Teaching is now a minor part of the job

25th May 2001 at 01:00
I received a job specification today. The skillsabilities that the job demands run as follows.

(The candidate must be able to:)

* Demonstrate the ability to manage a budget

* Manage change effectively

* Interpret and analyse statistical information

* Convey complex information orally, using appropriate style and language

* Build effective work teams

* Be sensitive to the needs of local communities and organisations

* Respond to public concerns and the needs of different ethnic communities

What's the job? Director of education? Inspector or senior adviser? At the very least a headteacher, surely?

No. It is for a key stage 2 teacher in a 180-pupil school. No ention is made in the job description of teaching or learning, (beyond a reference to "exemplar teacher"); nor is any mention made of children. It is as if these are now minor aspects of the job that are incidental to - or worse, get in the way of - the real job of "managing" in schools.

It is time certain heads, and local-authority advisers, stopped playing the management games that the industrial world abandoned years ago, when they realised that there were people in the workplace. It's time they remembered that they are in charge of places inhabited by children and teachers who want to get on with the real business of teaching and learning.

Mark Edwards

36 George Street, Bedford


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