The Independent reported Michael Gove’s call thus on 26th June:
In an unprecedented step in relations between the Government and trade unions, the Secretary of State for Education said that classrooms threatened with closure could remain open if head teachers used the “wider school community” – including pupils’ parents – to teach lessons.
– Rarely has a ministerial statement made me so angry. That is just such nonsense. CRB checks take weeks. So, you’d have to be using the few parents with existing CRB checks in place. But it is just such utter bunkum to suppose that parents can just walk into a school and teach a lesson. Just unholy codswallop.
Yes, they can help. – Do a bit of help with kids on reading, for example, under supervision from the class teacher. But they can’t teach. You need proper training to teach. Even to supervise quiet activity, you need training and experience. You really can’t have anybody walking in.
So it was with quiet satisfaction that I read this morning that the Gove plan has fallen fairly and squarely on its bottom:
The Times reports:
Hundreds of thousands of children missed school yesterday as parents turned their backs on David Cameron’s plea to volunteer as classroom helpers to beat the teachers’ strike.
…Head teachers largely ignored the Prime Minister’s call to enrol parents to help keep schools open, citing their lack of experience, difficulties over criminal records checks and guaranteeing pupils’ safety.
…Surrey County Council, which includes the constituency of Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, advised its head teachers that using volunteers was “best avoided” for fear of creating tensions in schools.
What riles me, is that this Gove/Cameron call seems to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what teachers actually do. They appear to think that it is easy and that any old twit can walk in and do it.
That really gets me steamed up.
I’m going to have to take a chill pill.