Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My thanks for allowing me to be an AST

Yesterday the education secretary Mr Gove announced plans to end the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) scheme to be replaced by a new non funded Master Teacher scheme with no outreach responsibilities.
Over the last few years as an AST in Hampshire I have consistently been booked for over 90% of my outreach time.

During my AST day I have

• Carried out ICT inset days on blogging, podcasting, programming, spread sheets, databases, interactive whiteboards, learning platforms and e-safety (Between 10-15% of my time)

• Advised schools on how to replace or renew their existing hardware and software. Providing a comprehensive network review and talking through options before recommending a range of quality educational providers with a proven track record in Hampshire.

• Worked with ICT managers to refresh or redesign their ICT curriculums

• Worked with teachers, either individually or in groups, to train and then model good ICT teaching practice.

• Run seminars at County events promoting innovative ICT that benefits the wider curriculum

In my evenings under the umbrella of my AST job but often in my own time I have

• Run numerous esafety sessions for parents

• Led staff meetings and twilight training for schools

In my own time I have

• Created a video help file website and many of the help videos on the site. The site averages 12,000 hits per month

• Published all of my planning online as a starting point for schools wishing to improve ICT

I just want to thank the previous government that allowed ordinary teachers, like me, to follow our passions with a wider group of schools than just our own whilst allowing me to stay being a teacher. I also want to thank Hampshire County Inspectors who have consistently valued ASTs and supported our continued use. The feedback I often got as an AST was that teachers appreciated that our ideas were ones that had been tested in class. I will not miss the title Advanced Skills Teacher as I often felt it put me on a pedestal. In Primary Education I am only too aware that I might be an expert in ICT but still need the help and encouragement of my fellow professionals in lot of other areas of teaching. I will of course work hard for any remaining time I have left on the scheme and will continue to help schools in the much reduced time available afterwards. I won't reflect on the value of the AST scheme but it is interesting to note that myself and my fellow ICT ASTs in Hampshire have a very full schedule.

An article about ASTs would not be complete without mentioning Jon Audain and Emma Goto, my fellow primary ICT ASTs. It has always been a wonder to me that we have complemented each other so well, I have and will continue to learn lots from you both.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Phil Bagge

1 comment:

  1. And we have learned loads from you too! I also love being an AST and will certainly miss the opportunities and diversity it provides. It has been great working with so many schools and teachers in Hampshire. Mr Gove says he wants the best people to be teachers but seems intent on closing down opportunities, devaluing professionalism and getting rid of expertise.

    Emma Goto - @emmagoto

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