Wilshaw's war on teachers

Wilshaw's war on teachers

Not enough that he could be 'judge, jury and executioner' to teachers from January, Michael Wilshaw wants unions in on the act now too.

The new head of Ofsted, sorry, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England, Michael Wilshaw is not content with just running schools like prisons, or being head of an organisation that's sole purpose is to bully education workers and make them feel worthless, he now wants unions to start policing thier members better.

I am fucking sick of hearing about this man. Michael Gove's 'hero'. Everytime a spin story about academies hits the headlines, his 'miracle work' at Mossbourne in Hackney is trumpeted uncritically. This is a man who banned hugging in school, thinks school staff should work longer hours, opposes the pensions strikes, and has uttered tripe like "being a headteacher is all about being a lone warrior ... We need headteachers with ego ... We need heads who enjoy power and enjoy exercising that power". Enjoy exercising power, what a contemptible phrase for someone who is supposed to value education.

Wilshaw wears many hats. In addition to being appointed new Ofsted chief, he's outgoing executive head at Mossbourne, outgoing education director for ARK (Absolute Return for Kids), the academy chain founded by hedge-fund millionaires Paul Wallace and Arpad Busson. He also briefly took a role at Haggerston school when a series of NUT strikes forced their old head out in 2010. Mossbourne has been described as a like a 'prison camp' and while it claims to have massive success in tough circumstances despite its high intake of free-school-meals (FSM) pupils, the reality is that the 'failed' Hackney Downs school formerly on its site had 77% FSM pupils while Mossbourne has less than half that, still high by national standards, "but not in the Hackney context" (Benn, 2011).

His latest crusade is 'banning satisfactory' in schools, because apparently, and this has been the case for a few years, 'satisfactory' does not mean 'satisfactory'; it is, in fact, 'unsatisfactory', which is weird, because there already is an 'unsatisfactory'. But sure, why not just completely fucking redefine a word so you can turn the screws on education workers a bit more?

He also wants heads to single-out 'underperforming' staff during Ofsted judgements, currently not allowed in the still unspeakably stressful Ofsted visits. In addition, he wants such judgements to inform whether a teacher progresses on the nationally negotiated teacher's pay spine. This despite Ofsted having fuck all to do with pay!

But the extra kick in the bollocks is he wants unions to start policing teachers, particularly dress-code. Unions should be “as prepared to condemn, for example, unprofessional dress as unacceptable levels of workload.” So hang the fuck on. While the government has got rid of the joke that was the GTC, which many teachers had no clue why they had to pay to join to be legally employed (but could claim back from employer), this all fits in with the BIG SOCIETY. Get rid of something that was a function of government, get unions, who have no business policing workers, to do it, and the beauty is, workers pay subs to their unions so it'll cost government fuck all!

Most disgustingly he has boasted "if anyone says to you that ‘staff morale is at an all-time low’ you will know you are doing something right.”

New head of Ofsted, 'miracle worker', jesus fucking christ.

Melissa Benn, School Wars, 2011

Posted By

Dec 8 2011 23:06


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working class s...
Dec 9 2011 00:02

"if anyone says to you that ‘staff morale is at an all-time low’ you will know you are doing something right.”

Sums the man up perfectly

Dec 9 2011 00:17

Stunning in his contempt for education workers.

Dec 9 2011 16:04

This guy is a c*** and what do other people think of ofsted inspectors? Are they fair game or are they also workers?

Dec 9 2011 16:33

i abhor them

Chilli Sauce
Jan 23 2012 22:46

They are definitely fair game!

EDIT (two months later): They bloody are!

jef costello
Jan 23 2012 06:51

As OFSTED workers are entirely involved in disciplining workers then I'd say that they're fair game.

This is so depressing to read, as choccy says, it's shocking the sheer contempt he shows and the fact that he boasts about it.

Chilli Sauce
Jan 23 2012 22:48

Yeah, I took that "not" out of my last post, don't know how that snuck in there (the anarcho-Stalinist libcom admins presumably wink ). OFSTED inspectors are definitely fair game--not to mention that most of them were previously senior managers in my experience.

Jan 23 2012 23:06

An interesting aside: when OFSTED first came in Unison campaigned for its abolition. Later it recruited members there, and a year or two ago when it was facing cuts it campaigned to "defend OFSTED"!

Jan 23 2012 23:32

god i fucking hate them

Chilli Sauce
Jan 24 2012 17:43

That is fucking horrible Steven, but I don't think that's always the case. I mean, I'd love to see the public sector ban the use of agency workers, but I damn well want to see agency workers organised if they are going to be employed (not that that applies to OFSTED workers, for the record).

Jan 24 2012 19:05

I'm not sure what you mean chilli sauce?

Jan 24 2012 19:22

I'm not sure the comparison with agency workers is apt. While agency workers do undermine 'permanency' in work and increaes casualisation, act as scab laour in some cases, they do also do a job, whatever that it, whether it's agency TAs or agency cleaners or whatever.

The sole function of Ofsted is disciplining workers, so it should be destroyed.

Chilli Sauce
Jan 24 2012 23:18

I agree with both of yas, I was just pointing at the just because we oppose an institution within our industry it doesn't mean that we don't want workers in that part of the industry organised. (Not that either of you suggested that and, again, it doesn't apply to OFSTED.)

Caiman del Barrio
Jan 27 2012 15:54

Hi was reminded of this thread by the situation in my own workplace (where I've been working irregularly since about October). We have an inspection by the TEFL equivalent of Ofsted next week and mgmt are really amping up the pressure. We've gotta churn out 6 hrs' worth of detailed lesson plans for the two days the inspectors are in (getting paid 3 hrs for it but still...), and today, in a special meeting, the boss told us that "sickness is banned for when the inspectors are here, just like when they banned Christmas in Porridge" as well as making it compulsory that we arrive 15 mins early (we only get paid for the literal minutes we're in the classroom) to greet them when they get here. He also tried to ban us from photocopying in class time (ie yet MORE unpaid overtime) before realising that this would have been totally impractical cos he's cattling more and more new arrivals into classes on a daily basis so we're constantly having to make extra copies of worksheets.

On the upside, while - as a temp - i was all quiet and reserved (keep your friends close and all that), one of the permanent staff sassed him so much that he'd gone red by the meeting's end. smile Next week should be interesting...