Election questions

9th March 2010 at 10:50
It's your chance to get your voice heard at the TES election debate. Here are some of the questions we've collected so far. Please note we cannot guarantee that these questions will be asked at the debate. Add your question to the list by emailing help@tes.co.uk

How do you explain the fact that in spite of over pound;4 billion additional money spent on education, there are far too many failing schools, with 50% of pupils in parts of the country unable to access the secondary curriculum? Why have none of the parties even mentioned about trying to improve education in a proven way, of smaller class sizes.

Are you entirely comfortable with the league tables? Do you believe they have driven up standards?

Has behaviour in schools improved? Do you record assaults on teachers nationally?


How can Ofsted be fair and accountable when it changes the goal posts every year?


Whatdothe panel believe would be the best way to recruit teachers for schools in London?

Supply teaching

I went undercover to find out exactly what cover supervisors do in our classrooms. I discovered that they teach classes just like qualified supply teachers. Does the panel think this promotes quality education in our schools or contributes to the demise of teaching as a profession?
Tony Callaghan

Is it not a little unfair that when ISA gets rolled out a supply will be double whammied for paying for CRB and paying for ISA as well?

Supply teaching can be a lonely, demoralising and solitary educational role, how would you improve the role, assessment and relationships of a supplyteacher?

Would you be willing to do the same job for a 30-50% pay cut?"Which is what I and many others who are supply teachers have been asked to do, whilst the schools get our experience and expertise.


My daughter is currently in year 9 and the school is persuading her to do a vocational Diploma in Engineering, worth seven GCSEs. The school will be doing this qualification in just slightly more than 1 day. My questions are: How can this be a `vocational' qualification, if it can be completed in just over one day? How is it that thisone-day-a-week qualification is worth the same amount of GCSEs as my seven, studied in one full week only a couple of decades ago?

Do you think the students who have studied the new Diploma this year have had a good learning deal?


Would any of the three main parties consider sorting out GCSE Science. Perhaps we could go back to the sensible system of choosing 1, 2 or 3 science subjects that a pupil is good at needs in future rather than making them do all three. Do we make pupils take all the languages, or all the humanities?


Despite the recent upturn in recruitment of trainee maths teachers it is still true that more maths teachers leave the profession each year than join it, resulting in ever more non-specialists teaching this fundamental subject to our young people. With some studies suggesting that over a quarter of maths lessons in secondary schools are taught by people not trained to teach maths, what steps would each party take to turn this around and, crucially, by what date would they expect theirpolicies to have resulted inalmostall secondary maths teaching to be done by people who have trained to teach the subject?
Maths HOD

Teacher training

Would any other profession get away with training so many people who never get to take up employment in their chosen profession? Also, why it is considered acceptable that so many people leave the profession every year, never to return?


Why is the English NQT forced to do the induction within 16 months once they have commenced any form of work, yet in Scotland and Wales their governments have recognised the need for 5 years due to the lack of jobs.

Exam boards

Why is it impossible to find out exactly how much money the Exam Boards are making? This information should be clearly out in the open fur public scrutiny?

Early years

What has been achieved by merging the daycare and education curriculum?
Hedda Gabler

Why has the role of the teacher and the skill of direct teaching been devalued in Early Years Settings since EYFS has been introduced?
Hedda Gabler

Has the introduction of EYFS training been successful? Will the government introduce a pay scale commensurate with their training?
Hedda Gabler

How can we provide a good quality play based early years curriculum in reception with only one adult?

Why are early years staff accountable to so many other bodies?

Where doesEd Ballsintend his cuts tofall after having committed millions of pounds for Reading Recovery?

Are there any plans from the alternative parties re reducing bureaucracy in the early years?

Is Ed Balls still going to persist in mixed methods intervention through Reading Recovery for our slowest-to-learn children?

How has the government responded to the conclusions of the Science and Technology select committee inquiry into the government promotion of RR?


What is the real impact on Year 6 pupils of "Easter crammer camps" and "Saturday SATs booster classes"? Is it worth it?

To David Laws: Early Years and Primary School teachers are confused by the plethora of contradictory instructions emanating from the DCSF. How does your Party diagnose the problem, are they able to analyse and pinpoint the mal-instruction and contradictions existing in literacy and numeracy areas in particular and, if so, what solutions does your Party offer?

To Michael Gove: Do youthink it realisticthat every primary school can match the 920+ pupil Newham Primary School. Elmhurst's,achievements - ie teaching ALL their children to readingthrough rigorous synthetic phonics approach with `every teacher and assistant know(ing) how to teach reading .If so, what measures do you propose taking?

Do you think that allowing teachers to teach to their strengths and interests has merit - with each school providing a cast-iron guarantee that literacy and numeracyfoundations are in place after 6 years?

Why have they crammed so much into the primary curriculum?

Why is there a three day maximum for a TA or other non teacher covering a primary class but no set limit for a cover supervisor filling in for a secondary teacher?

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