Headteacher blog 22nd April 2016
It is great to be back at school after the Easter break and the sunshine this week is so welcome. Farfield in the summer months is a wonderful place to be: this week there have been so many classes making use of the school grounds and Farfield Farm to enhance learning, and at playtimes the children have been spread across the fields enjoying the freedom to roam without wellies for the first time in six months!
Earlier this week I published a relatively outspoken newsletter which outlined my opposition to forced academisation and also described the government’s handling of assessment as ‘staggeringly incompetent’. This morning, we have woken to the news that KS1 Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation tests have suddenly been cancelled for this year as one of the papers had mistakenly been published online as a sample. You couldn’t make it up…
At Prime Minister’s Question Time this week, Mr Cameron stated that he wanted to free headteachers from the interference of local authority bureaucrats but in reality, it is national government that is forever moving goalposts, intimidating and humiliating schools, messing things up and forcing a curriculum on schools that is increasingly narrow and not child-friendly. In contrast, the LA has never forced us to do things we didn’t want to do, are professionally challenging and supportive and have local knowledge and relationships to broker partnerships and collaboration. Working together, over 90% of Leeds primary schools are already ‘good or better’ and we play a strong role in making Leeds Children’s Services one of the best in the country (according to Ofsted). I know whose side I am on.