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Hold the press: Phil Crompton agrees with a Secretary of State for Education

Now this is rare. But it’s true. Nicky Morgan spoke sense to the NAS/UWT last week. No, it wasn’t when she tried to justify expecting the planning of new GCSEs without the appropriate sample questions or even syllabuses being prepared. And I didn’t agree when she made no attempt to back track on the A level changes which take us backwards rather than forward. And as, for each school/academy/trust being told to make its own arrangements for the so called life after levels – well, no sympathy there either. And the increased emphasis on grammar seems to be seen as crucial to Ms. Morgan and Nick Gibb. I don’t see it as a major factor in holding back the country so I didn’t agree on that one either. Forced academisation? I’d rather see schools opt in rather than be told they have to do become academies. There’s so much to question because it does sometimes appear that changes are less than well informed or thought through. However, I do recognise that they are the elected government and are, of course, entitled to make decisions. I wouldn’t have made the same ones and I find it hard to agree with some of those made.

The Secretary of State did, however, have a point when she said that the unions and the profession as a whole should be more positive about itself. Instead of focussing upon the mysterious thousands who are apparently abandoning the job I think we should spend more time talking about the hundreds of thousands who turn up every day to teach, support and lead in schools and academies. Sometimes it appears that we are own worst enemies in telling the world that the workload is unmanageable, the inspectorate too demanding to, the working hours too long, the children too badly behaved and so it goes. It isn’t always easy working in education. But then which satisfying job is easy?

I see so many people working at our three academies and seeming to find the work rewarding. I think they enjoy the camaraderie, the chance to make a difference and the sense of purpose. I hope they feel they are supported whatever their role in the organisation and I hope they feel appreciated. A few don’t and they try their hand elsewhere. I certainly don’t see any signs of masses running for cover in other jobs and professions. Thank goodness for that. There seems little to be gained in dwelling upon what’s wrong with the job. We should listen and adapt if we can when issues are identified but for the sake of everyone let’s not be embarrassed about the positives. Let’s be proud to work in education.

Arnold Hill, Farnborough and Rushcliffe have 400 members of staff. Wherever you work and whatever you do please talk positively about your job, your place of work and the trust. If we don’t then who will?

I hope everyone enjoys the Spring Holiday. It’s well earned.

And I hope Nick Gibb isn’t too appalled by the standard of my grammar!

Phil Crompton