28 August 2009

School Board - back to the future?

Is it a school, is it a College, is it a business? I'm beginning to wonder.

The place where I work (not as a teacher) went from being a comprehensive school, to a School and Community College, then the word School was dropped making it just a Community College. Those who attend are no longer called children or pupils, but Students, and although it is still a state comprehensive school, it has distanced itself from the County by becoming a Foundation School.

Complicated? Well...

Schools have teachers, right? Teachers are led by a Headteacher, assisted by one or more Deputy Headteachers. At our school, sorry College, we have in recent years had not only a Headteacher and a Deputy Headteacher, but several Assistant Headteachers with responsibilty for areas such as Curriculum, Standards and Student Support.

The Senior Management Team is made up of these PLUS various Directors - of Communications, of Post-16 Learning, of Finance, and of School Services. There are other Directors - of the Sports College and the Music College (our Specialisms).

For 2009-2010 the Senior Management Teamis rebranding itself; now it will be known as the Leadership Team. It will have more members, and apart from the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher, the rest will all be known as Directors of something or other. The titles I have heard suggested are so opaque I have failed to commit them to memory!

Moreover, all members of the Leadership Team will be Directors, but not all Directors will be members of the Leadership Team!

So, if the Leadership Team are all Directors, shouldn't they be called the Board of Directors? Is this the start of a slippery slope on the way to schools becoming businesses?

Or maybe a way of pushing up the salaries of the members - is a Director a higher grade than an Assistant Headteacher?

Or is it harking back to the old days (1870 - 1902) when School Boards were set up in England and Wales under the Elementary Education Act of Parliament.

What is going on here? And if I put these staff on the school (sorry, College) website with their full titles, will we be a laughing stock? I wonder....

No comments: