04 Dec

Graham

I listened, this morning, to Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of Schools, with utter dismay.

How she can publicly say that the financial pressures faced by schools are not having an impact upon standards really tells me that Ofsted are living in some parallel universe!

If it wasn’t for the absolute commitment and resilience of our staff teams, there is absolutely no doubt that standards would be dropping.

I’d really welcome the opportunity to show Ms Spielman around all our organisations to observe the time our staff spend supporting our learners. The lack of break times, working over lunches, starting at 7.30am, working in the evening, using their own money to buy simple resources, catching up on paperwork in their holidays, covering for absent colleagues – the list goes on and on.

Ms Spielman – your Ofsted inspectors haven’t seen a drop in Ofsted ratings because our staff, in our schools, are desperately propping up a “wounded” system. They do it because they care passionately about our children, their families and our communities. Is it sustainable? Absolutely not!!

We are totally fed up of government rhetoric telling us there is more money than ever going into schools. We were told, on Radio 4, by a DfE spokesperson, that the government is putting more money into supporting children with EHCPs than ever before. Genius. Maybe we’ve more children!! Fact – 253,680 pupils had a statement or EHC plan in January 2018. This is an increase of 11,495 since January 2017. This will equate to more money.

Our staff, our families and our communities are becoming tired of the rhetoric.

In a democracy we need to make our voices heard. As chair of Special Schools’ Voice (SSV) I’ll be writing to all special schools across the country to mobilise letters to MPs. There’s a reality that MPs need to be made aware of.

Rant over. What a way to start the day – I need to listen to Chris Evans!!

Graham

Graham is by no means the only voice of warning in the sector – click here to read what Dave Hill, an influential DCS, told members of the education select committee.