Schools Today

#1
I welcome the schools honesty about this but .....

This school is one of the best in area and this LEA is better than a lot around it.
 

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#3
polar said:
Sorry, am having problems getting the pdf out without to much being cut
If this is an Inspection Report for a school they're usually published on the net anyway. Although the Department for Education and Skills (or whatever the hell we're supposed to call it these days) is not the quickest government body.

Come to think of it, none of them are rapid.
 
#5
polar said:
The letter is sent out with a job application packs
In that case applicants cannot say they have not been warned....

That said I'm really not surprised. There are very many schools, particularly in inner cities, where these circumstances are mirrored. The problem is that there is little or no incentive for 'good' teachers to join schools of this nature.

It's my view that if a school is 'challenging' the teachers should be paid some sort of additional allowance. In the end if this attracts gifted teachers and the school 'improves' as a result then it's an all round win-win. The Local Authority won't have to spend so much time, money and extra resource in resolving issues, the local community benefits and so do the staff.

And I write this as a Chair of Governors to one school and a member of two other Governing Bodies. The key to this is a really good Head and an enthusiastic and involved Governing Body.
 
#6
Unsworth said:
polar said:
The letter is sent out with a job application packs
In that case applicants cannot say they have not been warned....

That said I'm really not surprised. There are very many schools, particularly in inner cities, where these circumstances are mirrored. The problem is that there is little or no incentive for 'good' teachers to join schools of this nature.

It's my view that if a school is 'challenging' the teachers should be paid some sort of additional allowance. In the end if this attracts gifted teachers and the school 'improves' as a result then it's an all round win-win. The Local Authority won't have to spend so much time, money and extra resource in resolving issues, the local community benefits and so do the staff.

And I write this as a Chair of Governors to one school and a member of two other Governing Bodies. The key to this is a really good Head and an enthusiastic and involved Governing Body.
Yes, lets reward "challenging" schools and leave the ones that are doing well eh?

A little more thought is needed here I think.
 
#7
How about a £140.00 tax rebate for those challenged teachers? The problem the schools seem to have is the attempt at this 'all round education'. What the hey is that? Does it mean you cater for every eventuallity in an attempt to avoid upsetting a parents cultural, moral, religeous belief?

I pity the teachers (sorry). It is no surprise that a majority of pupils leave school having learnt very little that they can use in adult life. The factory style application of projecting an ever-changing curiculum to a load of seats in the hope who ever is sitting at them picks up enough to pass the finals. If they don't? we call them difficult and pass them onto the fluffy-glove crew for branding and reformating. Teachers are not allowed to teach - they inform.

The bit about an IT suite and Smart Boards is a bit OTT, kids who can't even write or speak properly bombarded with modern technology. Get the basics right first then nurture the 'gifted ones'.
 
#9
EX_REME said:
Unsworth said:
polar said:
The letter is sent out with a job application packs
In that case applicants cannot say they have not been warned....

That said I'm really not surprised. There are very many schools, particularly in inner cities, where these circumstances are mirrored. The problem is that there is little or no incentive for 'good' teachers to join schools of this nature.

It's my view that if a school is 'challenging' the teachers should be paid some sort of additional allowance. In the end if this attracts gifted teachers and the school 'improves' as a result then it's an all round win-win. The Local Authority won't have to spend so much time, money and extra resource in resolving issues, the local community benefits and so do the staff.

And I write this as a Chair of Governors to one school and a member of two other Governing Bodies. The key to this is a really good Head and an enthusiastic and involved Governing Body.
Yes, lets reward "challenging" schools and leave the ones that are doing well eh?

A little more thought is needed here I think.
Well it's not a question of rewarding the bad, it's a question of whether you let the failing schools go to the wall. If so, what happens then? No education at all in some areas? Maybe that's already happening, anyway, what with the truly dire results we're seeing.

What I'm interested in is upping the standards of those that are doing badly. I'm reluctant to see taxpayers cash being spent (wastefully in my experience) on glorious new 'academies' and stunning new buildings. It's what goes on inside them that's important. That's why I say move (and maybe attract) gifted teachers via incentives.

It's Primary Schools that need the most support. The problem for Secondaries is that the damage has already been done by the time the little ratbags get there, with many unable to do joined-up, read, spell or even add up. And some of them exhibit the behavioral patterns of a bear. It's really not good out there and for me the real cause of much of this has been the constant (and I do mean constant) change of policy with each new Minister - and I've actually lost count now - and the complete lack of education policy consistency.

For at least the past ten years children in schools have been the subject of a vast and doomed series of social experiments. Teachers have (reprehensibly, I feel) retreated to the bunkers. Local Authorities have appointed thousands of public servants at large salaries who daily interfere with schools. The net result is that teachers and most others involved in schools have simply become automatons, doing whatever they are told to do, no more and no less.

Just once in a while I have the great satisfaction in telling the Local Authority that we are not going to adopt their latest 'guidelines' on the basis that my governors have discussed them and are of the view that they are total unreconstructed bollox. Believe me, we are quite rare. Most just sit in their schools blindly and unreasoningly accepting huge amounts of crap from local and national government.

That is why we are where we are.
 
#10
But if you "move" the gifted ones then maybe the schools you "move" them from will go downhill?

I agree with most of what you are saying but it is a very complicated area.
 
#11
What do you do with parents who take their kids out of school for prolonged absences to visit relatives in Pakistan? You can't deny them education once they get back, and if the parents don't care, what then? I can't think of a sensible answer.
 
#12
EX_REME said:
But if you "move" the gifted ones then maybe the schools you "move" them from will go downhill?

I agree with most of what you are saying but it is a very complicated area.
That's a fair concern. It's based on the notion that there are only limited numbers of good teachers and no more can be brought into the profession - I'm not too certain about that. However in my experience it's a good Head that makes real differences - much as a good CO does. But a good CO is pointless if the RSM and Senior NCOs are not up to it. You need some key people in post who can then mentor and keep an eye on the other, less experienced, less able individuals. If you can get that combination then you're up and running.

The problem is that teachers would usually prefer to work in an 'easy' school. I guess that's only human, but it does lead to 'clusters' of able individuals, because good schools always get lots of applicants for teaching posts (word gets around). In Primaries the vast majority are women - and, without being too sexist, it suits them to be able to fit their family's demands in with their working day. So you need to find some real incentives to get these people to work in a more difficult and demanding environment. The only immediate inducement I can see is hard cash!
 
#13
Would it be impossible to reintroduce the curiculum and teaching/discipline style of the sixties or fifties? Where not the products of the education system better on average back then?

Without discipline I seriously doubt it is possible to educate anyone.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
angular said:
What do you do with parents who take their kids out of school for prolonged absences to visit relatives in Pakistan? You can't deny them education once they get back, and if the parents don't care, what then? I can't think of a sensible answer.
Its illegal and the parents can, and should, be taken to court. If you want an education for your children then let them have it, not pick and choose when and if. It's the law. Apply it.
 
#15
For at least the past ten years children in schools have been the subject of a vast and doomed series of social experiments.
Social experimentation in schooling has been happening since we have had schooling and every generation has complained about the type of system in place. As Ex Reme says, I agree with most of what you say, but it is so complex no matter what system or process is used, people will get left behind.
 
#16
jimbojetset said:
For at least the past ten years children in schools have been the subject of a vast and doomed series of social experiments.
Social experimentation in schooling has been happening since we have had schooling and every generation has complained about the type of system in place. As Ex Reme says, I agree with most of what you say, but it is so complex no matter what system or process is used, people will get left behind.
I'll not quibble with that, but it's interesting that in ten years we've gone through a series of edicts as to how things should be taught - and ended up with a complete return to the systems of a decade ago. What I'm angered about is those poor sods who've been in 'the system' in the interim. If it was OK ten years ago, what the hell have we been doing since then - and why?

The reality is that it takes an extraordinarily brave (or stupid) Minister to say 'No, things are working reasonably well, we will leave them alone'.
 
#17
I don't understand your original post. You described the school as being "one of the better ones", yet the article you posted quotes that the school is below the LEA average. It also does not state which LEA - what is to say it is one of the top ones?

Also, if the school is in special measures then there is a reason for this. It could be pupil attainment, pupil behaviour, financing or even the leadership, but there is always a reason for a school being in special measures (I should know, two of the feeder schools to where I work are in special measures, some of the kids are mental).

A school should have no worries in being clear and honest about the challenges facing their school. Many teachers choose to work in challenging schools - it's nothing to do with being forced because they can't find work elsewhere, but many of us relish the challenge and actually seeing genuine changes in the pupils.

You may also have noticed that the main sources of the problems are not actually with the school perhaps? The pupils at the school have to come from somewhere. When a school is struggling to appoint people to a PTA then there is serious disaffection or apathy towards education.

It sounds to me as though the school is actually working damn hard to rectify its faults and to try and improve the educational standards and the later quality of life of the pupils passing through its gates. I think they should be commended for being open about their problems, as I have worked at a school where issues were swept under the carpet and it was NOT a healthy atmosphere.
 

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