How Big of a Tank Does a Ball Python Need?

How Big of a Tank Does a Ball Python Need?

When you are going to purchase a new tank for your ball python, then you need to make sure that the best ball python enclosure is in perfect size, so your snake will be able to fit comfortably. For an adult ball python, the enclosure must be minimum 30 to 40 gallons, especially if not larger and for a baby python, it must be no smaller than 5 gallons. First of all, you know that what size of a tank to shop for your ball python and then you possibly want to know the great way to make a home, which is equivalent to its natural one.

Where to shop a tank for a ball python?

How Big of a Tank Does a Ball Python Need?

Normally, shopping a terrarium for your ball python can be quite stressful and confusing. Now, it should come with some best products and places, which may create this process much simpler. This ball python tank actually features the glass slides, mesh top and also locks, so those ball pythons cannot even discover their path out. Currently, the best ball python enclosure comes in various sizes, so you have to discover the perfect size for your snake and order as well. Also, it is much essential to ensure that you are making a home for your ball python, which is going to be equal or imitates the home that it will typically have in the wild.

How do you make the best possible enclosure for a ball python?

How Big of a Tank Does a Ball Python Need?

Generally, there are plenty of ways available to mimic the ball python’s natural enclosure within your home. The initial thing you want is a perfect size aquarium. The adult ball pythons normally require bigger terrariums. If your terrarium is large sufficient, you can ensure that the perimeter is double the length of your snake. After you have obtained the perfect size of best ball python enclosure, it is good to begin filling it with some of the nitty-gritties. At the bottommost of your terrarium, you will require to lay down some kind of substrate, whether that can be cypress mulch, paper towels or terrarium carpet liner and simply ensure you never use shreds. Another thing you want is a hide box.

The ball pythons are actually nocturnal and so they want a place to sleep during the day time. You can also obtain a hollow log or just utilize a cardboard box. Whatever you use simply ensure your full snake can fit in it, but this is not much bigger than your snake. The next thing is that your ball python will always require being more comfortable and pleasuring that would be on a climbing tree. However, this allows a ball python to be able to climb greater towards the heat source, when they discover that they require improving their body temperature.

Guidelines of ball python tank size

Normally, keeping the adult ball pythons in small racks or tubs is not a good way that you can care of them. Rather, you want the best ball python enclosure to take care of it. Below are the least dimensions for your pet ball python tank based on snake size that include:

  • Hatchlings up to 300g

This size of ball python can be housed in 10 gallon tub or enclosure that measures approximately 20”x11”x13”.

  • Juveniles beneath 3’long

This size of ball python can be housed in 40 gallon enclosure that measure around 36”x18”x18”.

  • Sub adults and adults more than 3’ long

This could do best in 120 gallon enclosure or larger that measure around 48”x24”x24”. If you select any substitute dimensions, you can ensure that there is on 8 sq. ft of floor region and minimum 2’ of vertical space for climbing.

How large a tank is recommended for baby ball python?

How Big of a Tank Does a Ball Python Need?

The ball pythons require a great humidity that is quite tough to obtain in a glass tank. The suitable size PVC enclosure or tub would be a good choice for your ball python. Based on the size of your ball python, you can choose the best ball python enclosure and the common rule is length plus width of an enclosure must be more than the length of your snake. Actually, you can upgrade this enclosure as often as you need, if you keep obtaining the enclosures, which are slightly bigger than the before one. Else, you can begin with a big one for the adults and never upgrade more frequently. Once you decide to perform that, you can make sure to have more clutter as well as not much open space; because the larger open spaces can be quite stressful.

A care sheet of ball python

The ball python are approximately 10 inches in length. The average adult female ball pythons are about 3 to 5 feet long and the average adult male ball pythons are about 2 to 3 feet in size. This is actually the species and the mature females are normally much bigger than the males. But, a five feet ball python is considered as big and while the lengths of six feet or more have been stated.

Caging of ball python

How Big of a Tank Does a Ball Python Need?

Usually, the ball python enclosures can be as elaborate or simple as you need to care for, when it comes to the snake home products. You should also remember that more you place in a cage, the more you have to clean as well as disinfect on a routine basis. Presently, you can find the different enclosures available, so you can pick the best ball python enclosure that works well for your pet ball pythons. However, the tanks and glass reptile terrariums are tolerable for ball pythons.

Conclusion

Hence, the ball pythons are preferred pet snake among people. The ball pythons are the best beginner snakes and they are quiet as well as much simple to care. The most essential thing is that choose the best ball python enclosure to your ball python to make them stay comfortable as well as feel happy in such enclosure. More often, you can ensure your pet that it looks good and doing healthy.

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Guide to Have the Best Bottom Load Water Dispenser Ever

Be it at office or house, we all need the best bottom loading water dispenser to help us function better. Water has been scientifically proven to increase brain flow in brain. Get a bottom load water dispenser today and help employees consume a refreshing drink. Days go by, your hot and tired and really need something cold to drink. The sweat makes it worse. Avoid, by buying yourself a nice bottom load water dispenser and that problem goes away. Your water will always be cooled. Let it touch your throat all the way down to the stomach. Never drink nasty and dirty water on a day you really need to get the production flow going again. A guide on how to find this good bottom load dispenser that is good below.

Bottom Load Water Dispenser

Find Bottom Water Dispenser That is Already Put Together

Should come to you in the beginning, but make sure you find a water dispenser that is already put together. Let’s say you’re a scientist and you like to put things together. You would want a water dispenser that comes in pieces and has wires all around the place. However, if you have to work to do, chances are you don’t want to spend time assembling a water dispenser. Will is save you money? Yes, but the time you have to spend to get it set up so it can be used is not worth it. How much time are you willing to spend for bottom water dispenser installation? 2 weeks, 4 months, or 7 months. Time is not something you have to give away freely and wastefully. Provided that, purchase a water dispenser that is already put in place to make water consumption process from it so much faster.

Further, call the company you bought the bottom water dispenser from to make sure it is well put together. I have seen companies post water dispensers online and not tell you if it is put together. Some just give you a manual and a box. Expect you to put the whole thing together or ask for more money for installment. Avoid additional fees and head aches, by checking in with the company you bought it from and making sure they are giving you a product that is put together. You can not allow anything to stop your train. Including, companies lying about the bottom water dispenser not being put together.

Make Sure Reservoir is Made of Stainless Steel to Filter Water

The reservoir attached to the machine is made with steel. Some bottom load water dispensers are made of plastic reservoir. Same, applies to the best bottom loading water dispenser you see at the stores. Plastic reservoirs are bad because they tend to add plastic taste to water filtered. Stainless steel does a better job at filtering the water because steel does not blend in with water. Plastic in small sizes, likes to shead off in tiny pieces and combine with liquid. Why? The material has a weak bond. Stainless steel’s bond id chemically bonded very tight and capable of lasting years. Because of, buy bottom loading water dispensers with stainless steel reservoir built inside.

Additionally, not all bottom loading water dispenser come with filtering water capabilities. Some, can only keep water temperature or make water cooled. You might have to use purified water on top of having a bottom water dispenser, if you do not have one that filters water. Don’t expect every one to filter water. Read the instructions of the package very carefully for water filtering. This will tell you everything you need to know and let you know if you need to add purified water on top of buying a bottom water dispenser for the bottle you want.

Find One that Uses Up Little Electricity

Bottom water loading water dispenser should not use up a lot of electricity. There modern ones that uses up 0.8 kW electricity each day. Find one that lives up to the same standard or lower. You run a company and you got to make sure your company is not wasting resources. Ok, maybe you don’t run a company. But, you got to still make sure the electric bill is not high for reasons that can not be helped. Remember, a penny saved is a penny saved for something else.

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Shave Your Skin the Way Experts Do It

Lately, more and more men have been claiming that they having a problem shaving. Claiming their skin is too sensitive to shave their face properly. Every time the razor touches the skin it just scars. Strangely, these men come form the USA. Experts say the men do not have sensitive skin. In their minds, men complaining about shaving do not know how to shave. Skin type does not play a factor that prevents them from having a normal and relaxing shave. Whatever the true cause, English Shaving Company wants to help those men out by giving them the best tips for shaving.

Use Shaving Cream Works for Sensitive Skin

Shaving cream works really well on sensitive skin. It is hard to say which product exactly because people have different skin types. But, find a shaving cream you can use. The best shaving cream for sensitive skin on the market. Test it out. Put on a little to the face. Do not overdue the amount. Just put on enough to smear across the face. Each time, stand still for a few minutes for the shaving cream to inject in skin. Then, you should be all set to shave face with shaving cream. Now, not all shaving creams are going to work. Your going to need to test out shaving creams one by one. Figure out which one perfectly works for your face by testing out only. Experts claim there is no one shaving cream fits all. You got to try them all to find one that makes shaving on face easier.

Alternatively, use soap mixed with water to shave face. There some people who use soap and water to shave face. The mixture works really good on hard to shave skin. People who have hair that just do not want to move should consider this. Unfortunately, there is more to it then mixing soap and water. Not any soap will do for shaving. No, don’t go using that cheap hotel soap just yet. You’re going to need something that works for your face. Could be soap you find at a beauty shop or soap at local store. Hard to say which one because your skin type is the one that picks the soap. With that, I recommend you buy boxes of soap of different types. Play around with the soap types and I am sure you will find the soap your looking for.

Best Technique to Shave With

Gently move the razor in the direction of hair growth to shave. In other words, shave in direction your hair grows. Doing this will make the hairs on your face cut faster and irritate less. You ever cut the back hair on head? Notice how it does not want to cut until you cut it in the opposite direction. Sometimes, the same logic applies to hair growing on face. It looks like it all grows at the same postilion. However, if one were to look deeper into the mirror, they would see hairs growing in many different directions. That razor must go in many different directions also to cut every inch of that face hair. Use best shaving cream for sensitive skin to help the skin cut smoother on top of technique. With this in mind, use this technique to shave all parts of your face.

What is more, cold water does a good job helping the hair on your face relax. I know you don’t like feeling uncomfortable. But, experts strongly suggest you use cold water instead of hot water. Cold water biologically makes hairs react better and release grip on skin more. Razor cuts skin with far less effort. Humans have been using cold water for shaving for thousands of years. Doesn’t make much sense to break that cycle and irritate the evolution process by shaving with warm water.

Consider Using Aftercare Lotion

Touching your face up with aftercare lotion is a great way to prepare sensitive skin for a shave. Before each shave, apply a little lotion to the face. Can be a lot of lotion if desired. Apply the lotion and let it sit for 3 minutes. Hold for the skin to become moisturized and hydrated. Allow more water to enter into the hard stuck face hairs. Change the hairs into very soft hairs and make your shave go by quicker. To add, the lotion makes the razors 3 times sharper and makes you feel less pain on each shave. All in all, experts recommend you use aftercare lotion each time you shave.

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Hiking Activities for Kids

Hiking is not just good for the body and mind, it is also a great time to create lasting memories with your children. When you hike with your kids, you spend more time with them and increases the possibility of creating more commonalities that will bond your relationship even more. It is a great opportunity to encourage your children to be more aware of the natural world around them.

With advance planning, you can make a hiking adventure that the whole family will treasure for a very long time. Keep engaged with some of the most interesting hiking activities for kids, like those we included below. Also, do not forget that hydration is a crucial aspect of hiking. Having said that, you need to make sure that you keep your children properly hydrated. Bring one of the best water bottles for hiking and encourage them to drink at regular intervals so that they will stay hydrated and be more appreciative of all the things that you have in store for them.

Here are some interesting ideas for your next hiking trip

Nature Drawings

Younger kids will need frequent rest for water, snacks, and bathroom breaks. You can also use the time to encourage your children to draw. Bring pencils and sketchbooks so your kids can draw the plants, trees, animals, and whatever they see around them when you go for breaks. You can make a journal with all of their artwork or put them together and make a collage. This will be a great conversation piece while all of you gather at the dining table or when you plan your next hiking trip.

Scavenger Hunts for All Ages

Create a checklist of items that your kids would most likely to find on your hike so all of you can have a great scavenger hunt. There are several ways you can go about this activity, including those provided below.

  • You may ask younger kids to find things of different colors and shapes.
  • For older children, you may ask them to find specific items that they’d need to identify.
  • Make sure, however, that you remind your children to leave flowers, plants, and other wildlife undisturbed.

Rainbow Hunt Game

To do this activity, simply ask your kids to find things in “rainbow order”. Younger children will be most delighted to take part in this activity. You’d ask them for things that are of the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. You may  also include other colors as you think necessary. Keep a checklist and once a color has already been spotted, cross it out from your list.

Senses Hunt Game

Your kids will be excited to participate in this game. All you have to do is to list different smells, sounds, and textures that your children should identify. Keep a close eye on your kids as they might touch or smell something that may not be good for their health.

Hiking Journal

Older kids will want to do more challenging activities. You can help them find interesting items on your trail and help them list the items in a journal and keep track of the things that they spot as you go. Ask them to add notes, sketches, as well as an update each time you go hiking. You may instruct them to use binoculars to scan the skies and far distances while you’re taking breaks. They can add whatever comes to their minds as they gaze upon the natural beauty around them in their journal.

Some reminders: Your kids may be so focused at what they are doing that they will forget an essential element of their activity — hydration. Remind them to drink every 15 to 20 minutes so that they will remain hydrated while they are enjoying any of these activities that you have prepared for them. Squeezing in some lemon juice or fruit will add flavor to their drinks. This will encourage them to drink even more. Allowing them to bring one of the best water bottles for hiking of their own choosing will make them want to drink more often from their water bottles as well.

One of your options would be this Thermos Funtainer. This unique water bottle is designed with vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention. It has a durable stainless steel interior and exterior that can hold cold water for 12 hours. It comes with a hygienic push button lid with a pop-up straw and integrated carry handle.

For some of the most interesting features and designs you can find for the best water bottle for hiking.

Have you tried any of these activities? Perhaps you have other activities in mind that you have asked your kids to do while hiking. How was your experience?

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Why is it important to be properly hydrated in school?

Your child might not be drinking enough water in school.

This could just be true as a nationwide study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health indicates that more than 50% of the children and teenagers in the US are not properly hydrated. As a matter of fact, 54.5% of the total 4134 participants in the study, which were aged 6 to 19 years, were found to have urine concentrations that qualified them to be having below the minimum daily water intake level. However, if you train them to bring one of the best water bottles for school, you can be assured that they will have access to clean water or their favorite beverage any time they have to.

Don’t wait until your child says, he or she is thirsty

Don’t wait until your child says, he or she is thirsty

Insufficient water in children will affect their cognitive functions as well as their physical health. However, a child’s thirst mechanisms is immature. That means their thirst mechanisms are not yet fully functional at their age. As such, they may have already lost much of their body fluid and are, therefore, already hydrated by the time they would sense that they are thirsty.

There are different severity when one is dehydrated. It could be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body fluid is lost and is estimated by the loss in bodyweight. A child is mildly dehydrated when the loss in the body weight is about 5 to 6 percent. A loss of 7 to 10 percent is considered moderate dehydration. Severe dehydration or a loss of over 10 percent of body weight is a life-threatening condition and will require immediate medical care.

Even if mild dehydration isn’t life-threatening, a child who is not properly hydrated will have an impaired cognitive function. He or she will experience headaches and even nausea in severe cases. Younger children, on the other hand, will be very fussy, rarely urinate, have dry mouth, and will have no tears when the child is crying.

Factors influencing children’s hydration

A child’s hydration attitude and practice can be affected by several factors, including the intensity of the activity that the child is engaging in, the environmental conditions, the availability of fluid, the characteristics (flavor, temperature) of the beverage available, as well as the physiological features of the child.

It is best that they are trained to drink regularly to ensure that any fluid that they lose will be replaced right away.

Hydration is essential for children in school

As already mentioned children do not have properly functioning drinking mechanisms, that is why they need to know the basics of hydration. They are also actively engaging in sports and other school-related activities that may cause them to release more body fluids. If they are constantly disregarding their need to replace lost fluids or are hydrating poorly, their school performance, bladder control, and, even, their overall health will be affected.

Factors affecting children’s consumption of water.

Other factors affecting a child’s hydration level has to do with their personal preferences.

  1. Children prefer sugar-sweetened beverages than water.

A study shows that children consume seven times as much soft drink as water. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks are one of the reasons why there are more obese and overweight children in school. Children prefer these alternative liquid replacement sources, which are not actually healthy.

Even with the government’s effort to encourage young students to consume water and other healthier alternatives, many still remain insufficiently hydrated in school.

  1. The water in the school fountains or dispensers is not cold. Children prefer cold drinks. Water stations, however, do not provide cold, clean water that the children can drink any time they would want to. In addition to this, the water fountains and dispensers are poorly maintained.
  2. It can be too taxing or exhausting, as well as time-consuming, to find a drinking fountain or water dispenser. Children are quite active most of the time. They will need much liquid replacement, but there might be times when the water fountain or water dispensers are placed in an area within the school compound that is at a distance from where the children are. Instead of going to the fountain to drink, they’d rather drink whatever beverage alternatives that they may see near them, which, most of the times, are not really healthy.

Training your child to drink adequate water when in school

Once the child understands the important roles that water plays in his body functioning, as well as in his performance in school, sooner or later he or she will accept the fact that he/she will need to drink up as much as his/her body needs so he/she will feel well and perform better throughout the day while in school.

Buy your child one of the best water bottles for school

One way to encourage your child to drink up when he/she is in school is to provide him with his own water bottle. There are so many brands and makes that will provide your specific requirements. Once they are trained to bring their own water bottles, it will be easier for them to stay hydrated, especially if you store beverages that they really like (of course, I’m referring to the healthy options here).

There are water bottles that can keep beverages, either hot or cold, for 12 to 24 hours (sometimes, even longer). These bottles are available in different materials (PBA-free plastic, stainless steel, or glass). You can choose from a wide-mouthed bottle, push-pull cap soft bottle, filter bottle, collapsible bottles, and more.

It’s better to have these reusable bottles than have your kids buy bottled water in school. You’ll save more in the long run and you’ll also contribute to others’ effort for a greener earth. Remind your children of the importance of water and allow them to take responsibility for the options that they take. Once they are fully aware of these and you provide them with an easy to access water source, you’ll see that they will prefer drinking from their own reusable drinking bottles soon enough.

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What You Should Not Wear While Pregnant

Pregnancy brings with it a lot of challenges for the mom-to-be. That’s the reason why any pregnant woman needs to be extra cautious in everything that will affect her general health as well as the safety of the child in her womb. One of the concerns of any pregnant mom is the type of maternity outfit, like the best leggings for pregnancy, tops, shoes, and, of course, the things that should not be worn while pregnant.

One of the common challenges that a pregnant mom would have would be the comfort that an outfit could provide her while she is wearing one. While choosing the best maternity outfit is more of a personal choice, there are certain types of outfits that are better worn only before and after pregnancy. Not that they may pose any danger to the child, but as they could just add up to the uncomfortable feeling that a pregnant mom already feels. Why would anyone have to deal with that when it can actually be avoided.

Why should you stick to comfortable clothes when you are pregnant?

During pregnancy, you experience a myriad of changes. These include morning sickness, headaches, exhaustion, sore breasts, swelling, mood swings, as well as weight gain. As your pregnancy progresses, your body continues to expand to accommodate the developing baby in your uterus. The discomfort that you experience will vary from month to month, and will just seem to intensify as you near the time to deliver your baby.

You may not be able to change how the hormones can affect how your body will respond to your pregnancy, but you can definitely adjust your lifestyle to compensate for the drastic changes that you will experience along the way.

Ease Pregnancy discomfort with the proper maternity outfit

One of the ways that can make you feel more relaxed and ease much of the discomfort while you are pregnant, is to opt for comfortable pregnancy outfits. It can also lessen the probability that mood swings will occur as well. Don’t you find it easier to go about the day when you think and feel that you are dressed properly for the day?

The right maternity wear will give the needed support for your bulging tummy. As it feels and looks right, there is a greater chance that your body won’t manifest any irritation. Sweating will also be not much of a concern as you will feel comfortable while wearing the right maternity outfit. For instance, if you wear the proper pair of footwear, there will be a greater chance that you will not feel any pain in your legs, nor see them swelling.

Fashion can mean so much to you, but as an expecting woman, you need to understand that you and your baby’s health are your primary concern during this period. You can’t just go about picking clothes that many celebrities are flaunting on their social media accounts. These pieces of maternity wear are usually tight-fitting and not cut or styled as how a doctor would rather want you to cover your body or provide you comfort while you are still heavy with a baby.

‘One size bigger’ is the general rule of the thumb when it comes to maternity wear. But as there is no one-size-fits-all thing with a condition like pregnancy, you still have to consider a number of things when choosing the best maternity outfit. Knowing what you should not wear when you are pregnant will give you a better idea of what will best provide you with the most comfort during pregnancy.

Things that you should NOT wear while pregnant

There’s no denying that your condition can put you through a lot of stress when you are expecting. You also cannot change the fact that the dresses and footwear that make you feel best before your pregnancy won’t be able to provide you with the same comfort now that you are having a baby soon.

You need to choose between outfits that will be most beneficial to your condition than those that can pose danger not only to you but also to your baby, such as those listed below.

Tight Clothing

Any outfit that clings too well on your skin will only intensify any discomfort that you may already be feeling while you are pregnant. If you prefer wearing leggings, you may still want to look for the best leggings for pregnancy as they are specifically designed to provide support to the growing bump, as well as to your back. Putting on anything that will add pressure to your abdomen is definitely a must NOT wear.

Oversized clothes

It’s not that you want to feel comfortable that you will just buy and wear oversized clothes. Yes, you need to wear something less straining on different parts of your body, but that doesn’t mean that you’d just pick one that’s super loose that you will look like ages younger than you really are. You can find one that’s well-fitted yet can make you feel not too restricted and still look appealing. Do not sacrifice your looks for comfort. Remember that you can always have both at the same time.

Meterial

Clothes made from synthetic and non-breathable fabrics. Polyester, chiffon, georgette, and other synthetic fabrics will make you feel hot and cause you to sweat more when you are pregnant. Opt for maternity clothes made of cotton, combed cotton, organic fabrics and other fabrics that will let your skin breathe instead.

High Heels

Wearing high heels can only add discomfort to your back and lower body. Flats are more comfortable and a lot safer to wear when you are pregnant.

Wrong underwear

Your breasts will grow as it prepares the body for nursing. It will also feel sore and more tender. Needless to say, you need to wear bras that won’t add to the discomfort that you are already experiencing. Avoid padded bras and those made with an underwire. Choose bras that will provide enough coverage, optimum support, and will accommodate your breasts as they grow with your pregnancy.

Conclusion

Again, you need to wear the most comfortable and clean maternity outfit that will also provide the confidence to go through the rest of your pregnancy months. If you have a favorite maternity attire, do mention them in the comments below.

 

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For TES: “Send in the gowns …”

I’ve a piece in today’s TES on the value (and under-valuing) of ritual and academic symbolism in schools.

You can read the whole thing in the paper, or here if you’re a subscriber.

(If you’ve not yet had the chance to pop down the shops this fine New Year’s Day, there’s an edited preview here. But the longer version is better and contains a description of how the gown of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford came to be, so you should definitely pay for it.)

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“Beware the Ids that march” – to the barricades for Ofsted at Michaela

Here you can watch my debate with Katie Ashford as part of the Michaela Debates held recently. I stood up in defence of that most maligned of educational institutions: Ofsted.

You can hear my whole argument above, obviously, but the key points are:

  • Accountability is an essential feature of all modern educational system, on grounds of both the cost of state education and the importance of educating the young. Schools should thus be held accountable for: 1) proper use of public money; 2) outcomes; and 3) day-to-day practices. 1) is handled by the audit process; 2) by league tables and destination data; and 3) is best handled by inspection.
  • Some might suggest that there is no need to inspect practice, if outcomes are what is desired and money is spent appropriately. But it is always possible to manipulate any accountability system, and outcomes can sometimes be achieved by unscrupulous means (“gaming”) and it is essential the day-to-day practices be inspected. Of course, Ofsted can likewise be gamed, but the “mixed constitution” of outcomes, financial audit and inspection makes it harder to game one without exposing problems elsewhere.
  • Further, Ofsted does not exist for the benefit of teachers directly, but to help build trust between teachers and those we work for: the government who pay for schools, and the parents whose children we educate. Of course, it may put teachers under pressure and feel our work is being scrutinised, but it is that scrutiny which is essential for parents and government feeling trust about the value of what teachers do. Unconditional trust of professionals working with children, absent any real accountability system, is precisely what produces problems such as those that led to the collapse of Kids Company.
  • But even if teachers being happy with Ofsted is not necessarily a measure of Ofsted’s success or legitimacy, it is also the case that Ofsted had changed in the past four years in response to complaints raised regarding the validity and value of their work. Short of full abolition, most teachers would have wanted:
    • an end to graded lesson observations
    • an end of out-sourced inspections
    • shorter inspections
    • no preference for particular teaching styles
  • All of those now feature in the new Ofsted inspection frameworks. Of course, Ofsted may not achieve those things and it also should be held accountable for them, but when challenged by arguments with a strong evidence base, Ofsted is not an unchanging behemoth, and this should be acknowledged.
  • The strongest arguments against these positions raised in the debate was, I think, the idea that Ofsted’s existence generates and perpetuates bad practice amongst teachers. But I’m afraid I can’t accept that: the many examples of poor practice suggested (triple-marking, VAK, only marking in green pen, and more) are all, I think, monsters from the Id of the teaching profession that, as I have long argued, is not remotely mature enough in regard to its own practice, ethics or the research base for its work to effectively police itself.
  • But seriously, watch the video for a cracking Shakespeare paraphrase and a load of musical theatre references.
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PXed2015

On Saturday, Policy Exchange held an excellent conference on the future shape of education policy after the next General Election. It really was a invigorating day. In a previous post, I have argued that those of us who favour on-going educational reform need to ensure that we are airing our differences as much as our agreements, and work to shift the debate onwards away from the more reactionary elements of the educational crowd, and I think PX managed that exceptionally well. In particular, Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston, a former education adviser to President Obama, was inspiring (Tom Bennett–who evidently has nowt but stone for a heart–mocks my rapture at Mike’s speech in his post about the event here, but I sense even he’d had his heart melted by the end of the day).

You can watch videos of all three keynote speeches (Johnston’s, Michael Gove’s and Tristram Hunt’s) as well as the panel sessions, following this link. The video it’ll bring you to first, though, is the one for the panel I was on (my speech is 19m-25m), about curriculum, assessment and workforce. My speech addressed a phrase Tristram had used earlier in the day: that of a “mature profession”. My contention is that teaching is not a mature profession: we lack the conviction in evidence, the ethical clarity and–largely–the responsible leadership to claim ourselves a proper profession; I hope the write more about this in due course.

The others on the panel all made excellent contributions, although if you have time for only one, click to 31m (runs to 39m) and watch Tim Oates – a genuinely wise discourse on how the education research community in England is not giving policy-makers what they need to create excellent policy; turns some key issues on it’s head and is well worth the time.

p.s. Tim Oates was also responsible for the finest and most devastating heckle in the history of education policy: when the National Secretary of the Anti-Academies Alliance claimed in the final panel session there were no private schools in Finland, Tim pointed out that this wasn’t true, but it was illegal to charge for private schools in Finland, so essentially the country has a voucher system. “Less than 1% of schools,” came the disdainful reply. “37% in the Helsinki area,” came the devastating response.

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Vince Cable has made the mistake of being accidentally correct

I’m not a huge fan of Vince Cable*, but two things strike me about his statement that “teachers know nothing about the world of work“. The first relates to general dissatisfaction I have with the nature of a lot of discourse about education, and especially about teachers: hordes of people turned up on Twitter berating Cable for having said it, and saying how mean he was being about teachers. The same thing happens every time Gove, or indeed Tristram Hunt, says anything about teachers: teachers complain they are being disrespected, as though no politician can be permitted to talk about education without first saying how absolutely lovely and hardworking teachers are. This is plainly absurd and a mark of a profession peculiarly uncertain about its status. Do we honestly need to be love-bombed by Westminster’s finest every time they speak about our field? Are we so unsure of the value of our work that we need politicians to tell us it is any good? It is a tedious discourse, taking offence when it’s probably best left lying where it is (which would, incidentally, have the effect of blunting a significant number of the DfE’s media attacks, but that’s a different matter). It was abundantly clear that Cable wasn’t writing off all teachers as idle shysters who’d managed to bandy access to a blackboard into a lifelong laze in front of the class, so the outrage was utterly unnecessary.

It was also unhelpful, because it obscured a chance to discuss something quite interesting (and this is my second point): Cable is pretty much correct. Cable’s point was clearly that teachers are not especially good at preparing their students for the world of work. Not only is this mostly true, I would argue that it is pretty much as it is supposed to be. Between myself and the state, quite a lot of money has been spent training to make me a history teacher. My job is to induct students as best I can into the discipline of
history. That I should necessarily be expected to also acquire to skills of a careers advisor and interview coach seems to me a misallocation of resources: I have one job the state pays me to do, why do I need another one?

This is not to suggest that schools shouldn’t take a very large role in careers training, but why expect a profession made up, in the main, of people who pursued academic training in a particular subject to suddenly acquire a profound insight into how to persuade organisations as diverse as Gregg’s and GoldmanSachs to give students a job. I’ve had five jobs since I left university: one I was elected to, and the other four were decided by interviews in schools, three of which involved teacher a demonstration lesson. None of these experiences are even remotely representative of the ways most students will find work. This requires dedicated attention and skills, yet career responsibility in schools remains largely an additional responsibly put on top of a teaching load. Of course, many such teachers do their jobs well, but inevitably most don’t have either the time or the space to focus on developing the strength and depth of careers advice, links to the local employment market and quality work discovery and work experiences that are required to make careers training truly effective. Fundamentally, this needs to be a role that belongs to someone full time; at present, the non-teaching full time staff of a school include admins, site supervisors, nurses, EWOs and data managers. In such ways are the things schools find important reflected. Full time careers officers in school are a vital part of improving careers advice.

But a final point, and this is what Cable should really have been criticised for: although schools should be the site of great careers advice, a significant portion of the responsibility should fall on companies (like those led by those Cable was talking to) themselves to build links to schools. That’s the message he should carry to them: if you want schools to help you, it’s time to help them.

* I’m not a huge fan of any of the Coalition LibDems, notwithstanding that their politics are more congenial to the Labour Party than their Tory colleagues: it will take a long time for the generation sold a pup by the LibDems on tuition fees to trust in politics again. They were probably right to put up fees, but when your only distinctive policy is that you won’t, and you make absolutely no effort to defend that policy (as the memoirs of the Coalitions negotiations make clear they didn’t) you’re engaging in pretty cynical politics.

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