How to compare schools in Scotland?

(57 Posts)
RedWelly Fri 21-Oct-11 11:57:00

We are going to move house next year, also the year ds1 will start primary. We currently live in central scotland and don't want to move very far but not being from the area don't have a lot of local knowledge re schools and have realised there are no league tables here any more. After an hour online looking for comparative reports of any kind, they just don't seem to exist. I phoned the council who said "we're not really into all that". I said what about Higher (A level equivalent) results A-C by school, surely parents want to know that?
- No. People just go to their local school.
Well, our local school ain't that great and like a lot of parents we'd be prepare to move to a better one - if we could get the information. But I'm starting to get a distinct sense of a conspiracy of silence. What am I missing? Is there a way of comparing schools?

Teetik Fri 21-Oct-11 12:04:45

You can get the latest report on any school and read it for yourself. Most people use word of mouth to judge a school on.
It's true that most people go to their local high school, there's no conspiracy about it. There's quite a strong culture still here of making do. (Except of course when the monied cityfolk send their kids to (mediocre) private schools, but that's a different sort of Scot.)
PS I think you are right and should go for the best option you can find, by asking around - but be careful how you word it.

macsaid Fri 21-Oct-11 12:15:37

In Scotland you go to the/one of the schools in your catchment area according to where you live, your local council offices will advise you of these. If you are RC you are entitled to separate schools in central Scotland.
If you need information about a school have a look at the HMie website and look at recent reports.
Also, ask around. Some high performing schools do not necessarily make staff or pupils happy

RedWelly Fri 21-Oct-11 12:29:00

Thanks for this. Be careful because....?
Why are there no league tables? Were parents fine with this when they were abolished? How do you improve schools without competition and diversity? How do you even know how they're doing?

CecilyP Fri 21-Oct-11 13:14:29

If you asking about primary, children's curriculum levels have never been published in the public domain. However, HMI reports should be available.

For secondary, you should be able to find standard grade and higher results - certainly up to 2010.

You can't get league tables, but you can see how your local school (or any other) compares with the average for the region and for Scotland as a whole. That gives you an idea where they would stand comparatively if they were in a league table.

The pages for secondary schools show results and staying-on rates. The primary ones only stuff like absences and free school meals which don't give you much idea how much the school adds value. But if you're thinking of moving, you'd probably focus on what the secondary is like and then get into a feeder primary anyway.

It's certainly true that most children in Scotland just go to their local school. But I don't think there's anything wrong in considering the alternatives.

catsareevil Fri 21-Oct-11 13:22:06

The results for individual secondary schools are in the HMIE reports.
I have also seen comparative lists for secondary school on the internet and in newspapers. Have you tried googling the names of some of the schools and see what comes up?

I have seen comparative tables for primary schools, though that was based on the old systemn, and now that curriculum for excellence has started they are probably obsolete.

Teetik Fri 21-Oct-11 13:22:50

Be careful because the make-do-with-what-you've-got ideal is very strong and it seems to really, really upset people permanently (and mark you) if you go against the grain. If you are trying to get something over and above what's on offer, you can find yourself categorised unfairly.

Teetik Fri 21-Oct-11 13:23:45

It depends how small a place you live in of course.

catsareevil Fri 21-Oct-11 13:25:02
haggisaggis Fri 21-Oct-11 13:35:16

WHere are you in SCotland? No doubt people on here could give you some idea of good schools.
We moved to ANgus recently and I found a 2009 league table here But we are fairly rural so not alot of choice abyway. I found further info by looking at the inspection reports of individual schools.
Also - teh "tables" only give a list of highers passed at 5th year - tehy don't give you any idea on what teh school is actually like. I spoke to parents of children already at the school to get opinions.

CecilyP Fri 21-Oct-11 15:58:17

I don't think many people will judge you if you don't send your child to the catchment school. In some cases, it might be perceived as snobbery but parents may do this for a number of reasons other than thinking that there is anything wrong with the catchment school. Eg the nearest school may not be the catchment school, another school may be near the parents' work or near a childminder's or grandparent's home. I have also known people choose a larger rather than a smaller village school, a town school when they lived in a village or a village school when they lived in a town.

RedWelly Fri 21-Oct-11 16:05:16

Thank you for all this info. We are in Perth & Kinross, have family in Blackford and thinking of moving to the Auchterarder area. We have flexibility because of my husband's job. However the stv link showed Kinross secondary school as being far and away the best, although I don't know how recent that is, and it doesn't show up at all in the Herald's 2009 list. It is a good point about focusing on the sec school and getting into the feeder - something I hadn't given too much thought to as they're only 4 and 2!

ForkInTheForeheid Fri 21-Oct-11 16:07:20

To answer your question about how you improve schools without "competition and diversity". Competition creates oversubscribed schools full of tutored kids in expensive houses and sink schools. It's overrated. Scotland has a very different approach to education IMO and it is a good thing. The school I work in has a varied catchment area (most expensive houses in town plus some of the most deprived areas are included) and it's the same with the other high schools. It means that instead of competition there is collaboration (to some extent at least) and the local authority doesn't have schools pulling in different directions.

Having said that, results are not disregarded and we have national and local authority targets to meet (5 at 5/5 at 3 have been really pushed).

HMIE reports are readily available online if you wish to check out any school your child will potentially be attending.

shesparkles Fri 21-Oct-11 16:12:40

Scottish schools don't do league tables and are on the whole probably better for it.
A lot of children do go to "out of catchment" schools, and it's easy to make a placing request (as long as it's within the same local authority area)
Placing requests are prioritised on the following criteria

1) children living within catchment area
2) children outwith the catchment, but with a sibling at the school
3) outwith the catchment and with no siblings at the school

If you're looking at a house, phone the education dept with the address and they'll be able to tell you which catchment area it's in. I know my local authority doesn't publish catchment areas as such, because they sometimes have to change depending on new builds etc

haggisaggis Fri 21-Oct-11 16:21:59

I know lots of people with kids at Auchterarder and all are happy with it. In fact, the village where we moved from is 4 miles from Blackford and although Auchterarder is not teh catchment secondary about 80% of parents choose it rather than the catchment school.
But I honestly don't think you cna go on teh tables. And remember that schools change - a good school now cuold be a bad one by the time your kids get to secondary age (and vice versa)

shesparkles Fri 21-Oct-11 17:10:46

waves to haggisaggis from not very far away at all grin

RedWelly Sat 22-Oct-11 14:26:56

I appreciate, we are fortunate. We are to able to choose to move to where a good school is, other considerations permitting. And, yes, who wouldn't prefer great local schooling of equally good standards no matter where you are in the country, whilst at the same time seeing innovations in each school and a mechanism by which these ideas and successes are shared between them?

I am  concerned that hiding league tables hinders parents from knowing how their school is doing comparatively, especially if you don't have local knowledge.. It prevents them from making an informed choice.

I agree that exam results are not the all encompassing measure, but I'd be inclined to believe that a school with good exam results, manages other things like behaviour and attendance better than others, especially if you can see snapshots of exam results over time to get a more balance picture and which would encompass how a school has improved. It is no longer easy to see anywhere, at a glance, the key, if not all-encompassing measure of comparative exam results, least of all over time.  You have to go to a report for a particular school to see it's own results.   Or depend on the subjective view of fallible inspectors with their own political biases is just not the same thing.  Parents for obvious reasons know only really about their own school, and nobody is going to want to say they're sending to a bad school. Recently, someone told that the Grammar school in Perth was now the best, which is simply false by reputation and by comparing results with the Academy and High School.

If the SED, with the enthusiastic collaboration of local education authorities is doing this to try to create a level playing field for laudable reasons, that's great. More cynically you might say they're making education  easier to administer because they don't want the problem of good schools being over-subscribed and the criticism and problems of amelioration they would have dealing with what are plain to see are bad schools. So they hide the facts by making it difficult to compare. 

What this actually means is that all schools are dragged down, do not compete, are not inspired by great schools and their success is left to the commitment of individual teachers. The ones I've met are increasingly disillusioned, stressed, overworked and bogged down in bureaucracy.   It improves ease of administration at the cost of driving down school quality, turning education into lowest common denominator education.  This is anti-majoritarian thinking at its worst, political correctness gone mad.  I think catering for the least able and most vulnerable is the mark of a civilized society, but not at the expense of the education of the majority.  And what of the most able?

There could be great schools people were proud of and improving schools that people knew about and attention, resource and support focused on them. If there was ever a case of masking a problem, brushing it under the carpet and destroying a country's potential this is it.

It turns parents and children, a whole generation, into passive, docile consumers, content with their lot and who do what they're told by those who're in charge. It reinforces that disease of narrow minded parochialism that I was warned about, the one deep-rooted for generations in the psyche of a lack of self-esteem, of inferiority, of hating those who go against the grain and who strive to improve their lot. 

It's clear, local authorities don't want parents to be able to have a choice of school at all. They let you have a choice of hospital care however.  Where is the consistency?   Look at it in the wider picture where the voice of Community Councils is being silenced, their power was stripped long ago. The end result is an administration which is happy for people to say what they like, but have no effective power, and who can change the status quo not at all. Doesn't this fly in the face of what democracy and democratic choice is about? Funnily enough, I heard an Egyptian say on the radio that that right to criticise but powerlessness was what is was like under Mubbarek.

Believe me, I intend no ad hominem criticism, I just don't understand why parents and schools seem to so happily to accept not knowing how their school is doing in comparison to others. Clearly, some schools will be better than others. Doesn't anyone want to know which these are, why this is, how this is and how schools can learn from the successes of others?


Red Welly.

catsareevil Sat 22-Oct-11 14:46:46

The information isnt hidden. People have posted links in this thread to the figures for exam results.

CecilyP Sat 22-Oct-11 15:14:12

Why don't you move to England, RedWelly? It provides exactly what you want.

handsomeharry Sat 22-Oct-11 15:38:33

Your other alternative is to move down to England and join in the scrummage for places at the 'good' schools or put your DC under pressure to get a place at a grammar school.

League tables of results have placed intense pressure on parents and children to get into the 'right'. You only have to read the threads on MN to understand that.

I know what I prefer.

RedWelly Sat 22-Oct-11 16:11:46

@CecilyP & HH. Yes, helpful advice. Why don't I. And Why didn't I think of that? Because, let's see, there must Other Limiting Factors. So what, put up or shut up? Now there's a groundbreaking, progressive attitude.

@Catsarevil. My bone is about easily comparative information. The Herald List is from 2009 and the STV list has no date. However, The Herald does have a list for 2010 and there is a brief summary in the Scotsman for 2011. But that's all. Nothing else easily comparative. And even there there are not many comparative indicators. But when I phoned the council I was told in the usual tone consistent with attitudes to social and racial diversity for which Scotland is so famous: "we're not into that [school comparison] up here". There is a wider point here about educational policy and attitude to local choice and empowerment more generally.

Here's a puzzle: we hear about the generally difficult conditions in schools, particularly around behaviour towards teachers and each other. We read about extreme drunkenness in the street, widesspread incivility, anti-social behaviour, selfishness, individualism, a fragmented society. I look at the local school. I see not even evidence of much care about their childrens behavior or even health; parents swearing, behaving badly, children copying them, children uncontrolled, uncontrollable. I look at another school: generally well-behaved children, different catchment area, but we're not in it. Does it matter to us which group our children socialize with? Absolutely, it matters hugely. So what should we do? Why do we have one view about problems of anti-social behaviour in society, but as soon as that translates to doing something to stop our children being exposed to, copying or retaliating against it at bad schools, it's called elitism?

Redwelly, are you Scottish?

RedWelly Sat 22-Oct-11 16:41:36

Now, AP, what do you think? But for that matter, what does it matter? Or perhaps that it matters, is only in Scotland. It's not where your from that matters here, it's how you sound or how you look. That speaks volumes about the degree of prejudice and thinly veiled racism.

catsareevil Sat 22-Oct-11 16:42:25

Have you seen the HMIE website? It gives reports for each individual school, though the exam figures in each one will only be as up to date as the report.

You do have a degree of choice with schools. If you dont want to use your catchment school you can make a placing request. Over 80% of these are granted.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 22-Oct-11 16:46:38

redwelly - tbh you really sound as if you would be happier using the shite english system. Maybe you should think about moving south.

Not being nasty, it just genuinely sounds like you would be far happier with their education system...

catsareevil Sat 22-Oct-11 16:54:43

Redwelly might feel differently about the Scottish system when she is actualy living in it too. The way that she is viewing it from the outside doesnt seem that accurate to me.
I have seen comparative figures for the primary schools (and secondary schools) in my area. I send my children to the school that I think is the best. However there are a number of other schools nearby that I would have been happy to send my children to, if I lived in those catchment areas.

In Scotland I am guaranteed a place for my children at the catchment school. If I wanted to send my children to an out of catchment state school I would have a better than 80% chance of managing this. I think that for choice that compares very favourably with the english system.

margerykemp Sat 22-Oct-11 16:56:12

You're not a very nice person are you, redwelly?

Why dont you take your xenophobia bck down south with you?

MULLYPEEP Sat 22-Oct-11 16:57:34

Wow at the way this thread is going. OP I think you should look at the performance tables linked and ask parents from these catchments what they think of the school. FWIW, Dunblane High gets a great name as do the east renfrewshire schools. There are cultural differences a lot of which do revolve around attitudes to education. If its any consolation I am considering a move to the english system and am shitting myself at the hotbed of manic competition that it seems to be- but then again that maybe a over-reaction based on a snapshot of MN threads.

FannyFifer Sat 22-Oct-11 16:59:14

I've never heard such a load of rubbish, you just send your kids to the local school.

I've never in my life heard anyone talking about league tables etc in Scotland.

FromGirders Sat 22-Oct-11 17:00:39

Redwelly, I imagine the reason AP asked your nationality is because in general it is normally non-Scots who feel the need to undertake school comparisons and league table analysis. It is understandable that if you were brought up in the English system and are used to it, you'd be looking for something similar.
However, you may not realise how incomprehensible and nonsensical the English system appears to us north of the border. Schools being too full to accept local children, leading to family having to commute miles to school, and siblings going to separate schools - that simply doesn't happen in the Scottish system.
Most of us quite like it the way it is.

Thank you, FromGirders, that's exactly why I asked. It doesn't matter where you're from. You just seem very critical of the Scottish education system, and I wondered if that was because you were unfamiliar with it or because you'd come through it as a student.

I've not seen any prejudice or thinly veiled racism on this thread from anyone other than you, TBH.

FromGirders Sat 22-Oct-11 17:13:33

Just as an aside, are you aware that education did not become compulsory in England until after 1870, whereas the principle of universal education was laid down in Scotland immediately after the Reformation in the 1560s?
Just saying ...

ihearthuckabees Sat 22-Oct-11 17:33:06

Redwelly, it sounds like you are managing fine re finding out about which schools are the best and which are rubbish by using the same techniques we all do - asking around, looking at the type of people/behaviour of pupils who go there etc.

The bottom line is, most Scottish schools have a social mix because most catchments have some social mix. Live in a predominantly rich area, the local school will reflect that; live in a predominantly middle class are, the school will reflect that, live in a poorer area, the shcool will reflect that. But all schools will be a mixture, especially the secondaries, because they have bigger catchments.

redlac Sat 22-Oct-11 18:06:32

"It turns parents and children, a whole generation, into passive, docile consumers, content with their lot and who do what they're told by those who're in charge. It reinforces that disease of narrow minded parochialism that I was warned about, the one deep-rooted for generations in the psyche of a lack of self-esteem, of inferiority, of hating those who go against the grain and who strive to improve their lot.  "

You were warned about Scotland being like this? And you think we are all "narrow minded parochialism" with " lack of self esteem and of inferiority"? Nice!

FromGirders Sat 22-Oct-11 18:16:02

*a lack of self-esteem, of inferiority, of hating those who go against the grain and who strive to improve their lot*

Actually, I'm rather proud of our (nearly) 500 year old universal education system. And in Scotland, education has always been a "way out" of a poor background. Even in Glasgow in the 50s at the height of the "No Mean City" school kids wearing uniform or carrying an instrument were not picked on - they were seen as striving to better themselves and so help their families.

Wafflepuss Sat 22-Oct-11 19:42:51

Goodness OP, this is going well isn't it!

There is a publication in Edinburgh called the Schools Guide, does exactly what it says on the tin, shows % of pupils entered for standard/higher grades and the results, number of kids per class, % who go onto further education etc. it's a very useful guide if you want to compare your local schools against each other. There may well be one for the area you are interested in.

NormanTebbit Sat 22-Oct-11 20:22:37

I'm English living in Glasgow and I am rather relieved to be out of the whole league tables comparison/ grammar school nightmare people on mumsnet seem to endure.

Our school is a real social mix - we have millionaire parents and people on benefits, it has a strong multicultural ethos and many languages spoken. it is just what I want for my kids and I doubt it would be possible in England.

As for the views about parochialism - yes it exists but it also existed in the part of south London where I grew up. If anything the strong social mix of DD's school acts against a parochial view of the world.
Abolish league tables in England, that would be a step forward...

League tables will not tell you which schools are good and which are bad. They will largely tell you which schools serve more middle-class catchments, as exam results tend to follow in line with parental education and expectations. You talk about "what are plain to see are bad schools" - but is it actually plain to see? Or is it that the school may be doing well for a catchment which has problems. Whereas another school might do well in its exam results, but actually nowhere near as good as its pupils are capable of, because the school "coasts", relying on what comes in to be good enough that they don't have to add much value to them.

League tables help parents choose nice middle-class areas to move to, or to send their child to. They don't make the schools better.

As I said earlier, there are web pages which will allow you to compare any school with the average - a quick look at the typical house prices in the area will show a clear correlation with school exam results. eg in my own county I can pick out the expensive area with the high-achieving school without even having to compare the figures.

League tables and the illusion of choice in the English system haven't been an improvement, so I think you have to be very careful what you wish for.

MULLYPEEP Sat 22-Oct-11 21:06:16

Gotta say still laughing at this bit 'It turns parents and children, a whole generation, into passive, docile consumers, content with their lot and who do what they're told by those who're in charge. It reinforces that disease of narrow minded parochialism that I was warned about, the one deep-rooted for generations in the psyche of a lack of self-esteem, of inferiority, of hating those who go against the grain and who strive to improve their lot'. How to make friends and influence people.

Groovee Sun 23-Oct-11 12:47:57

DD is 11 and going to high school in August 2012. Our primary used to have duel feeder to 2 high schools. The further away one is more popular but lots of dd's classmates have siblings at the school and all say they're unhappy with the school and are sending their children to our now "catchment" high.

We visited earlier in the month and were very pleased. Each department gave us handouts with lists with the exam results for 2011 Standard Grades and Highers and they were far up lists considering it's a deprived area school. The small classes and enthusiasm of the vibrant staff seems to be turning the school around. The other school faired badly and my neighbour who hasn't spoken to me for years told me not to consider the other school for my dd.

shesparkles Mon 24-Oct-11 10:28:02

What speaks volumes about the local schools where I live is that there is a high %age of parents who were privately educated and who could privately educate their own children, choose NOT to, and send their children to the local primaries.

NearlyLeglessEuphemia Mon 24-Oct-11 18:10:33

In Scottish primary schools, parents will know that their child is working within the Early, First or Second level, but there are no grades given within those. We are starting to use the language of Curriculum for Excellence by grading children Developing, Consolidating or Secure within those levels, but that would only be reported to parents once a year.

Being involved in less summative assessment leaves us free to concentrate on teaching, and using ongoing formative assessment to decide the next steps for each child.

There are no SATs in Scotland, and even under the previous national testing systems teachers were free to test a child when they felt the child was ready, not at some pre-ordained age/stage.

In sum, we have a system that is driven by what is best for the children, rather than being driven by someone's idea of measures of achievement or success, and league tables. Given that the norm is to attend the school in your catchment area, there's not the need for schools to be compared to each other, set against each other. It's the job of HMIE to compare schools against national standards and expectations, so their reports are the best source of information for parents.

hockeyforjockeys Tue 25-Oct-11 09:40:02

I went to a Scottish high school back when league tables where published, my school was consistently in the top 5 for the country. However this was purely down to the mainly middle class intake and very little to do with the quality of teaching. A lot of the teaching I received was decent but pretty staid, and extra curricular activities were limited. It was a perfectly nice school, but it massively rested on its laurels because it was cruising at the top of the league tables.

Nowadays the results are pretty much the same, but from what I've heard what goes on day to day in the school is far more exciting and I am jealous of the opportunities the children are receiving that I never had. I also know that neighbouring schools are getting better results without the aid of league tables.

I'm not Scottish and work in an English primary school. I think the competitiveness and market-led ethos is exceptionally damaging for schools and children, and I am very glad that I work at a school that is socially mixed like the school I attended as a child. I am exceptionally grateful to have gone to my local school as it has made me a far better person growing up with people from lots of different backgrounds. I don't have children yet, but when I do I will seriously consider moving back to Scotland as I feel the ethos of the education system is far better, even though I don't think that it is superior in terms of what children achieve (I think it is equal).

Moving to Scotland is difficult as an English person can be difficult, and I know that my mum really struggled with some of the differences as you are. 20 year later and she has accepted and welcomed the differences, and is far happy with her life than if she had stayed in the south of England. There is no conspiracy, it's just different.

NearlyLeglessEuphemia Tue 25-Oct-11 19:46:01

"I will seriously consider moving back to Scotland as I feel the ethos of the education system is far better, even though I don't think that it is superior in terms of what children achieve (I think it is equal)."

Nicely put, hockeyforjockeys

trickydickie Tue 25-Oct-11 23:56:08

Myself and my friends/family must be the odd ones out living in Scotland.

I have a friend living in Knightswood who put a placing request in for Broomhill Primary (didn't get their child in). Two living in Yoker, who put placing requests in for schools in Bearsden and got their kids in. Another in Temple who requested a school beside her work in the Southside of Glasgow, again she got her child in to the requested school.

I know people who lived in Clydebank who moved to Bearsden once their child became school age. Same as friends who moved to Jordanhill when their eldest was a few months old.

I don't think people just meekly accept their local primary or secondary schools at all.

NearlyLeglessEuphemia Wed 26-Oct-11 07:10:16

It's different in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but once you get further out it's entirely the norm to go to your local school. Nothing "meek" about it. hmm

teacherwith2kids Wed 26-Oct-11 09:19:00

To be honest, even in England it's entirely the norm to go to the local school outside large towns and cities - distances between schools in rural areas make 'school choice' an illusion.

DS's first school was in a rural area. Everyone went to the village school - the nearest alternative school was 5 miles away, and was full with children from its own village. Same with the school 5.5 miles away in the other direction - served its own community, was full with children from that community. Obviously the normal English system of league tables and Ofsted reports existed, but it has no meaning when there is in a practical sense no choice (the nearest primary school not filled from its local community was 11 miles away in the nearest large town).

In the non-metropolitan areas of Scotland, the same thing must apply - that there is no practical meaning in school choice, simply because the distribution of population means that alternative schools are a long way away and likely to be very impractical for the vast majority of families. The Scottish system reflects this reality - the English system can seem ludicrous to those in rural areas for whom the local school is the only viable choice.

MrsVoltar Wed 26-Oct-11 09:45:16

When I went to school we did just go to our 'local' school but were lucky and it is a good school.

Now choosing for our DS, we have moved somewhere that the local school is thought of as a 'good' school.

I've talked about this at length with my DMum, she is of the opinion that it doesn't matter where you go as long as you work hard & your parents encourage you.

I disagree, if a large proportion of the class come from families who have little education & don't really care about education it is going to make an impact on the classroom and if we can choose to send him somewhere better, we will.

Best advice is to check out any reports for schools you are considering, try to avoid any with predominantly 'rough' council estate catchment (sorry to say this and know that some don't have any choice). If I was living in the area I was brought up I would probably not be so harsh about that, but I'm not & have to make decisions on whats best for my child.

Have known people who were poorly paid but both parents worked all the hours they could to send their DD to private school rather than the local 'failing' school, they said she was in the middle academically & could easily do badly if not in a great academic situation. Don't know how she got on, lost touch, but had a lot of respect for their hopes and determination.

CecilyP Wed 26-Oct-11 14:30:32

I live a long way from Glasgow or Edinburgh in a small town with a large rural hinterland and, while most children do attend their catchment school, a significant minority do not - some for social reasons as described by MrsVoltar - others for a number of reasons that I alluded to upthread. People use local knowledge and their own family circumstances to make these choices. They certainly manage to do it without primary school league tables.

I doubt if LAs don't want parents to make a choice. The costs of administering placement request must be far less than operating an extensive and expensive clearing system and employing investigators to ensure parents are not trying to fraudulently obtain a place in an oversubscribed school.

And with regard to secondary schools, percentages of standard grade passes at various levels as well as higher results are certainly in the public domain. It only takes a small effort to find them but they are certainly not being hidden.

WentworthMillerMad Wed 26-Oct-11 18:16:43

Very interesting thread - I can see many sides to this discussion.
I am with you tricky - I am Glasgow based and would agree that it is as competitive here as it is in England. Without exception everyone I know has paid and gone private, except for the socialists that buy a massive house in jordanhill/bearsden/east ren so they can use the 'local' school! Placement requests to Hillhead primary are the norm as well. Most of the private schools are full to bursting.
Agree cecily - You only need to look on parentzone to look at the league tables in Scotland / % free school meals etc and it is well used in Glasgow.
OP - you made some valid points, I have no idea how schools in Scotland will improve - true there are no sink schools but v few outstanding schools. Scotland is the only country that I have applied for jobs in and NOT been asked to teach a lesson. I think that speaks volumes. In OZ, NZ and dare I mention England it is the most important part of the interview process. Not saying england has the right system, far from it!

trickydickie Wed 26-Oct-11 21:04:01

Nearlylegless - No offence intended, sorry you took it that way.

LaPruneDeMaTante Wed 26-Oct-11 21:13:01

I grew up rurally, and we were certainly sent to the only local school without much of a thought. It wasn't great. It must have been fantastic for the teachers: very little homework given out, low expectations from anyone really when it came to results. I got into university (one of two in my admittedly small year) and the head said "What - you?!" I was the top prizewinner in my year, so that said a lot, didn't it. What made the difference for me was encouragement from my dad and a good memory.

The parents who had higher expectations than that simply sent their children to boarding school. Including a few of the teachers. They either sent them straight after P7, or right after o-grades so they'd salvage something from their final 2 years.

Sorry, that doesn't help the OP, but I wanted to mark the contrast between city and rural.

WentworthMillerMad Thu 27-Oct-11 10:04:59

OP - you probably aren't reading this anymore and who can blame you! We post on here instead of AIBU to have an honest discussion without nasty comments. Yes we may disagree but surely the rudeness was unnecessary?
Teacherwith2kids has summed up the situation in urban Scotland far better that I could - go to parentzone, ask around, placement request etc etc like the majority of urban Scotland! wink

redlac Fri 28-Oct-11 12:09:21

It was an honest discussion until the OP posted:
"It turns parents and children, a whole generation, into passive, docile consumers, content with their lot and who do what they're told by those who're in charge. It reinforces that disease of narrow minded parochialism that I was warned about, the one deep-rooted for generations in the psyche of a lack of self-esteem, of inferiority, of hating those who go against the grain and who strive to improve their lot."

Doesn't really endear her to the people she is trying to get information from, does it?

wordup Mon 31-Oct-11 09:36:50

Don't know if this is the right thread for this but here goes. Just received a Quality and Standards report from my dds school with the following statement under the heading What We Do Well;

Our attainment across the three curricular areas has remained constant and compares favourably with other schools.

Am I wrong in interpreting this as "We haven't improved but we are better than some of the worst performing schools"

Would appreciate other interpretations.

WentworthMillerMad Tue 01-Nov-11 17:46:21

I would read that as we are doing well - as well as other schools in the area.

We have not got any worse!

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