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What has changed at Cotham School?

(7 Posts)
GenedlGymreig Thu 17-May-18 09:43:10

I was reading the new Ofsted report for Cotham School . The inspection judgements start with:

"Since her appointment in 2015, the headteacher has acted with great purpose to address the changing needs of the school. The school is responding well to the changing social context of the community which the school serves. "

What are they referring to? What has changed in the social context of the community in the last few years?

smilingelizabeth Thu 17-May-18 19:44:43

I can reply with my opinion on this but don't have children at the school yet. Mine will go in a years time. What has changed is that there are more secondary schools in the area now so the school has a different catchment area and now has a significant percentage of students who are pupil premium ie their parents are struggling financially. Many of these children don't speak English as their first language and therefore the broadly middle class student intake of previous years has changed. Have friends with children who are there and they are happy.

GenedlGymreig Fri 18-May-18 09:24:01

Thank you smilingelizabeth. So is it Colston girls and the Cathedral school going state that has extended the catchment area to much poorer areas do you think? It's odd as where I live a road that used to be in the catchment area wasn't this year!

catslife Fri 18-May-18 14:13:22

I think that the effect of CGS and BCCS converting has only had a small effect on other nearby schools as they recruit across the whole city rather than just based on catchment.
There are several issues here:
1. Redland Green school and Cotham are fairly close together compared to other state schools and this has meant that pupils in the Redland area who in the past may have chosen Cotham now choose RGS instead. This will have had a few years to work through as younger siblings may have followed older ones to Cotham but this effect will be minimalised.
2. A high proportion of families in the Clifton area tend to use private schools rather than state.
3. The university has expanded so a number of large houses that would have been rented by families a few years ago will now be having student tenants. Rents have increased significantly pushing many families further away from Cotham than previously.
4. The ethnic diversity across most schools in the Bristol area is increasing.
5. Although both the number of pupil premium students and pupils with English as a second language is increasing they aren't necessarily the same pupils. Am aware of university academics, hospital consultants etc moving into this area with children for whom English isn't their first language so may be several different factors.
6. The number of pupils with FSM is still significantly lower than schools in some other areas of Bristol or the national average.

GenedlGymreig Fri 18-May-18 15:32:46

Thanks catslife, that's a really interesting list of reasons. It's very hard to get anyone to spell things out like this in person I have noticed.

I do find it a little sad how poorly FSM and non-native English speaking children do in Bristol. If you look at London schools, a number of the stellar performing schools have very high counts in both those categories. It's likely this is partly down to different demographics for those children (e.g. entrepreneurial and hard working immigrants looking to make their fortune in the capital) but I can't help but blame the educational/political culture in Bristol too.

catslife Fri 18-May-18 19:22:17

I do find it a little sad how poorly FSM and non-native English speaking children do in Bristol. If you look at London schools, a number of the stellar performing schools have very high counts in both those categories.
This isn't a Bristol trend OP it's true nationally apart from London. But the school funding formula means that there is more money spent per pupil in London than in Bristol.

GenedlGymreig Sat 19-May-18 16:31:58

Do you think school funding explains all the difference?

I feel in Bristol the outcome of having a school with many poorer pupils without English as the first language is but in London it is often something similar to .

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