Too many teachers have no respect for authority and are hampering schools’ attempts to improve standards, chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said on Thursday.Yes, those permissive society chickens are coming home to roost!
He warned of headteachers being “undermined by a pervasive resentment of all things managerial” by some of their teaching staff.Do they transmit this to the kids, or do they pick it up from the kids? It’s an interesting question to ponder…
Speaking at a conference organised by the Westminster Education Forum in London, he added: “Some teachers simply will not accept that a school isn’t a collective but an organisation with clear hierarchies and separate duties.”Very reminiscent of the attitudes of so many of their charges when they join the world of work!
It isn't, of course, just a problem of subordinates not being subordinate:
Sir Michael also warned heads not to try and “curry favour” with their staff, adding: “What’s worse (is) far too many school leaders seem to believe that they don’t have a right to manage, either.
“They worry constantly about staff reaction. ... They seem to think they cannot act without their employees’ approval.
“Yes, you should consult with staff, Yes, you should explain. But never confuse consultation. We must take the staff with us at all costs, the misguided head would say. “No, you mustn’t. Not if it means leaving the children behind.”Applause!
Heads must come up with a vision for their school which is more than “a natty slogan” which is put on its stationary (Ed: sic. But come on, this is the Grauniad, after all…) and parroted by all the staff. “It’s pointless concocting grand plans if the school playground is in a mess, uniforms are slovenly, staff are too casual, children pay more attention to their mobile phones than to the teachers and the school reception has all the charm of the check-in desk at Ryanair.”
Teachers, he argued, should also be bold enough to exert their authority and remind pupils who is in charge.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong in my view in saying to youngsters ‘do as I ask, because I am the adult - I am older than you - I know more than you and, by the way, I am in authority over you,” he said.I can imagine that this, however we may cheer it on, will go down like a cold cup of sick in staffrooms all over the country...