Chief Inspector of Schools acknowledges life outside M25

(119 Posts)
lainiekazan Thu 20-Jun-13 08:36:47

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22970674

How can this be said as if it's a revelation? Do poor people only live in Tower Hamlets? Why is it that on MN we have discussed this issue but now it's announced as if it's astounding that underachievers might actually be living in Wiltshire.

And, whilst they're at it, they might look at how clever children might not reach their potential if they live in a lower middle-class monocultural location.

Startail Fri 21-Jun-13 01:17:22

DH rented a bedsit in Bath, it's Georgian splender stopped with it's front wall.

Lovely yellow stone work facade and very scruffy minimal furnished digs within, no different to any red bricked terrace in a big city.

vole3 Fri 21-Jun-13 06:56:02

I am in a village south of Norwich and my son is in a mixed year 1/2 class as there are currently only 118 children in the 3 years.
Next year they will have 2 reception, 1 year 1, 1 year 1/2 and 1 year 2 classes as there will be more than 120 children.
The biggest problem comes with the allocation of money for special needs as my sons school is grouped with at least 2 other schools. Getting individual help for those children that need it is very hard as whilst you could have a TA post for 3 or 4 children if they were all in one class or school, it doesn't work if they are in different geographical locations.

cakesaregood Fri 21-Jun-13 07:56:27

Interesting that others saw a different side of the IOW.

We considered living there, but would have left before secondary school - even before the change from 3 to 2 tier. Many families we met were looking to move back to the mainland before the end of year 5 to be in place for secondary applications on the mainland.

Thereby the fantastic teaching that they experienced was never recorded on the old value added data.

Anecdotally I'm sure we can all think of cases that prove and disprove the headlines. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics!

Chunderella Fri 21-Jun-13 09:51:51

I have always heard that the assisted places scheme was colonised by middle class parents, don't know if that's true or not. I benefitted from the scheme myself, and that was not my experience personally. Several of my friends also had assisted places and every single one of us was female and poor, and fell into some or all of the following categories: non-white, single parent, parent with serious MH issues. So it certainly did help some of us from very underprivileged backgrounds, and we all did well too. But this may have been unrepresentative, I've never actually seen any stats. Don't recall ever being surveyed on anything either, though I was only a kid at the time. They asked about income, I don't think anything else. So am not sure how the parental social class would have been assessed.

beatback Fri 21-Jun-13 13:26:32

Chunderella. Its great that the assisted places scheme helped you. The assisted places scheme as well educating people also enabled kids from less advantageous background to contemplate careers that they would not have dreamed of. On a other thread some teachers say that some of their brightest students are being put of university not just by the fees but also by "ITS NOT FOR THE LIKES OF US" one of the things that Grammar Schools and the assisted places scheme did was make the pupils think university education was just normal and the right way forward for academically able students.

BadSkiingMum Fri 21-Jun-13 14:14:06

I like the idea of a state/independent hybrid, with sliding scale for fees. But how to prevent all sorts of people from manipulating the system?

Talkinpeace Fri 21-Jun-13 14:17:14

you cant.

that's why I like true comps with lots of UC / MC kids who raise aspirations for everybody

beatback Fri 21-Jun-13 14:31:57

Badskiingmum. Direct Grant Grammar Schools worked in a similar way to that. In the 1970s the local authority would pay the full fees for 25% of kids the school would pay for 25% on school scholarships and the other 50% would be full fee paying. Its quite remarkable that the old ways are in many instances the way to go forward.

Loa Fri 21-Jun-13 14:38:50

Where we live small town in middle of countryside - several secondaries none great our side of town.

All the ones nearest to us - with poor results- have either become Academies and the one that hasn't and has produced improving results is not improving fast enough for ofstead and they want it to become a Academy.

Becoming Academies hasn't change much - but now they are Academies I presume the ability to move teachers around is not going to apply even if that could cure the general lack of ambition of the area.

Loa Fri 21-Jun-13 14:40:40

*Its quite remarkable that the old ways are in many instances the way to
go forward.*

At least there is a track record that can be evaluated - rather than assuming something will work because it suits a particular ideology.

Scrazy Fri 21-Jun-13 22:28:43

I was surprised when DD was first thinking about universities to find that our 'affluent rural area' was a low participation area for locals going onto higher education. Then it all became obvious when we looked at A level results.

wonderingagain Sun 23-Jun-13 00:18:49

Well there are going to be a lot more poor people living in rural england soon thanks to the caps on housing benefit, so they ought to do something about it.

I think it's down to neglect and a laid-back attitude more than anything. I think parents are less pushy or demanding and teachers are living an easy non-competetive rural life, probably everyone's quite content the way they are.

Urban schools are always in competition with each other and that's partly what drives them. In rural areas people tend to go to the school that's closest regardless of the ofsted reports.

Tbf, wonderingagain, that happens in urban schools too, especially in more inner city areas, like the one I'm in. Although there are more schools in one area, there are also more pupils and as a result there are tiny catchment areas and if you apply out of one, you have literally no chance, and there are even some primary aged children who are left without school places etc; In my area at least, schools aren't in competition with each other, as the kids go to the closest school, albeit about ten minutes away or so, because that's the only one you can get into (unless you are a LAC of course).

blueberryupsidedown Sun 23-Jun-13 09:56:42

I just want to see more data on this. It's so easy for Lord Chief Inspector The Right bloody honorable Sir Michael Wilshaw to blame poor teaching when it's a lack of funding that is the issue. London has more teacher training facilities and as far as I know, trains more new teachers through PGCE and often the newly qualified teachers will stay in the borough where they are trained for a couple of years.

Also, how many children are we talking about? I want to see statistical data and facts about free school diners compared with achievement in primary schools, and compare the percentages between inner city london and other parts of the country. I could do without OFSTED carrying on with this image of being the 'enemy' of teachers and always blaming the teachers and leaders when school budgets are being slashed across the country. Not forgetting the shortage of school places... so many schools in our area (East London) now have 31 children in reception/year 1 classes. school libraries and computer suites have been turned into classrooms, and extra temporary classrooms have been put in playgrounds. Whatever has been achieved in urban areas will soon go down the drain if the government carries on like that. One primary school near us now has over 1000 pupils, not including the nursery.

Yes blueberry DS goes to a school with about 1500 pupils (he's 5) and they have a rooftop playground. The funding is getting less and less but the strain is increasing.

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 16:50:27

MagicKey - I think you will find that the 'successful' oversubscribed schools are very competetive, the more privileged the parents the more demanding they tend to be. It doesn't take much for a school to fall off its pedestal.

It is a self-perpetuating cycle where the people that lose out are the children that fall between the cracks in the demographic - too 'bright' for the rough school, too 'challenging' for the posh school. Schools make it easier for themselves (understandably) by teaching to the general level. This keeps the majority of families within each school happy.

Ofsted needs to be more child-focused so they don't get blustered by schools and politicians. They should be looking properly at social exclusion and schools need to be severely reprimanded if they participate in it.

We desperately need a fairer admissions system in London particularly. It has ALWAYS been like this, it's nothing new, I grew up here, but it has got far worse than it ever was.

I think rural areas do have a more complacent demographic, less highly-strung and OCD about results. But Ofsted should be on top of this - they are not fit for purpose. It's not rocket science ffs.

Yes, I agree. Successful oversubscribed ones are very competitive, we jut need to deal with the ones which couldn't care less!

I agree about OFSTED too. The focus should be on the children and they need to look at inclusion within schools especially, like you said. There are some big divides within schools based around wealth (and achievement in relation with it) and it needs dealing with fast. Whether a child is bright or not, trouble or not, they deserve a good education.

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 20:46:28

Ofsted did have some inclusion indicator added onto their scoring system recently, not sure how it worked, but it did make one of the local posh schools appoint an inclusion officer fairly sharpish. After telling me to send my dcs elsewhere if I didn't like it...

BoffinMum Wed 26-Jun-13 23:21:16

Schools need to be judged not only on how well they are doing, but also ow well the local area is doing, state and private.

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