Government Policy And Disempowered Professionals Education Essay

In seeking to discourse the proposition “ It is sometimes argued that authorities policy has disempowered professionals ” , this essay will see the development of authorities policy sing the work of instructors to find whether such policy ‘s development has ‘disempowered ‘ them. Therefore, this essay will place the differences and similarities sing authorities policy in relation to the learning profession under several Labour and Conservative authoritiess. This procedure of acknowledgment will be undertaken to further this treatment by sing whether and how several authoritiess may be said to hold either ’empowered ‘ or ‘disempowered ‘ instructors. Finally, this essay concludes with a sum-up of the cardinal points derived from this treatment sing whether it is of all time arguable “ that authorities policy has disempowered professionals ” .

In get downing this treatment, it is interesting to observe that, give or take some occasional aberrances, such as Michael Howard ‘s 2005 election run committedness to teach all schools to learn man-made phonics ( Mulholland, 2005 ) , the old Conservative Party ‘s attack to instructors was based on the thought it should non be instruction curates occupations to state instructors how to learn ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Apparently, it could be argued that the Conservatives had chosen to take something of a ‘laissez-faire ‘ attitude to the on-going development of the learning profession instead than looking to interfere in both pattern and administration with a position to accomplishing a more professional working environment ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . However, the job with this sort of attack by old Conservative authoritiess efficaciously meant that did non hold consistent schemes for the professional development of instructors. There was something of a contradiction here, nevertheless, because a Conservative authorities was responsible for the lone all-out question into the go oning professional development of instructors in the signifier of the James Report of 1972. By manner of comparing, Labour authoritiess Interventions had been slightly sporadic and even slightly confused or misplaced. For illustration, during Callaghan ‘s term of office the curate for instruction was persuaded “ to follow a construction for [ instructors ] professional development. . . and she persuaded the cabinet to give her ?60 million. . . [ to be ] given to the local governments ” ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . The job was that these same local governments were given ‘carte blanche ‘ to so pass this same money as they saw tantrum on something else.

With this in head, it is arguable that Local Education Authorities ‘ ( LEAs ) squandering of national Continuing Professional Development ( CPD ) support contributed to the so Conservative Government ‘s determination to cut down Local Authorities influence whilst besides ‘ring fencing ‘ Grants for Education, Support & A ; Training ( GEST ) ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Turning misgiving of LEAs amongst the Conservative besides saw two of the cardinal recommendations of the James Report of 1972 died when the so authorities introduced local governments direction of schools ; instructors ‘ professional development Centres and funded sabbaticals. On this footing, the Education Reform Act 1988 served to advance a echt national professional development programme, specifying entitlements and rights of instructors, as advocated in the James ‘ Report of 1972, was lost with no farther underpinning entitlement for instructors ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) .

New Labour has, nevertheless, had a slightly different position with respect to the function of instructors within the instruction system. The Labour Party was ab initio chiefly concerned with literacy and numeracy in primary schools and neglecting schools in the secondary sector whilst the hereafter of the learning profession was given excessively small attending ( Bassey, 2005 ) . Harmonizing to Estelle Morris the authorities did non understand “ the demands of learning ” during the first three old ages in office partially because without holding done it it is hard for anybody to truly cognize “ the force per unit area in the schoolroom ” so as to so be better placed to cover with it ( Woodward, 2003 ) . Having joined the Labour authorities ‘s Standards and Effectiveness Unit in 1997, Kievan Collins said he could non retrieve a clip when instructors morale “ was of all time talked about explicitly or attended to ” because the authorities ‘s focal point was upon accomplishing greater literacy and numeracy ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . This focal point of the Labour authorities stood in crisp contrast to Gillian Shephard ‘s attack at the terminal of the Conservative authorities when she established strategies for ‘Reading Recovery ‘ and ‘Literacy and Numeracy ‘ in 13 governments ( Institute of Education University of London, 2010 ) . In so making, nevertheless, it is to be appreciated that Shephard proved to be critical of a ‘free-for-all attitude ‘ to the professional development of instructors that she had recognised in the sixtiess with a deep intuition of province intercession in teaching method ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) .

Despite the protestations of assorted curates from both sets of authoritiess in the last 20 old ages at that place was no purpose of ‘telling instructors how to learn ‘ , there have been many different efforts at ‘telling instructors what to learn ‘ ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . On this footing, it is arguably informative to name these efforts that were both indirect and direct. Indirectly, under the Conservatives these attempts included The National Curriculum, National Curriculum Assessment, School Performance Tables, the creative activity of the Teacher Training Agency ( TTA ) and the debut of ‘Baker Days ‘ . Labour besides made some important indirect parts set uping National Targets, revamping the TTA through the Teacher Development Agency ( TDA ) , making a National College for School Leadership ( NCSL ) and a General Teaching Council for Education ( GTCE ) ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . However, merely three direct intercession were implemented under the Conservatives with a position to altering learning methods. The first of these was School Inspections, that were so followed by the pilot Literacy and Numeracy Projects and the Grants for Education and Support and Training ( GEST ) strategy. Conversely, Labour introduced a figure of enterprises including the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies, the inclusion of Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning ( SEAL ) and School Inspection Partners ( SIPs ) every bit good as the 2001-3 National Professional Development Strategy, set uping a Standards Fund, and the creative activity of a Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning, Appraisal, Performance Management ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) .

Together these enterprises are considered to be representative of authorities mandated steps with grounds to the Cambridge Review of Primary Education ( University of Cambridge, 2009 ) corroborating many of these enterprises have continued to be contested. With the possible exclusion of the GTCE, nevertheless, few steps implemented by the Conservatives have addressed how instructors can have their acquisition and how teacher self-efficacy can be enhanced. That this has proved to be of import is illustrated by the fact the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & A ; Development ‘s ( OECD ‘s ) recent ‘Creative Teaching & A ; Learning Environment: Teaching & A ; Learning International Survey ( TALIS ) ‘ ( OECD, 2009 ) reflected upon links made between self-efficacy, professional development and their public presentation as instructors ( although England refused to take part ) . TALIS is considered to be peculiarly notable since it was the first clip that the OECD has looked to undertake an international survey of instructor attitudes to fostering themselves and instruction as a whole as ‘building blocks ‘ for authorities policy for fostering the learning profession ‘s development ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . TALIS reflects on the connexions between professional development, self-efficacy and instructor public presentation. The inclusion of self-efficacy is peculiarly of import since instructors ‘ responses to any authorities enterprise are predicated on whether they enhance or undermine perceptual experiences of their ain effectivity ( OECD, 2009 ) .

Reflecting back upon the development of the place of instructors in the UK, in 1997 David Puttnam served to place neglecting schools taking to the development of the authorities sound-bite of ‘pressure and support ‘ with a position to so break characterizing its relationship with instructors ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . In this respect ‘support ‘ was two-pronged in its remit with the first focusing upon seeking to increase instructors ‘ assurance, whilst the 2nd looked to cover with the position of learning as portion of Puttnam ‘s purpose to be able to raise the morale of the work force within the learning profession ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . For one thing Puttnam recognised a devastated work force could retrieve through a public jubilation of instructors ‘ successes in the schoolroom through the Teaching Awards and, what with the National Union of Teachers ( NUT ) understanding to be legal guardians to the Awards and Puttnam ‘s axiomatic grasp of instructors, the Teaching Awards became an one-year event that captured the media ‘s attending and pushed instruction into the limelight ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Furthermore, as has already been recognised, ‘support ‘ involved Lord Puttnam focusing in upon instructor position through the General Teaching Council that was put in topographic point to more efficaciously stand up for instructors ‘ rights along with their professional development. The authorities besides chose to infix a clause that served to give the Secretary of State ( and therefore the authorities as whole ) a right to be able to add any extra duty to the General Teaching Council of England ‘s ( GTCE ‘s ) remit which the Secretary of State elected to use as a contemplation of the authorities ‘s policy ends and aims in this respect ( General Teaching Council, 2000 ) .

However, administrations like the NUT were slightly concerned about the GTCE holding been given the power to censor instructors from go oning to learn on the footing of their competency. But, whilst teacher administrations ‘ concerns were besides triggered by claims the GTCE ‘represented ‘ instructors taking to legal menaces from the administrations like the NUT, the most important error made by the authorities, teacher administrations and the GTCE was the premise instructors would welcome a organic structure that was disciplinary in nature and wage for it on hurting of ‘deregistration ‘ ( Knocks, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Apparently, hence, instructors responded to the development of the GTCE in a hostile mode despite its evident purpose to raise the profession ‘s position so that the ‘support ‘ portion of the reform bundle the authorities sought to incite for instructors was slightly patchy to state the least ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . However, the lines between ‘pressure and support ‘ were really slightly bleary since the authorities ‘s Department for Education & A ; Employment Green Paper entitled ‘Teachers: Meeting the Challenge ‘ ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) covered the affairs of both ‘pressure ‘ and ‘support ‘ by including the Teaching Awards and GTCE within its remit. In add-on, the same authorities Green Paper besides served to assail the evident collectivized civilization of instructors that had built up by presenting single wage inducements linked to public presentation direction. ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999, p.32 )

Contained within the ‘threshold agreements ‘ were both force per unit area to alter a civilization through a entirely unproved, individualized, incentive strategy and support through the add-on of 100s of 1000000s of lbs of excess support ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Introduced within a year-and-a-half of their coming to power, the Labour authorities ‘s Green Paper was efficaciously representative of their ‘Strategy for the Profession ‘ ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) . Equally good as the threshold agreements and public presentation direction, the GTCE and Teaching Awards, the aforesaid Green Paper from the Department for Education & A ; Employment besides includes the National College for School Leadership, a School Performance Award strategy, and a national Fast Track strategy for ‘talented trainees and instructors ‘ to further their committedness to professional development throughout their callings ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) . The Green Paper itself borrowed from the James Report of 1972 ‘s recommendations in developing a model consisting of “ three distinct, and every bit of import, elements ” – ( a ) the authorities ‘s preparation precedences including numeracy and literacy ; ( B ) school precedences ; and ( degree Celsius ) recognizing instructors single development demands from assessment ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) .

Richard Harrison, the Department for Education & A ; Employment functionary responsible for implementing the antecedently recognised Green Paper proposals ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) on professional development, recognised the purpose of public presentation direction and the threshold would hold forced instructors to better with ministerial backup from Estelle Morris ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) . Launched merely before the general election in May 2001, this scheme included a scope of advanced signifiers of instructor larning antecedently promoted as a authorities scheme before. In making his decisions, Harrison looked to pull on the latest research that included surveies which sought the positions of instructors on the sorts of professional development they wanted ( Cordingley et al. , 2003 ) . The research identified the signifier of professional development which had the greatest potency for raising pupil achievement – collaborative professional development. Despite unprecedented buy-in from representative administrations and instructors themselves, unluckily the scheme proved slightly ephemeral since it was thought of as excessively unimportant ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) .

At the same clip, nevertheless, a figure of other structural factors served to sabotage the scheme that had been put in topographic point by the authorities at this clip. For one thing, the authorities ‘s new Standards and Effectiveness Unit had its ain precedences – to present its ‘Literacy & A ; Numeracy Strategies ‘ and tackle weakness schools. The 1999 Green Paper entitled ‘Teachers Meeting the Challenge of Change ‘ gave drift to the constitution of the National College for School Leadership to further profit the instruction profession ( Department for Education & A ; Employment, 1999 ) . This was a contemplation of the fact that act uponing leading through a authorities bureau had served to go a top precedence peculiarly given headteachers ‘ slightly hard relationship sing the authoritiess ‘Literacy & A ; Numeracy Strategies ‘ ( Knocks, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . This has efficaciously come to intend that doing certain caput instructors are effectual pedagogic leaders is a cardinal strategic purpose for any authorities. To this consequence the OECD ‘s comparatively recent survey entitled ‘Improving School Leadership ‘ ( Pont et al. , 2008 ) served to corroborate this cardinal strategic purpose as a cardinal aspiration in instruction internationally across a varied array of legal powers and civilizations. At the same clip, nevertheless, effectual pedagogic leading demands for national authoritiess to be confident in the accomplishments and abilities of its leaders. As a consequence, Harrison was therefore in the funny state of affairs of holding created a buy-in scheme which had the capacity to convey about cardinal alterations in schoolroom pattern to profit both the profession and the kids and immature people seeking to foster their instruction therein ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) .

However, two events efficaciously conspired to extinguish the authorities ‘s CPD Strategy in 2003. The first was a minor support crisis which proved peculiarly damaging to primary schools with a position to presenting freshly agreed school work force reforms like planning and readying clip ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Then, secondly, as a consequence of force per unit area from headteachers the authorities decided to take the pealing fence from most of its grants doing the National CPD Strategy slightly vulnerable ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . That there has long been tenseness in authorities policy for instructors is exemplified by the replacement to the 2001 CPD Strategy entitled the ‘Strategy for the Professional Development of the Children ‘s Workforce in Schools 2009-12 ‘ ( Teacher Development Agency, 2009 ) in demoing how the Labour authorities had learnt the lessons of the old scheme. This new scheme was strong on the leading of CPD in schools and emphasised its belief in CPD being ‘a right and duty for all members of the work force ‘ including a mixture of school based activity, coaching and mentoring with external specializer input holding the greatest impact on results for kids and immature people ( Teacher Development Agency, 2009 ) .

There were still limits to this new scheme, nevertheless, with there being a deficiency of grounds of as to how an just right or entitlement to CPD might be secured Failure to make full such spreads high spots the failings and insufficiency of authorities attacks to professional development. It besides shows that authoritiess have yet to to the full understand instructors ‘ corporate self-efficacy is non dependent on a leading construction entirely that wholly controls and mediates entree to basic professional entitlements ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . But, whilst this deficiency of acknowledgment surely led to the aforesaid 2001 scheme being terminated, it might non look that a long-dead enterprise from a old authorities is worth much attending. The fact is that to some it was the lone enterprise which had the possible to work out jobs antecedently highlighted in authorities research ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . This is because any authorities with an involvement in raising criterions has to larn the obvious lessons from the premature stoping of something. First, it has to internalize and prioritize the importance of instructor acquisition and so look to larn from national and international research on what works by pulling on past experiences and histories both inside and outside its civil service ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) .

With a position to fostering this treatment it is besides interesting to see the School Workforce Agreement ‘s destiny that was conceived as ‘Professionalism & A ; Trust – The Future of Teachers & A ; Teaching ‘ to basically alter the work force ( Morris, 2001 ) Based on European constructs of societal duologue, the proposals have sought to present ‘something for something ‘ by cut downing instructor work load by ‘remodelling ‘ the school work force to raise criterions through the employment of 1000s of excess support staff to take on administrative and learning work ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . The job is the School Workforce Agreement proved to be an understanding that was and is slightly controversial with the NUT in peculiar refusing to subscribe. That this proved to be the instance is because, harmonizing to the Plowden Report undertaken by the authorities ( Plowden, 1967 ) , there was apprehensible anxiousness about using learning helpers and leting them to learn unsupervised ( Cambridge Primary Review, 2009, p.xx ) .

In a Department for Children, Schools & A ; Families commissioned survey entitled ‘Deployment & A ; Impact of Support Staff in Schools ‘ a negative relationship was found to be between the sum of extra support provided by support staff and the academic advancement of students ( Blatchford et al. , 2009 ) . This meant it was possible to reason the negative consequence was on advancement over the school twelvemonth and terminal of twelvemonth attainment. ( Blatchford et al. , 2009 ) In the paper entitled ‘Teachers Under Pressure ‘ it was found five old ages after the School Workforce Agreement was implemented primary instructors mean on the job hours had increased marginally along with the hours of school leaders, whilst the on the job hours of secondary instructors decreased marginally ( Galton & A ; MacBeath, 2008 ) . The ground for this is because any decreases in work load have been countered by the effects of other enterprises ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . With this in head, the first academic analysis of the School Workforce Agreement entitled ‘Industrial Relations in Education – Transforming the School Workforce ‘ ( Carter, Stevenson & A ; Passy, 2010 ) has come to an even more distressing decision because “ it is possible to reason that work force reform represents a farther separation of construct from executing in instruction, whereby those with direction functions assume increased importance in planing and keeping instructors ‘ work, whilst the bulk of the work force find their work progressively codified and policed ” ( Carter, Stevenson & A ; Passy, 2010, p.141 ) .

As has antecedently been recognised, the cardinal authorities schemes for bettering the learning profession were based in numeracy and literacy. However, the inquiry is whether such schemes, along with their replacement, the ‘National Primary Strategy ‘ , have really worked as a scheme for bettering the instruction profession ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) . Stannard & A ; Huxford ‘s book entitled ‘The Literacy Game – The Story of the National Literacy Strategy ‘ is a rare analysis of such scheme with a position to accomplishing “ literacy instruction, along with literacy criterions, were on a tableland and neither were good plenty ” . ( Stannard & A ; Huxford, 2007 ) . At the same clip, nevertheless, despite the schemes being “ viewed really positively ” within the profession by instructors they were besides “ viewed as an look of the authorities ‘s deficiency of trust in the instruction profession ” ( Webb & A ; Vulliamy, 2006, p.151 ) . But the statements there have been betterments in practise and criterions are every bit strong as statements to the contrary – although there is a demand to find whether they have a permanent impact. However, the backdown by Gordon Brown ‘s Labour authorities of the ?200 million spent yearly on the authorities schemes from 2011 was hardly noticed by the media despite being a major cut in support ( Bangs, et Al, 2010, at Chapter 4 ) .

Overall, from the analysis that has been undertaken as portion of this survey, it can be concluded that the history of efforts by consecutive authoritiess to better instructor acquisition has proved to be slightly patchy and frequently misdirected. A cardinal constituent of Labour ‘s 1997 reform scheme like bettering criterions in the rudimentss in primary schools could last merely a little longer than the National Strategy itself. Hundreds of experient advisers with a deep cognition of literacy and numeracy have or will confront redundancy or redisposition. The schemes ‘ failure to implant their part in the life and work of schools will disperse an priceless resource. A ‘culture of conformity ‘ served to rule Brown ‘s Labour authorities ‘s concluding effort at resuscitating a national professional development scheme for instructors since the demand all instructors should follow on a regular basis with a license to rehearse was based on the rule conformity leads to betterment. However, other efforts at reform straight focused on instructors altering their practise do non look to hold been rather so effectual since the history of authorities support for instructors in the schoolroom has been taken to supply ample stuff for larning future lessons.