Are there words that strike fear into a teacher more than "Ofsted is visiting"? Cue sleepless nights producing a week's worth of lesson plans, a rainforest's worth of admin and cross your fingers that little Jonny who fires paper planes from the back of the class, is off with a cold. Then of course, careers hang in the balance and self-esteem is shot if the inspector that sat in your class for half an hour deems your teaching to be unsatisfactory.
Schools and parents are facing a chronic teacher shortage, a lack of school places, chaos around curriculum changes and primary tests and a funding crisis. But instead of dealing with these very real issues the Government is pursuing a top down re-organisation of education that has no basis in evidence to support it.
Young people hear so much about the need to do well in their exams but virtually nothing on the need to invest in themselves as people, and yet that's what will set them up for success in the workplace--and in life. Young people face so many challenges during their transition to adulthood and employment. Giving them the tools to do that successfully is surely the responsibility of our society. Ofsted's report should be a wake-up call to make that a reality.
Official figures estimate that one in 10 school-aged children and young people have a diagnosable mental health issue such as anxiety or depression, but other more recent surveys place that figure much higher. This is above and beyond the sorts of knocks and challenges that we all encounter in life - this is a diagnosable mental health problem and requires professional support.
The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.