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'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:34 am
by JIM CURRAN
'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

A new elite grade of "master teachers" would be established in state schools under a Labour government as part of a drive to raise standards and ensure that top performers remain in the classroom.

Under the plans the new top tier of teachers could be awarded higher salaries by headteachers and would be regarded as the "gold standard" in the profession.

The policy, announced on Sunday by shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, highlights the gulf between Labour's emphasis on the need for qualifications and experience, and education secretary Michael Gove's willingness to allow unqualified teachers to operate in free schools and academies.

Labour has already announced that all teachers in state schools would have to be qualified if Labour were to win the next election. Hunt also announces on Sunday that they would have to choose one of three new career routes, specialising either in classroom teaching methods, curriculum development in chosen subjects, or pursuit of eventual leadership roles.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... stram-hunt

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:29 pm
by kenm
The value of a qualification depends upon the competence of the personnel of the organisation conferring it. Who is in a position to evaluate that? My confidence in the present education ministers is not high but of Labour spokespersons rather less. DfE civil servants and Ofsted inspectors also range widely in competence. As I see it, in the particular area of literacy, the best hope for the near future is that teachers whose pupils do badly in the nationwide tests are encouraged to observe the methods of teachers whose pupils do well.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:41 pm
by Debbie Hepplewhite
As I see it, in the particular area of literacy, the best hope for the near future is that teachers whose pupils do badly in the nationwide tests are encouraged to observe the methods of teachers whose pupils do well.
Which brings us full circle to one of the advantages of the Year One phonics screening check.

An eye-opener - and hopefully identifying some truly 'best practice'.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:53 pm
by chew8
What probably keeps many teachers from teaching decoding as systematically as we would like is the belief that mixed methods are needed in order to enable children (a) to cope with irregular words and (b) to comprehend well. These teachers wouldn’t be convinced by a short spell of watching good synthetic phonics teachers teach decoding – they would need to go on observing for long enough to see that the children don’t go on to have the problems they expect them to have.

I'm very much in favour of the Year 1 phonics check, but I can see that lots of people will remain unconvinced unless a clear link can be shown between results in this and results in subsequent broader tests of reading and writing.

Jenny C.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:43 am
by kenm
From the Observer version of the article, probably the same as the Guardian:

"The title of master teacher would be awarded to those who met standards to be set by an independent body."

I propose Debbie and Jenny C. as members of its literacy sub-committee, but that would still leave the problem of keeping unreformed Mixed Methodists off it.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:46 pm
by JIM CURRAN
Jenny said :"I'm very much in favour of the Year 1 phonics check, but I can see that lots of people will remain unconvinced unless a clear link can be shown between results in this and results in subsequent broader tests of reading and writing."

I agree Jenny.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:01 am
by kenm
Jenny C. wrote:I'm very much in favour of the Year 1 phonics check, but I can see that lots of people will remain unconvinced unless a clear link can be shown between results in this and results in subsequent broader tests of reading and writing.
Would positive correlation with the results of KS1 convince them?

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:36 pm
by chew8
The NFER people have found a strong correlation, but have also apparently found that KS1 results are not affected by teachers' enthusiasm (or otherwise) for teaching decoding. This puzzles me a bit - I submitted a query to the DfE and got a reply suggesting that this might not be the end of the story, so maybe we'll hear more in due course

Jenny C.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:22 pm
by kenm
Jenny C wrote:The NFER people have found a strong correlation, but have also apparently found that KS1 results are not affected by teachers' enthusiasm (or otherwise) for teaching decoding. This puzzles me a bit - I submitted a query to the DfE and got a reply suggesting that this might not be the end of the story, so maybe we'll hear more in due course
The teachers' opinions reported in the DfE publication discussing the 2013 phonics check had lots claiming to teach with SP but getting poor results. I thought the general view of this forum was that teachers expressing similar views could be using substantially different teaching methods: there was no agreement on nomenclature. That's why I thought the publication had little value and gave me the idea that Ofsted ought to observe lessons in detail, especially noting differences between the methods of schools matched for SES but differing widely in phonics check success.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:59 pm
by chew8
Do you mean the NFER report by Walker et al., kenm? I know that talks about teachers claiming to teach synthetic phonics but saying other things which are inconsistent with that, but does it actually say that their results are poor?

Jenny C.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:07 am
by kenm
Jenny C wrote:Do you mean the NFER report by Walker et al., kenm? I know that talks about teachers claiming to teach synthetic phonics but saying other things which are inconsistent with that, but does it actually say that their results are poor?
My recollection is a bit vague on this one. I don't recall a specific association, so my accusation may be unwarranted, but a lot of schools did much worse than the best ones with similar or less advantaged intake, so there must have been some overlap of muddled and relatively unsuccessful teachers.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:18 pm
by Lesley Drake
Labour has already announced that all teachers in state schools would have to be qualified if Labour were to win the next election. Hunt also announces on Sunday that they would have to choose one of three new career routes, specialising either in classroom teaching methods, curriculum development in chosen subjects, or pursuit of eventual leadership roles.

Excuse me if I'm underwhelmed by this.

We have fantastic sports coaches in our school and the quality of PE and sport on offer to our kids is great. As a "qualified teacher," I learned loads from them. Can't see how this short-changes the kids or devalues the profession. Labour just sucking up to an NUT slogan again?

As for master teachers, a tad sexist, but I digress, didn't we have this before with Advanced Skills teachers?

And this career path malarkey looks like the hot shots with a power complex can by-pass teaching in the classroom for many years and hot foot it to leadership. Just what we need!

Is this all Labour could come up with? Tristram Hunt looks to be even more limp than the Twiglet.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:36 am
by JIM CURRAN
Classroom teachers were always seen as being on the bottom rung of the educational ladder when the reverse should have been the case. It certainly wouldn't happen in Finland.

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:39 am
by john walker
At the end of the first three years of teaching Sounds-Write to pupils throughout Key Stage 1 at St Thomas Aquinas (2003-2006), as there was no phonics screening check, we couldn't use it as a comparison. However, what we did do was to juxtapose the pupils' reading and writing SATs with their scores on Dennis Young's Parallel Spelling test. This is what it looked like:
RRF.jpg
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As you can see, 49/50 (98%) were scoring at six months or more above their chronological ages; 42% scored at the ceiling of the test, so they may have had higher spelling ages than indicated; and, 68% had spelling ages of 9 years or above. Only one pupil scored below their chronological age and when that pupil was re-tested the following year, the discrepancy remained steady and the child left with a Level 4 in their English SATs.
You can view St Thomas Aquinas's SATs 2 results for reading, writing and spelling, grammar and punctuation for 2013 here: http://literacyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013 ... ounds.html. Every year, the school far outperforms the LEA and England averages in every department. Do other local schools come knocking on the door to find out how they do it? That's obviously a rhetorical question!
This year St Thomas Aquinas again saw 97% of its Y1 pupils gain the 'required level' in the screening check again this year. [The pupil who didn't reach it has multiple learning difficulties.]

Re: 'Master teachers' set to be new classroom elite

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:59 pm
by chew8
Excellent results. Congratulations to the school and to you, John.

Jenny C.