No difference between state and private schools(248 Posts)
Mr. Gove wants anyone walking into a state or private school not to be able to tell the difference. Could they not simply count the number of children in the classroom?
I'd like to know what kinds of sanctions teachers will be allowed to use in these marvellous schools, seeing as there are pretty few available to use in the current state schools.
Presumably all the state schools will start having entrance tests too and the dc that don't pass will simply just not get an education
That means the government will only be funding a far smaller school population...
Private schools are not all (academically) selective...
I think you'll find the majority are...
OK Gove - I am all for outstanding education for all but not every child is as well off socially, emotionally or fiscally. I have worked in schools where on entrance children come into Reception with the development of a toddler. I am talking a majority of the class here not a minority, they are already eons behind those children who have had a more privileged upbringing. Then as they go through school they have many trials and tribulations and family issues involving social workers and other professionals which can impact on their education.
It is not popular to voice this opinion as all children are supposed to be equal but quite simply put our society is massively diverse and some children have little to no support at home and live with parents with poor aspirations in life. Now tell their school to give them a private style education and achieve at those standards! I say if we get them in at 2-3 years behind their peers (ie well below average attainment) and send them off with at least national average we are a good school! However as our Year 6 results are broadly national average we are deemed requires improvement.
I see and hear stories like this from many colleagues so to hear him spout on frustrates me. I am all for making life better for children but he should be realistic. And year opening poster class sizes are the solution! My son is in a state school with a class of 15 and is making massive progress if there were 30 I expect he would still make progress but perhaps not so quickly!
But they are all financially selective, even scholarship and bursary pupils tend to be MC professionals DCs, just those who can't afford full fees.
In general brains are genetic, if your parents have school fee paying jobs, they aren't dim. Non of the private school children I know are less than averagely intelligent and most are way way above.
Private schools can exclude problem pupils very easily compared to the state system where exclusions are heavily regulated and highly discouraged. It is better for an independent school to lose one set of fees than to have 4 or 5 parents pull out other children and go elsewhere all because 1 child in the class is disruptive.
State schools are inclusive with pressure to be increasingly so. Non selective independent schools exist in the sense of accepting pupils of all abilities but they can choose not to deal with pupils who display challenging behaviour that affects the whole class - they can and do simply get rid of them.
I am not advocating easier exclusions but just saying you cannot compare two systems when one is allowed to cherry pick pupils by ability, behaviour or both and the other must accept all who walks through its doors.
If he's serious about this, he should cap state school classes at 20.
Some fee-paying schools are inadequate. And some state schools are amazing.
Gove makes my skin crawl. And I'm not even a teacher!
I agree with smaller classes and yes problem behaviour is more easily dealt with in private settings. I have a much more none PC suggestion - a limit on how many children with highly disruptive Special Educational Needs can be put in one class. In our school one class has 4 severe ASD and 3 ADHD diagnosed children with at least 6 more SEN children with various conditions SALT/Social and emotional issues etc. Although the teacher has 5 staff (incl her) in the room the disruption can be massive when they children experience difficulties. It also stifles her creativity and spontaneity because the ASD children need to have everything prepared and discussed in advance. I honestly believe that so many SEN is detrimental to both their education and that of children who can access the curriculum without additional support being required.
Both sectors can learn from one another. However, the focus needs to be more on supporting kids from difficult backgrounds and their families. Make sure all kids have a decent breakfast before they start school, give them a place to do their homework if they don't have a desk, table etc at home. In short, stop throwing money and ideas at schools and concentrate on supporting families and educating parents. If the Government did this education standards would rocket.
Give state school lots of extra money and resources. Give teachers extra support. Build lots of lovely new fit for purpose schools. Reduce class sizes. Build more schools. Stop extra classrooms being squeezed into every available space.... Give all state schools state of the art classrooms ... Give every teacher an Asst to do paperwork so they can teach .... Uuum
But who will do the gardening?
There are two schools very close to me. One state, one independent.
Because of the catchment the schools are in they are incredibly similar in many ways. One school has 30 per class, the other 25. One school has a longer school day. One school (the independent) has really nice round privet bushes outside the front door. When my DS was at the state school I really wanted them to get a few nice privet bushes, but who would prune them?
To achieve his goal Gove will have to;
Give state schools the same £ per child as independents
Limit class sizes to 20 per class
Ensure every family in the country has enough income to ensure parents are not stressed financially, that all families can provide extra curricular experiences for their children, and, of course
Provide gardeners to ensure privet bushes are trimmed.
But maybe if they just dug up the privet hedges at the private school then that would even things up with no on-going costs to anyone (which may possibly be a deep philosophical and political point - or may not!)
One of the many attractions of my DS2's school is that being literally independent it is free of government interference and in particular the likes of Gove. So it will always be different from the state sector.
Ah, yes, ban the privet ball hedges altogether!
But what will happen to the independent schools when the state schools are exactly the same?
They will close because there will be no point in paying for something when you can get exactly the same nearer to home for free, which will cost the government even more, as they will then have to educate a load more DC.
Good point, happygardening.
Maybe parents will pay just for their children not to have to suffer what Gove wants to inflict on the nations children.
It's a lot of bollocks. How are you going to bridge the gap between professional parents at private schools supporting their kids through endless activities and taking holidays to Marrakech and the Maldives, and parents at state schools working in low-paid jobs with a poor educational background who aspire to a week eating egg + chips on the Playa de las Americas.
Politicians shouldn't talk shite.
Private schools are in many cases MORE about keeping your kids away from the children of clueless parents, as they are about smaller classes, better resources, or whatever other advantages Gove is claiming that private schools can offer.
I see happygardening has made the excellent point that private schools are independent and therefore immune to Gove or government up to a point, which quite often makes them great schools!
But surely that's his ultimate plan? Every school becomes independent <academy>, no involvement <support> from local authorities, and no National Curriculum.
He then simply sits back, and only gets involved to hit them with a big stick <ofsted> if their progress levels drop.
And plays them off against each other with league tables and dashboards, so they fight and compete against themselves.
It's just so morally wrong and misguided, I want to weep.
We looked at many schools when trying to find the right school for our DS's, we were surrounded by grammar schools including some of the countries top performing ones and looked at them, we also looked at many big name independent schools. Frankly once the full boarding aspect and all that has to offer was taken out of the equation I struggled to see the difference between highly regarded grammars and well know independent schools or at least struggled to see £33000+ worth of difference in the vast majority of cases. Ok in the private sector class sizes were smaller (I'm not sure how important this is for many subjects), buildings more impressive (Mediaeval etc) and facilities usually better but education in not all about this IMO. We choose our school because here I could see the difference between it and both state and other private options. It is independent with its own agenda (not necessarily everyone's cup of tea) and I liked it. I'm not saying it's agenda would work for all, that's it's the best way or or all would want it but I and the parents of 700 other boys do.
I firmly believe all children from what ever background should have easy access to top quality education but I also like significant difference, why does everything have to be the same? I couldn't care less if parents at my DD's school take their vacation in Marrakech and eat in gourmet restaurants, Playa de Las Americas eating egg and chips or Bognor eating spam sandwiches every night. But I do like the fact that I can walk into my DS's school and I can tell it's his school because it has it's own distinct ethos and approach to education that pervades al it does and that I know it's not Eton, Billericay Comprehensive, Simon Langton Grammar.
happygardening in addition to being free from political interference private schools are far from homogeneous. As a parent you get to choose whether you want your child exposed to particular educational strategies. I, for instance, was very relieved that my DDs did not spend Years 7 and 8 working towards what I regard as an overly prescriptive and uninspiring Common Entrance Curriculum before they had to do the same for GCSE. It gave their school a chance to really challenge and inspire them outside of the requirements of external exams. I really noticed the difference when they had to get down to the relatively unchallenging GCSEs. A lot of private schools use their own papers at 11and 13 because they do not regard CE as the gold standard Gove seems to regard it as, and certainly at 11 those papers were far better indicators of potential and ability, requiring a lot more thought, as opposed to cramming, than CE.
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