A head teacher is the face of a school, but a head teacher cannot improve your child's education. Politicians love to trumpet the quality of a head teacher, but head teachers are not in fact practising teachers. Head teachers rarely enter a class room.
Pupils are educated by the class room teachers and the quality of the class room teacher is of course a paramount concern of a parent. A good or bad head teacher can devalue and indeed undermine a good class room teacher by, for example, allowing or tolerating or excusing disruptive bad behaviour by pupils, and indeed by staff, but the head teacher cannot improve your child’s education.
The class room teacher has the toughest job in the school, and only that teacher can improve your child’s education.
Sadly, Head Teachers are now inclined to remove experienced quality teachers and replace them with less qualified, and less experienced teachers, and with an ever increasing number of unqualified staff.
This is the one issue that should concern all parents and especially so in the new Academies.
Parents are misinformed by Head Teachers about what is happening. Ofsted also fails to inform parents and their reports tend to reassure parents with bland subjective impressions of the school, without actually providing meaningful statistical evidence that might direct parents to the awful truth about what is happening in our schools.
If a teacher makes a negative statement to a parent about the school, or indeed about the child of the parent, they risk dismissal and the end of their career.
Parents are also misled by the current “league tables”, because they do not take account of the value added by the school. The so called “league tables” do not describe the quality of the school, they describe the social status of the pupils in the school.
Some schools fail to allow pupils to even try for a grade if they think it will damage the overall performance of the school set out in the current league tables.
Schools are rarely forthcoming about these issues, and Academies are more secretive than state schools, and are allowed to be so, by law. Why would such a law be introduced by New Labour and now be so embraced and indeed extended by this present government, facilitated by their representative on the issue, Michael Gove?
I am certainly not against the league tables, but I do think they should be improved.
While we wait for this to never happen, parents are free to at least ask head teachers to respond to the issue of teacher qualifications.
This I believe is something that should be published in every Ofsted Report, but is routinely not.
And if you think the average Ofsted inspector is more important than a highly qualified experienced class room teacher, think again.
I have prepared a QUESTIONNAIRE. Feel free to download it and send it to your Head Teacher.
If you get a response, please let me know.