Newton Farm School Sats fraud

(44 Posts)

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mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 20:47:53

Just seen the news regarding Newton Farm School in Harrow in the Telegraph online (sorry can't link). This school was top of the sats league tables in the country for the last 2 years & has this year had its sats results annulled due to papers being altered ie cheating. The head even did an interview with mumsnet obviously enjoying all the attention. Do any parents with children at the school have any opinioms they want to offload? Has the head gone into hiding as not heard anything from her in the news?

sanam2010 Thu 03-Oct-13 20:56:31

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10352748/Exam-results-quashed-over-cheating-claim-at-top-school.html

shocking. Let's see what happens now.

mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 21:23:40

Thanks for the link.Very often these things are the tip of the iceberg. It could have been going on for years. They have only now been caught.To think that it was so oversubscribed & people moved house to get into the school

Can we really believe what the league tables tell us when a school is capable of such deceit to appear to be the best in the country?

Also the head was given a CBE.Will they take it away if she is found to be culpable?

mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 21:27:58

No doubt the head will deny all knowledge.

mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 21:28:13

No doubt the head will deny all knowledge.

Jellypudmum Thu 03-Oct-13 21:33:04

Unfortunately this is a very common practice by heads. Results at a previous school I was at 'magically' exceeded national averages when a newly qualified head took over! School was in special measures and she did anything no matter how illegal, to try to make herself look successful.

mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 21:42:57

I believe they can falsely record children's levels in the earlier years so that they can boost their value added score which gives them better results

Often there are very bright children in such schools and they have to do very little to educate them and it appears as though the school have been the ones helping them to achieve. Mostly these children are pushed by their parents to do well and do things like the 11+ which parents independently tutor for.

mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 21:45:13

Also there is the illegal practice of forcing put the underachievers and SEN children who they believe will bring down their results

pozzled Thu 03-Oct-13 22:08:34

It's pretty shocking, but please do keep in mind that these schools are in the minority. Most primary schools work extremely hard to genuinely raise SATs results.

mambypamby Thu 03-Oct-13 22:16:19

What do parents with children at the school do in these circumstances? Do they remove their child & go elsewhere? Would you want your child to be asked which school they go to and when they say Newton Farm School they get responses such as "oh the school that cheats"
It's the children I feel sorry for

ReallyTired Fri 04-Oct-13 09:43:39

SATs are quickly forgotten about once children start secondary. In our area the secondaries retest the children.

A local school near to me had all their children disqualified for cheating in SATs a few years ago. No one locally thought the particular children were cheats because they new it was the teachers who had cheated.

Pizzahutlover Fri 04-Oct-13 15:02:02

Hope they have learnt their lesson now reputation gone down the toilet now. Well they do deserve it as they are trying to get attention the easy way instead of working with their pupils and making the pupils achieve the result and then get the attention. No they cheat and then get attention thats great isnt it. No thought on how the pupils feel getting a fake result and head teacher knowing its fake and standing their smiling at the pupils and saying congruations. Some people are sick feel for parents and students hope all that were involved are fired as they deserve this and not be trusted

greensmoothiegoddess Fri 04-Oct-13 15:15:21

This throws up another issue - the unbearable and unrelenting pressure felt by primary schools. The system has got out of hand with many primaries 'cramming' for most of Y6 - and yet who can blame headteachers for doing this? Poor test results lead to failed inspections and jobs on the line.

This whole system has lead, in turn, to the very opposite of a creative and interesting curriculum for youngsters. Y6 mainly consists of Maths and English cramming.

I am criticising the whole system of national tests NOT schools.

This is the tip of the iceberg, folks. I believe many, many more schools are doing similar.

Marmitelover55 Fri 04-Oct-13 15:52:29

I have heard of a school where I live (not my DCs' school), where teachers walk up down during the SATS and say things like "you might want to look at the answer for number 4 again". This school is top of the league tables where I am - I wonder why???

greensmoothiegoddess Fri 04-Oct-13 17:49:34

Marmite has it in a nutshell. Makes it impossible for a level playing field.

Jellypudmum Sat 05-Oct-13 21:15:04

Exactly what happened at my previous school marmite.

Iggity Sat 05-Oct-13 22:12:38

Am shocked. I live very near the school and know someone who has a kid at the school. She didn't really like the school that much and had a low opinion of the head. Very interesting.

ParsingFright Sat 05-Oct-13 22:18:15

My teachers did that for the 11-plus, marmite, back before the earth cooled. One just pressed her finger pointedly by one question - no words at all. So I went back and changed it to the other likely answer. Multiple choice, you see.

MiaowTheCat Sun 06-Oct-13 12:12:11

I got told one year to mark down the reception on-entry baseline assessments to help the Y6 teacher look good a few years down the line. Was quite a drastic reduction I was ordered to make - from kids who came in knowing numbers 1-20 and some basic addition I was told to put them down to knowing numbers 1-5 type level.

Argued my ground as best I could but HAD to do it and ended up with a head trying to wreck my references for my trouble.

JammieMummy Sun 06-Oct-13 21:44:37

Unfortunately i dont feel this is an isolated case nor is it a new occurance. In my final year of primary school I had the reading age of a 16 year old (aged 11), first term at secondary I was assessed as having a reading age of an 11 year old and low and behold a year later it had shot up thanks to the "wonderful" teaching I didn't experience any of it in my 7 years there confused

When my DD started at a local school I read the EYFS book they keep on her, the comments were "needs to learn to count to 5" "needs to learn colours" etc at the time DD had been doing all those things for over a year! I felt that they were doing a similar thing.

Since then I have discussed it with teachers and they say it is much more common than we would want to believe. Including one telling me that part of theirschool's "Outstanding" from ofstead was due to two teachers being forced to write/edit the lesson plans for all classes so that they would be good enough for the inspectors. I am by no means saying this is even the majority of schools but almost all of the teachers I know have some tale to tell.

sanam2010 Mon 07-Oct-13 04:37:42

Really shocking stories. But really good reminder not to take league tables too seriously.

gag23 Wed 23-Oct-13 17:05:09

My daughter is a pupil at Newton Farm. I have found it to be a wonderful school with an inspirational head teacher. My view is that this situation is probably the result of one person's misconduct and not reflective of the school. The school has won numerous awards over many years, i find it hard to believe that success has been based on cheating. The children are nurtured and gain a huge amount of confidence. The tests next year are to be supervised by people independent from the school. We will see what happens then, my firm belief is that Newton Farm will continue to be an excellent school.

mambypamby Wed 23-Oct-13 20:22:40

@gag23 how have you reached the view that the cheating was due to one person's misconduct? Are you a party to the investigation by the Governers of the school? Surely the headteacher herself would be under investigation. No conclusions have yet been reached it would appear, and is it not the case that under the STA guidelines for storage of test papers isn't the headteacher responsible for the safe & confidential storage of the papers before and after the tests are administered? So surely if the papers were tampered with before submission surely at the very least the headteacher would be considered negligent for such lax procedures that allow the misconduct to take place? Surely the honorable thing for a headteacher to do in such circumstances wound be to resign; but then there is no such thing as honour amongat cheats.

tinytalker Wed 23-Oct-13 22:03:05

Sorry you have been hoodwinked gag23 sad The head is 'allegedly' pushy and controlling, she knew full well what was going on. The reputation is built on the high aspirations of the parents and their hard work pushing their children outside of the school; lots of extra tuitions etc. mambypamby is right the honourable thing to do is resign. What becomes of her OBE?

sayyousayme Wed 23-Oct-13 22:44:10

Also the school and the head are not very highly regarded within the local community. There are numerous reports by parents of the head's alleged bullying and almost tyrannical approach to running the school. There is an undercurrent of considerable discontent amongst many parents with children at the school; the homework is excessive and unrelenting. The children are forced from year 4 to attend an after school "learning club" where they do nothing but practise SATs papers - that is one hour a week for 2 YEARS & yet they still need to cheat! It is about time
that the myth that is Newton Farm School needs to be exposed.There are many many parents past and present who could provide details of the head's alleged misdemeanours and these are widely discussed among parents themselves. I hope that the Chair of Governers will listen to them.

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