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Education system overhaul?

(28 Posts)
Mvl1972 Sun 13-Mar-11 18:01:25

Majority of our secondary state comprehensive schools are failing and the better performing schools are either faith based, single sex or grammar and these are way oversubscribed and extremely hard to get in. We don't have the infrustracture, we need new intitiative, we need "free" good education for our children. The founders of West London Free School have come together to bring about (hopefully)change in our ailing system I beleive we should let them. If they can deliver what they are promising then we should support it and use it as a model. I am disappointed that there are a lot of critisism about West London Free School. I dont understand why a lot of people are against it. I don't live in Hammersmith but I support what the founders are trying to do. Mr Slaughter and other critics should stand back for a minute and put things in prospective. We have plenty of primary schools but we seem to have just a handful of secondary schools and a lot of these are under performing??(to put it mildly) Clearly there's something wrong with the system...and surely we need an overhaul.

tethersend Sun 13-Mar-11 18:25:38

May I be the first to say:

Welcome to Mumsnet


Mvl1972 Sun 13-Mar-11 19:11:04

Thank you... This is a great site, I only found it today!

tethersend Sun 13-Mar-11 19:21:24

Well, in that case I'll just cut to the chase and ask you what connection you have with the West London Free School?

I think it's probably best if you come clean about your agenda at this point, TBH.

tethersend Sun 13-Mar-11 19:21:53

Should add- if you can be a little more transparent, then am happy to debate smile

hocuspontas Sun 13-Mar-11 19:30:56

Our state secondaries are fantastic.

sparklyjewlz Sun 13-Mar-11 19:38:42

Ditto Hocuspontas

sparklyjewlz Sun 13-Mar-11 19:39:26

OP: your post sounds like an ad.

Clary Sun 13-Mar-11 19:40:38

I am very happy with DS1's comp secondary. Not failing, not single-sex, faith or grammar, nor as it goes especially hard to get into.

The same is true of a considerable number of schools in my city thanks.

snice Sun 13-Mar-11 19:40:44

our local state non selective mixed sex school is fine thank you very much-outstanding apparently

tethersend Sun 13-Mar-11 23:30:55

Oh. Has OP not come back?

She seemed so passionate.

LadyWellian Mon 14-Mar-11 00:30:15

Yes, and odd, as I wouldn't have thought WLFS needed to tout for business after all the free publicity they have had in the Guardian and the BBC!

(Other news outlets are available but I can't comment on their output.)

hocuspontas Mon 14-Mar-11 08:18:29

Actually I'd welcome a debate with someone connected with the WLFS. Their aims are no different from every secondary school in the country and it would be interesting to see how they envisage achieving such high results based on non-selective admissions. Come back op!

Blackduck Mon 14-Mar-11 08:21:13

The first sentence is just one huge statement with no evidence to back it up. Are the majority of secondaries failing? - show me the stats.....

erebus Mon 14-Mar-11 08:26:52

The OP needs to understand that the word 'good' is oh-so subjective.

Latin isn't going to be 'good' for a by who would benefit far more from starting his mechanics apprenticeship at 14.

I, too, will be fascinated to see how schools like the WLFS cope with all comers, not just the hand selected.

The reason why the schools the OP list perform so well academically (note: I didn't say 'good') is because they select. Full stop.

LondonMother Mon 14-Mar-11 08:38:32

Does it have to be either/or with Latin and mechanics? My grandpa left school at 13, I think - towards the end of WW1, anyway - and was apprenticed to a gardener. That was the job he did for the rest of his life, apart from a few years as a fireman in Clydebank during WW2 (conscripted). His education was in a tiny village school in the Highlands where the children were taught 'Latin roots' to help with spelling and vocabulary. He wasn't all that academic, never a great reader, and would never have won the scholarships necessary to stay at school longer, let alone go to university, but he was a brilliant speller and had no trouble with the Latin names of plants.

meditrina Mon 14-Mar-11 08:44:19

I was wondering, I have to say, about the idea that one school would change the system. Or did OP mean the whole free school policy?

hocuspontas Mon 14-Mar-11 18:30:42

The main thrust of WLFS comes from a disillusioned parent. Will he still have the same drive and enthusiasm if his child doesn't get in?

kittya Wed 16-Mar-11 09:44:45

Is anyone actually putting their child into a free school? There's one opening near me and, no-one I know is interested.

CrystalChandelier Wed 16-Mar-11 15:10:00

I'd be very, very wary of sending a child to a free school, not least because the teachers aren't necessarily gonig to be qualified - just half an hour watching Jamie's Dream School is enough to demonstrate what a disaster that could be.

And haven't the Swedish free schools - those that inspired the original idea - all just converted into the state system because standards were so awful?

kittya Wed 16-Mar-11 18:13:14

Dont you think that if someone is passionate about their profession it can rub off on the children though. For example a barrister coming in and teaching about law once a week? would that not interest the children more? I just really dont understand what they are trying to do.

Im sure the one in London will be more successful than those around the country.

meditrina Wed 16-Mar-11 18:48:36

I think the "you don't have to be qualified" line is a bit of a red herring. It might well be a concern in other times, but with an oversupply of teachers (set to worsen as school budget tightens), I do not think it would be difficult to recruit.

I wouldn't be keen on a free school because, though not under LEA control, these schools are not actually "free" - they are under direct Whitehall control. Unlikely to be much of a factor under the current administration, but could look rather different kept we get another bunch of control freaks.

kittya Wed 16-Mar-11 19:04:45

according to the bumph regarding the one near me they are only looking to attract kids that want to learn and who's parents are going to encourage that 100%. In my town, it wont be difficult to recruit teachers who are going to be in an environment where the children are there to learn. Simply because the senior schools there are average and no more that that. Its a real shame.

Yet still, parents arent showing much interest. Is it because its never been done before?

CrystalChandelier Thu 17-Mar-11 18:06:08

For example a barrister coming in and teaching about law once a week?

Vocational chats have been going on in schools since time immemorial - that's nothing new and probably a great thing, as you say. I'm not talking about occasional teachers - I mean there's a good chance that the academic teachers - maths, English, science - who work there all the time might not be qualified.

Some parents might not care but I wouldn't touch it myself.

kittya Thu 17-Mar-11 18:10:16

you have to admit, some teachers are in the wrong job though.

When you research it theres hardly anything written about free schools and yet they are expecting to be up and running by September.

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