Ferrotype

£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

No thanks, Carol Volderman

I was desparate for a bricklayer in the summer term, when they are all on site, so I grabbed “Peter” when the agency sent him along. It wasn’t till Week 2 that it hit us.

All the problems that we had came down to the fact that he couldn’t read or write.

Goodbye Peter.

But Kinsey was right – we do need to attract the brightest 10% into teaching if we are to have good education; and

Michael Gove [Conservative – party political warning!] was also right – we shouldn’t pay to train people with third class degrees as teachers.

So how would that work for me in vocational education?

and for poor old Carol Volderman?

Sorry Carol but I am after someone who is better qualified. Can I keep you on our file? Click to enlarge.

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January 29, 2010 Posted by | teachers | , , , | Leave a comment

£2bn wasted each year

“How £2 billion of the Further Education budget is wasted on useless activities – and how we should reform the system”  looks like something that I couldn’t pass by without comment! although it has taken a couple of weeks to digest what is being claimed.

Alison Wolf explained what and how on video here – and published the document here and – party political warning! on ConservativeHome .

In the week that most colleges in England have been told that their Adult Funding budget for next September is being  cut by 10%-20% is she talking sense?

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January 28, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, further education, SMART goals | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Technology

There is some useful free stuff around – and I find a lot of it through Free Technology for Teachers

Yesterday it was FlickrPoet It doesn’t do much – you type some words, and FlickrPoet comes up with matching images.

I wandered lonely as a cloud …..  becomes

I wandered lonely as a cloud click to enlarge

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January 27, 2010 Posted by | info tech | , | Leave a comment

Watch the list of small colleges

Looking at the most recent data on the number of people employed in further education colleges in England, I pulled out a list of those colleges with large numbers of staff, and those with small numbers.

The largest college is City of Manchester with 3,670 contracts, and the smallest is Derwentside with 215.

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January 25, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, list | , , | Leave a comment

Smart cut : pay teachers more

Teaching in small classes doesn’t do anything for learners – it has no effect on their outcomes.

Small classes are boring for students, and for teachers.

Small classes are not needed, because so few people need them.

Small classes take money out of the teaching budget, and stop teachers being paid more.

So in considering how to save money in colleges, we certainly don’t need to protect small classes.

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January 22, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Local Authorities to look out for

The Learning and Skills Council  used to allocate and distribute  funding to colleges, but  from next year local authorities will take over the distribution.

They haven’t been involved with further education colleges for many years  –  which are the big players now?

The latest data from LSC on allocations to local authorities shows that

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January 21, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, list | , , , | Leave a comment

How much are teachers paid?

There are about 1/4 of a million people working in colleges in England.

What do they teach, and how much are they paid?

Let’s start with pay –

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January 20, 2010 Posted by | further education | , , , | Leave a comment

Top Task: Innovate

Innovation is what good, effective teachers do; so it’s what college managers need to do.

I looked out  a PowerPoint from an old workshop on teachers and target setting.

My workshop always started with John Hattie’s work. He collated research from all over, involving huge numbers of students, and compared the size of any effect on learning. His heartening conclusion was that it is what teachers do in the classroom that makes the biggest difference.

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January 19, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s keep it simple please

We do need to get smarter at running further education colleges, but lets keep it simple please.

I have been looking at the “Expert Advice” from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills [UKCES is the outcome from the Leitch report] on how to “build a more strategic, agile and labour-market led employment and skills system” from Autumn 2009

Much of it is about how UKCES sees that we should “simplify”  funding, qualifications etc , but some of their proposals desperately need to go through the reality wringer.
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January 18, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spend to Save

I got off the train at Brentwood, and set off into the gloom to the very far end of the car park. It was only when I swung my bag from one hand to the other to get my car keys out, that I realised I was lugging a carrier bag of plants from the Caledonian Road  market  and not my suitcase which was where I had left it, in the overhead rack., and disappearing off to Southend-on-Sea. Where it disappeared.

I didn’t lose much of any great value. However, my toilet bag had a pair of scissors which always seemed just right the right shape for my toes, and the family pair which I will have to use now are far too fiddly. Other stuff is proving remarkably difficult to replace – my old razor isn’t made any more, so I bought a wind-up rechargeable one which is OK, but!

No doubt I will get used to the replacements, and my toe nails and sideburns will be as well-groomed as they were before, or even better, but it isn’t until things are gone that you realise their value.

This week has seen a cluster of stories about organisations having to face up to the possibility that they may have to leave suitcases of money on the government’s train as it speeds off towards Deficit-on-Sea

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January 15, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding | , , | Leave a comment