Author Topic: The Teachers' Thread  (Read 136618 times)

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1960 on: January 5, 2021, 01:52:20 pm »
Looks like there might be some gcse exams next in the summer.

Maybe English maths and possibly science.

I’m at a loss to understand why A levels have gone myself.  Slim them down?  Maybe. But my kids are bewildered as to why they can’t sit them.
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Online UntouchableLuis

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1961 on: January 5, 2021, 03:50:58 pm »
Good luck to everyone - it's going to be a really bumpy half term. I think this will be in some ways easier than last time as we are all more competent with remote learning aspects, as are the kids, but in other ways far more stressful.

I think parents will demand more from teachers this time (certainly in my independent school!)

Testing is a big concern. Ours is still going ahead for staff and students on site with a body of 20 or so staff selected to assist with the process (myself included as a HOY).

I'm worried how I'm going to juggle my part in the testing process, teach online a pretty full timetable (I teach every single year group other than Year 13) and do my HOY duties.
« Last Edit: January 5, 2021, 03:59:49 pm by UntouchableLuis »
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Offline Oscarmac

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1962 on: January 5, 2021, 03:58:56 pm »
Pastoral care needs to be focused on, mental health issues and poverty of all varities exploding.
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Offline rob1966

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1963 on: January 5, 2021, 04:10:48 pm »
Good luck to everyone - it's going to be a really bumpy half term. I think this will be in some ways easier than last time as we are all more competent with remote learning aspects, as are the kids, but in other ways far more stressful.

I think parents will demand more from teachers this time (certainly in my independent school!)

Testing is a big concern. Ours is still going ahead for staff and students on site with a body of 20 or so staff selected to assist with the process (myself included as a HOY).

I'm worried how I'm going to juggle my part in the testing process, teach online a pretty full timetable (I teach every single year group other than Year 13) and do my HOY duties.

I cannot fault the secondary school my eldest is in, they were well prepared for WFH and he is cracking on and leaving me alone, but the primary the youngest is in needs to step up big time. They relied solely on seesaw and 9 yr olds self teaching last time out - ok when you are on furlough, but not that I'm now permanently WFH.
I could pull the Key Worker card, both me and the wife work in accepted Key business (she works for a utilities company and is in the office, my main employer is Tool Hire but we are heavily involved with the needs of the NHS and critical industries) but so long as the lad is given work and face to face via Zoom or Teams, then I'm happy for him to be home, but if he keeps disturbing me then I'm going to have issues with work.

Good luck to all the teachers  :wave

Offline Charlie Adams fried egg

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1964 on: January 5, 2021, 04:17:38 pm »
To the teachers on here. First of all, good luck I really feel for you, the job is hard enough without the ridiculous political interference and chronic lack of leadership that we've seen.

My question is can a leadership team force teachers into school every day at the moment? Obviously we need to see what happens with numbers for key workers and vulnerable children, but if it's creating and delivering online content then can they make teachers go into school to for that if it doesn't involve face to face?



Offline rakey_lfc

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1965 on: January 5, 2021, 04:42:11 pm »
Out of 50 students 11 have said they will send their child to school when open to them on Thursday. We've had to contact all parents and say that due to logistics of testing and gathering all their opinions the earliest we could be back open in Thursday. Absolute shambles this week has been so far. Feel for schools who have mass cohorts coming in.
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Offline Red_Mist

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1966 on: January 5, 2021, 04:52:39 pm »
My missus has just got home from today’s planning session very unhappy. Out of 28 kids in her class, parents are sending in 16 of them, because apparently even someone with both parents WFH but one of them on the key worker list (which is much bigger than last time) can send their kids in and not be turned away. Therefore full time teaching, plus a load of new time-consuming rules about checking in with the remaining kids who are being taught remotely. She’s the SENCO too so already overstretched.

Keep hearing on the news schools closed for weeks. What a load of bollocks. Schools aren’t closed at all!!!

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1967 on: January 5, 2021, 04:56:50 pm »
To the teachers on here. First of all, good luck I really feel for you, the job is hard enough without the ridiculous political interference and chronic lack of leadership that we've seen.

My question is can a leadership team force teachers into school every day at the moment? Obviously we need to see what happens with numbers for key workers and vulnerable children, but if it's creating and delivering online content then can they make teachers go into school to for that if it doesn't involve face to face?



My schools line is that we care about the health and safety of all staff.  Some have volunteered to look after vulnerable students, but no one is being compelled to go in and anyone is a volunteer.

That’s the way all schools should be.
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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1968 on: January 5, 2021, 04:59:55 pm »
My schools line is that we care about the health and safety of all staff.  Some have volunteered to look after vulnerable students, but no one is being compelled to go in and anyone is a volunteer.

That’s the way all schools should be.

That's a good line. My school is generally like this most of the time as well.

That's what annoys me most about what we've heard constantly from the government- schools are safe as children are very unlikely to get it. Not once did they mention the risks to staff. If you take away the staff then you have no school and no education for children. Amazes me that lots of 'leaders' I've worked under think like the government too. Basically they had no care at all for the staff and their workload/stress levels as long as results kept appearing to be good.
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Offline Charlie Adams fried egg

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1969 on: January 5, 2021, 05:23:10 pm »
Cheers for replies.

That's one of the things I've struggled with; we were told schools were safe and that kids are unlikely to transmit, but have had very little detail on why that was the case.

Then we have the new lockdown and by definition schools are no longer safe, so what has changed?

Either they were bullshitting all along, or the new strain is more transmissable by kids. If it's the latter some detail would be useful, because the current distancing and other arrangements would be inadequate.

I think it's worse for secondary teachers because even if younger kids are less likely to transmit, there's clearly a point where that changes, especially given last years year 13s turned into super spreaders when they went to University.

Offline TheKid.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1970 on: January 5, 2021, 09:48:58 pm »
I doubt she will be the only one, but our head has decided to cancel the vocational (btec) exams that were scheduled for sixth form this week after the DfE said they were to go ahead if the school thought it was safe.

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1971 on: January 5, 2021, 09:52:55 pm »
Going to try breakout rooms on teams tomorrow...

Good chance for small group discussion and giving the chance for kids to socialise
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Online UntouchableLuis

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1972 on: January 6, 2021, 06:46:44 pm »
There's way more kids going into schools than the last time
 We are expecting anywhere between 50-120. Government have closed schools but have made it easier for schools to provide childcare this time.
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Offline Craig 🤔

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1973 on: January 6, 2021, 07:03:40 pm »
There's way more kids going into schools than the last time
 We are expecting anywhere between 50-120. Government have closed schools but have made it easier for schools to provide childcare this time.

I imagine a lot more parents have decided they are currently key workers now as can't be arsed looking after their own kids.

I've heard all sorts on FB saying they are keyworkers when they really fucking aren't.

Offline rob1966

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1974 on: January 6, 2021, 07:20:37 pm »
I imagine a lot more parents have decided they are currently key workers now as can't be arsed looking after their own kids.

I've heard all sorts on FB saying they are keyworkers when they really fucking aren't.

Surely you have to prove it though, letter from employer? A lot of the time its not about being arsed though, its about being able to do your job with kids in the house, I'm starting earlier and finishing later to cover downtime for things like breakfast, dinner, schoolwork. If I had a twat of a boss I'd be knackered

Me and the wife are genuinely key workers, both my jobs qualify me and my wife works for a major water utilities company, but I'm still keeping the kids at home, even though we both have letters from our employers that request we be allowed to put our kids in school, as I refuse to use the school as babysitters.
« Last Edit: January 6, 2021, 07:22:47 pm by rob1966 »

Online UntouchableLuis

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1975 on: January 6, 2021, 07:30:09 pm »
Nope the government have added all sorts of caveats this time e.g 'those students schools feel would work better in school.' Can see loads more staff required in school this time around because of the numbers.
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Offline TheKid.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1976 on: January 6, 2021, 07:32:29 pm »
I can’t wait to never hear the words key worker again

Offline Red_Mist

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1977 on: January 6, 2021, 07:33:12 pm »
Surely you have to prove it though, letter from employer? A lot of the time its not about being arsed though, its about being able to do your job with kids in the house, I'm starting earlier and finishing later to cover downtime for things like breakfast, dinner, schoolwork. If I had a twat of a boss I'd be knackered

Me and the wife are genuinely key workers, both my jobs qualify me and my wife works for a major water utilities company, but I'm still keeping the kids at home, even though we both have letters from our employers that request we be allowed to put our kids in school, as I refuse to use the school as babysitters.
I wish more were like you Rob. I know some parents HAVE to send their kids in and that’s absolutely fair enough. But my missus has got over half in and there’s some absolute beauts. Like the lazy arse hairdresser whose salon is closed so she’s at home not working, but sending the kid in because her husband’s a trucker, so she’s allowed. I’m doing everything for my 87 year old mum at the moment, including taking her for medical appointments in the car. But lazy arse won’t ever make that connection that she might be putting vulnerable people at unnecessary risk. I’m past caring (although I realise it doesn’t sound like it!) There’s others in much worse situations. Just good to have a rant sometimes!

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1978 on: January 6, 2021, 10:15:38 pm »
We’ve got 1.

Good excise to leave the house though.
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Offline TheKid.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1979 on: January 6, 2021, 10:24:01 pm »
We have maybe 25 kids. Can see the number rising the longer we go on

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1980 on: January 6, 2021, 10:57:11 pm »
I can’t wait to never hear the words key worker again

Unless you get a new front or back door.
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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1981 on: January 8, 2021, 07:30:53 pm »
Feel like I've been back for 6 weeks let alone a few days! Remote teaching combined with being a Head Of Year is exhausting. To be honest no idea how anyone enjoys being HOY full time - there's most so much hassle that comes with it and the pay increase simply isn't worth it. Have a feeling my school will ask me to do it again next year as well - not going to do it, no money or progression is worth your mental health.
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Offline Craig 🤔

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1982 on: January 8, 2021, 07:38:22 pm »
Feel like I've been back for 6 weeks let alone a few days! Remote teaching combined with being a Head Of Year is exhausting. To be honest no idea how anyone enjoys being HOY full time - there's most so much hassle that comes with it and the pay increase simply isn't worth it. Have a feeling my school will ask me to do it again next year as well - not going to do it, no money or progression is worth your mental health.

My missus said the same. Was promised more free time, ended up getting given less, so fucked it off.

The extra amount she got to do it, when you work it out, was a pittance per hour she was having to dedicate to it.

She’s still got 4 good mates at the school she taught at, and listening to what they’ve been saying she’s more glad than she was with the decision to quit.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1983 on: January 8, 2021, 07:41:13 pm »
My missus said the same. Was promised more free time, ended up getting given less, so fucked it off.

The extra amount she got to do it, when you work it out, was a pittance per hour she was having to dedicate to it.

She’s still got 4 good mates at the school she taught at, and listening to what they’ve been saying she’s more glad than she was with the decision to quit.

Thing is I never want to be a senior manager so I'm not bothered about progressing up the ladder. I know my pay will never be brilliant but happy to get what I get as a normal teacher without the stress.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1984 on: January 8, 2021, 07:44:24 pm »
Thing is I never want to be a senior manager so I'm not bothered about progressing up the ladder. I know my pay will never be brilliant but happy to get what I get as a normal teacher without the stress.

She got, off the top of my head, a £4,200 / year increase for doing HOY. That worked out at about £230 a month after tax increase.

She was dedicating at least 10 hours a week to it, easily. 40hrs a month ish. That’s less than £6 an hour after tax.

Now obviously there are some holidays to throw into that so it’s a bit more than that, but really not much more at all as some weeks were more than 10hrs worth of work.

It just wasn’t worth the stress.

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1985 on: January 8, 2021, 08:39:22 pm »
That’s education for you.
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Offline TheKid.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1986 on: January 8, 2021, 10:01:18 pm »
I love being head of year, but I’m having to interview for it again in a pastoral restructure

Offline Charlie Adams fried egg

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1987 on: January 11, 2021, 08:34:07 am »
I wish more were like you Rob. I know some parents HAVE to send their kids in and that’s absolutely fair enough. But my missus has got over half in and there’s some absolute beauts. Like the lazy arse hairdresser whose salon is closed so she’s at home not working, but sending the kid in because her husband’s a trucker, so she’s allowed. I’m doing everything for my 87 year old mum at the moment, including taking her for medical appointments in the car. But lazy arse won’t ever make that connection that she might be putting vulnerable people at unnecessary risk. I’m past caring (although I realise it doesn’t sound like it!) There’s others in much worse situations. Just good to have a rant sometimes!
The selfishness of some knows no bounds, that example above shows how pathetic some people are.
Yesterday I got told about someone who sent the kids to school, he is in finance, she stays at home, but because he is classed as a key worker, she sent the kids in.

At the same time, that prick Williamson is telling parents to complain to Ofsted if they don’t get 3 hours online teaching a day. That plus 30% plus attendance in class. This lot take no responsibility for anything and want to create conflict to divert blame.

Then in the middle are genuine parents just trying to do the right thing by their employer, their kids and their families.

What the ones at the extremes either don’t realise or care about is that their actions are showing exactly what they are like as people.


Offline Red_Mist

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1988 on: January 11, 2021, 09:58:23 am »
^^^ yeah, I’d probably swing for Williamson if I met him in the street. My missus came home on Friday after a week teaching a two thirds full class and then doing an extra few hours each day to make sure the third at home had what they needed and were all doing okay, replying to dozens of emails etc. She came home and did something I’ve never seen her so in 20 years of teaching. Burst into tears. Then she heard the Williamson comment about Ofsted and burst into tears again. She is a really strong person. Only ever before seen her come home buzzing with teaching. Absolutely loves it. Gavin Williamson is an absolute disgrace.

Offline Charlie Adams fried egg

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1989 on: January 11, 2021, 10:25:07 am »
^ he's a complete coward and even worse, a clueless coward.

My Mrs is the same, hardworking, dedicated, but all week she has had that look that teachers have when they get told they're getting an inspection.

He has no idea about the dedicated teachers that are in an impossible position due to the Governments' ineptitude. While they were politicising Starmer's commonsense calls for the Christmas free for all to be curtailed, they could have been making decisions that allowed schools to plan for January. Instead those in the worst affected areas were threatened with legal action.

Instead of telling parents how it is, they give mixed messages and then add to the sense of entitlement many parents already have by using OFSTED as a threat.


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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1990 on: January 11, 2021, 10:30:51 am »
Aye. He should be going into bat for the teachers. Imagine Hancock coming on the tv during the pandemic (or ever) and threatening NHS staff if they don’t meet certain targets. He needs to go. Been said many times, he must have something on Boris.

Offline rakey_lfc

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1991 on: January 11, 2021, 02:00:20 pm »
I think Ofsted announced that they had over 5,000 emails from parents praising their child's school.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 02:04:29 pm by rakey_lfc »
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Offline TheKid.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1992 on: January 11, 2021, 02:04:47 pm »
I heard that ofsted have had to shut that email account down due to being overwhelmed by positive emails

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1993 on: January 11, 2021, 04:30:58 pm »
I heard that ofsted have had to shut that email account down due to being overwhelmed by positive emails
Which is quite marvellous.  And although no one likes ofsted, I suspect most ofsted inspectors will be delighted and not surprised to hear this.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1994 on: January 11, 2021, 04:47:25 pm »
Some Ofsted whingebags were on Twitter pretending it puts their safeguarding notifications at risk but then many quickly put them right by saying that's a completely different avenue you go down and isn't linked to a simple email to Ofsted.

Williamson never anticipated that - he wanted lots of negative comments so he could turn round and say schools are failing the kids at home and the Government have done their best to support them with some BBC shows.

On the topic of remote learning- yes completely understand why your wife came home overwhelmed. It's like spinning many plates for many hours, some are going to fall and smash daily.

I've got into a decent routine with it  compared to last time but I know in a few weeks things will start to slip a little. Inevitable.

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Offline Charlie Adams fried egg

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1995 on: January 11, 2021, 05:35:10 pm »
Great news about the OFSTED mails, restores the faith a bit.

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1996 on: January 12, 2021, 12:22:02 pm »
Oh dear god, the state of our FSM food parcels. It's an utter fucking disgrace, £30 worth of food per parcel - 2 apples, loaf of bread, some grated cheese, two yogurts, 2 potatoes and pasta. Never mind the fact we're 8 short so having to decide which family misses out!

This government is corrupt beyond belief and the harsh reality is they'll fucking get away with it!
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Offline rob1966

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1997 on: January 12, 2021, 02:38:13 pm »
Oh dear god, the state of our FSM food parcels. It's an utter fucking disgrace, £30 worth of food per parcel - 2 apples, loaf of bread, some grated cheese, two yogurts, 2 potatoes and pasta. Never mind the fact we're 8 short so having to decide which family misses out!

This government is corrupt beyond belief and the harsh reality is they'll fucking get away with it!

Rashford is onto it already

Marcus Rashford has raised concerns about the supply of food parcels to children on free school meals in England while schools are in lockdown.

The footballer had shared images of what appeared to be the parcels, saying they were "just not good enough".

It prompted Downing Street to stress the food in these parcels should be healthy. The children's minister is investigating "urgently".

Rashford said "we must do better", adding children should not go hungry.

The Department for Education said it had clear guidelines for food parcels.

'Double the price'
During the lockdown, schools have been told to continue providing free meals for those who are learning at home.

But whereas in the first lockdown many families were given vouchers, schools are now being urged to provide food parcels through their caterer or a food company.

If schools cannot provide parcels, they can consider other arrangements, which might include vouchers for local shops and supermarkets, the Department for Education says.

A number of images were shared online which appeared to show packages with small amounts of food supplied - many of which are supposed to last for 10 days.

One picture that has been retweeted 15,000 times on Twitter and received 36,000 likes shows two carrots, two potatoes and a tin of baked beans among a small range of food items.

The person who posted the photo said in her tweet that the food had been provided instead of £30 of food vouchers and was supposed to provide lunches for a child for 10 days.

Chartwells, the company which she said provided the parcel, said it had not provided the hamper.

Zane Powles, assistant head teacher at Western Primary School in Grimsby, said the night after Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson announced another lockdown, he went to the supermarket to get "all our packed lunches for the next two days".

He adds that what he bought for the packed lunches was "much better" than what he gets from the company he uses, for half the price.

"We found that actually, throughout the whole of lockdown, that what we've been getting from the company has been not the greatest in the world and is nearly double the price for what we pay for hot meals pre-lockdown. So we weren't happy at all."

Chef Wayne Sullivan, who lives in the Cotswolds and has three school-age children, said food parcels were not yet being provided at his children's schools.

Instead, he has been collecting packed lunches - made by a food company - for two of his boys, aged seven and eight, from their school each day until the hampers are ready.

He said he was "horrified" by the contents and posted an image online.

Mr Sullivan, a former MasterChef contestant, told the BBC: "I was horrified. I know how much the companies are given to feed children and there's probably about 55p worth of food. It's not been prepared with any care or attention, and nutritionally it's not balanced."

'Woefully inadequate'
After initially sharing images of food parcels, Rashford later tweeted that he had a meeting with Chartwells, a school lunch provider.

Rashford shared some "key points" from his conversation with Chartwells.

In a Twitter thread, the England international said he had been told free school meals hampers are "distributed to provide 10 lunch meals per child across 2 weeks", adding: "Is 1 meal a day from Mon-Fri sufficient for children most vulnerable?"

Rashford went on to ask why independent businesses which "struggled their way through 2020" cannot be mobilised to support distribution of food packages and said it was "unacceptable" that children should go hungry due to poor communication and a lack of transparency.

He also said that Chartwells had clarified that "Chartwells supply FSM when schools are operational. Chartwells is not the exclusive supplier of FSM across the UK. Chartwells have asked to make it clear that the picture in circulation that features the pepper is not one of their hampers".

"One thing that is clear is that there was very little communication with the suppliers that a national lockdown was coming. We MUST do better. Children shouldn't be going hungry on the basis that we aren't communicating or being transparent with plans. That is unacceptable," the footballer added.

Reacting to the initial images, Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace.

"Where is the money going?

"This needs sorting immediately so families don't go hungry through lockdown."

The government's children's minister Vicky Ford said: "Food parcels should cover all lunchtime meals and be nutritious.

"We've increased funding for parcels and will support local vouchers - national voucher also rolling out ASAP, working night and day on this. Hope your kids are ok."

After announcing her plans to investigate, Ms Ford also defended the use of parcels instead of vouchers for families in need.

She added: "One of the reasons why some schools have used food parcels rather than vouchers is that it helps keep them in touch with families.

"Very sadly during the pandemic there has been an increase in risk to some children. Do call NSPCC If you are concerned about a child."

The Department for Education said: "We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food."

It has said it will open a national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers via an online portal "as soon as possible".

In a statement, Chartwells said it had "worked hard to produce food hampers at incredibly short notice".

It said the hampers were put together last week based on the cost of a free school meal allowance - £2.34 per pupil per day (which is £11.70 a week) - though the government was increasing this by £3.50 a week per pupil as of Friday 8 January.

It said its hampers for two weeks, which were reviewed on a regular basis in light of supply, contained:

Cheese (200g)
Six red apples
Four oranges
Four bananas
Two cucumbers
Four carrots
Eight baked potatoes
One lettuce
Two tomatoes
Four cans of baked beans
1kg of pasta
Four tins of chopped tomatoes
Two tins of tuna
Four tins of green peas
One loaf of bread
Three malt loaf snacks
Six yoghurts

Rashford’s mum says she worked three jobs, but still couldn't afford to feed herself sometimes
Rashford has been a high-profile campaigner for children on free school meals.

His child poverty campaign prompted the government to U-turn on free meals over the summer holidays.

Last month, after a million people signed his petition, the UK government announced a £170m winter grant to help support families in need from early December.

It also said up to £220m would be available to help local authorities across England set up free holiday clubs providing food and activities for children eligible for free school meals, covering the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

In Wales, free school meals during the holidays has been extended by a year, and the Northern Ireland Executive made a pledge in November to provide free school meals in holidays until Easter 2022.

In Scotland - where holiday provision is currently promised up to Easter 2021 - both the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives have pledged to fund free school meals for all primary school pupils during term-time and holidays if they win the 2021 Scottish election.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55628428


Offline rakey_lfc

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1998 on: January 12, 2021, 04:22:55 pm »
Rashford is onto it already

Marcus Rashford has raised concerns about the supply of food parcels to children on free school meals in England while schools are in lockdown.

The footballer had shared images of what appeared to be the parcels, saying they were "just not good enough".

It prompted Downing Street to stress the food in these parcels should be healthy. The children's minister is investigating "urgently".

Rashford said "we must do better", adding children should not go hungry.

The Department for Education said it had clear guidelines for food parcels.

'Double the price'
During the lockdown, schools have been told to continue providing free meals for those who are learning at home.

But whereas in the first lockdown many families were given vouchers, schools are now being urged to provide food parcels through their caterer or a food company.

If schools cannot provide parcels, they can consider other arrangements, which might include vouchers for local shops and supermarkets, the Department for Education says.

A number of images were shared online which appeared to show packages with small amounts of food supplied - many of which are supposed to last for 10 days.

One picture that has been retweeted 15,000 times on Twitter and received 36,000 likes shows two carrots, two potatoes and a tin of baked beans among a small range of food items.

The person who posted the photo said in her tweet that the food had been provided instead of £30 of food vouchers and was supposed to provide lunches for a child for 10 days.

Chartwells, the company which she said provided the parcel, said it had not provided the hamper.

Zane Powles, assistant head teacher at Western Primary School in Grimsby, said the night after Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson announced another lockdown, he went to the supermarket to get "all our packed lunches for the next two days".

He adds that what he bought for the packed lunches was "much better" than what he gets from the company he uses, for half the price.

"We found that actually, throughout the whole of lockdown, that what we've been getting from the company has been not the greatest in the world and is nearly double the price for what we pay for hot meals pre-lockdown. So we weren't happy at all."

Chef Wayne Sullivan, who lives in the Cotswolds and has three school-age children, said food parcels were not yet being provided at his children's schools.

Instead, he has been collecting packed lunches - made by a food company - for two of his boys, aged seven and eight, from their school each day until the hampers are ready.

He said he was "horrified" by the contents and posted an image online.

Mr Sullivan, a former MasterChef contestant, told the BBC: "I was horrified. I know how much the companies are given to feed children and there's probably about 55p worth of food. It's not been prepared with any care or attention, and nutritionally it's not balanced."

'Woefully inadequate'
After initially sharing images of food parcels, Rashford later tweeted that he had a meeting with Chartwells, a school lunch provider.

Rashford shared some "key points" from his conversation with Chartwells.

In a Twitter thread, the England international said he had been told free school meals hampers are "distributed to provide 10 lunch meals per child across 2 weeks", adding: "Is 1 meal a day from Mon-Fri sufficient for children most vulnerable?"

Rashford went on to ask why independent businesses which "struggled their way through 2020" cannot be mobilised to support distribution of food packages and said it was "unacceptable" that children should go hungry due to poor communication and a lack of transparency.

He also said that Chartwells had clarified that "Chartwells supply FSM when schools are operational. Chartwells is not the exclusive supplier of FSM across the UK. Chartwells have asked to make it clear that the picture in circulation that features the pepper is not one of their hampers".

"One thing that is clear is that there was very little communication with the suppliers that a national lockdown was coming. We MUST do better. Children shouldn't be going hungry on the basis that we aren't communicating or being transparent with plans. That is unacceptable," the footballer added.

Reacting to the initial images, Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace.

"Where is the money going?

"This needs sorting immediately so families don't go hungry through lockdown."

The government's children's minister Vicky Ford said: "Food parcels should cover all lunchtime meals and be nutritious.

"We've increased funding for parcels and will support local vouchers - national voucher also rolling out ASAP, working night and day on this. Hope your kids are ok."

After announcing her plans to investigate, Ms Ford also defended the use of parcels instead of vouchers for families in need.

She added: "One of the reasons why some schools have used food parcels rather than vouchers is that it helps keep them in touch with families.

"Very sadly during the pandemic there has been an increase in risk to some children. Do call NSPCC If you are concerned about a child."

The Department for Education said: "We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food."

It has said it will open a national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers via an online portal "as soon as possible".

In a statement, Chartwells said it had "worked hard to produce food hampers at incredibly short notice".

It said the hampers were put together last week based on the cost of a free school meal allowance - £2.34 per pupil per day (which is £11.70 a week) - though the government was increasing this by £3.50 a week per pupil as of Friday 8 January.

It said its hampers for two weeks, which were reviewed on a regular basis in light of supply, contained:

Cheese (200g)
Six red apples
Four oranges
Four bananas
Two cucumbers
Four carrots
Eight baked potatoes
One lettuce
Two tomatoes
Four cans of baked beans
1kg of pasta
Four tins of chopped tomatoes
Two tins of tuna
Four tins of green peas
One loaf of bread
Three malt loaf snacks
Six yoghurts

Rashford’s mum says she worked three jobs, but still couldn't afford to feed herself sometimes
Rashford has been a high-profile campaigner for children on free school meals.

His child poverty campaign prompted the government to U-turn on free meals over the summer holidays.

Last month, after a million people signed his petition, the UK government announced a £170m winter grant to help support families in need from early December.

It also said up to £220m would be available to help local authorities across England set up free holiday clubs providing food and activities for children eligible for free school meals, covering the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

In Wales, free school meals during the holidays has been extended by a year, and the Northern Ireland Executive made a pledge in November to provide free school meals in holidays until Easter 2022.

In Scotland - where holiday provision is currently promised up to Easter 2021 - both the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives have pledged to fund free school meals for all primary school pupils during term-time and holidays if they win the 2021 Scottish election.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55628428



I tweeted him a picture of it.
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Offline rakey_lfc

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Re: The Teachers' Thread
« Reply #1999 on: January 14, 2021, 06:54:14 pm »
I feel exhausted and deflated today. Been working like mad since new year's eve, dissecting government guidance, doing testing for Covid on site, had to deliver the food parcels as well as maintain my Deputy head roles and responsibilities and then today I found out myself and the head have been reported to the unions for some absolute bollocks reasons. If driving school improvement wasn't tough enough with added pressures of our entire school on the vulnerable list and managing staff anxiety about being in and I feel a bit stabbed in the back if I'm honest.

All for small things, like I'd made a mistake on the timetable and there was a gap, so I asked the staff team around the class to see if they could sort it for the day and let me know if not, then I'd look at a longer term fix because I was then going into covid testing staff and students.

Another was we had apparently directed staff to paint the walls of our corridors, when we actually said what an opportunity we have to do stuff like this with no inclination that we would be asking staff to do it.

We've always been a consultative SLT, always gather opinions before we roll out something new. Also, been told that we often say we're not accessible, please don't disturb us, which we've only said once and that was during Ofsted, whilst having another member of SLT on call. We even shortened onsite hours for staff and students despite our trust trying to block it. At most staff deliver 3 lessons and a tutor period and still we're getting people moan.

As if this wasn't hard enough for people, instead of pulling as a team someone is stirring up trouble. No confirmed names mentioned but it's obvious within our staff body. I just don't understand why if you're that unhappy you need to go to a Union, why you haven't left the school for another post.

Rant over, just needed to get it off my chest and vent.
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