Below - Door to the classroom where I worked for twenty years.
Today was the last day of the school year. The week has been especially hectic for me - staying till after six each evening in order to pack twenty years of work into boxes with hundreds of sets of books - all to be delivered to the new school that has emerged phoenix-like behind the old main block built in the early sixties. And would you believe it - all week we had to continue working with our classes. Not one single day given to staff in order to prepare for the move. This evening I feel utterly drained.
Perhaps they should change their strapline to - Promising. Procrastinating. Profiting.
And at around eleven o'clock today - surrounded by boxes and one and half hours before we had to vacate the old block - our KS3 English SATS results arrived from ETS Europe ( A Division of ETS Global BV). I scanned the A3 size lists which should have contained results for all 180 of our students but alas no! Any child with a surname beginning with A, B, M, N, O or P did not have a result. Quite bizarre. How could they even think of sending us incomplete results lists?
It's been in the news a lot this week. The incompetence of ETS and the buck passing of politicians and their officers. So many schools haven't received their long-awaited results and those that have - like mine - have discovered serious errors - such as no results provided for fifty children! ETS were given a £156 million contract in order to administer SATS tests in England and Wales for the next five years. You can research their chequered history very easily on the net. Why were they employed in the first place and why should our national school tests be farmed out to a slick profit-making organisation that make lots of promises and can't deliver. What is more - it is an American company! It isn't even rooted in our education system.
I feel quite disgusted and I know that when the damned scripts finally arrive from ETS, I will have to spend several hours checking them for marking errors before demanding a re-mark. It's all bollix! Anyway... now for six weeks holiday. Teachers' rest. Thanks to my fellow tax payers.