy means their rottweiler (Ofsted) is bent on downgrading further education colleges.

Detaching oneself from the personal interest in observing the numerical shift of a local college from one to three in the last couple of months. This report from FE Week whilst also inconclusive does present a view that there seems to be a current change in fates taking place.


The devil is always in the data, as the demand for performance increases, there is always a payoff. As national averages increase, the results base of a college can rise or fall accordingly. Immediately killing any hope of 'outstanding' results or even 'satisfactory' in many cases.

Assuming there is no collective will to control the results at an individual level, the noose upon colleges and other educational establishments can only tighten.

Pomp and circumstance ...

So far in the last four days I have not :
Watched any aquatic ceremoniesTaken any trips to LondonWatched any concertsAttended any street parties All could have been organised and all could have easily been 'on' or 'in' but somehow my compulsion to be part of these ranges wildly from 0 to 0 with an intervening negative.

Every radio show I listen to, hypes the occasion, I gather television is not much better.

So, when its over, do we return to a more republican lifestyle or is that also an illusion.