Force of Nature

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Jobbing Teacher visited a local Academy yesterday for a quick tour and met the Principal who you could only describe as a ‘force of nature’.

A large, brash man with it must be added, a cutting sense of humour, he strode around the school giving out commands like a four star general. Tough talk ensued to his audience such as;

  • I’ve told middle leaders that if results don’t improve this year, they can clear their desks
  • I sacked all the SLT when I arrived and the current lot are all on temporary contracts
  • The LA are crap
  • “I found a room full of luvvy-dovey, touchy-feely (sic) types (social services etc). I told them to sling their hooks and turned the room into a library”
  • I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks

 

All pretty impressive stuff if you were a CEO of a business in a cut-throat industry or manager of a Premiership football club, but a school?

Saying that, the transormation in the school generally is impressive and he has done some wonderful things for the children, including buying them all professional-looking PE kit, getting in top sport people to coach teams etc.

It definately reminded me of a previous headteacher claiming that running a school these days is like being a manager of a premier league football team without the huge salary.

Jobbing Teacher was left slightly in awe of this chap who when ‘googled’ can be seen to have turned around a number of failing schools. Maybe the answer is to forget that school is a gentle place of learning focussed on developing the whole person and go with the cut-throat, competitive bear-pit model of education (I am starting to sound like a Tory?)

Another story this week concerns my child’s Primary school and the new law making the school provide free school dinners to Foundation and Years 1 & 2 pupils. To achieve this laudable aim the school has had to get rid of the salad and sandwich bar. Now is it me or has the Healthy Schools agenda gone out of the window here?

One thing is certain, Jobbing Teacher’s child will not be taking advantage of this Government initiative – I’ve seen the proposed menus and it’s not chnaged much since my school days. I would not eat bloody pink custard then and I’m certainly not letting my child eat it in 2014!!

Posted in School Leadership, School Organisation

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