Well only two more weeks to go – to be exact, only six working days as I’m only part time now, and I’m starting to get excited.
However I still keep asking myself – shall I miss it?
Well here’s a thought for those of you who read my earlier post “Retirement – Thank Gove I’m going” and especially the postscript.
p.s. if you don’t like my ideas or the fact that I have a mind of my own you only have four weeks to send in Wilshaw to sack me.
Well he did!
Four days after making that post my PRU got the dreaded phone call. For a very short while paranoia took over and I wondered if I had evoked the devil or had the ‘Gove spies’ been active and called my bluff. Then reality took hold and I realised that we were ‘due’ the call, not until January, but it was on the cards at any time.
There was surprisingly little panic in the school as we were well prepared and, in some ways, have been ‘done’ so many times now that it’s nearly second nature. (some of the younger/newer members of staff might totally disagree with that last statement).
The fact is, in the last 12 years of working there I think we have had at least 7 visitations. One of those was an HMI survey, and we have been ‘reorganised’ at least twice and changed DfE numbers which has prompted earlier than normal inspections.
It was also to have little effect on me as, being part time, I was only in on one of the days and as my role in the school is now a non-teaching one, I wouldn’t have to be observed. But my contribution to the data and IT systems in the school would come under scrutiny.
How did we do? We’re Outstanding!
Yes we had a team of inspectors who could see behind the tick boxes and actually appreciated the work we do for the students and the difference we are making to their lives as well as their education.
Everyone is naturally ecstatic, and so they should be. In fact, in my opinion, we have been ‘Outstanding’ for years but have have been at a disadvantage, because we are a PRU, and never been able to tick those boxes to get us there.
But I am coming up to 60 years old and I know that it is going to be ever more difficult to maintain the same energy end enthusiasm levels that are so necessary in our profession. And yet the Government is now looking at not just 68 but even 70 as I retirement age.
Don’t get me wrong I am all in favour of people working for as long as they want and are able to, but not having to just to pay off the national debt.
I’m seeing teachers in my area being ‘told’ to retire in their mid 50s because they are not dynamic enough for today’s education system. The same I am sure will apply to many other professions.
The Government says we cannot sustain pensions any earlier because we are all living longer. I would ask how they will be able to sustain all the people who are retiring from such professions without full contributory pension entitlements. Will they just be left in abject poverty or will the state have to step in and support them?
Yes it will save billions of pounds, no doubt, but at what human cost? Perhaps it is just their intention to curb the increase in longevity by making people either so poor or tired out that they die prematurely.
One thing is guaranteed. A small percentage of the population will still be able to retire at 50 with either a large pension or great accumulated wealth. Yes we are all in it together, but some are in much deeper than others.
So back to my original question shall I miss my work.
I shall miss the children and colleagues at work naturally but not the bureaucracy and stress levels attached to the job.
However I’m not retiring from life and will continue to do my bit for the National Organisation for PRUs and AP and fight, wherever possible, for a more equal and just education system and a Government that is not ideologically driven to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.