This weekend saw a couple of weighty debates in my twitter timeline. One was concerning Ofsted and what they do and don’t want to see in an observed lesson. A blog had been posted by @cazzypot who informed us that her school are Ofsted obsessed and this is detrimental to the children’s learning. This was swiftly followed by a post from @LearningSpy who impressed upon us that many SLT are wrong in their interpretation of what Ofsted want. He had been leading a course on this very topic only to find that an Ofsted inspector down the corridor was pedalling this same myth. This is worrying to read and we look to wonderful people like @marymyatt and @heatherleatt to steer us in the right direction.
The second twitter debate was started by @samfr. He had posted a list of favoured educational bloggers and primary representation was nil. He claimed that maybe primary bloggers were only interested in ‘stampers’ and not in the wider issues of education. Not very complimentary but I’m sure he didn’t mean it quite as harshly as it sounded. Primary blogger @michaelt1979 called for primary bloggers to show themselves and stand up and be counted. He even gave us a list of things to blog about.
First to respond was @theprimaryhead. He gave an amusing response to each of the questions and proved that he knew his stuff. Since then there have been a flurry of blogs as the primary people have taken umbrage at these comments. I’ve read these with interest and am obviously pleased they’ve been added to the debate. That said, on balance I have to agree with @samfr. There is a significant lack of primary folk wishing to have their voices heard. I think there are a few reasons for this reticence.
The main thing that silences me, if anything does is a lack of the original report. For some reason you have to have the original report or you are castigated and your opinions count for nothing. Newspapers and journals do not count. This is the same for all colleagues so this is not the answer.
Several bloggers have mentioned time as being an issue. This one is quite possibly a factor. Primary colleagues have to be masters of possibly 11 subjects. There is no safety net of knowing the requirements to teach 1 or 2 subjects. 11 is a huge amount of planning and is a massive take on our time.
My next point would be leadership responsibilities. Personally I would love to blog more but am sometimes constrained by my role in school. I could go undercover but there would be no point to that. I would have no audience. Also, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective as @oldandrew, this is his domain and he covers it well.
Next up on the blogging front is the male/female slant. It has been mooted that women are far less confident in letting their views be known. I hold no truck with this one whatsoever! My opinion is as valid as the next person’s, even if there is only me who says so.
So far, I’ve cited a few reasons for this lack of primary blogging. I’m not sure that any of these are the real reasons for this gap in the market. I’ve no idea what the answer is really. I know that I certainly make my voice heard. I’ve recently blogged about PE, drama and media studies and their potential withdrawal and also my thoughts on how to improve the status of the teaching profession. I’ve made my views on Ofsted known and I was vocal about the issue of longer days and shorter holidays. I wrote a post on my meeting with Michael Gove and also on the thorny issue of teachers leaving the profession. I have shouted from the rooftops my views on Teaching Assistants and their effective deployment. So much so that my post was viewed 68,859 times in one day alone! That’s a lot of people who read this primary bloggers post in just one day. So if I can do it, anyone can!
In the style of Delia Smith when addressing the Norwich fans ‘Come on you Primary Bloggers , where are you?’