And so TeachersTV breathed its last on Friday. I don’t know know whether anyone noticed amid all the royal wedding celebrations but it is no longer with us. It was a fantastic resource that I have gained a lot from, both in terms of specific lessons and in general good practice. It cost too much to support and so we have lost it.
Local authorities too are being pared to the bone. Our LA used to fund development meetings for groups of schools on a termly basis for both maths and literacy. These were a fantastic source of ideas as well as a chance to catch up with colleagues and find out about what was happening elsewhere. As a coordinator I found the support of the maths consultants invaluable.
Due to the cuts the maths department at the LA has been drastically reduced. Our brilliant lead consultant now only works part time and isn’t really working directly with schools anymore so her expertise is lost to the majority of teachers. Development groups seem to have died a death too.
This is by no means a political post. If the money isn’t there, then we can’t spend it (I’m married to an accountant and he feels very strongly about this!). However the question remains. Where do schools go to for support now?
Schools that are deemed to be struggling will still receive support I’m sure but what about the rest of us. Even outstanding schools can’t afford to stand still. It is very easy to become complacent and start to coast but how is that going to be prevented in the future?
Teachers TV and local authority support will be missed by a lot of teachers who gained inspiration and help from them. If you are reading this, then you are almost certainly someone who has a network such as twitter where inspiration and help can be found on a daily basis. However the vast majority of teachers do not access these resources. When I mention twitter or teachmeet, I am greeted with horrified looks and I’m sure that my school is not unique in this.
I know that the official line is that schools will support each other but I’m not sure how this will work in practice. Do schools have to ask each other for help? How many would do that? And it isn’t necessarily help that is needed, just a chance to receive some new input to stimulate thought about teaching. The sort of thing that you used to get on really good courses or inset when they used to happen.
I am very lucky in that I have benefited from some fantastic LA staff and courses. I also access support via twitter and PTRC. I do my bit to try and spread the word but feel very sorry for newish teachers who will not receive the help that I have had and maybe don’t know where to go to access it now.
Quite a gloomy post I feel but I am quite apprehensive about the future of education at the moment.