The other day Mr Glibbly was in fine form, cleverly avoiding questions about teachers’ pay and announcing what a wonderful thing the new GCSE’s ‘designed with employers in mind’ were (providing that is that they can understand the new numbering system):
“These more rigorous, gold-standard GCSEs are helping to nurture the next generation of scientists, linguists and historians. Whatever pupils want to do with their lives, these qualifications will prepare them for future success and help deliver the skills Britain needs to be fit for the future.”
All of which is indeed wonderful, assuming of course you are a student who wants to become a scientist, linguist or historian when you grow up, which quite a few don’t.
At the same time someone you’ve never heard of from the CBI, endorsed ‘today’s important focus on knowledge’, before helpfully adding ‘this partnership must also ensure we are prioritising teaching that encourages critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork’ – doubtless without realising that all of these things are completely ignored in Glibbly’s glistening All-Gold signature selection box of limited edition, academic-only GCSE subjects guaranteed to be completely free from Arts, and containing no soft-centred skills whatsoever.
Meanwhile All Change Please! can’t help but notice that many of today’s job specifications seem to require a rather different background skill-set to those acquired through a ‘knowledge-rich’ formative experience in our schools and leading universities.
For example, in one such recent and genuine job specification, for a one-year, fixed term contract, part-time position, paying around a pro-rata average London wage, only one of the desirable (as opposed to essential) criteria was knowledge-based, and that was a knowledge of HTML.
“You will be responsible for:
- Further developing and leading our communications strategy in line with the organisation’s strategic aims, identifying audiences, messages, channels and methods of evaluation.
- Planning and delivering effective and timely communications activity based on this strategy, building and maintaining a consistent brand.
- Writing creative communications materials and content including: brochures and leaflets; blogs; learning materials; communications with key supporters, e.g. e-newsletters; innovative/creative materials e.g. animations/videos; media/press releases.
- Designing and developing engaging online content that can be re-purposed across multiple channels.
- Working with multiple stakeholders/partners to coordinate communications activities
- Leading on media relations, proactively identifying news stories and ensuring that a consistent message is delivered.
- Collaborating with and managing input from design and other agencies
- Planning and implementing appropriate methods for evaluation of the communications strategy, and monitor and analyse the results.
- Briefing or commissioning volunteers, freelancers and contractors when needed.
- Managing part of the communications budget (and delivering value for money).
You should have experience in the following:
- Proven ability to conceive, implement and evaluate successful and cost-effective communication strategies and activities (including an understanding of how to identify audiences, create appropriately differentiated content and use relevant channels).
- Track record of writing and editing, preferably different types of writing for different publications and platforms (e.g. web, social media, e-newsletters, learning materials).
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a wide range of stakeholders, in person, online and in print.
- Experience of assimilating complex information quickly, identifying the pertinent points and making them accessible for a wide range of audiences.
- Well-developed interpersonal, advocacy and diplomacy skills.
Experience of pitching stories to the media and responding to media enquiries.
- Experience of commissioning freelancers (e.g. designers, web developers)/external agencies to carry out specific projects as part of a wider communications strategy, and managing those relationships.
- Experience of managing social media accounts (twitter, facebook etc) and commissioning video.
- Experience of sourcing images and print buying.
- Capacity to work independently, problem-solve, handle multiple projects, and exercise good judgment in an organised and professional manner.
- Experience in communications to support resource development/fundraising.
- Background in or demonstrable understanding of and passion for our mission.
- Experience of managing/coordinating communications across partnerships
- Experience of budget management.
- Experience of Google Analytics
- Knowledge of HTML (for when the CMS doesn’t quite do what you intend)
- Experience of brand management
- Understanding of web legislation and best practice.
Blimey! So where’s the bit about knowing everything there is to know about science, languages and history and being able to write essays? Surely at least part of the school curriculum urgently needs to start to prepare our children to become fluent in the workplace of the present, let alone the future?
Meanwhile Glibbly’s glistening All Gold EBacc curriculum collection needs some urgent re-branding. Perhaps re-naming it rather more accurately as Glibbly’s All Fool’s Gold Assortment – known for its superficial resemblance to qualifications that are actually worthwhile – would be a good start?
Image credit: It’s not Terry’s, it’s Tristram’s…