Managing our schools

I confess I have a vested interested in the way our schools are managed as I have two grandchildren – one in primary and one about to start secondary later this year – plus my daughter is a teaching assistant. Or at least, she was…

She wasn’t always a TA. She used to be a Superintendent Radiotherapist but after her son was born with medical difficulties and spent the first 4 months of his life in Great Ormond Street Hospital, she was unable to return to work as she was his full time carer. Thankfully, as he got older she was able to return to part time work but not with the NHS as they’d rather employ students. After all, they’re cheaper aren’t they? But more of that later.

So she got a part time job at the local primary as a TA. Well below her capabilities but the school were glad to have her especially as they could partially offload their liability in the case of anything happening to threaten my grandson’s life – which was a real possibility.

This year, that all changed. Sam in now off 4 hourly injections and is about to move on to a new school, so guess what? This year they’ve started fucking her about and treating her like shit ‘cos they really don’t care is she’s there or not now.

First they changed her job and reduced her hours. She’s on the dreaded zero hours contract – or at least she would be if they fulfilled their legal requirement to actually issue her with a contract – so they can give her whatever hours they feel like and nothing she can do about it. Then yesterday they called her in to the office and told her they were changing her role and hours again. They really didn’t give a shit if she liked it or not. Why should they? After all she’s a human resource, not a person…

Happily this time it rebounded on them because the NHS has just changed it’s policy and is actively encouraging physios and radiographers to return to the fold. There’s a skills shortage. As a result, she’s going to do the refresher course – previously £3,000 with no guarantee of a job at the end but now gone out the window – will reregister and, with luck and a following wind, go back to her old department. At least the NHS is beginning to see the light!

Unfortunately, not the schools. Rather satisfyingly she was able to say “No thanks. I’ll leave at the end of next week.” And the head teachers response? “Well I guess you get paid more as a radiotherapist!” proving that the daft sod completely missed the point. It’s not about the money. It’s about how you treat people. And, it seems, she’s not the only one they’ve been buggering around.

The answer, of course, is very simple. Schools should be run by a manager not by teachers whose background and training make them fundamentally unsuited to run a school.

There’s an old saying : “Those who can do. Those who can’t teach!” It’s certainly true in this case and, I suspect, in the vast majority of state schools…


2 responses to “Managing our schools

  1. And those who can’t teach, teach teachers!

  2. I’m having a similar experience within the voluntary sector. You’d think that managers there would value you as a volunteer, after all you’re giving up your time for free. Ah no, it seems you get your petty Hitlers everywhere. I’m so disgusted, I’ve told ’em to bugger off!