DfE – the E is for ‘Evaluation’

So what was the point of some fools from Twitter talking to the DfE and an MP for 90 minutes? Well it was fun, I enjoyed it and it was a genuine pleasure to meet some of the many people I follow and respect on Twitter in person. But on reflection, I don’t know what the point was.

I think this mainly because there was no set agenda – well there was but we didn’t know it beforehand. We were an eclectic bunch too. I think if we had been picked for any other reason apart from we’re mouthy on Twitter and we blog, then, well I wouldn’t necessarily know what that reason was. We all care deeply about education, but our fields of expertise were disparate to say the least. That’s not a bad thing but did it contribute significantly to what the DfE wanted out of it? I don’t know, maybe they’ll blog about it.
It could have been more structured with a stronger facilitator. We did get side-tracked by ofsted, we couldn’t help ourselves but you could almost see their eyes glaze over when we did. I wanted them to say, ‘Oi, enough you lot. Let’s go back to the curriculum!’

As for Elizabeth Truss MP, well she turned up, she listened. It was quite impressive actually she was obviously listening before she actually entered the room because the minute she sat down, midway through someone’s point, she was nodding and muttering ‘yes, yes.’ under her breath – I was impressed. It was a bit irritating that she was constantly distracted by her phone and her assistant who kept bustling up to her to say in a hushed whisper ‘the car’s not going to be available’ or ‘the car is now available’ and finally ‘I’m not sure if the car is here or available’. But she certainly has the politician’s knack for swooping in and out of conversations with the appearance of knowing what was fully being explored despite being somewhere else entirely. She asked us questions, she listened to our answers and wrote down either our ideas to take forward or our names so she could plot our removal from the whole education system. Actually I noticed that on her piece of paper were little biographies of all of us and I tell you what? I need to seriously improve my twitter following, compared to everyone else I was a nobody! I could see it in Truss’s eyes when she looked at me as if to say ‘You don’t belong here!’ Maybe not, but I do know about differentiation which was more than some people.

But look, I don’t want to get into politician bashing just for the hell of it. I appreciated the opportunity and the time everyone took out of their day to attend and their willingness to have an honest and open discussion. What will it achieve…well I guess time will tell and hey, given the pace of change in recent times maybe we won’t have to wait that long. And if changes do happen because of what we said and you don’t like them, please write to:

@imagineinquiry, @cherrylkd, @debrakidd, @educationbear, @emmaannhardy, @heymisssmith and @thought_weavers:

they made me say it!

8 thoughts on “DfE – the E is for ‘Evaluation’

  1. Julia Skinner (@theheadsoffice) April 9, 2014 / 11:42 am

    Having read all three posts it seems like a good day was had. It appears that the DfE are trying to engage with social media & good on them for actually getting folks together for face to face meetings. It is early days for both ‘sides’ in this format so I’ll wait to see what happens next. It would be good for them to speak to some classroom practitioners next as this is the second meeting of bloggers. Then they will have more of a full picture to make decisions. Maybe!

    • theprimaryhead April 9, 2014 / 11:43 am

      To be fair I was the only fully non classed based person there. Everyone else were still teachers.

  2. bt0558 April 9, 2014 / 6:16 pm

    Interesting to read all 3 posts.

    I am guessing they are now able to say “we have consulted”.

    Forget changes to the curriculum and all that nonsense. I want to know ehether your expenses are refunded in full, I hope you will post a follow up on this subject.

  3. sophiewoodblog April 9, 2014 / 6:16 pm

    Would you be interested in signing a petition about cyber bullying?

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