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Excellent SATs results at undesirable school

(31 Posts)
FurtherSupport Wed 15-Jul-15 10:37:52

I work at the undesirable school. Traditionally satisfactory, although we did scrape a good last time, it could have gone either way. We have high FSM, high SEN and are at the rough end of town. This is not the kind of school parents move house for IYSWIM.

In the town there are various "OK" schools and one very sought after one. That's in the posh enclave, surprise, surprise. Also rated good.

Anyway, this year, our Yr 6 SATs results are better than theirs! How many parents from the posh part of town do you reckon will apply here next year? grin Or does having to go to school with kids from the council estate, still make the school undesirable, regardless of how well it achieves?

MrsSkywalker205 Wed 15-Jul-15 10:42:00

I think it's safe to assume that most parents will still choose the school in the nice area. Results aren't everything after all.

hibbledibble Wed 15-Jul-15 10:53:28

In my experience parents usually choose schools based on reputation, even if the school with a great reputation has mediocre results.

For example, in our area we have a very oversubscribed school which has very mediocre/below average SATs and only a satisfactory Ofsted. We also have an under subscribed school with an outstanding Ofsted and great sats. I think the latter school's reputation will improve, but will take time to catch up with its recent achievements.

hibbledibble Wed 15-Jul-15 10:54:43

Both these schools have similar (very good) facilities btw.

ScentedJasmine Wed 15-Jul-15 11:07:04

Never underestimate snobbery...
Well done your school by the way smile.

QuiteQuietly Wed 15-Jul-15 11:38:05

It takes years and years for general opinion to change about a school and often staff are too busy doing necessary schoolwork to engage in PR to change the community's mind faster.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 15-Jul-15 11:53:40

You could be talking about the school where I'm a governor, OP. The snobbery associated with the school in the middle of a council estate has the children from more upmarket streets, who are also in our catchment, being driven off to mix with naicer infants from further afield, whose SATs results are no better for it. Ofsted have found behaviour and ethos to be excellent, so it can only be snobbery and gossip.

Ridiculous, but at least it's a good school that has a couple of infant places left for sensible parents.

FurtherSupport Wed 15-Jul-15 11:58:07

Yes, Brecon, the teaching, behaviour management and pastoral care at is far better at our school than at the desirable school, who lets face it, don't have to work anywhere near as hard to achieve the same results.

But their DC don't often hear parents yelling and swearing in the playground grin

christinarossetti Wed 15-Jul-15 11:58:27

We have this too. THE most sought after school in our local area is 'required to improve' having been 'satisfactory' and had the worst maths SATS in the borough last year (progress and attainment), and parents still fall over themselves to get their children in. Average SEN, low FSM.

Historically, it's for social reasons as in a very diverse area it has the highest concentration of middle class children.

It's surrounded by schools which are generally regarded to be 'crap' despite having much better results, much better Ofsted ratings and facing more challenges in their intakes.

People are strange.

IrianofWay Wed 15-Jul-15 12:11:46

Gawd! School reputation inertia is a powerful thing. Could take years! It works much quicker the other way though - one bad round of SATs will have some parents jumping ship from an otherwise OK school like rats with their tails on fire.

Hillbilly71 Wed 15-Jul-15 12:40:13

This is why private schools exist. Having experience of both, the teaching was worse in the public school costing £££ but they were selective who they took. The value added would be poor but parents pay for social leg-ups.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Wed 15-Jul-15 12:46:40

DD has moved to a less snobby school, fits in better, kids are nice and grounded, well mannered, (odd one, but you know!) Snob school have parents in at a drop of the hat!! Because dear darlings are having squabbles ... etc. Other school kids are more robust ...

Lurkedforever1 Wed 15-Jul-15 16:46:39

Dd's primary was never that popular when she started, on a council estate ( very nice one we'd all want a house on but snobs don't look at that), below average sats if you took the average levels and wasn't an issue her getting a place despite having several much closer. But I chose it because I just liked the teaching, the headteacher, the whole ethos and attitude, and the massive discrepancy between the lowest marks and the highest, despite the naice schools she could have had. It was definitely the right choice, because they actually do cater to every child. It started getting popular when people started realising that things like sen weren't considered as something to imply was the parents fault at the council school like at one or two of the naice ones, and that they couldn't care if high numbers of sen made results drop. And because they stretched each child regardless of difficulty and have a track record of actually caring about even the most minor things. Rather than 'does your child being caught on the receiving end of the meltdown of that inconvenient child with autism we've decided to ignore have any impact on their ability to get level 5 or more? No? Well off you fuck and remember to pay the expensive trip within the next hour'. Dds school still isn't breaking any records on the sats, but it's stupidly oversubscribed now, and even older year groups get any space filled asap.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 15-Jul-15 18:12:48

I would say it will take ages to change if it ever does. One of our local schools has consistantly got all or very nearly all of it's children to level 4 over the past few years, despite most of the children being on FSM and large numbers of children with SEN. It's still undersubscribed. Parents would rather take the chance with their children not achieving academically than send them to school with the wrong children.

Indole Wed 15-Jul-15 20:48:18

I sent my child to the unpopular but good school. It's worked out great (and I couldn't give a stuff about the 'wrong' children, whoever they are - frankly the worst behaved children locally all seem to come from the most desirable school).

roguedad Thu 16-Jul-15 06:24:51

I'm past this decision now, but having attended a highly academically focused school in a less than great area, I would go for the results every time. There were more fights than my parents would have liked but it was an education in more than one sense. OP - you must have very good teachers.

tefloncoated Thu 16-Jul-15 09:43:18

One factor may be the secondary the schools feed into. Many parents want their children to not only go to a good secondary but also to go onto secondary in the company of most of their friends. If the less desirable school feeds into a less desirable secondary, parents won't choose it even if their address would allow a different secondary, as their child would not have many friends to start a new school with at 11.

YeOldTrout Thu 16-Jul-15 10:27:37

In our small town, parents will stampede to your school, OP, If you get an outstanding rating regardless of the actual SATs. With results you describe, I'd expect a mini-upsurge in new pupils.

I've lived here 11 yrs & watched the parents stampeding back and forth between 2 schools.

ReallyTired Thu 16-Jul-15 12:01:06

Schools go up and down like yo yos. Parents also have different ideas of what consitutes a good education. I am not sure that a SATs hot house in a deprived area is the best of choice to send a child to. I would worry what tricks the school had done to weedle out the SEN kids from wrecking the statistics. There is an OFSTED outstanding school near me in a really deprived area and some of their rumoured behaviour is really quite questionable.

Many parents want their children to enjoy their childhood and have a wide range of experiences that a SATs hot house would deem a waste of time.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 16-Jul-15 12:42:18

Wow, they really can't win then, can they? Poor results - my PFB isn't going there. Good results - must be some kind of trickery and/or hothousing, because there's no way those council estate kids are as good as the middle class ones. And listen to the rumours! Dear me, no.


ReallyTired Thu 16-Jul-15 13:50:54

My daughter goes to a primary school in a council estate BreconBeBuggered. The children are put on under huge pressure to suceed. Where do you draw the line between being ambitious and hot housing a child to the extent that they become miserable?

I know it is unpalatable, but intelligence does have a genetic component. Adults with learning difficulties have a greater chance of having children with learning difficulties. Some types of learning difficulties are genetic. There is a mixture of both nurture and nature in producing able children who can pass exams.

I think its fair to question why two "community" schools which are practically next door to each other have very different rates of SEN. Is one school more welcoming of SEN children than the other?

christinarossetti Thu 16-Jul-15 13:51:30

Arf at worrying about what 'tricks' schools in deprived areas have to weedle out SEN kids.

Thay're the schools that lots of these children end up attending because the staff have the skills, patience and commitment to work with complex families.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 16-Jul-15 14:30:17

My DS went to a similar school, ReallyTired, but there was no pressure and I think it's insulting to both children and teachers to extrapolate from your own experience in that way.

Lurkedforever1 Thu 16-Jul-15 15:49:02

reallytired up to a point I agree, especially if you look at it from the intake of sen in reception. In dds school, with the exception of 1 in reception, in her class the other children with sen have come in later years, from other local schools. Although possibly her school isn't the best example of a school on a council estate, because the council estate is actually equal to the areas with new build smaller private homes, in every way from income, jobs and ratio of owned to rented so it's more the stigma of it being council than it actually being any more deprived than blue collar private iyswim. And some of the schools I'm comparing it too have a large % from the blue collar type private as well as the more middle class big houses.

hibbledibble Thu 16-Jul-15 17:33:20

really I don't think that you can infer that good results always equal hothoused.

Our local school with great results and a very deprived intake, gets those results by good teaching and we'll targeted support. The children are very happy, and spend at least half of the day playing outside in reception. They are certainly not 'hot housed', yet the school has a superb value added score.

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