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Scottish v English Schools

(13 Posts)
Popcicle123 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:09:56

Hi this is my 1st ever post!

Looking for advice about schools. We currently live in north east Scotland. My children are 5 & 8. Schools in this area are ok. Main problem is lack of teachers. My husband has been offered a job in Cumbria which is a fantastic opportunity for him. I have no problem moving to Cumbria but am wondering if the Scottish education is better?? We could perhaps move south but still stay in Scotland with my husband commuting to Cumbria (his job would be mostly North ish cumbia). I have no idea which system is better so would welcome Mumsnet experience/advice. Thanks

Bekabeech Thu 12-Oct-17 13:15:48

Both education systems are fine. If your DC were 15 ish and wanted to go to a Scottish Uni then I might try to stay in Scotland to save the fees. But at their ages it seems a bit mad to me. Go and look at the schools and see what you think.

When you see panic on MN about Schools it is usually about London and the south east schools. Where there are good schools but also a demand on places.
And if you hate the English system you will have plenty of time to move back.

Kokeshi123 Fri 13-Oct-17 03:20:30

The English system is considered more academically pushy than the Scottish system. Probably harder on kids. They do get better results, though. It depends what you prefer/value.

Bekabeech Fri 13-Oct-17 06:46:02

Kokeshi123 - but there have been lots of lovely innovations in the English system for younger children - lots of learning outside and more montessori approaches.
And different schools handle pressures and testing very differently. So I would suggest the OP at least go and look at the schools before making any decision.

prh47bridge Fri 13-Oct-17 13:33:49

There are Scottish schools in poor areas where no children get the equivalent of 5 GCSEs at grade C or higher and it has been like that for years. The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy also shows that schools are failing pupils from poor areas (far more so than in England) and that standards have been falling for at least the last 5 years. The Scottish government now proposes to scrap this survey and replace it with "standardised" tests that may not be standardised at all.

In the Pisa tests (tests in science, maths and reading taken by a sample of 15 year olds every few years to compare the performance of various countries) Scotland is well behind England, although it is ahead of Wales. Scotland and Wales have been going backwards in the Pisa tests whilst England has been going forwards. I note that the Scottish government has withdrawn Scottish pupils from two other surveys of international educational achievement.

Bluntly, the state of education in Scotland and Wales is a scandal.

Kokeshi123 Fri 13-Oct-17 13:41:05

Yes, the CfE does look pretty awful. And Wales is now on the verge of doing something very like it.

Ironically, I think Scotland moved towards El Fluffo curriculum as part of an attempt to get better PISA results, because they were under the impression a fluffy curriculum was going to turn them into Finland (apparently nobody realized that the Finnish students who did well in Pisa in 2001 had actually been going to school in the 1990s, when Finnish students sat in rows and had a textbook for every subject, etc. But I digress).

All in all I think children will get a better education in England on average. But it depends on the individual school. And I've no doubt that many individual Scottish schools do a great job of teaching children, simply because they have enough teachers with the common sense to adapt the CfE or ignore it when necessary. English schools are all different too.

Going to Cumbria and visiting some of the local schools would seem to be the first thing to do. And posting on Mumsnet local to see what the gossip is about individual schools.

Popcicle123 Fri 13-Oct-17 14:26:16

Thank you very much. Lots of helpful information. I think we will visit Cumbria shortly to start looking around areas/schools

mmzz Sun 15-Oct-17 07:11:36

Scottish education used to be a a LOT better but that was before devolution, when Scottish schools were a long way from meddling politicians. They were left alone and the standards were high, whereas in England , the Department of Education frequently involved itself and outcomes were poorer.

However, with devolution, suddenly there was a whole government in Edinburgh, that didn't have control of the economy, defence or international relations thus freeing it up to really involve itself in health, education and housing. See for yourself the outcome.

QueenLaBeefah Sun 15-Oct-17 07:18:17

I've no idea about English education but I have teenagers in a Scottish school and the standards are in free fall. One of my DCs doesn't have a maths teacher but a succession of substitutes and, as a consequence, has gone from one of his favourite subjects to one he tolerates. I'm looking into hiring a tutor. The C of E is a joke and do not get me started on the embarrassment that is the Nationals. The whole state of Scottish schools is a national scandal.

LucieLucie Sun 15-Oct-17 07:36:53

Education in the north east of Scotland is in crisis due to high costs of housing.

There’s simply not enough teachers able to come and work there and have a decent standard of living, hence constant staff shortages.

Secondary schools seem to be worst.

I’d look seriously at Cumbria.

mmzz Sun 15-Oct-17 08:01:32

I grew up in Scotland and worked in the same industry in both Scotland and England. Now I have children in English schools.
The Scottish schools were far and away better in the 80s. I was used to a certain level of education and professional competence in Scotland but when i moved to England, I realised that people in like for like jobs were much less well educated. I don't mean one set had degrees and the other didn't. i mean that the quality of their written work was worse, they were less numerate and frankly the standards of professional behaviour were lower (the English would go drinking at lunchtime - I believe that has stopped now).

The English secondary schools today are not as good as I experienced at a comprehensive in scotland in the 80s. However, seeing what my nieces and nephews who are still in Scotland are experiencing, I believe that my DC (who are in England) are getting a better deal from their school.

I hear things abut a curriculum for excellence and i am reminded of a scene from Yes, Minister when Sir Humphrey Appleby describes writing a white paper where "you get rid of the difficult bit" in the title and say whatever you please in the contents. I think that's what has happened with the curriculum for excellence which is a classic misnomer.

mmzz Thu 19-Oct-17 22:42:11

Feeling the stress - yes. I think it's just because DS realised that it's not fun now and only going to get worse. This half term is the first time ever he's really had to organise himself in order to get all the homework done

mmzz Thu 19-Oct-17 22:43:12

Ignore my last post. Wrong thread!

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