Posted by Simon Goulden - 22 Jun 2016
Over the past few weeks there have been a number of articles
in both learned journals and more popular publications, such as The Economist,
about the challenge of teaching the teachers. Now,
we are told to forget small classes, lavish resources (iPads for all) and
perhaps even new school buildings – designed to win awards if not make it easy
to teach and learn. Amazingly, the secret to outstanding grades and thriving
students is............ teachers!
It seems that we have been slaves to the assumption
that good teachers are born, not made. In the recent past, government policies,
of all stripes, have sought to raise teaching standards by attracting
high-flying graduates to join the profession and by encouraging poor teachers
to leave. Teach First, modelled on Teach for America, has certainly done that whilst
some others will tell you that if only teachers were set free from a centralised,
top down ‘straightjacket’, learning excellence would surely follow.
But there is a problem...
Posted by Simon Goulden - 06 Jun 2016
I promised to return to the education White Paper
‘Education Excellence Everywhere and the subject of Initial Teacher Training
gives me just that chance. Over the
years our community has developed a range of teacher training programmes,
delivered both at LSJS and through school led initiatives. The Jewish Teacher
Training Partnership, JTTP, has been running for a number of years and is rated
‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Its Schools Direct programme, in both primary and
secondary modes, is nationally recognised. For example, the Jewish Primary
Schools Consortium, the partnership of over 20 North London schools, represents
the whole spectrum of Jewish practise and within the consortium schools with
similar ethe (I’m no Greek scholar!) operate in clusters. Put at its simplest
the mission of the JTTP has always been to increase the number of teachers
delivering high quality education in the Jewish sector. What is unique, of course, is the opportunity for specialist teachers
of Jewish Studies / Limmudei Kodesh and general primary practitioners to
develop their teaching, personal and professional conduct within our schools.
But each trainee has the
opportunity to match the school placements with his or her own ethos. At the
end of the programme, trainees obtain QTS, Qualified Teacher Status, the
guarantee of standards and experience, which is accepted throughout the system.
What on earth could be bad with that, you may ask?