Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Education Policy

The government has threatened to close over 600 schools , give them new names, more funding and specialist expertise in an attempt to improve the GCSE pass rate. The schools to close are those with less than 30% A*-G. This does not affect me directly but feel it is harsh in a number of areas.

1. Some of the schools are in areas that stream children such as Buckinghamshire and Kent. Of course you are going to get low results if at the age of 12 you cream off any students that show any academic spark and but them in a separate school. Schools in this category should be considered as a whole. Fine have Aylesbury Grammar but how do they help Mandeville Secondary (which is on the list)

2. Schools such as Oriel High are on the list. This is a school that specialises in children with Special Education Needs. If you look at the link you will see that it has over 52% of the students had SEN. Amazingly having a lot of students with SEN does not allow them to reach the target.

3. Schools in central Birmingham where there is a high number of students with English as a second language are judge to the same standard with those where it is less of an issue (Norfolk)

4 Turning schools into academies, separate to any outside control, would allow the school to set it its own terms and conditions for their staff. Too high and all the other local schools will suffer as the best staff leave (shifting the problem) or too low and everyone leaves. There are also fears over curriculum, if you take money from an organisation do they have a say on what is taught (creationism, intelligent design, evolution/ or what about schools designed to supply call centres with staff). There is some evidence that academies having different rules for aceepting and excluding students. Oh and exam results are no better.

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