Is Gordon Ramsey the Answer?

In response to Vic Goddard’s Piece in the TES, July 25th 2014.
In which he applied Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares to schools, and I now look to apply it to my F.E class room.

Goddard discusses the menu, often muddled and irrelevant, as is the curriculum. The need to look at the number of classes and rationalise them. Teaching whats right for students, not for staff.
We changed the Level 1 curriculum last year and it certainly was an over populated menu. Developed according to what I thought the customer needed and finalised dependent on what staff were available.

Vic Goddard talks about Ramsey’s willingness to turn the dishwasher in the matre‘d. It is important to get the right people. Developing skills, making sure they are used effectively. Empowering people, asking questions about what they do, helping staff gain confidence.
Developing a team has proved a difficult and elusive task. Transient staff, misconceptions/ assumptions about Level 1 learners and funding cuts have caused an unsettled environment. Putting it politely.

Goddard mentions Ramsey’s listening to customers, and not just though what would be student voice or parents, but going out and meeting those who choose to go elsewhere. And finally there is talk of decluttering and ensuring the space is bright and clean.

The curriculum for the 2014 academic year has been simplified and refocused mostly through an understanding of what you can do with a Level 1 programme of Study. Ensuring that the course is relevant to the learners, unique to the college and achievable in the current climate of resourcing budgets.
The timetable has been reduced, which I am not happy about and seemingly powerless to address. Though it does an allocate an hour to online learning in preparation for the FELTAG report. Other changes caused by staffing have been made and I have attempted to adapt as best as I can to scheme a coherent programme.
The scheme of work has been developed to make student voice an integral part, as has my schedule to ensure more opportunities for discussion with parents. To ensure that the programme of study is not muddled and the curriculum is communicated coherently.
I remain perpetually powerless and frustrated over staffing. And thats all there is to say about that.
After a number of years of requesting, I have finally been given a Level 1 base room. A job has been put in to get it cleaned, a paint job and extra white/notice boards. To ensure that information is clearly displayed and student work can be prominent.

The important thing to remember about kitchen nightmares, is that Ramsey revisits. This isn’t a one-off, its important to maintain and continually review.
Prepare for when somebody wants to order off the menu.


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