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.

purits Thu 20-Jun-13 08:47:41

Do poor people only live in Tower Hamlets?

No, but a certain sort of voter does. All the money in the past decade has been pumped into Labour heartlands.

meditrina Thu 20-Jun-13 08:58:08

I'm not sure why this is "news" now. The FT and the TES both did big pieces about a year ago which showed that 'poor' children (using FSM as main indicator of wider deprivation) did worse in all kinds of schools.

There were some schools that were outliers to that trend, but in general, children from deprived homes did badly wherever they went to school. They stressed that it was a complex picture, but if you stripped out a number of other variables, the difference made by school attended was slight (puts a whole new slant on angst-ridden threads about getting into a 'good' school).

One difference though, was that if a school's number of deprived pupils was low, they tended to do a bit better (a 'halo' effect of being in a peer group of the less deprived). But the schools with 30-40% FSM rarely achieved level improvement across all postcodes (another proxy for deprivation); those living in poorer postcodes made less progress than those from more affluent ones.

JassyRadlett Thu 20-Jun-13 09:06:05

Oh, FGS. This is pointing out a serious problem - that resources have tended to go to the areas with the highest rates of deprivation. Which, like it or not, tend to be big cities, both in the SE and elsewhere (or does his mention on Manchester, Birmingham et al not fit your narrative?). Schools with high proportions of children on free school meals are easier to target for intervention based on the data.

What Wilshaw is saying is that this approach doesn't help poor children in otherwise affluent areas, so a different approach is needed for them. Some of those areas will actually be inside the M25, you know. wink

LittleFrieda Thu 20-Jun-13 09:35:03

Isn't it probably because poverty in a city is entirely different to poverty in tut countryside and in coastal towns?

Chris Cook wrote a piece in the FT recently which showed poor kids in London are actually doing very well in education. Google for the article.

LittleFrieda Thu 20-Jun-13 09:39:27

http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2013/04/18/the-london-schools-mystery/

purits Thu 20-Jun-13 09:47:11

I think you are agreeing with me Jassy? That money was given to large cities i.e. Labour voting areas and not to the Shires i.e. Tory voting areas. It was not targetted to the needs of individual pupils.
LF is right: cities have lots of opportunities eg museums that are not available to the non-urban. I can't read that article - is it behind a paywall.

JassyRadlett Thu 20-Jun-13 10:06:36

Purits, I'm certainly not agreeing with your inference on why money/policy initiatives were focused on the areas of higher deprivation.

ouryve Thu 20-Jun-13 10:16:49

I don't think there can be any worthwhile discussion if people simply assume that all rural or coastal areas with high levels of deprivation and unemployment and lots of children disengaged with the education system are all Tory heartlands.

elastamum Thu 20-Jun-13 10:21:33

We live in a rural areas and I think the problem of poor schools in rural areas is completely different. Usually, there is no choice of school, so it is either the underachieving school that you are allocated or private education (which few can afford). Often children are picked up by taxi or bussed in. They wont have access to a lot of other facilities. i.e no libraries. No decent internet at school or at home, as it doesnt work in very rural areas. Little access to to other social facilities, no clubs or wrap around care if parents are out working.

Class sizes are often small, with mixed year groups. Rural schools often have poor facilities, particularly if pupil numbers are low. Teachers pay will also be lower, so it is a challenge to get good teachers. We have a school like this nearby - it is slowly dying on its feet through underinvestment.

To improve this would require big investment, and I cant see this government or the next one stumping up the cash to solve the probelms

Meglet England Thu 20-Jun-13 10:36:57

I'm shocked by the statement that West Berkshire have the lowest performing pupils confused. Is there something else going on there, ie; higher than average in private schools, best teachers snapped up by private schools etc? Why are some children slipping through the net in that area?

lljkk Netherlands Thu 20-Jun-13 10:55:44

Very curious because I live in a market town near the coast in Norfolk. A sea of blue & purple on the electoral map, btw.

I'm surprised to find out there still are that many poor kids in London. How can their families afford to live there?

In a sense we do have a choice of schools, but it involves paying for transport (not cheap).

Not in OP's links but in other media coverage of this speech, Norwich is one of his favourite cities to pick on. Thing is, the Larkman & Mile Cross estates are among the most deprived areas in England & long have been. Meanwhile, the richest area of city most the parents privately educate, the 2nd richest area is depopulated of young families, can't afford it (ok we couldn't). I guess I'm just confused to see Norwich described as an overall prosperous city.

LittleFrieda Thu 20-Jun-13 10:56:06

Purist if you google chris cook London schools mystery ft, you can get it via search even though it's behind a pay wall. (although I would rec an FT subscription, it's a brilliant resource.

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 11:15:40

Interesting to hear the man interviewed on Radio 4 this morning very pointedly NOT answering the question about how one would "parachute in excellent teachers" to Academy schools who are outside the control of the LEA.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 11:20:53

Is there nobody in the country who is reaching their potential? It seems everyday another report comes out saying how bad everything is.

Xenia Thu 20-Jun-13 11:20:54

Inner London schools have done well and I think are about 2 GCSE grades ahead of, say, Hull. That may in part be because immigrants work harder and because Teach First and other keen teachers often want to teach in London where their friends and parties are but Hull does not quite appeal in the same way.

Also in London you have examples of people who do well and people live next to or near to each other and can see those examples and follow them. In poorer more regional areas even Cornwall just about everyone is poor and there are few jobs.

In fact parents wanting to move near fields to look at cows for their own selfish purposes might find they damage their children's future by so doing.

Vickibee Thu 20-Jun-13 11:32:35

we live in a rural area and are more than happy with our local school. I think it may be to do with low aspiration, maybe children in these areas have limited role models and certainly less job opps than in London.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 11:36:26

Report was referring to suburbs,market towns and seaside resorts- plenty going on and very little cow watching.hmm

lainiekazan Thu 20-Jun-13 11:37:23

Apologies to anyone who teaches in Norfolk, but someone I know said that the quality of teachers was very poor in the schools where they lived In fact they hot-footed it back to the south east.

Of course some schools will be good, probably in "trendy" parts, but although I have fond memories of going to Gt Yarmouth fair when I was a child, I don't think I would be tempted to move there, no matter how generous a Teach First programme was.

BoffinMum Thu 20-Jun-13 11:40:27

Some kids in London have double the amount spent on their state education than those in rural areas outside London, or indeed towns like Hull.

It's often about money.

However that having been said, the Norfolk problem comes about because the teachers are from Norfolk, went to school in Norfolk, studied at UES, did their PGCEs at UEA, did their teaching practices in Norfolk schools (or Suffolk for the daring ones, which ain't great either) and went back to teach in little primary schools in Norfolk or whatever, so nothing has ever taken them out of their comfort zones. They have no idea about standards in the rest of the country.

xylem8 Thu 20-Jun-13 11:40:28

'Many of the poor children being left behind in schools now are in suburbs, market towns and seaside resorts rather than big cities, England's chief inspector of schools has said'

since when have suburbs,market towns and resorts been rural?

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 11:40:57

Report also said it was in good and outstanding schools which means getting good teachers can't be the issue or at least not the only issue.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 11:41:39

Money is definitely an issue.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 11:43:07

I had a friend who was a lecturer in Cornwall and when the sun came out the College roll would reduce by 20% while they all went Surfing and when the kids were asked, arent you worried about missing lessons they always said "ITS NOT GONNA STOP US GETTING A HIGH PAID OR REWARDING CAREER" because there are not any careers and most of the kids know the work, if available is seasonal poorly paid tourism work. It must be demoralizing in towns like Ramsgate where all the shops have been boarded up, and even shop work is not avaliable so these kids cannot even by engaged in Education.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 11:46:13

Before anyone says "RAMSGATE IS IN KENT".

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