Sunday, 12 January 2014

No Really, Think Of The Children


And you thought education left a lot to be desired now? Wait till you see what Labour have planned.
Teachers would have to be licensed every few years in order to work in England's state schools under a future Labour government, the BBC has learned. 
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said regular re-licensing of teachers would allow the worst ones to be sacked whilst helping others to receive more training and development.
Now, regular readers will remember posts here about the perils of Puddlecote Inc, so let me tell you how this idea worked out for a private sector company. Because our employees were "helped" to receive more "training and development" too, not that a single one of them asked for it.

A few years ago, there was this brilliant idea - emanating from the EU - to insist that all currently licensed HGV and PSV drivers must take on 35 hours of training every five years. You could do so by taking 7 hours per year, or do it all in an intensive week long course. You'd have to pay, of course. Around £400 plus VAT at the very cheapest if you stored it up for the week long stuff.

Who pays for this is dependent on the company, some say that it is the driver's responsibility to keep their licence up to scratch, others felt pity and decided they'd shoulder the cost, but either way it was costly (all passed on to the customer) but had to be done or else the driver is off the road.

Our experience - and we offered to pay for the courses - was that our best drivers said "enough of this shit" and quit the game. Not just any old drivers either, it was mostly the most experienced older drivers who decided that it was a ridiculous idea, and that there was no way they were letting some snotty-nosed professional training adviser tell them how to do a job they'd performed brilliantly for decades.

The courses involved such vital skills modules such as vehicle security and crime prevention, economic driving, and customer care. You know, the kind of thing that employers used to be in charge of for free. As well as instruction on drivers' hours, defect reporting and safe loading ... which they have already learned in order to be licensed in the first place, and sessions in environmental sustainability and health and safety, natch.

Talking to trade associations and others, this stupid, pointless exercise in box-ticking by clipboard-wielding inspectors who've never done a day's work in our industry in their lives led to a loss of around 20% of drivers across the board. And this despite the courses being attendance only, meaning they could turn up - after paying by cash, cheque or credit card, of course - and read a book or fall asleep if they liked, there is no exam, no assessment, they get a certificate just for being there and wasting 35 hours of their lives and annual leave.

How Labour's plan would work is anyone's guess, but I expect it won't be attendance only so the effect will be amplified exponentially. It's going to be the best teachers who decide they are financially secure enough to throw their hands in the air and retire early rather than suffer such pathetically-imagined ignominy. And, as in our business, these are the ones who teach the younger - more readily indoctrinated - professionals their trade.

A more stupid policy for education is hard to imagine, especially since you can just imagine that the politically-correct crap the teaching profession is already subjected to will be magnified, and that - whichever way you cut it - it is the taxpayer who will pay for the course fees.
Unions criticised it as "pointless".
For once, the unions are absolutely spot on, but then it is specifically designed to be pointless. It's very point is pointlessness. Licensing and inspections of professionals already trained for the job, and/or accepted by the school as competent, is simply a political exercise in pretending politicians have a useful role in society, in this case because the EU has largely usurped Labour's ability to do anything useful.

But here is one time when we should be pleading with them to properly think of the children. Do we want kids to be trained by experienced older professionals with decades of knowledge and skills to be passed on to colleagues, or should Labour be allowed to drive them out of the job by way of death by a thousand insults to their intelligence?

Four more years and my kids are out of it, God help those of you with younger ones.


19 comments:

Longrider said...

My training licence to deliver track safety training on the railway currently costs me about £600 per year. There's an onlne exam at £250 and a licence fee of £320, but then we have to add on VAT...


What do I actually get for that money? Well, apart from being able to do my job, nothing.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I often wonder how they justify these charges. I mentioned a while ago about a new regulation brought in for our industry which follows guidance laid down by the EU. We totalled up the cost in September prior to a meeting with our accountants and worked out it hit us to the tune of £30,000. A fair chunk of that was inspection fees at £198 each for a half hour walk-around by the testers. It just seems a pseudo tax as in another way of ripping cash out of the private companies and injecting it into the public sector.

anon said...

yeah

anon said...

Let me guess Longrider, your "track safety "/ "road safety" training is perfectly acceptable advice from the government cos it pays your wages.

Fuck off to the rest of health and safety...eh.

you are a pompous twat pontificating always about rules and advice when you are one of Dicks "snotty-nosed professional training advisers" yourself.

You earn a living delivering Health and safety advice from the government.. what a fucking fraud you are, you would deliver any advice for a price.

Hey Dick, what about your company and its no smoking policy?......nah not a squeak ever.. eh

Regards

Rickie

anon said...

Let me guess Longrider, your "track safety "/ "road safety" training is perfectly acceptable advice from the government cos it pays your wages.

Fuck off to the rest of health and safety...eh.

you are a pompous twat pontificating always about rules and advice when you are one of Dicks "snotty-nosed professional training advisers" yourself.

You earn a living delivering Health and safety advice from the government.. what a fucking fraud you are, you would deliver any advice for a price.

Hey Dick, what about your company and its no smoking policy?......nah not a squeak ever.. eh

Regards

rrickie

Longrider said...

It's all a money-making scheme. Training providers have to undergo a licencing system. In itself, a quality assurance regime is fine - and having an outside body carrying that out makes sense. I have no problem with that in principle if it drives up standards. What I have a problem with are the huge amounts of money being charged for very little in the way of a service in return. There are other issues, but this isn't the forum for that. The cost of the training materials is a pittance of the money charged for licensing.


Oddly enough, I don't have to pay to be licensed as a motorcycle trainer. I did when I was an ADI. Odd that. They missed a trick there...

riiiickie said...

Thnaks Dick for contacting Longrider so he could answer, a little bit quicker than i was expecting too.

You still carry out health and safety for the government longfraud, you are exactly the type of person that workers despise, and a bigger cunt than they probably already think you are especially if they read your blog and found out every other health and safety advice that you don't get paid to preach about is shite and a disgrace

Jax said...

I note that these teacher-licensing proposals only apply to teachers working in State schools. So what this ill-considered plan would do is exacerbate the already-existing problem of the flight of the best teachers from the State to the Private sector. If this plan had been mooted by the Tories, Labour would have been screeching from the rafters about Tories “looking after their friends in the private education system.” Quite how they've managed to become so selectively blind when it comes to policies which they propose, but so incredibly touchy when someone else proposes it, sometimes really, really baffles me (not that the other side are any better, mind you). Doublethink rules, as they say!

nisakiman said...

Do we want kids to be trained by experienced older professionals with
decades of knowledge and skills to be passed on to colleagues, or should
Labour be allowed to drive them out of the job by way of death by a
thousand insults to their intelligence?


I think that Labour have probably designed the whole exercise exactly with a view to driving out the older professionals, who, heaven forbid, might teach the kiddies the rudiments of independent thought and conservative (small 'c') values. Much better to have the education system staffed with indoctrinated youngsters espousing socialist dogma.

My youngest daughter is currently doing her Master's at SOAS; a veritable hotbed of lefty multiculturalism, and despite her upbringing is being brainwashed into the sort of thinking that is anathema to me. I am constantly having to tell her to take a step back and view the ideological claptrap she's being immersed in with objectivity and scepticism. And this is a girl who has been brought up to think independently. Most young people going into the teaching profession will not have had the sort of unorthodox parental input that she has, and will be much more malleable.

The future doesn't look bright for the upcoming generation.

Jack Dawson said...

These courses in all the professions I'm aware of are simply tollgates so that the workers can pay for access to work. No-one ever fails, but the most experienced and best decide to retire, as you say. In my former profession, medicine, revalidation came in after Shipman, who would not have been stopped by the process. In fact there is an argument that all this formal relicensing gives a spurious and dangerous sense of security.

Rursus said...

What's their problem? Every principal had to separate out rotten fruits in his staff / had to train them. That is one of the key tasks of an principal.

Rursus said...

MY opinion for a good school education: Make the training for an teacher (college) twice as hard and pay them good! -> Your children will became very good educated students.

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Sam Duncan said...

That was my immediate thought, too. In practical terms, it'll help independent schools, but of course I'm quite sure that the political idea is to use it as a stick to beat them with: once this scheme is introduced, the Left will constantly remind us that the independent sector uses unlicenced teachers, and therefore can't be trusted. (And, as usual, don't look at their results, because shut up.)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Classic empire-building.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

... Which they would term as "the logical next step". Statism 101.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

My fears exactly, although I do pitch it to the little Ps as an opportunity rather than all doom and gloom. If they are independent enough to understand the world properly and discard the more obvious paranoia and agitprop, it sets them up with an advantage over the bovine for life. Always a silver lining.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

That's another odd aspect, hardly any of these new rules affect safety or security at all. Just over a year ago I described a number of petty rules including one which states that the BSI mark on glass is a fail, it has to be an EU mark even though the glass used is exactly the same safety standard. Utterly pointless and costly.


We've since had vehicles failed for not having the seat belts clipped into their socket when being inspected. Why on Earth this is a rule at all is anyone's guess, let alone a fail-worthy one. Could it really be as simple as the inspectors not wanting to be bothered clipping them in themselves to prove that they work? At a nearly £400 hourly rate for their time? It's the only possible explanation I can think of.

truckerlyn said...

The craziest thing with this course for HGV/PSV drivers is this time around the DoT are letting huge numbers get away with doing the same course module 5 times instead of all 5 modules! Just goes to prove that the whole thing is a load of baloney!