New Secondary Schools for Richmond 4(1001 Posts)
Welcome. This is the fourth (or perhaps fifth) in a series of threads about Richmond Secondary Schools.
The discussion was originally triggered by Richmond council's publication of its Education White Paper in February 2011. It started with two parallel threads here and here.
In November 2011 the most active of the original two threads reached 1000 messages (the maximum allowed) so we continued the conversation here.
That thread filled up in May 2012, and was continued here.
It's now November 2012, and once again we're at the start of a new thread ....
The Guardian reports: Michael Gove in clash over free schools freedom of information requests
The information commissioner, Christopher Graham, and Michael Gove have clashed over the public's right to know the names, places and religious affiliation, if any, of all the groups who have applied to join the government's controversial free schools programme . . His department had until now fought rulings by Graham on applications fromthe British Humanist Association (BHA), and appealed to a tribunal on the issue "because we wanted to protect public-spirited volunteers from intimidation". He said ministers had heard of instances where teachers had been hounded out of their existing schools by supporting an application and one proposer had told them of a death threat . .
[Graham said] that he did "not for a moment" accept that publication facilitated intimidation. "I will join you in defending the right of anyone to oppose (or support) government policy. But I will also defend the operation of the Freedom of Information Act in the public interest." Graham's office recently put Gove's department on a special monitoring list because it was among public organisations dragging its heels in responding to freedom of information requests . .
Did anyone seen this Independent article yesterday?
Six flagship academies sent warning letters over poor performance
'In the case of the Kunskapskolan-sponsored Ipswich Academy in Suffolk, the latest visit by education standards watchdog Ofsted observed: As a result of infrequent marking students work is often scruffy, poorly organised and frequently incomplete.'
The article implies that Kunskapsskolan as a chain is criticised but in fairness the schools in Hampton and Twickenham are not specifically mentioned.
Today's RTT has a long letter, Church considered for school as demand grows (p 27), from Matteo Rossetti, chairman of the governors of Thomson House School.
Just reading that Independent article again. Interesting to see how figures can be selective. I checked the league tables for a particular sponsored academy in Chatham cited as where 'percentage of pupils achieving the Governments GCSE benchmark shot up from 16 per cent to 42 per cent'.
It must be underlined that all Richmond sponsored academies are very much better in comparison!
Its cohort is disproportionately weighted to low/average attainers: low 23%, middle 70%, high 7% (this is the region's grammar school effect, effectively still a secondary modern). Disadvantaged pupils = 32%, Pupils for whom English is not their first language = 13%.
% 5 A-C GCSEs inc E&M (or equivalent) = 42%
% 5 A-C GCSEs inc E&M (EXCL. equivalent) = 22%
% Ebacc subjects = 0%
% high attainers entered for Ebac = 0%
% entered for languages = 5%
% entered for humanities = 19%
% entered for science = 28%
The BBC reports: Free school applicants' religious affiliation revealed (Jan 21):
A quarter of applications to set up free schools in England over the past two years were from faith-based organisations, official data shows . . The data was published after the Department for Education lost a bid to withhold it and was ordered by the Information Commissioner to release it. As he released the data, Education Secretary Michael Gove said he wanted to be "careful" about the information published on free schools applications.
The material now published by the DfE gives details of free school proposals submitted under the first three "waves" - or rounds - of applications. For each application it gives the name of the proposed free school, the area it would be situated and the name of the independent school involved, if it is converting to free school status. For proposals submitted under the second and third "wave" of applications, it also gives the religious faith of the planned school, if there is one.
The story only links to the DfE homepage: I didnt find any mention of this data release there.
The First-Tier Tribunal decision dated 15 January 2013 is here.
It further clarifies decisions made July 2012 - the original FOI request was made June 2011.
There is an FT article which reports one-third of first round free school applications were private schools but this was down to 10% by round three (behind a pay wall).
The Independent comments that one in four applicants had religious affiliations.
The RTT reports: Richmond has London's lowest rate of child poverty:
. . Richmonds rate of 7 % child poverty was the capitals lowest, while Tower Hamlets, with 42 %, was highest . . Within the borough, Heathfield ward had the worst child poverty rate with 21 %, followed by Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside with 16 % and Hampton North with 15 %. Whitton had a 10 % rate, Mortlake and Barnes Common had 8 %, West Twickenham scored 7 %, North Richmond, Kew, Barnes and Hampton Wick had 6 % and Hampton had 5 %. The remaining seven wards of the 18 had below 5 % child poverty rates . .
The full data set = 9400 wards by parliamentary constituency is at:
The median rate = 16 %.
If anyone is interested, Ofsted has produced a data dashboard to check results of schools when compared to similar state schools and progress.
But beware - it produces some bizarre results and looks a tad simplistic. Check out science exam results for Tiffin Girls. Because one poor girl missed passing two science GCSEs (perhaps a multilingual budding novelist and alerted historian for all we know) the school plummets to the bottom when compared to similar schools. No data on how Tiffin Girls is 'narrowing the gap' - it seems poor people don't send any girls there. It's also unclear how some schools are being compared and what the definition of 'progress' is depending on whether they started behind or ahead, and in what proportion ...
This week's RTT has another letter from David Grice (p. 27) responding to Matteo Rossetti's letter last week (see ChrisSquire2 Fri 22-Feb-13 11:56:47) defending the plan to open a new school in East Sheen United Reform Church.
The RTT Online reports: Turing House free school proposers invited for interview:
Amy Dyduch writes: . . The Department for Education [has] assessed the Turing House application and invited the proposers for an interview on Friday, March 8. Steering group member Colin MacKinlay said it was encouraging that they have been given an early interview:
Its almost the final hurdle in that they have assessed the bid and decided its strong enough to be considered. We are really pleased that we have got through to this point.
[ . . they] remain cautious about securing the building as the Government reviewed the future of the site and announced a new laboratory is due to be built, which may mean old buildings could be put back into use.
There's also a letter from Marc Cranfield-Adams suggesting ways for the council to cut its budget, including: 'If he established all our schools (primary and secondary) as free-standing academies he would remove the dead hand of the council's education department.' Obviously, the secondaries already are academies - while primary schools have declined a previous invitation by the DfE/council to go down this route.
Curious to know where the expression 'dead hand' comes from as BayJay used it previously?
"as BayJay used it previously?"
Did I? Where? I can't remember. Perhaps I was having a cynical moment!
It's a fairly common phrase. Here's a thesaurus definition.
muminlondon2: This is from the full OED, free to all library members:
a. = mortmain n. (of which it is a translation).
b. fig. An oppressive and retarding influence. Cf. mortmain n. 3.
1935 Discovery Oct. 301/2 This cannot fairly be described as the dead hand of the National Trust.
. . 1971 Daily Tel. 25 June (Colour Suppl.) 13/3 Eisenhower's dead hand on space was an obvious electoral issue for the two incoming presidential candidates to seize on.
1. The condition of lands or tenements held inalienably by an ecclesiastical or other corporation; lands or tenements so held. Freq. attrib. Now hist.
. . 3. In extended use. The figurative use is often based on the notion that the dead hand refers to the posthumous control exercised by the testator over the uses to which the property is to be applied.
. . 1852 H. W. Longfellow Haunted Houses v, Owners and occupants of earlier dates From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands, And hold in mortmain still their old estates.
. . 1970 R. Lowell Notebk. 22 The horrifying mortmain of Ephemera: keys, drift, sea-urchin shells, Packratted off with joy.
Now I realise it was Lottie (09-Feb-13 18:22:45). BayJay picked up the reference.
thanks for that Chris, am off to write some poetry now and ponder "the dead hand of the National Trust"!
muminlondon2: a tv programme about Knole showed what this means: the young Sackvilles who have come to live in the house wanted to relaunch the cafe with a trendy metropolitan menu and decor: rocket salad and balsamic vinegar and other expensive delicacies that were never eaten by the aristos who lived in the house.
This was vetoed by the NT who decided [no doubt correctly ] that it would not appeal to their non-metropolitan non-young - and non-affluent - members.
An indication of secondary offers in Richmond here - can't find the press release though.
Thanks muminlondon. Interesting, as that does sound like its come from a press release, but its not on the council's website.
RISC are reporting having been contacted by some unhappy Y6 parents on their Facebook Page
We need some context to those figures. This year Tiffin set the first part of their test early so they could shortlist 450 for stage 2 test, so unsuccessful candidates would have put their Richmond preferences higher up. If Waldegrave last year made 29 second pref offers yet were completely oversubscribed that may mean up to 15% of local children had put a grammar or faith school as first choice but didn't get in. If Kingston has a similar jump on first pref offers that would explain it.
RISC are keen to hear from any parents who are unhappy with their secondary school allocations, not just those who are very unhappy to find themselves with no choice but St RR, as they aim to hold the Council accountable for the school place forecasting that was used to justify the proposal to give the Clifden Road site for a Catholic School. www.richmondinclusiveschools.org.uk/our-aims-and-policies/
muminlondon2: Hampton People have just confirmed that their source is a press release not yet on the council website. We'll have to be patient a while longer, it seems - the link suggested is to the admissions home page.
Some more statistics from London Councils Pan-London Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme 2013. I don't see an overall jump for Kingston compared to last year although number of applications is not given.
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