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State education Is it up to standard?

(106 Posts)
Educationguru Sat 07-Dec-13 14:25:39

Has anyone got any opinions on this one?

rasberryYoghurt Sat 07-Dec-13 14:54:30

Some schools are, some aren't. Thats why there are league tables, ofsted judgements and endless threads of parental opinion. As a happy side effect, because of all that scrutiny, standards will continue to improve as schools compete for parental preferences. As a society, we just need to make sure we're measuring the right things for use as comparators.

There are many poorly performing private schools too, but less information by which to measure them.

lljkk Sat 07-Dec-13 15:46:02

What "standard"? Ruddy British, obsessed with "standards". Ruddy Paperwork age, for that matter.

ipadquietly Sat 07-Dec-13 15:48:18

It's up to the standard of the framework setting the standard!

As Ofsted has changed its criteria 5 times since September, it is difficult to tell what the standard actually is.

It is also debatable what a 'good standard' is. I would say it would be to give children a rounded education, with lots of team work and opportunities to take risks; others would say it was learning from text books and doing 3 hours of homework a night.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 07-Dec-13 15:55:00

standards will continue to improve as schools compete for parental preferences

This really only works where there is an alternative. Where we live there is a Hobson's choice of one absolutely lousy (bottom 20 in England) school.

This school has been performing badly for all the time we have been associated with it (7 years). It has been in and out of special measures twice. It has now been academied to avoid going into special measures for a third time after the latest debacle.

The problem with this school is endemic poor management. The current head is incompetent, the head before him was fired, heads of department are incapable of their jobs. There are good teachers but these are frequently too junior to be able to make an impact.

The closer scrutiny allows us to see this but the poverty of the management structure means that nothing can be done.

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Dec-13 16:03:14

is Private education "up to standard" ?
who defines the standard?
what standard?

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 07-Dec-13 16:04:38

I think it can be difficult to say why a good school is good. However I think that it is easier to list the reasons why a bad school is bad.

In a bad school low standards are tolerated and become the norm. Whether from staff or students. A school is where it is, it has to operate within a community. The problems of that community will come into the school but it is how the school deals with this which divides the good and bad schools.

NoComet Sat 07-Dec-13 17:25:10

Up to standard is a totally personal thing.

According to Ofsted DDs school is failing.

It isn't failing my top set DD2

And it's doing as good or better job with DD1 as a outstanding school would.

She's dyslexic and academic support for bright dyslexics isn't a priority anywhere outside a few private schools who charge you extra for it.

However, her schools pastoral care has been way better than she might have got elsewhere.

rasberryYoghurt Sat 07-Dec-13 17:47:47

WorrySigh said "This really only works where there is an alternative. Where we live there is a Hobson's choice of one absolutely lousy (bottom 20 in England) school."

Hence the free school programme. If your LA is complacent about failing schools, parents do at least now have the power to do something about it.

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Dec-13 17:51:49

my local failing school is a sponsored academy

I would not touch a free school with a bargepole

Educationguru Sat 07-Dec-13 17:53:49

If the children are happy, learning academically, growing in confidence, gaining social skills and safe is this not a good standard?

Educationguru Sat 07-Dec-13 17:55:16

By the way many private schools are Ofsted inspected too and have full reports issued.

Educationguru Sat 07-Dec-13 17:57:15

I totally agree with raspberry.

rasberryYoghurt Sat 07-Dec-13 18:06:02

Yes, I know Talkinpeace. You're against them.

However, if you don't like your local sponsored academy, you could propose a free school to compete with it. You could then buy in educational services from your LA if it's so good. Plenty of free schools are doing that.

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Dec-13 18:09:58

I like my LEA they are fab, dismantling them is SO going to impinge on "standards" - wait and see ....

my kids are at a school that is a converter academy that still buys in most of its services from the LEA

rabbitstew Sat 07-Dec-13 18:34:38

Turning schools into academies or setting up free schools does not actually increase the pool of good headteachers. That's why you won't miraculously convert all bad schools into brilliant schools by spending lots of time on converting them to one type of school to another, or opening up new schools close by. You will, however, use up an awful lot of emotional time and energy, and practical time and money, in the conversion process.

rasberryYoghurt Sat 07-Dec-13 18:55:30

" my kids are at a school that is a converter academy that still buys in most of its services from the LEA"

Then its not so different to many free schools Talkinpeace. In fact some LAs are even on the proposing trust for Free schools. There's one in North Kingston like that. Hard to see anything objectionable about it.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 07-Dec-13 19:20:13

I totally agree rabbitstew. The free schools and academies are simply a distraction in my opinion. They are an example of 'busyness' rather than genuine action.

Taking an incompetently managed school and reducing the amount of supervision seems entirely ludicrous to me.

Equally ludicrous is suggesting that a happy amateur such as me should set up a secondary school in competition to the currently badly run one. How is that going to improve things?

I think that the whole free school idea was cooked up as a sop to the public in a very childish way of saying 'well if you think you can do any better why dont you try it?'.

Why these were ever suggested I dont know. You wouldnt suggest that the public should set up hospitals if their local one was badly run so why schools?

What I want is for the school my DCs attend to be run competently. My DCs get one chance at this.

straggle Sat 07-Dec-13 19:26:40

Has there been an Ofsted annual report this year? A couple of years ago it judged teaching in private schools to be rarely better than competent.

PISA also made the point that private schools are no better than state schools.

And provisional Ebacc results suggest a drop in standards at private schools this year. It could be because a large proportion are being entered for easier but unregulated exams, or a rise in the number of overseas pupils. Or both.

straggle Sat 07-Dec-13 19:33:24

I think that the whole free school idea was cooked up as a sop to the public in a very childish way of saying 'well if you think you can do any better why dont you try it?'.

No, along with academies it was a way of dismantling LAs and allowing backdoor privatisation. It limits choice because LA-managed schools are no longer allowed. The Kingston school was an exception as a local authority, schools and college consortium. Over half the approved free schools are actually run by chains - others by religious organisations. Only 5% are parent-led and managed.

strugglinginsilence Sat 07-Dec-13 19:39:18

Well my DD is just finishing her first term at Oxford, 4 more from her cohort are at Oxbridge, a further 5 reading medicine and 2 vet science. Her school has been in Special Measures for over a year and according to OFSTED is failing to improve despite their A Level results being in the top 10% of non-selective schools. Sometimes it is worth digging down. This school serves the top 25% brilliantly, also SEN it is the middle range who fail to achieve.
Interestingly all 5 of the Oxbridge pupils are reading Maths/Engineering. So the Maths department must be doing something right!

scottishmummy Sat 07-Dec-13 19:45:06

It's a broad question,some state schools are great,some aren't
Be mindful of not applying stereotypes about state or private

happygardening Sat 07-Dec-13 19:45:12

straggle as the article re teaching quality of teaching in the independent sector clearly states ofstead don't inspect all independent schools only those who aren't members of the ISI. The top schools who are all members of the ISI are not loosing their position at the top of league tables etc.
Ther are with out a doubt some crap independent schools out there but my DS1 was at an ofstead judged "outstanding" comp whoever good it was meant to be it was 10 leagues (not league tables) behind DS2 top boarding school.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 07-Dec-13 20:12:18

Actually you are right Straggle. I think my comment was more in annoyance at the poster who suggested that I should propose a free school as the solution to the problem of my DCs' unutterably crap school.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 07-Dec-13 20:16:54

I don't think any state schools are up to a decent standard tbh, but the last people I would hold responsible for this are the teachers.
I suppose it depends on what you think about N.C, framework, and of course if you are interested in what ofstead judge as outstanding, good or satisfactory.

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