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