Oh No Mr Gove!

And just like that, world order is restored. I felt a little uncomfortable praising Mr Gove for his radical move to remove the ICT Programme of Study.

But all is back in balance now.

As MSN reports:

“The Education Secretary has called for longer school days and suggested that teachers should also be happy with longer terms.

Michael Gove said "we’re all in favour” of extending the school day and potentially also cutting short the summer holidays.

Asked about how this would impact on teachers, he told ITV’s Daybreak programme: “If you love your job then there is, I think, absolutely nothing to complain about in making sure you have more of a chance to do it well.”

Really Mr Gove?

Let’s take a look at my last week in teaching:

  • Saturday (Xmas Hols) – 3 hours (mainly planning lessons)
  • Sunday (Xmas Hols) – 5 hours (mainly whole school data analysis to make sure we’re on track to do well in the league tables)
  • Monday (07.30-22.00) – 14 hours (teaching, meetings, planning, supervising break, research)
  • Tuesday (07.30-18.00) – 10.5 hours (teaching, leading) + (19.00-22.30) 3.5 hours (learning & sharing)
  • Wednesday (07.30-21.00) – 13 hours (teaching, marking, supervising lunch, meeting, leading, reflecting on your policy decisions)
  • Thursday (07.30-20.00) – 12.5 hours (teaching, planning, supervising lunch, analysing data, meeting, parents evening)
  • Friday (07.30-15.00) – 7.5 hours (teaching, more data, more meetings, more duties)

That’s 69 hours.

And that’s an average week.

Where appropriate I’ve removed 30 mins for eating dinner at home. I’ve not had a lunch break, nor a ‘break of reasonable length’ during the day. We work these hours, for 5-8 weeks at a time, and then we collapse, speak to our loved ones and sleep for about half of our holidays, before spending the second half preparing work for the next term.

If you want people like me to run your schools, to innovate new ICT curricula and share them across the country, to make sure my school does well in it’s league tables and receives another Outstanding in it’s next, no-notice, Ofsted inspection, oh yes – and to teach, what exactly should I stop doing?

And all this whilst paying me less? I don’t think so. According to the NUT’s pension calculator, if your proposed changes go through, and if I were to make it to 60 years old, doing my bit to fill the upcoming Headteacher shortage, and then decided to retire at that age. I would be £750,000 worse off. Three quarters of a million pounds worse off.

This does not compute.

I do love my job. But I couldn’t do any more of it. If you asked me to, I’d leave the classroom immediately, and that would be a shame.

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