Education ?

  Chas49 16:36 02 Oct 2008

A Staffordshire school is taking 80 staff to a four star Spanish hotel for a teacher training conference.

The Stoke Mayor called this 'barmy' - how right he is. How the headmaster can face the public after arranging this I can't fathom - fortunately public opinion and outcry has forced the conference to be called off - that is as far as the trip to Spain is concerned.

I found it difficult to understand why Teachers need 'training days' - curious how they occur just before a holiday. Surely the subjects being taught don't alter that much from year to year - alter enough that is to require 'training days' - and now a conference is needed.

Incidentally, do you need 'training days' to give up teaching pupils the art of spelling correctly?
(See peter99co's thread earlier today)

  peter99co 17:09 02 Oct 2008

click here

Mr Mercer said the training programme was now taking place at the school during Thursday and Friday. It was not possible to say how much money would be lost, he said.

  Forum Editor 18:10 02 Oct 2008

so they can do their jobs better - nothing wrong with that.

What was wrong in this case was the way that nobody had the brains they were born with when it came to planning this event. Nobody thought to stand up and say 'Hang on, don't you think it will raise a few eyebrows when the news gets out that we're spending taxpayers' money to swan off to Marbella in a time of severe economic difficulty?'

It has nothing to do with cheaper venues abroad - I'm well aware that it's sometimes possible to do these conferences cheaper in Spain that it is to do them in a UK conference venue. The big problem here was that word 'Marbella', with it's connotations of sun, sea, and not much training going on. It was as simple as that - nobody would have turned a hair if these people had been going to Edinburgh, or Bristol, both of which would probably have cost about the same for 80 people.

It all goes to prove what I have always said - lots of teachers live in a totally different world to the one the rest of us inhabit.

  Chas49 20:10 02 Oct 2008

FE: They sure do!!! It's the lack of imagination or just plain arrogance which worries me - they are in charge of the children and should lead by example. What impression are they giving them - do they think that children haven't got the gumption to see that, perhaps, this conference was really an excuse for a free holiday and deduce that using public money is perfectly OK to use in that fashion?

That a man in such a responsible position would have blatantly spent public money when the same conference could be held in, say, the school hall (assuming that school halls still exist in other parts of the country - the schools in my area do have them and they are quite large).

I would hope that this man will be asked to find a more suitable profession!

  peter99co 20:18 02 Oct 2008

I find the comment below a bit odd.

A spokesman for Stoke-on-Trent City Council said the trip was a "matter for the school".

Do the council do similar trips themselves?

  laurie53 20:19 02 Oct 2008

Like politics!

  Jim Thing 21:44 02 Oct 2008

"lots of teachers live in a totally different world to the one the rest of us inhabit."

You've hit the nail on the head again FE. Too many teachers have gone from pram to school to university or college and straight back to school. Their contact with the real world where the rest of us live has been either minimal or non-existent.

  Chas49 22:02 02 Oct 2008


You mention Politics - I wonder if there is any significance in this years conferences being held inland, Manchester and Birmingham? I always thought that they preferred to be beside the sea.

A little bit different to the teachers in question - there are 80 of them, whereas there are 100(0)'s attending the politic 'shows'. However, I wonder if the cost of these 'shows' is born by the tax payers or through party funds - hopefully, the latter.

Perhaps the spokesperson was referring to the need for a 'conference' - I'm pretty sure that the spokesperson was not the Mayor!

Yes, I imagine that some councillors do have trips - always with the excuse that they are studying some other council's methods, events, new ideas, etc. I date back to the time when people wished to be councillors because they wished to serve people - being paid does tend to draw in others not so civic minded. I well remember my Doctor told me that he wouldn't stand for office again for, as an individual, he didn't stand a chance of doing anything against the rest of the council - they were corrupt - this may have been sour grapes or it may have been the truth - I have no way of knowing - but it makes you think!

  Woolwell 23:13 02 Oct 2008

"lots of teachers live in a totally different world to the one the rest of us inhabit" - Being married to a teacher who then became an educational advisor and having a son who is a teacher I cannot let that sweeping generalisation go unchallenged. You might as well say IT consultants or Health and Safety people or any other specialisation live in a totally different world.

The school governors are the ones that the headteacher should answer to.

  Forum Editor 23:26 02 Oct 2008

Read what I wrote, not what you imagine I wrote. My experience of dealings with teachers over the years leaves me in no doubt that what I said in my earlier post is true.

I didn't say all teachers, I said lots of them, and as a former school governor I can confirm that lots of teachers are not completely in touch with the real world. If they were they wouldn't come up with daft ideas like the one that's under discussion in this thread.

  Woolwell 23:36 02 Oct 2008

I read exactly what you said "lots". I disagree with lots - some do and I don't dispute that. Nor do I dispute that this headteacher was very unwise.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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