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Lies, damned lies, and statistics: Schools

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Pat Kendrick

Pat Kendrick Report 14 Jun 2008 16:28

When I went to high school for the fourth and 5th years the year would split into 3 sections, accademic, technical and commercial. Pupils would choose with parents approval which they wanted.

Also I might add I once worked with a lad who had 11 GCE O levels but had not one ounce of common sense. God knows how he achieved this as he found it impossible to work out 20% of anything in his head needed a calculator.

Give me common sense everytime and I got O's and HND



Carolyn Report 14 Jun 2008 15:49

Shelly, you have confirmed what I have long suspected that a lot of primary schools (not all) would rather put all their effort and resources into ensuring that at least 90% of their pupils leave with good SATs results than concentrate on the 10% who for one reason or another have never managed to achieve even a basic level of literacy. The trouble is this 10% from each primary then come together at whichever local comprehensive has the best reputation for special needs which in turn gets penalised when these students fail to get the required number of good GCSE grades. I'm glad your son has now been assessed and will hopefully receive the extra help he needs but in my opinion it should not have been up to you to point out your concerns to his school, they are education specialists for goodness sake and they should have picked up that he was struggling after the first couple of years. If I was you I would make an appointment with the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at his new school and take along the report and hopefully they will put in place the extra support he will need to access the senior school curriculum. It's usually accepted that a reading age of at least 9 is required to be able to access the secondary text books/worksheets so it always amazes me how each year we seem to be seeing more year 7s entering secondary education below that basic level. I do agree that bad behaviour can seriously disrupt some lessons but in my experience is not usually from the statemented pupils but from another growing group of ADHD type of pupils who are often quite bright if only their abilities can be channelled in the right direction.
I do wish your son lots of luck at his new school.



Alko Report 14 Jun 2008 14:05

Dont think it matters what it says on paper. My daughter went into student nursing not once was she asked to prove what GCSE she had. Luckily she had A and B grades and 3 A levels. But she could have lied.

Jessie aka Maddies mate

Jessie aka Maddies mate Report 14 Jun 2008 13:46

I find it all confusing
There is a school in our city that is said to be failing according to the reports - however another school close by that is not on the list of failing schools is to be closed as they say in five years time the numbers attending won't justify keeping it open, so where are the kids from this school to go ------You've guessed it - to the failing school !!!!

Now I'm no expert but why close the achieving school and send them to the failing school when you could close the failing one and send those kids to the achieving school

Both schools are the same size and are within a couple of miles of each other

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 14 Jun 2008 13:39

It just concerns me that right across the board like Hayley and others have said there is an obsession with targets and statistics rather than the 'people' involved.


Carolyn Report 14 Jun 2008 13:34

I totally agree with everything Lesley (and Peter) says. I work at a senior school which has been threatened with 'special measures' if we do not achieve over 30% A-Cs in GCSE English in the next 3 years (already well over that in maths and science). What they don't take into account is the high number of special needs students we take in each year, if their primary schools have not managed to get them reading and writing above the level of an average 6-7 year old (this is at age 11) how on earth can we be expected to get them to high GCSE level by age 16. They must think we're some kind of miracle workers!


♥ Kitty the Rubbish Cook ♥

♥ Kitty the Rubbish Cook ♥ Report 14 Jun 2008 12:56

The NHS are too...............if you're condition isn't being targetted that month...........go to the back of the queue!!

*only half kidding here*

Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 14 Jun 2008 12:53

Lesley I agree....but all of over government depatments are govened by stats...including our police force which I find very concerning if a they get a stat for a common assult or murder. Its all about meeting these stats and meeting targets.

♥ Kitty the Rubbish Cook ♥

♥ Kitty the Rubbish Cook ♥ Report 14 Jun 2008 12:41

This government has always been obsessive about exam results..................there is so much more to a good education than pieces of paper at the end of it.

Education should also be about learning the skills needed in the real world.................trying your best and getting along with other people from all walks of life, solving problems for yourself and others, teamwork and leadership etc.

I know one person who is highly gifted academically and has loads of paper qualifications, yet is hopeless at dealing with people!


InspectorGreenPen Report 14 Jun 2008 12:35

We have a 'failing' school near us - just under the 30% mark. However this belies the fact that the school has made important strides over the last few years, with the introduction of uniforms and improved disciple being just a couple of factors.

What the failure to meet 30% doesn't trell you is that the school has the highest intake of underachieving children in the city, because of its location. Many can barely rad and right at eleven, yet all seem to achieve something usefull by the time they leave.

The Ofsted Report recognises this and gives praise when it is due, but Mr Bo****s out there it on another planet.

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 14 Jun 2008 10:25

Can one school be both good and bad?
More than 600 "failing schools" in England have been identified by the government and told to improve, or face closure. There's just one problem says Michael Blastland - some of the "worst" are also some of the "best".

The best state school in England is a borderline underachiever. Who says it's the best? The government. Who says it's a borderline underachiever? The government.

Confused? You might ask if so is the government.
In announcing this week that 638 English secondary schools should either improve standards or risk being taken over or closed, Education Secretary Ed Balls produced what seemed conclusive and damning statistical evidence. In these schools, 70% of pupils, or more, failed to obtain five good GCSEs (including maths and English).

Many in the media described them as "failing schools". And so, it seemed, they were justly said to need radical attention.
But for one fact: in the judgement of Ed Balls' Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), some of these same schools add more value than almost any other in the country.

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