Chief Inspector of Schools acknowledges life outside M25

(119 Posts)
lainiekazan Thu 20-Jun-13 08:36:47

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

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 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 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".

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 11:46:30

But if these schools are good/outstanding attendance can't be an issue.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 11:49:09

The report on BBC is referring to affluent areas so jobs not an issue.

A lot of stereotyping on this thread.hmm

BoffinMum Thu 20-Jun-13 11:50:10

London educates 20% of the country's children. During the period 1997-2010 London schools had preferential access to such pots of money as:

City Challenge money
Keys to Success school development money
Inner London allowances for teachers
Building schools for the Future funding
Enhanced continuing professional development funding


Better geographical access to continuing professional development courses

All of which make rapid improvement possible. For example, primaries in London may receive £8000 per pupil, whereas the school in Cambridge my youngest attends receives around £3000 for doing the same job with a similarly mixed intake and comparable levels of Free School Meals to the primary school his sister attended in Battersea.

More info here:

Comparative funding

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 11:50:33

The College used to take the kids to the beech and have surfing lessons to avoid absences. It was called thinking on your feet.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 11:54:01

And the good/outstanding results from the affluent kids are they all going surfing too?

elastamum Thu 20-Jun-13 11:58:34

Rural secondaries mostly dont exist any more. For rural folk the secondary schools are mostly in local market towns - usually not particularly big ones - one secondary school in each - half the kids bussed in from the surrounding villages. Depending where they live the rural children may get picked up early (7-7.30ish on a long route) and often get home late. The school population is scattered across the county - making any access to after school or extension / support classes almost impossible due to transport issues. The schools arent particularly big - so money is limited. We certainly havent seen any big, flash new school buildings going up round here. hmm

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 11:58:52

Another misunderstanding from people about kids growing up in affluent areas have access to jobs. In many affluent towns there is always a influx of people from outside the area it gives the impression that everything is wel,l when the opposite is true many of these kids who grow up in these areas end up leaving these areas because 1 cant afford housing 2 cant compete with the highly skilled people coming in from outside. These kids dont show up on any deprivation index because they probably have two parents working and dont qualify for F.S.M.

meditrina Thu 20-Jun-13 12:08:47

Here is the TES article about how pupils from "deprived" postcodes make less progress, wherever they live, than the from more "affluent" ones.

It's got a good discussion of why this kind of analysis does not lend itself easily to finding solutions.

The idea of parachuting in a selection of approved teachers doesn't seem to be likely to make much difference.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 12:11:14

Mr Buttercat. The college is one of the best in the Country and because of that has kids going to Russell Group and Oxbridge. However it has a very large number of kids who are there because they have nothing else to do.

whoknowsyou Thu 20-Jun-13 12:17:20

If you live/have lived in a rural area for any serious length of time then this is not a revelation.

My parents made the effort to drive us 6 miles a day (each way) twice a day to a "town" school rather than use the local village primary school where standards of achievement were so low that it was rare for any pupil to pass the 11+ exam. Eventually the school was shut down and we were allowed free bus transport, as we had already found an alternative and saved the council the hassle of finding school places Lordy! How my parents celebrated the freeing up of their time and funds, I remember it so well, us kids started getting pocket money.

This was in the 1970s by the way........

Labour's re-election strategy (right from 1997) was to buy votes so from 1997 the disparity in resources widened as there was a greater concentration of poorer families in cities and anywhere with a Tory controlled local council, well..........

Labour have never understood the stoic rural mentality of country folk, who also are much more likely to have poorer quality acute healthcare compared to cities/Home Counties as there is no premium to attract the brightest and the best away from the resources available to them in those areas.

ouryve Thu 20-Jun-13 12:26:15

Xenia - Hull has a large immigrant population, too.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 12:31:21

Leafy suburbs,market towns and seaside towns are hardly rural.These kids are being let down in affluent areas,in Good/Oustanding schools where the affluent maj are doing well- going by the BBC article.

whoknowsyou Thu 20-Jun-13 12:31:42

Hull benefitted from some regeneration scheme monies during the Labour tenancy, no doubt the John Prescott connection helped. Hull is not IMHO rural nor "Coastal" in the sense of being sparsely populated, somewhat isolated yes as a result of being a port but not rural.

Lets not forget Brian and his Yoni services operate out of Hull, it would appear therefor to be a place with some highly entrepreneurial talented individuals. wink

ouryve Thu 20-Jun-13 12:49:54

I wouldn't be surprised if Brian was my brother.

Much of the centre of Hull has been spruced up, but it still has some large, sprawling estates with very little greenery. Because of its isolation, is suffers a lot of the same problems as smaller industrial and market towns in terms of lack of local industry. I suspect it's only the port that keeps it alive. Salaries are low and make those here in the Northeast seem generous. There is also a similar endemic lack of aspiration as that seen in rural areas which have lost their traditional industries. Aside from the isolation and poor local economy, there's been a degree of mismanagement within the council and LEA. Many parents on the fringes of the city send their kids out to schools in East Yorkshire.

The report does highlight what many parents of children who struggle educationally for whatever reason already know - that an Outstanding rating often means sweet FA.

theroseofwait Thu 20-Jun-13 13:03:19

I've taught in the East Riding for 15 years and I've always wondered what the hell goes on in Hull schools. They've had an absolute fortune (when we're counting every sheet of paper) spent on them and I categorically refuse to believe that the IQ of every child drops the minute you go over the county boundary.

It's got to be what goes on at home and the genral culture in Hull which is actually, despite their bid to be a City of Culture, pretty grim. I was sitting in the reception of a Hull school last year waiting for a meeting when a girl (apparently called Brooklyn) grabbed the hair of another girl in front of her whilst loudly maintaining that she was 'fucking dead you fucking whore.' The Deputy who had come out to greet me didn't know where to put himself but everyone else was so non-plussed that I got the impression that it was par for the course.
I wouldn't teach in Hull for all the tea in China.

I do agree, though, that the council are hopeless but then they're elected from a population with generally little education or experience outside the city. They could do with a bit of support from central government themselves.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 13:03:27

Ouryve. You say mismangement of Hull Council, i believe they had a wind fall of 350 million from a telecom company they owned didn"t they. the 350 million i believe was squandered on buying derelict council houses.

Xenia Thu 20-Jun-13 13:05:57

£8000 per pupil in London. That's a lot. Haberdashers juniors - one of the best most academic primaries in the country at primary level only charges about £11,400 a year. The state might as well be paying for places at the very best private schools as spend £8k per child in London for what will be a much worse education.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 13:11:58

XENIA. Maybe the state could bulk buy for 8k P.A, the only problem would be the private parents would leave the School in droves "UNLESS WE HAD A 7+" HA HA HA.

theroseofwait Thu 20-Jun-13 13:13:29

general even, that'll teach me to mnet and eat!!

lainiekazan Thu 20-Jun-13 13:16:03

[gosh - about 8 years on MN and I've made top discussion...]

Mumzy Thu 20-Jun-13 13:17:28

A bit out of date but interesting info on amount spent by councils and gcse grades achieved

There is another government data table which I can't find now but which broke down the funding per pupil for every state school in the country

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 13:24:25

LAINEKAZAN . You are lucky ,no one has called you for you Grammar or spelling yet?

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 13:26:37

Hmm my kids are at a Satisfactory state and doing waaaay better than friends with dc in private.Having seen some of the work brought home and listened to my friend's worries I can safely say that spending 11k on private education does not guarantee you a good

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 13:31:19


bettycocker Thu 20-Jun-13 13:43:45

I live in a rural area and there are two Outstanding standard secondary schools within bus distance. DS's primary school is also Outstanding, according to Ofsted.

There are also some pretty bad schools. We're not completely in the middle of nowhere. We have towns, libraries access to the big city and internet. hmm

You do get poverty in the country. It's not as though everyone here galivants around on horseback, wears tweed and dines on pheasant. You'll find a mix of people, just as you would in a city. It's just more spread out, more relaxed and there's less crime.

I moved out of a city and the local schools were appalling. Kids were stabbing each other, smoking pot in the park and all sorts. It wasn't even a poor inner city area.

maggiecockbain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:20:10

Parents can help their children by getting well qualified home tuition for their children. This is not just for the well off few. Many families work hard to put a little money behind their child's education with one to one private tutors. It certainly helped my daughter so I would recommend it to others.

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 15:33:40

But the biggest problem with this report is that it assumes that teachers can be moved between schools to where they are needed and that clusters can share resources
with Academy status, the employers are different companies
- it would be like Tesco helping Sainsbury's out on a busy day
and the clusters no longer exist

ironman Thu 20-Jun-13 15:52:34

The Ofsted report said that white children of both genders do much worse than any other ethnic group. That the indigenous white working class are doing worse is not news, this fact has been known for years.

Money as others said was pumped (by labour) into cities with high ethnic populations to get votes. This government IMO and the last could not care less about educating white working class children. Paul Willis wrote an excellent book, 'learning to Labour' about how the working class children were more or less contained at school and not educated. This has not changed in parts of the country.

The Ofsted report also said that children with grade 5 (which they call the elite) when leaving primary did not achieve A's by the time they sat further exams at secondary schools, in fact most had dropped back.
Many schools in the Shires don't have canteens for the children at primary schools, so for all of their primary school life they rely on packed lunches. I did not find this whilst living in London.

Cameron and Clegg, should stop giving billions in overseas aid, and start educating the majority of the children in this country instead!angry

chickenliversfortea Thu 20-Jun-13 16:35:21

White children are also more likely to live in the rural areas which might go towards those statistics.

Rural poverty is extreme. There are no food banks or 99p shops for example.

It's really hard to do school project work etc when you have no easy access to cheap stationary, books and shite internet.

Rural poverty is extreme, that's true. Having lived in very poor rural areas and currently living in an extremely poor and, tbh, pretty grim, area of inner London, the poverty is very different but just as extreme and in one largely populated areas. there are no jobs here, even if we live in London. There are no oppurtunities here, no reason to go to school at all. My four closest primary is satisfactory, the ithers are currently failing and are having to pull themselves up. Both deserve money of course. But this report isn't talking about rural poverty, it's talking about sure urban poverty etc; isn't it, not rural?

Suburban, not sure urban.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 16:52:17

It's not talking out rural communities but leafy suburbs, market towns and coastal towns where there will be plenty of pound shops and Internet access aplenty. Even our local library has Internet access.

Startail Thu 20-Jun-13 16:59:53

Fair funding review

Quote from the above call for a review in 2011 (this is not news)

"For example:

Similar primary schools’ funding can vary by as much as £1,300 per pupil.
Similar secondary schools’ funding can vary by as much as £1,800 per pupil. In a secondary school of 1,000 pupils, that is a difference of around £1.8 million. This could pay for around 40 extra teachers."

My DDs secondary is in a very poorly funded leafy bit of middle England and is in this sort of position, £1.8 million is around a third of the schools budget, it is a huge difference.

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 17:00:04

Is the list of schools they visited to get their good ideas from ....

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 17:01:03

is the list of hand wringing great and good who have stated the obvious

OnTheNingNangNong Thu 20-Jun-13 17:10:15

I live in a coastal seaside town and the education in a lot of schools is needing a lot more improvement.
The investment is there, but there's a general attitude ofnot giving a fuck.

I grew up in London and whilst theres not the poverty that there is in the cities, theres an air of no hope. Theres nothing here.

lljkk Thu 20-Jun-13 17:28:21

Comparing 3 high schools nearby: Outstanding (£4586), Good (£4431), Satisfactory (£4346). There is a trend in those numbers, but I'm struggling to believe its statistically significant. 4-5% difference in funding makes that much difference? Funding all far far below the national avg. Satisfactory has avg % FSM, the other two are well below avg FSM. Their GCSE results roughly parallel their Ofsted rating, although 4-6 yrs ago Good school had best GCSEs and Satisfactory school had almost dire GCSEs.

One look at the towns says everything; Outstanding school town is on a major commuter corridor, especially fast roads, is a bustllng smart-looking town with lots of indie shops and I honestly can't think of any "bad" parts of town. Good School is in a touristy town buoyed by visitor money and close to Norwich, pockets of very expensive homes, small but hyper-active high street. Other town is slightly back of beyond location, increasingly fringed by supermarkets, half empty industrial estate, iffy house prices, iffy transport links & local high street in dire condition.

Is it that unusual for local bred people to teach at local schools?

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 17:37:22

The thing is its not just the £8K in the state school and the £11K in the private school its the ££££££££? of having parents with money and a high standard of education themselves.

As far as I can see, whatever government is in power, short of teachers taking children home and privately tutoring them, I can't think of any school system that has managed to overcome this difference to any great extent.

Children in rural areas are more reliant on public transport (which will be expensive and infrequent) and have less access to libraries and other facilities, just like adults in rural areas. The more people there are grouped together, the less it costs per head to provide public facilities.

MrButtercat Thu 20-Jun-13 18:15:02

They're talking about schools in leafy suburbs,market towns and seaside towns.<bangs head on keyboard>

ouryve Thu 20-Jun-13 18:41:19

>Parents can help their children by getting well qualified home tuition for their children. This is not just for the well off few. Many families work hard to put a little money behind their child's education with one to one private tutors. It certainly helped my daughter so I would recommend it to others.

Many families work hard and only just manage to put food on the table, too, or maybe have some hot water every once in a while. These are the sorts of children who are being failed by so-called outstanding schools.

ouryve Thu 20-Jun-13 18:46:44

Once overheads are paid for, 4-5% difference in overall budget per child might be a 20% difference in the budget a Science department has for resources.

ironman Thu 20-Jun-13 18:46:53

Mr.Buttercat. Surely they are also talking about state schools in the Shires, and other leafy places, were the government presume everyone is loaded Some of these schools have been on special measures.

HilaryM Thu 20-Jun-13 18:50:38

Has anyone done a league table on which schools have the biggest disparity between FSM pupils and nonFSM?

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 18:57:10

I have to admit I was a bit confused by the grouping of 'seaside resorts, suburbs and market towns', because seaside resorts are often known for their poverty.

Anyway, from the article:

"These poor, unseen children can be found in mediocre schools the length and breadth of our country. They are labelled, buried in lower sets, consigned as often as not to indifferent teaching."

I think this translates as the school system cannot help a child who does not have a strong advocate outside the school.

Many 'outstanding' schools have a large number of outstandingly supportive parents. I have certainly experienced this. It doesn't translate to support for all children.

willowstar Thu 20-Jun-13 19:18:25

Where I live in fairly rural west Norfolk all high schools in a 20 mile radius are in special measures. My friend teaches in one and thinks there is a major problem with low aspirations along with a great difficulty attracting good teachers. She says most teachers there are unmotivated and not very good. Sad.

Mirage Thu 20-Jun-13 19:31:07

This isn't news to us.We live in a little village and the 2 secondary schools available to us are one that has always had a bad reputation [I had the misfortune to attend years ago and it sounds as though nothing has changed] has just gone into special measures after failing it's OFSTED inspection,and the other has a big drug and behaviour problem.Which to chose?

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 19:38:43

all of that sort of data is in the report - I linked to it above

do wish people would read before speculating

captainbarnacle Thu 20-Jun-13 19:53:31

Come to the Isle of Wight. Out of our 6 secondary schools, 4 are academies, 1 going to be an academy and all have had OFSTED this year. 4/6 have failed, 3 in special measures. Tory MP for years. Teacher recruitment is difficult.

Lovely place to live, but needs serious help.

HilaryM Thu 20-Jun-13 19:58:43

Talkinpiece - I have read the report. I couldn't find any data for individual schools which was why I asked.

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 20:03:44

it will be in the research links - and ofsted do not release data that would make pupils identifiable
that and the data is about secondaries

HilaryM Thu 20-Jun-13 20:08:27

Yes that's about as far as I got, thanks. I would be quite interested to see the data for FSM vs NonFSM for our local secondaries - as my suspicion is that the 'good' ones are only good because they are selective by faith or have a wealthier demographic. (I live in the Home Counties in an area not dissimilar to West Berkshire.)

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 20:10:02

ah, that's easy to check : its in the dfe research links
the full GCSE data for last year by school will be there.

lljkk Thu 20-Jun-13 20:15:37

I used FindmySchool to get the FSM statistics.
Am itching to know where Willowstar lives.
Norfolk was high on Ofsted's hit list this year, been loads of publicity about it.

cakesaregood Thu 20-Jun-13 20:21:28

Interesting point about the Isle of Wight. From my experience, for many families there, education just isn't a priority. For some, being outdoors, enjoying the beach and simply enjoying childhood while it lasts is much more important. For others, like many other seaside towns, it's a place where people go to get there heads together, or to start a misguided 'new life'; again education isn't the most important thing going on.

It's a very transient community too, so the stats must be very hard,to collect.

As always, the data hides the truth behind individual stories.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Thu 20-Jun-13 20:27:30

Having worked in a rural, predominately white school, then private school, then outstanding school in affluent area, now deprived inner city school. The one and by far most important factor is the support of parents.

The worst school was the first, as a large number of parents were just not interested. The private school had parents with high expectations and invested as much time as they did money into their children's education. My current school is about 70% immigrant population and they on the whole have incredibly high expectations for their children's education and push them very hard. As a result the school is doing very well. I'd love to be able to say its our teaching but I think the improvement in this schools results is largely due to the influx of kids from Africa with supportive parents.

I think the problem highlighted in this latest report is less to do with the teaching and more to do with the lack of support from some parents.

captainbarnacle Thu 20-Jun-13 21:02:13

Is the IOW transient? I'd say the exact opposite. Horizons are low - lifestyle is good so many have little cause to leave the island, and parental expectations are low. Akin to market towns I guess. Teachers move within the island, so see little other teaching apart from on the island. Pupils also live in a bubble. Seems a place to coast along at best. But certainly shouldn't be failing. And no schools at all were failing 5 years ago - they were all average.

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 21:15:02

The island has a significant transient population - linked to the prisons, the seaside employment, the lack of other employment
the over 50s stay but but the rest don't

and yes, the school reorganisation was handled incredibly badly, hence a decent chunk of the current problems
it will be interesting to see how they sort it bearing in mind its a "whole LEA" inspection ...... on academies .....

sarahtigh Thu 20-Jun-13 21:16:35

sometimes deprivation scores are artificially high in very rural areas as one key index is car ownership, if there are only 3 buses a week most people have a car even if it is 15+ years old so they score higher on deprivation index

my experience is not in education but dentistry and despite having by dental indices some of the worst teeth in UK because DEPCAT index was 4 not 6-7 there was no extra funding

when children leave on bus at 7.45 for school at 9 and arrive home nearer 5pm they tend not to participate in after school / extra curricular activities as no bus home or only the general /workers bus at 6pm which is a long wait, also with best will in the world parents that live 20-30 miles from school on low income will not be able to afford to go to the school to support their kids on such things as sports days etc so parents can appear to be disinterested when they are not

rural recruitment can be a problem as often a good teacher moving to area is dependent on their partner being able to move too and if there are no jobs available for their partner they do not go or do not even apply

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 21:20:36

They are using FSM as shorthand for deprived. not familial factors

thegreylady Thu 20-Jun-13 21:28:49

Here in North Shropshire we have some rural schools performing better than the town schools.There is for example more deprivation in Telford than in ,say, Wem where the local comp is also an excellent state boarding school [Thomas Adams].Just across the border in SW Cheshire Bishop Heber High in Malpas [very rural] is outstanding and many of the small primaries are also rated highly by Ofsted. I don't think many here would be happy to move to Tower Hamlets etc.

HilaryM Thu 20-Jun-13 21:35:15

But it's not about the overall performance. It's about how badly poorer children perform - even in good schools.

ConstantCraving Thu 20-Jun-13 21:35:58

Isle of Wight does not have a transient population - especially not in relation to young families. The one's that leave are young adults going off to uni - who tend to return in their 30's and settle down... and of course we have a higher then average rate of pensioners as people like to retire here. We have a high teenage pregnancy rate, high poverty rate and some of the most deprived wards in the UK. Poverty is hidden because its a pretty, touristy place. Agree with Barnacle, the problem is low expectation and difficulty attracting new blood into the professions over here. That and what has been a pretty appalling council (hence the need for Children's Services and education to be managed by Hampshire CC for the next five years).

Talkinpeace Thu 20-Jun-13 21:44:15

I audited your council. I checked the housing benefit claims and the social services grants. Your council was "interesting". Much of the island may not have churn but Newport and Cowes do / did then.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 22:31:38

I said in a early post that many of these kids will not show up in any deprivation index, because most probably have two parents working and do not qualify for F.S.M. Athough useful F.S.M does not tell the full story, and in these rural areas kids could actually be more disadvantged than kids who on the face of it appear in worse circumstances.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 22:35:21

TheGrey lady. Whitchurch is quite a nice little town and it does not suprise me, but even in Whitchurch they will be deprivation that is not recognised because of low F.S.M take up at the Schools.

mam29 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:46:17

I currently live in outer suberb of bristol predominatly white middleclass area. Its not under bristol council bristol lea one of bottom of league tables in uk.

It has on the whole some good primaries.

But my local senior school which is in really nice area has 43%pass rate 5 gcses a-c- makes no sense until you speak to most locals the weathier ones who

chose a different well performing secondry now academy in nearby village its now huge though.

Or the chose a faith school

one of many independents

or the 2academies cathedral/girls school independent who turned state and now highly undersubscribed.

Daughters old head whinged that as our lea was classes as semi rural as lot of vilages they kids in our county got spent less per head than those kids in inner bristol yet there are some deprived rougher areas within our county.

When I looked at department of education site and looked at figures every school within our county was getting difrent amounts per head so every school gets varying amounts as daughter now goes to small village school where think was 6k a head compared to 4 thats at primary I guess amount goes up at seniors.

We have no grammer systm here.

But I grew up in small rural market town with just one comp which was dump and only the ones with weathier parents went onto uni.

Its afluent picturesque maret town mainly geared towards oaps , house prices are crazy , transport links/facilities pretty rubbish and hardly any jobs especially fulltime well paid ones.

Biggest employers are 2supermarkets, council or hospital.

The people who stayed behind all live on council/ha estate have 4-5kids some diffrent dads and no job or part time work.

Welsh assembly now panicing as standards of welsh education worse than england.

There was bit about teach first and investment around london.

The teach first and money has stopped but results kept improving.

Its because theres a buzz they look out their windows they see wealth, jobs, role models and they have something to aspire too.

They also have so much free stuff on doorstep museums, art galleries so many more opportunities.

Public transports and high petrol costs combined with cutbacks rom councils on mean theres few opportunities for kids from smaller towns and villages to get out.

School transporst devolved to councils and average cost of school bus here is £60 a month.

SWhen i went to college in valleys I had free bus pass untill i was 19providing I was in full time education.

I think i read all kids in london get free oyster card so they have much more mobility.

London is very specific im not sure its same in other cities.

I also think theres some truth if immigrants come from less affluent countries they value education more and see the free education here as huge gift as we have free state education 4-18.

Im so glad mine live in city and hopefully get into less trouble as less bored here so many holiday clubs, after school clubs here , museums, cinimas, bowling shops so unlike me and my mates they not down the park/meadows drinking frosty jacks at 16 as nothing else to do.

I have high aspiration for mine where as my mam couldent be arsed to send me better schools and never thougrht i would get to uni, ideas above my station but i aspired work hard and get hell out which I did.

So this report came as no huge surprise as during the 90s I lived it and dont want mine to go to my local comp here.

Labour have a lot of blame. They scrapped the whole assisted places to private schools which helped a lot of my rural freinds.

Its not all about money theres so many other factors.

maybe they not targeting in same way.

Also free school meals-I read they making cutbacks on that but you have to be earning very little to even be eligible so its the working poor who not on benefits whos kids struggle as they not eligible.

My daughter takes mixture of school dinners and packed lunch as cannot afford the £40 a month. over border in bristol its more like 50.

We not wealthy we privatly rent lost tax credits last year, no housing benefit and not flush but we value kids activities and spend any spare money on their activities but dont always think ree school meals is accurate measure its the working class and lower middle class kids I reckon who are struggling.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 22:54:36

Fantastic post Mam29 . Labours dismantaling of the assisted places scheme was " ABSOLUTE VANDALISM" designed to keep bright working class kids in their "LABOUR SUPPORTING COMMUNTIES" they did the same thing in the 70s ,when they destroyed the fore runner of the assisted places scheme direct Grammar Schools.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 22:56:14


BadSkiingMum Thu 20-Jun-13 23:06:21

I thought that the assisted places scheme was widely discredited because it mostly was used by middle class families who just about fell within the income threshold.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 23:15:05

Do you no what the income threshold was? Was that just Labour propaganda,like Harold Wilson"s comment "COMPREHENSIVES A GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR ALL" . This is not labour bashing, the toffs who run the country have no idea about Education and secretly like working class kids getting bad educations and being kept in their place.

mam29 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:22:55

Thanks beatback.

All I can say in my rural area where I grew up I knew my ex and few of his freinds had assisted places at nearby boys school.
So in my specific area it gave parents a choice as only one comprehensive in entire town.

Monmouthshire county council have closed many rural schools and opened up few super schools within the town giving parents less choice of primaries even.

Its true the infant and junior o the council estate always performed worse than the

the 2infants , junors and primaries in better part of town and even now even if non catholic everyone prefers the rc primary.
The town had no coe school.

I do think its getting much harder to measure as as education is fragemted too much.

wales has welsh meduim and devoled education.
scotland has completly different education system
so does northern ireland which still has grammer education.

I read that education in ireland is higher than uk and most of ireland is quite rural.

I think it was how articulate they were when on news.

So we really just talking about england which has

lea state schools
free schools
faith schools coe, rc, jewish and muslim.
rather random schools cities just had go ahead for state steiner school apparently devon and hereford already have one.
A few state montesoris at primary level.
grammer schools in some counties exclude most poor kids where as in good old days gave poorer kids way out and some social mobility.

Its no accident that west london free school and bristol free school is basing itself on grammer/private school education system.

Labour claimed they making everything equal but social mobility decreased when they were in power.

Im not even sure how valuable ema was.

I forgot to mention the magic new pupil premuim is based on free school meals.

We need a another measure other than free school meals.

if they really wanted to make thi8ngs equal then maybe free breckfast clubs, free meals for all., free transport , and cheap after school clubs would really help expensive but would target much wider group then free school meal indicator.

In current economic climate even some middleclass cant afford independent for all we cant afird it for all 3of our kids.

So maybe an independent/state hybrid with sliding scale of fees depending on parental income -maybe linked to tax sytem might be answer.

I also think if oney was better targeted on facilities than going straight to parents who maybe did not chose to spend all their benefits on the kids then that be better.

I witnessed this by worker on some inner city estates where they feel as as hopeless and lacking aspiration as rural areas.

The cycle just keeps repeating.

I think the benefits system has stifled aspiration in past .

Im not exactly labours biggest fans but not currently agree with all changes current lot making.

Why do well in alevels if you cant afford to go to uni?

Why the heck is my local ex poly charging 9k a year.

Its not even flipping russel group.

Higher education is huge brick wall to some.

Travelledtheworld Thu 20-Jun-13 23:31:00

If kids have nothing to aspire to, why bother with education ? Same applies to Scarborough even though the surf is crap.

mam29 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:40:33

I must say theres lady I know from preschool

they live in fairly affluent area, own a house.
drive nice cars.
one income.

but they have 4kids the 2/4 goes seniors in september so thats £120 a month on school bus,

Think no 3 goes in 2years time so thats £180 a month.

round here 3 quite a common number,
many chose close gaps and multiple births seem much more common.

I pity the parents of twins going seniors.

combine with

taking away child benefit from one earner on 50k gross
taking tax relief off childcare ie aterschool clubs/childminder until childs 12 as new scheme only upto age 5 and both parents working.
high petrol costs. energy and living costs.

Eventually something has to give people are stressed.

picking a schools and cost of even a state school is minefeild I cant afford to live nearby to best performing juniors or seniors.

I cant coach mine for 11+ as theres no grammers.

Im not rc and thats best performing city school.

the good acedemies are banded by postcode and lottory only 10% on ability test.

brighton triallled lottory to make things fairer not sure it worked.

Right now bristol and many other cities are running out of school places.

Home education never seemed so attractive,

Moved my eldest from leafy suburban primary as could see how the teachers didet care , aspiration and attainment was low.

The teaching unions look after their own interests first.

Dont get make wrong there are so great teachers out there but seen my fair share of bad ones both when I went to school and at daughters last school.

Sats dont give true measure of school its more likly the affluent parents do tuition or more at home compared to say documentry on bbc about hartcliffe rough area of bristol where many adults could not read and they were teaching kids to read in year 7 as head says how can they possibly teach any other subjects if child cannot read and write.

How the heck did kids get to 11 and not read and write.

how did adults get to not learn that in 11years 4-16 when they were at school.

Its very depressing and stressful when you read education threads on mumsnet its real eye opener on how things are in uk.

I live and worked in Bath for a while which has some deprived areas yet seen as very affluent. distribution of weath and social mobility in uk is rubbish.

Also another thing think they scrapped is the intermediate micky mouse gnvq was equivilant to 4 gcses disguised the failure of many secondary schools recent years all schools acre about are the tables.

beatback Thu 20-Jun-13 23:58:36

When people look at Bath they see the Royal Cresent and assume that is a true indicator of Bath, what people fail to understand is that most of the people born in bath will either end up working in low paid service work or be forced out of their own town ,and in towns like bath the distrubution bewtreen the rich and poor is evident in Education and Housing more so than some other less "PRESUMED" Afluent towns.

beatback Fri 21-Jun-13 00:00:48

Meant to say Towns presumed less Afluent.

Startail Fri 21-Jun-13 01:17:22

DH rented a bedsit in Bath, it's Georgian splender stopped with it's front wall.

Lovely yellow stone work facade and very scruffy minimal furnished digs within, no different to any red bricked terrace in a big city.

vole3 Fri 21-Jun-13 06:56:02

I am in a village south of Norwich and my son is in a mixed year 1/2 class as there are currently only 118 children in the 3 years.
Next year they will have 2 reception, 1 year 1, 1 year 1/2 and 1 year 2 classes as there will be more than 120 children.
The biggest problem comes with the allocation of money for special needs as my sons school is grouped with at least 2 other schools. Getting individual help for those children that need it is very hard as whilst you could have a TA post for 3 or 4 children if they were all in one class or school, it doesn't work if they are in different geographical locations.

cakesaregood Fri 21-Jun-13 07:56:27

Interesting that others saw a different side of the IOW.

We considered living there, but would have left before secondary school - even before the change from 3 to 2 tier. Many families we met were looking to move back to the mainland before the end of year 5 to be in place for secondary applications on the mainland.

Thereby the fantastic teaching that they experienced was never recorded on the old value added data.

Anecdotally I'm sure we can all think of cases that prove and disprove the headlines. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics!

Chunderella Fri 21-Jun-13 09:51:51

I have always heard that the assisted places scheme was colonised by middle class parents, don't know if that's true or not. I benefitted from the scheme myself, and that was not my experience personally. Several of my friends also had assisted places and every single one of us was female and poor, and fell into some or all of the following categories: non-white, single parent, parent with serious MH issues. So it certainly did help some of us from very underprivileged backgrounds, and we all did well too. But this may have been unrepresentative, I've never actually seen any stats. Don't recall ever being surveyed on anything either, though I was only a kid at the time. They asked about income, I don't think anything else. So am not sure how the parental social class would have been assessed.

beatback Fri 21-Jun-13 13:26:32

Chunderella. Its great that the assisted places scheme helped you. The assisted places scheme as well educating people also enabled kids from less advantageous background to contemplate careers that they would not have dreamed of. On a other thread some teachers say that some of their brightest students are being put of university not just by the fees but also by "ITS NOT FOR THE LIKES OF US" one of the things that Grammar Schools and the assisted places scheme did was make the pupils think university education was just normal and the right way forward for academically able students.

BadSkiingMum Fri 21-Jun-13 14:14:06

I like the idea of a state/independent hybrid, with sliding scale for fees. But how to prevent all sorts of people from manipulating the system?

Talkinpeace Fri 21-Jun-13 14:17:14

you cant.

that's why I like true comps with lots of UC / MC kids who raise aspirations for everybody

beatback Fri 21-Jun-13 14:31:57

Badskiingmum. Direct Grant Grammar Schools worked in a similar way to that. In the 1970s the local authority would pay the full fees for 25% of kids the school would pay for 25% on school scholarships and the other 50% would be full fee paying. Its quite remarkable that the old ways are in many instances the way to go forward.

Loa Fri 21-Jun-13 14:38:50

Where we live small town in middle of countryside - several secondaries none great our side of town.

All the ones nearest to us - with poor results- have either become Academies and the one that hasn't and has produced improving results is not improving fast enough for ofstead and they want it to become a Academy.

Becoming Academies hasn't change much - but now they are Academies I presume the ability to move teachers around is not going to apply even if that could cure the general lack of ambition of the area.

Loa Fri 21-Jun-13 14:40:40

*Its quite remarkable that the old ways are in many instances the way to
go forward.*

At least there is a track record that can be evaluated - rather than assuming something will work because it suits a particular ideology.

Scrazy Fri 21-Jun-13 22:28:43

I was surprised when DD was first thinking about universities to find that our 'affluent rural area' was a low participation area for locals going onto higher education. Then it all became obvious when we looked at A level results.

wonderingagain Sun 23-Jun-13 00:18:49

Well there are going to be a lot more poor people living in rural england soon thanks to the caps on housing benefit, so they ought to do something about it.

I think it's down to neglect and a laid-back attitude more than anything. I think parents are less pushy or demanding and teachers are living an easy non-competetive rural life, probably everyone's quite content the way they are.

Urban schools are always in competition with each other and that's partly what drives them. In rural areas people tend to go to the school that's closest regardless of the ofsted reports.

Tbf, wonderingagain, that happens in urban schools too, especially in more inner city areas, like the one I'm in. Although there are more schools in one area, there are also more pupils and as a result there are tiny catchment areas and if you apply out of one, you have literally no chance, and there are even some primary aged children who are left without school places etc; In my area at least, schools aren't in competition with each other, as the kids go to the closest school, albeit about ten minutes away or so, because that's the only one you can get into (unless you are a LAC of course).

blueberryupsidedown Sun 23-Jun-13 09:56:42

I just want to see more data on this. It's so easy for Lord Chief Inspector The Right bloody honorable Sir Michael Wilshaw to blame poor teaching when it's a lack of funding that is the issue. London has more teacher training facilities and as far as I know, trains more new teachers through PGCE and often the newly qualified teachers will stay in the borough where they are trained for a couple of years.

Also, how many children are we talking about? I want to see statistical data and facts about free school diners compared with achievement in primary schools, and compare the percentages between inner city london and other parts of the country. I could do without OFSTED carrying on with this image of being the 'enemy' of teachers and always blaming the teachers and leaders when school budgets are being slashed across the country. Not forgetting the shortage of school places... so many schools in our area (East London) now have 31 children in reception/year 1 classes. school libraries and computer suites have been turned into classrooms, and extra temporary classrooms have been put in playgrounds. Whatever has been achieved in urban areas will soon go down the drain if the government carries on like that. One primary school near us now has over 1000 pupils, not including the nursery.

Yes blueberry DS goes to a school with about 1500 pupils (he's 5) and they have a rooftop playground. The funding is getting less and less but the strain is increasing.

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 16:50:27

MagicKey - I think you will find that the 'successful' oversubscribed schools are very competetive, the more privileged the parents the more demanding they tend to be. It doesn't take much for a school to fall off its pedestal.

It is a self-perpetuating cycle where the people that lose out are the children that fall between the cracks in the demographic - too 'bright' for the rough school, too 'challenging' for the posh school. Schools make it easier for themselves (understandably) by teaching to the general level. This keeps the majority of families within each school happy.

Ofsted needs to be more child-focused so they don't get blustered by schools and politicians. They should be looking properly at social exclusion and schools need to be severely reprimanded if they participate in it.

We desperately need a fairer admissions system in London particularly. It has ALWAYS been like this, it's nothing new, I grew up here, but it has got far worse than it ever was.

I think rural areas do have a more complacent demographic, less highly-strung and OCD about results. But Ofsted should be on top of this - they are not fit for purpose. It's not rocket science ffs.

Yes, I agree. Successful oversubscribed ones are very competitive, we jut need to deal with the ones which couldn't care less!

I agree about OFSTED too. The focus should be on the children and they need to look at inclusion within schools especially, like you said. There are some big divides within schools based around wealth (and achievement in relation with it) and it needs dealing with fast. Whether a child is bright or not, trouble or not, they deserve a good education.

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 20:46:28

Ofsted did have some inclusion indicator added onto their scoring system recently, not sure how it worked, but it did make one of the local posh schools appoint an inclusion officer fairly sharpish. After telling me to send my dcs elsewhere if I didn't like it...

BoffinMum Wed 26-Jun-13 23:21:16

Schools need to be judged not only on how well they are doing, but also ow well the local area is doing, state and private.

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