'A complete waste of time'

21st July 2000 at 01:00
Mike Randall, head of Lytchett Matravers school, Poole, Dorset, recounts his experience of the day's training:

What a shambolic offering.

No tutor, or lecturer, but a facilitator. The poor man's background was in performance management for insurance companies. He'd never set foot inside a school since childhood.

Why did he fail miserably?

* His lack of understanding that heads could have heard of performance management let alone implemented a policy.

* He had no idea of the effect of repeated absences from class for chats between teacher and team leader. As one colleague wryly remarked: "You can leave a pile of paper for a few hours. Try that with a pile of chidren!"

* Poor training materials which assumed an IQ approaching negative numbers.

* His insistence on referring to all present as 'headmasters'.

At the end of the day, I confronted the course organiser. His knee-jerk response was to say that it wasn't the 'end of the line' and further retraining could be completed before the end of the term.

Another day? During this term? When? How? Ten threshold applications to assess, 440 reports to read and comment upon, a school production, two sports days, the list goes on.

Ironically, this course was contracted out to Group 4 Securitas Training. Unfortunately it failed... many heads had escaped by lunchtime.

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