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Secondary schoools achieving <30% at GCSE facing closure - this is the MAJORITY of schools in our area!

(121 Posts)
tortoiseSHELL Tue 10-Jun-08 09:34:25

We live in Bristol, and this news report about which schools are facing possible closure due to not achieving the minimum benchmark says that the MAJORITY of secondary schools in Bristol are on the list! shock shock shock

The education has always been bad here at secondary level, and it is very very stressful thinking about where the kids will go!

Blandmum Tue 10-Jun-08 09:40:05

You have my sympathy Tortoise, that must be a real worry.

I think the key is 'Close and re-opened as an Academy'

Which is all fine and dandy but unless the reasons for this level of underachievement are addressed (to my mind lack of learning support, poor behavior, and inappropriate courses), it will be about as much use as the re-branding of Sellfield

tortoiseSHELL Tue 10-Jun-08 09:42:30

Haha at the idea of opening as an academy being a solution - I looked at the list of schools, and the last school they did that to in Bristol is on the list! They closed a school to make that academy, it is currently at 21% GCSE success. I can't imagine they can close it to make another academy?

You are absolutely right about the reasons. It's a bit chicken and egg in Bristol - there are a huge number of private schools, but they are fed because of the desperation of parents.

Blandmum Tue 10-Jun-08 09:49:26

Two of our local 'failing schools' have been taken over as part of an Uber Academy with the overall head being the Head of the areas most successful (in terms of exam results) school.

His insists on exceptionally high levels of behaviour and has started with the two 'failing schools' isolating the new intake from the 'Old school' students. That way I think he feels that he can prevent the deterioration in behaviour in the new intake. Rather brutal, but I'll be interested in seeing what happens.

snorkle Tue 10-Jun-08 12:18:42

I've never understood why the schools in Bristol are so bad. What is different there to anywhere else?

CarGirl Tue 10-Jun-08 12:22:58

Our local failed & reopened school is finally turning around it went through 3 heads in 3 years before the current one arrived and has stuck their and sorted out getting and retaining committed staff. Yes they are much much stricter on uniform etc etc etc. Still another 5 years before the little ones go there so hoping it will continue to improve. (Not hard it's bottom of the surrey league table)

littlerach Tue 10-Jun-08 12:25:30

One of our olcal schools have started Vertical Tutoring ot try and raise attaninment.

I do sympathise as 3of opur nearest ones are pretty dismal.

The good oneis catholic so no chanceof that.

wessexgirl Tue 10-Jun-08 12:29:01

The Bristol situation is very odd, isn't it?

When I qualified I wanted to work there, but you had no chance of getting a job - there were soooo many applicants for each vacancy you felt like you'd hit the jackpot if you made it to interview.

How have they been brought so low when they have (or had) the pick of the graduates?

My cousin is a (good) primary teacher there and she can't get a permanent contract for love nor money either.

mankyscotslass Tue 10-Jun-08 12:30:25

The school DH attended in Manchester is on the list, we are not surprised. They changed the name a few years ago, but not much else hmm.
The only reason the largest secondary in our area is not on the list is because it's already being closed next year, with a new school being built on the grounds. It's last offsted and results were so damning that the whole board of governers was sacked. shock
This is the school our dc will go to, short of a miracle. We cling to the hope that the "new" school will be a massive improvement. It can't be worse, can it hmm

spongebrainbigpants Tue 10-Jun-08 12:33:12

I grew up in Bristol and went to Henbury School which, at the time, was a very good school. There are a variety of reasons - one of them mentioned by the OP, i.e. the huge number of private schools in Bristol and the wealth of parents who are able to afford these schools - why schools in Bristol are so bad.

When I was at Henbury it had an excellent mixed catchment of children - once "choice" was introduced in the late 80s, this mix disappeared and the catchments became much more polarised and schools like Henbury suffered as a result. It's a crying shame and parents in Bristol have my every sympathy.

FAQ Tue 10-Jun-08 12:39:12

Not surprised to see one of our local schools on their, mind you if they closed that one there'd be even more of a shortage, already far more children leaving junior school in town than there are places at senior schools.......

OrmIrian Tue 10-Jun-08 12:39:15

The school my DS is going to in September is on the list. And it doesn't bother me at all. The school is improving massively. If this list had been produced 5 years ago it would have been much much worse. And in the end all you can look at is how well your child does. Every teacher that I know tells me that this is the school they'd choose on the strength of the new head and the fact that results are improving so fast and the ethos of the school (discipline is very good as is the anti-bullting policy). The Ofsted report gave it exactly the same score as the so-called 'best' school in the town (the exam-factory).

And along with all the other secondary schools it's being rebuilt to give it better facilities in the next decade.

FAQ Tue 10-Jun-08 12:40:04

I notice that most of the Northampton ones are on their too........now Northampton doesn't have a plethora of private schools for parents to choose from.......

ZoeC Tue 10-Jun-08 12:41:23

The schools both dh and I went to (separate schools) are both on the list, although I don't either of us are surprised really.

wessexgirl Tue 10-Jun-08 12:43:07

Spongebrain, I definitely think that's a factor. One of my cousins went to Henbury in the late 80s - but his younger brother and sister both went to private schools, like most of their friends from the same wealthy suburb.

tinylady Tue 10-Jun-08 12:45:21

I am sure they will be replaced. I think it will be end up being a good thing

Mercy Tue 10-Jun-08 12:47:44

Tortoishell, there is a school on that list which is in my borough and that is already an academy too!

Actually, I don't even really know what an academy is.

DumbledoresGirl Tue 10-Jun-08 12:49:03

Move a few miles north tortoiseshell. It is what most people living where I do seem to have done - left Bristol for the schools just north of it which have a better record.

I can understand your concerns. The secondary education standards in Bristol are a disgrace.

FAQ Tue 10-Jun-08 12:50:28

on in Northampton that's an "acaedmy" too that's on the list

edam Tue 10-Jun-08 12:53:07

I wonder, have they excluded special schools from the list?

tortoiseSHELL Tue 10-Jun-08 12:54:41

DG - I have been wondering about moving south - Nailsea/Backwell way tbh, but I LOVE the kids' primary, so would only do that if their primary school went bad, or once they've finished primary.

I think it is an almost unbelievable statistic that in more than 50% of schools in a city less than a third of children achieve 5 GCSEs. That is a lot of children who are being seriously let down by the system.

Part of the problem is our useless useless council who know as much about education as they do about shoeing horses.

It will be really interesting to see how the 2 new academies, which were private schools fare. I am sure the statistics next year will show an amazing improvement in Bristol's results, because of these 2 schools (the children taking GCSEs for the next 3 or 4 years will be the children who started there when it was private). I wonder what will happen in 5 years time though.

edam Tue 10-Jun-08 12:55:45

There seem to be plenty of academies on this list...

DumbledoresGirl Tue 10-Jun-08 12:57:22

The school in Portishead had an excellent reputation IIRC. Any good for you?

wessexgirl Tue 10-Jun-08 12:57:25

No special schools on the list, but I think it's a bit hmm that the 30% target is applied to all schools, even in those areas that still operate a two-tier system (Kent, I think? and a few other LEAs).

DumbledoresGirl Tue 10-Jun-08 13:00:29

Good point wessexgirl about the two tier system, although lots of places, Bristol included, have a two tiered system. In Bristol, the two tiers are state education (which is letting its pupils down badly) and private education (which regretably, we can't all afford).

Actually, even places with a two tier system should be serving their pupils better than they are.

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