Thursday, 3 September 2009

Hey! Leave Them Teachers Alone*

Those bloody teachers, eh? Forever up to no good.

Such reprobates are they, that the GTC is forcing through a new code of conduct to dictate exactly what they can and can't do.

The code, drawn up by the profession's watchdog, the General Teaching Council for England (GTC), says teachers must "maintain reasonable standards in their own behaviour that enable them to uphold public trust and confidence in the profession".

You know what it's like, gangs of them harassing old ladies, prostituting themselves for their next fix, pissing in doorways, that sort of thing.

Yes, of course it's bollocks. From talking to the teachers I know, they are already shit scared of living a normal life as it is, many now make damn sure that they don't teach anywhere near where they call home, and certainly not where they socialise. Not surprising seeing as even exhibiting a sense of humour can make national news.

Their union, in my opinion, makes a very valid point.

But Chris Keates, general secretary of Nasuwt, said the code, which was last revised four years ago, "gave the impression that teachers could not be trusted, and that their regulatory body needed to pin down their every activity and tell them how to behave".

The GTC, in their rebuttal, appear to agree that there isn't much of a problem with the behaviour of teachers.

The GTC has heard only two cases which related entirely to a teachers lawful but unacceptable conduct outside school, and in both cases the teacher received and accepted a reprimand.

So, why the need for this new code? Isn't it fixing something that ain't broke? The current arrangements seem to be perfectly adequate.

The GTC insist that the code will not lead to an intrusion into the private lives of teachers, but 10,000 teachers who have signed a petition against it would tend to disagree. And call me old-fashioned here, but when my kids go to school, I fully sign up to the principle of in loco parentis, so if they think their role is more difficult with the spectre of more draconian measures being targeted at them, I'm on their side.

This has more than a faint whiff of taking action for the sole purpose of being seen to do something with their £18m income [pdf]. And, at worst, it could be seen as a means of increasing that paltry figure of just two teachers being taken to task over legal activities which have no bearing whatsoever with their daytime, contracted, job of attempting to hammer something useful into the many obstructive shits in our comprehensive system.

Are the teachers over-reacting? Well, we won't know that until the code is operational and by then it could be too late. The accusation from the Nasuwt is that the wording is vague and could be implemented in a catch-all manner. If that is the case, teachers like Natasha Gray could be in the firing line ... and I make no excuse whatsoever for reproducing this picture.

Natasha's 'crime' was to place alluring pictures of herself on a web-site for aspiring models. It was in her own time, did not affect her teaching in any way, but was somehow picked up on by parents and/or pupils in her school, and a big fuss made of it.

If she was a rampant swinger and liked spending her weekends being gang-banged by Polish dwarves (whatever happened to Chris Cyrnik, by the way) it is still no-one's business. Her private life is her own.

If the new code would mean she was up on a charge from the education 'beaks', which is eminently possible the way the code is currently couched, then it is wrong-headed and can only serve to diminish teaching standards further by scaring high performing teachers (as Natasha was described) away from the profession. And that doesn't really help anyone, does it, as I have mentioned before.

Teachers in England 'poorly trained'

Teachers are England are among the least-qualified in the developed world, according to research.

Not too surprising considering the fact that the pressures placed upon them, for a not too impressive wage, have increased with every target-driven, dogmatic diktat from Labour. As former inspector of schools, Chris Woodhead, confirms.

he said teachers were now expected to be more focused on "the challenges of social diversity than the excitement of teaching an academic subject".

"These days student teachers and aspirant headteachers are lobotomised into an unthinking acceptance of the Government's plans," he said. "Who would want to be a member of this non-profession?"

Zackerley. And as the lustre of the profession wanes, and teachers leave as a result, so must the entry criteria be lowered to fill the places required for a pupilship which is increasing.

As ever under Labour, the new code appears to be more unnecessary regulation, vaguely worded therefore increasing the possibility of unjust and unhelpful judgements, the result of which can only possibly discourage those with talent from enthusing about a career in education - when our system badly requires the enthusiastic and talented to take up teaching if schools aren't to continue churning out fuckwits with no more ambition than getting to perform in front of Simon Cowell on X Factor.

* As Pink Floyd might say today


Paul said...

One nasty little thing this quango does is fund its own prosecutions out of state money. You fund your own defence.

You do not get your costs back, even if you win your case.

Anonymous said...

I struck up a conversation with a teacher in a pub just before the smoking ban who admitted that she hid the fact that she smoked and who felt under pressure from the head not to drive to school. She also mentioned that she wouldn't dare take in the 'wrong' food in her packed lunch.

A poster on Taking Liberties has quoted this comment on another blog which I think sums up this country now:

"From 1980 (starting with the Moscow Olympics) to 1989 I worked in Moscow out of a small office at the Hotel National. I was employed by an Austrian Company and spent a few months of each year in the USSR. Long enough to get the “feel” of the status quo and absorb the general attitude of the population, as I worked with a lot of Russians from lowly pen-pushers and interpreters, to highest Ministerial level employees. I was always slightly relieved climbing onto a BA flight at Sheremetjevo Airport heading back home.

The point I’d like to make by this preamble is that I now get the EXACT SAME feeling of unease, disquiet and distrust of all things to do with police, judiciary, government, authority etc., from parking wardens, council employees, schoolteachers, right up to MPs.

Believe me people, once you have spent time in a Communist country you never forget “that” feeling. And when you come across it again in your own country you clearly recognise it. We are in it up to our necks"


Anonymous said...

Good point about too much time spent on 'diversity' etc. I've been training to teach in FE & fuck me, it's all about equality & diversity & fuck all to do with getting some academic knowledge into the learners. I'm thinking of packing it in - whoring seems a more honest way of earning a living than passing on all this brainwashed shit. Incidentally, I was at an Area Meeting last night, held in a smiddle chool. Great big posters up on the wall 'Do you get 5 hours physical exercise every week'? Matched by 'The government expects you to do this' - fuck what the govt expects - had I a kid at that school I'd have ripped the 'the govt expects...' bit off the wall & shredded it.

Barking Spider said...

Quite frankly, she could teach me anything she likes, DP!

Thomas Byrne said...

Why can't I have had teachers like this in comprehensive school?

On a serious note, is this actually leg, or a code of conduct simply for teachers in the unions? (I'm not quiteclear)

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yup. Once they have banned the fun out of everybody else's lives, The Righteous will turn on themselves.

I do feel sorry for teachers on this point. but they haven't been putting up much of a fight so far, have they?

Paul said...

It's impossible to get the teacher unions to do anything ; they seem to be in hock to the Labour government.

The stupid strike over demanding a pay rise of something insane, 10% or something, wasn't supported by many teachers and got through because most didn't vote (having give up on the unions).

A strike over behaviour, paperwork or the GTCE probably would get a lot of support but those are "anti-Labour" so the unions won't do anything other than make 'representations' (e.g. sweet fa)

BTS said...

I have to say that I find this to be excessive and unfounded. My parents were teachers and so, growing up, I knew exactly what they could get up to (at one barbecue I recall a few of their colleagues stopping by my room to grab a joint).

I was able to appreciate that teachers are people, but when I went back to school I still respected my own teachers. If anything it probably improved my relationships with them.

Anonymous said...

I don't normally have much sympathy for teachers, but I agree with you on this.

As has been pointed out somewhere around these parts, they've backed intrusion into every other fuckers' life, so maybe this will be their epiphany.

I fucking doubt it though; thick, workshy, commie tossers.

An maybe it's just me, but that Tasha bird is a bit of a BOBFOC, isn't she?

SteveShark said...

Quite frankly, she could teach me anything she likes, DP!

Double Penetration?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Al: BOBFOC? Please enlighten me as it sounds fun.

SS: Yes, I realised the resonance of those initials 10 minutes after my first blog post. Oh well, it's my bed and all that. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"So, why the need for this new code? Isn't it fixing something that ain't broke? The current arrangements seem to be perfectly adequate."

over two thousand were referred to List 99 in 2005 ( a doubling since 2005).

Brit teachers are wild, they are a problem from Texas to Thailand, mostly child pornography. net-grooming & other sex crime.

500 or so convictions for sex crime per annum would be reasonable given the scale of the establishment.

Anonymous said...

Doubling since 2003