Archive | January, 2019

Squeeze on educational finance continues

4 Jan

In biblical times, seven years of plenty were followed by seven years of famine.  However, in Britain’s educational scene, the periods of time have been that much longer.   In 1997 when Labour was elected with thunderous applause, Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, pledged that his three priorities for the foreseeable future was to be Education, Education, Education.

However, the international financial crash in 2008, 11 years later, saw the start of a period of financial famine that has continued ever since – 11 years on.  Schools and colleges continue to experience the after-shocks, following the movement of the educational tectonic plates.  There are no signs that there will be much let-up.

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Teacher shortages threaten quality education

4 Jan

A school/academy is only as good as the quality of teaching. The quality of teaching, in turn, is predicated on the requirement that each institution has sufficient teachers.   At present, the country is haemorrhaging teachers faster than replacing them, which is having a debilitating effect on schools and academies.  The main reason for this appears to be the workload that teachers have been having to undertake over the last decade or so.  The cost of housing in London and the South-East of the United Kingdom is another factor that is exacerbating the situation for institutions located in these areas.

Thousands of talented teachers have upped sticks and gone abroad to use their talents.  They have been lapped up by other countries.   Two cases exemplify the experience of many.

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Members’ role at the top of the Multi-Academy Trust

4 Jan

When the two schools I used to clerk in the recent past decided to convert into academies and join together (in holy matrimony) to become a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), I found the role of the top tier of the structure was “as clear as mud”.  The National Governors’ Association has now provided excellent clarification setting this out in its paper, Academy trusts: the role of members. The full explanation can be accessed only if you become a member of the NGA, something that is becoming a must for a school or academy.

In every MAT, there are three tiers of governance.  In the top tier sits the members.  Trustees are below that and governors on the third.  What separates these tiers and their functions?

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