There is less than a week left for the first course to begin with the bulk of the changes in the new education law –some aspects came into force in the past– and more than half of the country's students are about to stand in class without even having an official curriculum. The directors of the centers are concerned, but the Ministry calls for calm: nobody expects that everything will change from one day to the next in September. This is the course with the most novelties in the classrooms in several years.
Directors have to deal with more fronts. Another of the changes that Lomloe brings this course, halfway with the Children's Law, is the appearance of the figure of the welfare coordinator. The centers are going to have to do some balancing act to designate who is in charge of this work: there is hardly any information about their figure, the regulation of the position is unequal between communities (and not all have done one) and what there will not be are media or teachers extra.
In Catalonia they have their own concerns. In addition to the confrontation between the Generalitat and unions, relieved this Thursday with an agreement, the school year will probably be marked, once again, by immersion in Catalan. Last year there was time for everything: there was a sentence from the High Court of Justice of Catalonia in favor of Castilian, there was disobedience, there was a new law in Catalonia and there was rectification by the TSJC; the case has ended up in the Constitutional Court.
Families add another problem to this year's uncertainty: inflation, which has skyrocketed the cost of going back to school. Consumer associations explain that it will be the most expensive September in 20 years, with inflation around 10% pending the final data. The different surveys calculate an expenditure of between 200 and 700 euros per child this month, which concentrates 60% of the total family expenditure on Education, a game that has not stopped growing in recent years.
Seven autonomous communities that add up to 4.75 million students (58.5% of the total) have not yet published the autonomous development decrees of the Education Law, five months after the Ministry approved the last of those that corresponded to them . There is less than a week left before the school year begins, the first in which the new Lomloe teaching method will be applied, and half of the country's teachers do not have the official syllabi for their subjects, although most of them the regional governments have been advancing the drafts to the centers so that they at least have something on which to start planning the course.
The situation has precipitated like a domino on several fronts. The communities have not published their curricula or have done so well into the summer, so the publishers have had many problems to finish their textbooks on time, which has meant that in many schools they have not yet been able to choose their editions or consequently, recommend them to families so that they can buy them. And parents fret.
Andalusia, Canary Islands, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Galicia, Murcia and Euskadi are the autonomous regions that have not yet published their CVs. The regional executives point to the ministry as responsible for the delay for late approving the minimum decrees on which each community had to work later (it was done between February and April) and explain that the deadlines of the consultation process and the legislative process have prevented them from publishing them. until now. All assure that they have been advancing the content to the centers so that they could work.
Galicia admits that it will not have them ready by the time the course begins. "They will be approved in the first weeks," explains a regional source, who adds that "in any case, and in the face of the situation created by the Ministry, in Galicia we sent all the information to educational centers months ago and shared it with publishers , so that the course could be planned in advance". And they insist on pointing out others: "The Galician curricula were presented on April 19, only 15 days after the approval of the last central government curriculum. The regional processing cannot begin until the state one is auctioned off and, as it is a decree, supposes between six and seven months to comply with the legally established deadlines", they avoid blame.
Education replies that there has been plenty of time since it approved its decrees. The former Secretary of State, Alejandro Tiana, maintained before the summer, when the criticism began, that the ministry did speed up the deadlines a bit but shared its work with the communities so that they did not have to wait until the approval of the state texts, exactly the same argument that the autonomous governments are now using with respect to educational centres. In addition, he adds Education, that some communities have approved theirs denies that they did not give time.
Casual or intentional, the review of the communities admits a political reading: among the seven non-compliant there are four regions governed by the PP, one by the PSOE (Canary Islands) and Catalonia and Euskadi by the independentists. Among the popular autonomies, only Madrid, usually the most fractious with anything that comes out of La Moncloa, has complied. Among the socialists, only the Canary Islands have not done so. Catalonia and the Basque Country, which also say that they have shared the drafts with the centres, function as their own ecosystems from this point of view.
And in the background hovers the imposition, black on white in Lomloe, of having to adhere to an urgent law enforcement schedule that sets this 2022-2023 academic year as the landing of curricula in educational centers. This obligation with terms was not always the case and has an explanation: when José María Aznar's PP approved its LOCE in 2004, it regulated its implementation schedule by Royal Decree. Then he would lose the elections against the odds and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero only had to repeal a Royal Decree to paralyze the norm. The LOCE never reached the classrooms and everyone took note: since then, educational laws have included the calendar in their articles, so that to paralyze it, an entire organic law must be modified, and a newly created government cannot do that at will. arrived. It takes a long parliamentary process that guarantees the life of the norm at least some course.
"The centers that have to apply this on a day-to-day basis see ourselves with water up to our necks," explains César González, director of the IES Mata Jove, in Gijón, and president of the Asturian association of directors of public centers Adespas. "We are a bit desperate, we have everything unprepared. Although some subjects do not change much [respecto a la extinta Lomce], there are others that change course and you cannot treat them the same for a 1st year of ESO as for a 3rd year, for example Ethical Values. Or the new digitization, which will look a lot like the old technology, but something will change," she elaborates.
The uncertainty with the Lomloe, the delay with the curricula and the methodological change that the law brings has a good part of the teaching staff restless. The real commitment to what has come to be explained as the transition from knowledge to skills –these were already included in previous laws, but had not been officially included in the curricula– implies teaching through "learning situations" that teachers must design.
The minimum curricula prepared by the ministry have been emptied to give more freedom to teachers, who, depending on the degree of specificity that each community has added later, will be able to decide what specific content is most appropriate for their classes. Even the centers can allocate, if so arranged by their regional governments, part of the school day for the tasks they decide. But more freedom means more work, professionals remind. "Working by skills is a very big effort for the teacher, this is a reality," admits Toni González Picornell, president of the Confederation of associations of directors of public centers of Secondary Fedadi, which requires administrations to offer training.
To overcome this uncertainty and in the absence of indications, teachers are trying to organize for the course. Almost 4,000 teachers They have gathered in a group created on Telegram educational programming to share materials adapted to the new law. The matter is complex: each subject, each stage and each autonomous community has its peculiarities; the group now has around twenty subgroups and will continue to grow.
Another issue that occupies directors these days. The figure of the welfare coordinator is created based on the Child Protection Law and must be present in all centers as of this course. But the law barely outlines it and, like everything in Education, leaves its definition in the hands of the autonomous communities. Not all of them have done it, explains Héctor Adusar, head of the CCOO's Public Function, and in any case they are trying to do it "without resources".
According to the school counselor and trade unionist, there are three types of models in the communities. There are those that have freed up some weekly class time so that the designated teacher can use it for that specific function. They oscillate at the moment, always according to information from the CCOO, between one and four hours a week, depending on the community or the size of the center, on weekly days that are usually between 18 and 20 teaching hours. It is the route chosen by Asturias or the Canary Islands. A second group has chosen to put together in a kind of package the hours released for this figure of well-being, but also for the promotion of reading and digitization. Castilla-La Mancha follows this method and releases between 6 and 8 teaching hours to institutes and between 3 and 7 to schools, which decide how to distribute them. The last method is that of not releasing anything: that teachers dedicate part of their complementary time (which is not teaching) to the question.
What they all agree on is that the figure has to be a teacher who is part of the staff and does not cost money. "It's going to be complex," anticipates director Picornell. "Applying the law with the cases that we are dealing with is being complex. That coordinator cannot be a teacher, he has to be a specialist with scientific knowledge of the matter," he claims.
Adsuar believes that "the best profile" would be the one that corresponds to the specialty of community services or counselors, although the latter "is lacking in terms of resources (there are few professionals) everywhere."
In Catalonia, Lomloe aside, immersion and Catalan at school will be discussed. Last year it seemed that it was going to be the outcome of the conflict around linguistic immersion, which has been entrenched in the judicial field for a decade. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling that forced the Generalitat to offer at least 25% of classes in Spanish throughout the education system (that is, in a core subject in addition to Language). The judicial instances set a date for its execution, but when it seemed that the Government was between a rock and a hard place, the Parliament approved by a large majority (with PSC, ERC, Junts and Comuns) a language law that established Catalan as the language " vehicular" and Spanish as "curricular" and without percentages.
This new regulatory framework led the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) to recognize that the famous 25% sentence could no longer be executed and sent the text to the Constitutional Court so that it could rule on the law issued by the Catalan Chamber. The decision of the High Court will be the one that will mark the future of immersion in the classroom. While this does not happen, the Department of Education has gone a step further and has encouraged all the centers on which a sentence of 25% weighed – a total of 27 – to stop applying the percentage.