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To Think This Is Discriminatory?

(95 Posts)
ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:04:48

Dd1 is 14 and ds is 12. They both attend the local secondary school.

They both do well at school and are both on or above their targets. (I'm not boasting, this is relevant information)

My income is very low and so they receive free school meals.

On Friday they were both withdrawn from class at different times to speak with the school 'Progression Manager' Several other children were also removed to speak with him too.

They were informed that as they are on free school meals they were being monitored to see if they might need extra help with their work.

Basically there is an assumption that because they're from a poor family they might be a bit thick!!

I'm stunned that they are linking poverty with poor intellect!!

SolomanDaisy Mon 30-Sep-13 17:07:08

All the evidence links poverty with under achievement. It sounds like a good initiative to me. In what way is it discriminatory?

insancerre Mon 30-Sep-13 17:07:50

there are thousands of pieces of research that show that children from disadvantaged backgrounds do less well at school
YABU to think the 2 are not linked

ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:08:18

Because it assumes my children would have poor intellect just because they are from a poor family.

ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:09:46

You're missing my point. My dc both do very well in school. He could see their grades as he had their files and yet they were still pulled out of class just because they're on free school meals.

insancerre Mon 30-Sep-13 17:10:03

from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 30-Sep-13 17:10:32

As the others have said. It's because of the proven link between disadvantage and doing less well at school that the pupil premium was introduced. That is not to say that every child from a disadvantaged background will do badly at school, and certainly not to say that they have are lacking in intellect.

ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:11:26

If I said black children were being monitored because the school assumed they would be poor performers just because they're black, their would be outrage!

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 17:12:39

Why is it discriminatory?

Teacher: We are monitoring children on FSM to see if they need any help with their work. Do you need any help with your work?

DCs: no ta

Teacher: neither you do, look at your grades. Off you pop and no running in the corridor.

Where's the discrimination?

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 17:13:22

In fact, the only way this is discriminatory is if there are children struggling who aren't on FSM who may not get this extra help.

NotYoMomma Mon 30-Sep-13 17:13:35

surely you would only need to look at pupils results though to see if they would benefit, rather than lump ALL of the children on FSM onto a mobitoring program.

it generalises an entire group of children and potentially wastes a load of time that could ve used to help other kids (including those not on fsm) who actually need support

it IS frickin stupid

ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:13:48

Because they are still being monitored even though they are doing very well.

ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:14:30

notyomamma exactly!!

OTheHugeManatee Mon 30-Sep-13 17:14:46

YABU for getting the hump. There are robust statistics associating poor academic outcomes with poverty. This might not be because the children in question are 'thick' but because they have (for example) no space to do their homework, a chaotic home environment, parents who themselves struggled academically or any one of a number of other factors often associated with poverty.

Free school meals is a blunt but relatively effective identifier of the poorest pupils so it makes sense to target academic support at children in receipt of free school meals.

I think it's a reasonable initiative, even though clearly it doesn't apply to your DC. Rather than (mistakenly) resenting the implication that your DC are 'thick', be thankful that you've done a great job despite lack of funds and as a result they don't need academic support.

insancerre Mon 30-Sep-13 17:15:25

children are monitored though, boys and girls, white and black, summer born etc
white, British boys underperform the most, so they are being monitored

we do at in the nursery I work in, so don't really see why it should be any different at high school

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 17:15:33

Yanbu. Low income and underachievement are linked but it's a chicken and egg situation - you could argue that because school expect poor performance from children of low income families that's what they get.

I was shock when a friend was told she wasn't welcome on a surestart course because she isn't a "target"parent. The only reason she isn't a "target" is because of her income. Purely because she isn't /poor she is considered not to need any support. For all they know she could be depressed/abusive

CrohnicallyLurking Mon 30-Sep-13 17:15:47

They're not suggesting that they have poor intellect, they are suggesting that they might underperform (ie not do as well as they should according to their intellect).

In the same way, schools have to show how they are helping summer born children (youngest in the school year) and children with English as an additional language, as these groups are likely to underperform. There is also a lot of work behind the scenes developing schemes of literacy that might appeal more to boys, as they tend to underperform in reading and writing.

icetip Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:12

It's not in the least bit discriminatory, it's an effort to understand and reduce disadvantage where it might occur.

ClementineKelandra Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:19

Wilson but why still monitory children when they're doing very well?

Dd was not bothered but ds was actually upset and felt "embarrassed.

corlan Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:20

If you google 'pupil premium' you'll get an idea why this happens.

IMO it's a fantastic thing. It's great that your kids are doing well but a lot of children from low income families are not and they deserve extra help.

For what it's worth, I'm on a low income myself and my kids are bleedin' geniuses but I work in a school and see that it is often kids from lower income families that need extra help.

pooka Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:34

It shows that the school are doing their job!

It may transpire that your dcs don't need extra help. But the school would be failing if they weren't aware of the link between family income/FSM and achievement.

Not sure about secondaries, but in primary schools extra funding is given in relatin to the number of children with free school meals - the pupil premium. The school has to be able to provide proof of how their use of the pupil premium has improved outcomes for the cohort of kids receiving FSM currently or at any time in the last 6 years.

EduCated Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:54

Actually most schools probably are monitoring all groups known to be at a higher risk of underachieving.

It's not to do with intellect. It's to do with likely having less immediate resources, to have parents who have been to university and so have first hand knowledge and experience, less likely to be able to afford a tutor if grades start to slip etc.

I know it may seem insulting, but it's really not meant to be. Can you see it as an opportunity and extra attention to ensure your children reach their full potential?

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 17:17:07

/suffering dv but they assume she isn't purely because she isn't poor. It's a shocking attitude.

NotYoMomma Mon 30-Sep-13 17:17:29

but this is extra monitoring for all fsm children, even the ones who dont need it.


Andro Mon 30-Sep-13 17:17:35

The theory is good, but the execution was poor. I could understand the progression officer pulling all FSM students in for a chat if he had no idea where they were wrt targets, pulling them out and linking it to FSM despite having evidence that they're ahead of their targets was poor.

Blanket judgments are rarely a good thing.

How have your DC responded to it?

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