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New Secondary Schools for Richmond 4

(1001 Posts)
BayJay2 Fri 09-Nov-12 21:26:33

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 ....

muminlondon2 Sun 10-Mar-13 00:43:49

Tower Hamlets is another success story. Like Newham, in GCSE results alone it is now around the level of Richmond and has been growing since 2010. Yet in 2006 it was 15% below. Again, it has no sponsored academies but a majority of pupils on free school meals.

Richmond should probably be compared with other outer boroughs (predominantly white, more affluent although pockets of deprivation, lower population). Merton for example - that certainly has improved since 2010. Still beaten by Newham though, even for Ebacc score.

LProsser Sun 10-Mar-13 09:28:57

I think it was a bad year to choose to criticise schools given the GCSE English saga and the Lib Dem press release could have been more balanced, although no doubt the subtleties of all the factors that need to be looked at to see if Richmond is going backwards or not would be far too much for the RTT to take on board. I do think school senior leadership teams are at full stretch introducing sixth forms and becoming academies all at once (they even admit it to parents!) so their capacity to concentrate on improving teaching may be less than in other years so that needs to have an eye kept on it. What exactly does the LB Richmond school improvement team do? Is it mainly about improving teaching?

I'm pleased to hear such good progress is being made in Newham and Tower Hamlets. I wonder if improvement across London is easier for psychological reasons as the children can see more opportunities for jobs they could do on their doorstep whereas children in areas where the economy is very depressed, or where transport to the nearest work is an issue, find it harder to motivate themselves and teachers/parents find it harder to motivate them.

BayJay2 Sun 10-Mar-13 10:27:39

" What exactly does the LB Richmond school improvement team do?"

Until last year the LA employed a full time Head of School Effectiveness, who scrutinised and challenged local schools on performance,and supported them to improve. I don't know how big her team was.

When she moved on, instead of employing a replacement, the funding was used to establish Education Richmond, which is a School Improvement partnership between all of our local schools, led by Maggie B (head of Grey Court). I don't know if the LA retains any in-house school improvement function. My impression is that it now puts all its resources into supporting Education Richmond.

Education Richmond recently gave a presentation on the new model to the Education Scrutiny Committee (see item 73).

I interpreted the Lib Dem's recent statement as attacking the loss of the LA's school improvement function, describing it as a "funding cut". However, Education Richmond is at an early stage of development, so its a bit soon to judge its success.

muminlondon2 Sun 10-Mar-13 10:34:45

I've just posted on another Mumsnet thread about this - there is an interesting national picture of attainment and different ethnic groups although it's been apparent for years. White British in general are outperformed at GCSE by Irish, Indian and Bangladeshi, and Chinese beat everyone. The difference is really stark for those on free school meals - Bangladeshi boys are 29% ahead of white British boys.

I'd suggest it's aspiration, parental expectations, work ethic and language ability leading to higher cognitive skills. Particular groups seem to have responded really well to better teaching which resulted from school improvement. I think the picture in Manchester was more mixed. I think that there is wider class divide among white British than in other groups but there may also be more complacency.

muminlondon2 Sun 10-Mar-13 11:30:29

TES 9 March article on the need for collaboration.

The Academies Commission report suggested that converter academies may be more reluctant to collaborate where there was competition - Education Richmond is a promising start according to Philippa Nunn's letter. In some chains with more direction from the centre there was less autonomy for individual schools and a reluctance to admit the need for other support. I notice that the representative from the sponsored academies is the end of RPA. I wonder how far Hampton and Twickenham Academies are participating in Education Richmond?

BayJay2 Sun 10-Mar-13 11:48:15

Muminlondon, my understanding is that all of the schools, including TA and HA are participating in Education Richmond. Turing House will undoubtedly participate in it too when the time comes.

muminlondon2 Sun 10-Mar-13 12:00:28

BayJay, that's good to hear. I meant to say 'head of RPA' not 'end of RPA'.

muminlondon2 Sun 10-Mar-13 13:28:11

Actually, a really good summary of why the London Challenge worked is here:

www.teachers.org.uk/node/17429

- it worked in urban areas with clear identities
- aim was to improve all schools across each area, but the most intensive work was in schools that were underperforming
- no set prescription of what would work
- notion that all schools could learn from each other
- weakest schools received the most funding, used to buy cover to release staff to visit other schools
- recognition that individuals and school communities tend to thrive when they feel trusted, supported and encouraged in contrast with common government discourse of ‘naming and shaming’ ‘failing’ schools

muminlondon2 Sun 10-Mar-13 13:34:14

And in fairness to the academies, political squabbles and delays in school building have created uncertainty. In my opinion, the link system also created a barrier. Even if you believe competition can improve performance, the difficulty in reforming links meant that it has been harder for weaker schools to climb from the bottom of the table.

ChrisSquire2 Sun 10-Mar-13 19:36:45

Education Richmond might do well to adopt this approach, taken from the formal Evaluation of the City Challenge programme p. vii:

. . Raising standards in coasting and satisfactory schools:

. . The key factors in the intervention that [worked] were:

•working with other schools (and in particular, schools with similar intakes);
•opportunities for middle leaders to work with their counterparts in other schools;
•clearly agreed plans, targets and time frame;
•a small amount of funding for cover to enable teachers to visit other schools;
•a lead headteacher who drove the agenda, and who received appropriate training.

The lead schools benefited from the lead headteacher training; the reflection involved in explaining their practice to others; and the boost to staff morale from being identified as a lead school . .

muminlondon2 Mon 11-Mar-13 08:00:08

Minutes of Hounslow's school admissions forum for November 2012 say that pressure on primary school places was so great they were consulting on expanding 17 schools.

However at secondary level capacity was sufficient till 2015:
'In Feltham and Hanworth there was currently significant growth, with three extra forms of entry needed and one needed by 2029/30. The most significant pressure was in Central Hounslow, where the growth would not decline. There was currently estimated to be a shortfall of 102 places in 2014/15 and 223 by 2029/2030. '

For 2012 allocations there was a surplus of 283 places.

ChrisSquire2 Mon 11-Mar-13 11:43:46

RISC report: Freedom of Information response reveals forecast doesn't exist:

A few weeks ago we submitted this Freedom of Information request to Richmond Council:

The Council consultation on the redevelopment of the Richmond College site states, with reference to the proposed new secondary school: “the Council’s forecast, taking into account as far as it can, the likely establishment of further free schools, suggests that further significant provision may be needed by September 2017” . . Please provide full details of the secondary school supply/demand forecast referred to in the RuTC site consultation.

This was the response they provided on 26th Feb 2013:

. . A report containing revised forecasts may be submitted for Education and Children’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in due course. There are no revised forecasts that are available for you to view further to those already in the public domain regarding the use of the Clifden Road site. . .

Our conclusion is that while the Council's proposals for Richmond College redevelopment make sense, their consultation documentation is misleading. It says the proposals are on the basis of a forecast of the need for secondary school places. However there is no up-to-date forecast - The only forecast they have was issued in Oct 2011 . . We'll make sure we examine the promised new forecast when it becomes available . .
……
Mumsnetters will recall that the Oct 2011 forecast was heavily criticised here and elsewhere when it was published. See: New Secondary Schools for Richmond 2 BayJay and akhan Thu 15-Dec-11 and Cabinet meeting Nov 24 2011 #100 Secondary School Priorities

muminlondon2 Mon 11-Mar-13 12:01:57

In terms of how this affects Richmond, in the last school census 2012 there were 1081 Hounslow pupils in Richmond secondaries (Table 13b), e.g. approx 220 per year group.

Figures from the link policy consultation suggested 29 fewer would get into Orleans Park from Hounslow without links. The rest will be at the Academies.

It does look like slightly fewer Hounslow applications to Hampton Academy but a slight increase to Twickenham Academy for those who might otherwise have opted for Orleans Park. Maybe we will get more info on offers soon.

muminlondon2 Mon 11-Mar-13 12:21:45

Chris, the LA may also need to wait for the school census figures which will be available in June. Table 12 shows that 15.4% of last year's Y5 pupils in Richmond primaries were resident in other boroughs, a little higher than last year's Y6, so this explains the dip in applications from Richmond residents. It drops to 9.4% for reception pupils: while there does seem to be a general trend for families to move further away (to cheaper areas?) as their children move up the school, there is still an underlying increase in Richmond resident pupils.

muminlondon2 Mon 11-Mar-13 12:49:45

If a sizeable proportion of that 15% out-of-borough primary pupils are in the Catholic schools (they, of course, are likely to travel further to school than those in community primaries), then perhaps there were even fewer Richmond residents applying to St RR than indicated (67 first Preference). Does anyone know if its priority areas match LA boundaries exactly or do they follow catchment areas of primaries?

Heathclif Mon 11-Mar-13 16:39:49

muminlondon Aren't it's priority areas Parishes? with a random allocation within each one (if oversubscribed) "parishes of Our Lady Queen of Peace, East Sheen; Sacred Heart, Teddington; St Edmund, Whitton; St Elizabeth, Richmond; St Francis de Sales, Hampton; St James, Twickenham; St Margaret, East Twickenham; St Mary Magdalen, Mortlake; St Osmund, Barnes; St Theodore, Hampton; St Thomas Aquinas, Ham and St Winefride, Kew."

I seem to remember a poster saying the Parish boundaries do not mirror the borough boundaries, therefore it would have been difficult to exclude parents from those Parishes from being eligible to apply for out of borough schools.

Now know of four families in Hampton offered St RR though not one of their preferences, all would be closer to Hampton Academy and Twickenham Academy so it would appear both are oversubscribed on allocations.

muminlondon2 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:36:59

Yes, you're right - St Edmund's parish goes beyond Richmond borough boundaries. I remember about half of the pupils at St Edmund's are Hounslow residents (30?).

ChrisSquire2 Tue 12-Mar-13 00:52:32

The borough boundaries map onto the CofE parish boundaries, which are very old and defined the boundaries of the Vestries that preceded the old boroughs and urban districts.

The RC parishes are larger and recent, reflecting the accidents of settlement by incoming RC populations at different dates, and don't map to the boroughs at all. I don't know whether they cover the whole of Britain or not.

ChrisSquire2 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:20:33

The Standard reports: 'Tens of thousands of extra school places needed by next year' (Mar 150: . . Despite more than 80,000 extra primary spaces being created in the last two years, there are still signs of a real strain on school places, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO). . .

The Guardian has Shortfall of school places to reach quarter of a million

ChrisSquire2 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:34:40

This week's RTT has two letters on the performance of our secondary schools (p 24): one from Cllr Malcolm Eady, the Lib Dem education spokesman, and the other from Julian Gravatt of Teddington.

Nelsonelson Fri 15-Mar-13 17:30:08

I have heard of some people being given RR school even though it was not on their list and they are not religious. Not a great start for this "much needed Catholic school"

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 15-Mar-13 17:52:32

I am still reeling from reading 'Lord True' - is that man really now a Lord??? He was a useless councillor, and nimbyist to the extent of objecting to speed bumps (sorely needed) being put on my road, on the very derivative reasoning that it would lead to traffic being diverted down his (nearby road)... If a petty nimbyist like him can be a 'Lord' have even less respect for our political system sad.

ChrisSquire2 Sat 16-Mar-13 01:08:50

MrsSalvoMontalbano: it's true,I'm afraid; you can follow his lording on TheyWorkForyou.com at Lord True Conservative Peer and he has a wikipedia page at ‪Nicholas True, Baron True.‬

BayJay2 Sun 17-Mar-13 17:23:32

Hi all. Just posting a link to the minutes of the latest Admissions Forum which focused on school admissions arrangements for 2014/2015 entry. The discussion was related to the council's recent consultation on those admissions arrangements.

The council is still coordinating the consultation for the converter academies, even though they're now their own admissions authorities. However, as the Admissions Forum meeting took place 2 days after the consultation closed, presumably the forum's views weren't actually fed into it.

muminlondon2 Sun 17-Mar-13 19:22:31

'IES, who had proposed a three-form entry primary free school in Teddington/Twickenham, had been bought out by venture capitalists who had decided not to submit the proposal; however, Gems Education, who ran preparatory and other schools in the UK, USA, Middle and Far East, had taken the proposal on.'

So it's still being proposed by the same individual - the ex-UK manager of IES Jodie King. So one woman wants it then, but - it's still a corporate entity in search of business.

And why wasn't this detail mentioned in the Admissions Forum minutes?

(Education Investor is behind a pay wall but the article wax posted 10 January 2013 and is entitled GEMS poaches IES UK boss if you have trouble viewing it.)

I'd like to see the evidence of demand by other parents. And what exactly are they demanding seeing as they thought they were demanding this:

www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/10038248.Swedish_free_school_opens_to_parents/

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