Any teachers work in a deprived area primary?

(51 Posts)
slappinthebass Wed 24-Apr-19 22:04:35

I live in an awkward area, inbetween a very middle class village with an oversubscribed outstanding school about a mile away we are not in catchment for, and we are in catchment for 2 very deprived area schools also about a mile away. Benefits of the catchment schools are that they have smaller class sizes, and presumably more funding via pupil premium?

I have two primary teacher friends I have discussed this with, one is strongly against the deprived area schools, saying in those he's worked at there have always been problems such as aggressive drug dealing parents, poorer pupil behaviour etc and he would not have his children in any of those deprived schools he has taught in. Another teacher friend claims the only difference is snobbery and the deprived area schools will likely have much better resources and smaller class sizes.

I'd like to put this question to other primary school teachers, would you send your child to your school? IS it just a matter of snobbery? This is the kind of thing that is debated a lot at babygroups but I need opinions from actual teachers.

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LyndaLaHughes Wed 24-Apr-19 22:09:23

Honestly? I wouldn't. I work in a very deprived school and there are many things children miss out of because parents won't pay e.g. there are many trips we can't run. Although our parents are very poor they are all in work and so actually pupil premium numbers don't reflect the true picture. Also the parents association etc don't raise much money to supplement anything either. The contrast with the school my own children go to is stark and quite frankly they get a much better experience even though my own school is superior academically because we work so hard to close the gap. Parents are more aspirational, more supportive and so their peers are different as well. I hope others disagree with me as it doesn't make me happy to say this but it does make a difference in my experience I'm afraid.

LyndaLaHughes Wed 24-Apr-19 22:10:03

Oh and we certainly do not have better resources- quite the opposite in fact and class sizes are standard.

LyndaLaHughes Wed 24-Apr-19 22:11:22

Oh and pupil premium has to be directed at those children specifically so other do not actually benefit from it.

ThunderStorms Wed 24-Apr-19 22:11:47

I wouldn’t . 'Issues' take up too much teaching time.

LyndaLaHughes Wed 24-Apr-19 22:12:55

I wouldn’t . 'Issues' take up too much teaching time.

Sadly, I would also concur with this. So many more barriers to learning to overcome.

K0612 Wed 24-Apr-19 22:17:28

I taught in a deprived area for over ten years I wouldn't send my children there. There is so much better quality teaching and learning when a big proportion of your time isn't taken up with behaviour.


slappinthebass Wed 24-Apr-19 22:22:52

Thanks for the replies so far. I feared those answers. I did believe that to be true of pupil premium, but I looked at the spendings for one of them and a couple of things mentioned it was spent on was forest school at the local park (the nicer school doesn't do this) a new maths curriculum/resources and teaching assistants. So those things would benefit all. The deprived area schools both have more teaching assistants.

There is actually a third school in the very centre of the deprived area, that we are not in catchment for that is outstanding in all areas from Ofsted. It has excellent academic results not just value added. High grammar pass rate. Above average for SATS. It MUST have all the same deprived area issues, so I can't fathom what they are doing so right. If we were to move before school application time, it would be much cheaper to move next to the outstanding deprived school. Would those that have answered so far still be reluctant if the results were so good?

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Maldives2006 Wed 24-Apr-19 22:47:22

Go and visit the school and see how you feel and remember that all you’re doing is choosing preferences. No one on here know the schools, so much depends on school leadership and teaching. The local authority will give you a school based on places not on whether you are an affluent family or not.

Unless you can afford private school or can home school your little one will be going to one of them.

Norestformrz Thu 25-Apr-19 06:06:23

Since when does deprivation equal bad behaviour?

Norestformrz Thu 25-Apr-19 06:07:25

I agree with Maldives go and visit and get a feel for the place don't base judgements on generalisations.

Russell19 Thu 25-Apr-19 08:25:45

It seems like these aren't the responses you wanted. I've taught in a deprived area and a more well off area, biggest difference is attitude to learning. Deprived areas don't value school as much and children are not always ready to learn. There are barriers to learning such as behaviour or emotional needs.

You'll probably find the things you listed that PP money have been spent on are still actually specifically for PP children. TAs used for interventions and targeted work, forest school resources used more with specific groups etc. They will need to be proving the money is directly impacting PP children so your child may not have access to that.

ThunderStorms Thu 25-Apr-19 08:45:21

Since when does deprivation equal bad behaviour?

Barriers to learning isn’t just about behaviour. It would be easier if that’s all it was. Deprivation brings about many issues that usually have to be dealt with before or alongside learning. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

eddiemairswife Thu 25-Apr-19 09:21:31

I taught in a deprived area, where most of the children came from Indian or Pakistani backgrounds, and there were very few behavioural problems. Our biggest trouble-makers came from the local white community.

slappinthebass Thu 25-Apr-19 10:57:28

@norestformrz deprivation can often lead to bad behaviour. A child from a deprived area is more likely to have parents who didn't do well in the education system therefore don't respect schools and teachers and pass this attitude on. The children may not have an adequate diet and often have no breakfast which could lead to bad behaviour. There is a higher rate of SEN in deprived areas, because a lot of SEN is a hereditary, and without the right support could have prevented their parents from succeeding educationally. There is a higher rate of lateness and unauthorised absence because of personal issues at home. These gaps in education can cause behavioural problems. Children are more likely to have an erratic home routine, allowed to stay up late, again causing behavioural problems.

Obviously it would be completely wrong to suggest all families in deprived areas struggle with these issues, but it's a fact that they are much more common.

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ThunderStorms Thu 25-Apr-19 10:59:16

While I agree to a point with eddiemairswife, the 'issues' we had with that demographic weren’t behaviour, but language. Such a high number (over 3/4 of the children) arrived at school unable to speak English (mostly because the mothers didn’t speak English). TAs had to be bilingual and English had to be taught. Very hard for those who arrived speaking fluent English because it was so hard to do everything well for every child.

ThunderStorms Thu 25-Apr-19 11:00:25

Exactly @slapinthebass

Random18 Thu 25-Apr-19 11:17:29

My child goes to the school that no one wants their child to go too.

And it’s bloody brilliant and she is thriving. And in my opinion it’s a better school that the one that everyone is desperate to go it.

People will go to extreme lengths for their children not to go to my child’s school.

And the one that benefits is my girl grin

RockinHippy Thu 25-Apr-19 11:26:23

Not a teacher, but was in a similar dilemma when DD started primary & I chose the deprived area/mixed school on advice from my DU who was a HT at the time.

I did love that DDs circle was very mixed, but I would never do it again nor advise anyone else to. Unfortunately the school became a dumping ground for DCs struggling with behaviour in other schools.

School ethos was very much about nurturing the most troubled kids, well over & above protecting those who knew how to behave & this led to some awful damaging situations for DD resulting in my having to pull her out of school & homeschool until I got her in elsewhere. She's a teen now & still affected by it today & I'll regret it for ever

I think the school became a bit overwhelmed & this didn't benefit the seemingly less troubled/struggling kids either in that many of DDs peers left to go elsewhere & a lot who'd been written off as dumb, or lazy quickly went on to be diagnosed with SN missed by first school

Choose the snobby option for your kids sake & yours

Random18 Thu 25-Apr-19 12:31:41

You can’t tar all schools in deprived areas with the same brush - just like you can’t say all schools in posh areas are good.

You need to visit school and make your own judgement.

midsummabreak Thu 25-Apr-19 12:54:02

Whatever you choose, the children/students will remember those fantastic teachers who enjoy sharing their inspiration for learning, especially those students from low socioeconomic status

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 25-Apr-19 12:57:18

Not a teacher.....
I live in a deprived area and made the decision to try and get DS into a slightly posher school outside the area for primary.
He got a place and he's OK there but if I had to choice again I'd choose differently.
I now feel that my head was turned by the headline results and the chatter of other parents.
When DS experienced a slight hiccup with phonics, his teachers first response (after leaving it a term to tell me) was to stress that she "wouldn't be able to differentiate downwards forever" and to drop hints that he might be better off elsewhere.
I was able to get him up to standard by working really hard with him over the holidays but it left a bad taste.
I was left thinking "no wonder they get great results if they weed out the kids who don't do well"
I feel the deprived school would have made more of an effort.

midsummabreak Thu 25-Apr-19 13:07:21

Agree with Unlimiteddilutingjuice
There are dangerous situations in 'posher' school, with more money available to create bigger alcohol and drug habits among teens, for example. Teens from posher schools will be well versed in politely hiding their 'habit', but that does not mean the problems do not exist

Random18 Thu 25-Apr-19 13:31:15

And High Schools tend to take students from many areas .........

WingingWonder Thu 25-Apr-19 13:35:04

I wouldn’t
The behaviour stereotypically modelled at home is less than ideal and does come into classroom
I’ve seen this with my own kids school & it’s hugely disruptive

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