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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.

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.

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