By Tom Packer. Former Ofsted Inspector and Independent Schools Portal Associate.
I reckon it was the ERA of 1998 that was responsible. Before the ERA, teachers and educators spoke in a language which was more or less accessible to all. It was easily understood by parents, employers, student sand laymen. But the ERA (Education Reform Act 1998) changed all that, whether intentionally or not. Post ERA we must speak in jargon at all times.
Thus we have key stages and foundation subjects (nothing to do with the Foundation Stage, by the way). Differentiation, which I’d understood as now means doing different things with children of differing abilities - we’d been doing this for centuries but of course it was quite worthless in an environment devoid of jargon. This jargon is then compounded by the use of a plethora of abbreviations: EYFS, KS1 (we used to say the first few years of schooling), NC and so on.
Tom has been a School Leader for 20 years and his last post was
Founding Headmaster of the West London Free School, the first Free School, to sign a funding agreement with the Secretary of State. He had just 92 days to open the school in the spotlight of intense Media debate.
Tom also has experience of School Governance, having served on five Boards over a period of 25 years; for seven years he was Clerk to the Governors and Company Secretary. Tom has also served as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education, specialising in
Science, Mathematics and Leadership & Governance.
Publications include "Managing Schools in the 21st Century", [John Catt, London, 2008] and (as
contributor) "Establishing and Leading New Types of School: challenges and opportunities for leaders and leadership", [National College for School Leadership, 2013].
This article is taken from Autumn 2019 issue of innovatED magazine. You can read the electronic version or download the App FREE of Charge. Staffroom print subscriptions are also available. Click this link to find out more.