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There's a "culture of low expectation" in secondary schools. Do you agree?

(712 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Jun-13 13:01:49

Hello. You may have seen/heard on the news today that Ofsted is warning that thousands of bright secondary-school-age children are being "systematically failed" at school.

And we'd like to know what you think about this.

Ofsted says there is a culture of low expectations in England's non-selective secondaries - meaning that, according to a new Ofsted report, more than a quarter (27%) of pupils who achieved the highest results in primary school fail to achieve at least a B grade in both their English and their Maths GCSE.

The most academically able, says Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, arrive "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" from primary school, but things start "to go wrong very early. They tread water. They mark time. They do stuff they've already done in primary school. They find work too easy and they are not being sufficiently challenged."

Do you think this is a fair reflection of life at secondary school? Do you think your child's secondary school has a low expectation of its pupils/your child? Does/did your child "tread water" in Year 7? Do you wish secondary schools did more to challenge their more academically able pupils?

Please do tell!

Talkinpeace Tue 25-Jun-13 22:47:22

none of my DCs gangs of friends laugh at them for being bright and hardworking
then again most of DDs friends just collected their prefect ties so they clearly have low expectations

wordfactory Wed 26-Jun-13 09:17:39

I think the UK as a whole is quite ambivalent about education generally.

Look at the way teachers are treated. Look at the way celebrity culture pervades daily life.

It wouldn't be a great surpirse if this seeps down into school life for students...

Talkinpeace Wed 26-Jun-13 15:29:03

Which country would you say does it better?

wordfactory Wed 26-Jun-13 16:57:43

Better, as in more respect for teachers? Or higher educational aspiration?

Perhaps the two go hand in hand?

Talkinpeace Wed 26-Jun-13 17:13:28

name both - in one country

wordfactory Wed 26-Jun-13 17:15:23

Well the lovely poster cory tells me Finland and Sweden.

But I guess they are both a lot less socially diverse than the UK. I imagine too (though this is based on short visits not evidence) that celebrity culture isn't so big there.

wordfactory Wed 26-Jun-13 17:18:41

I'm also a huge fan of KIPP schools in the States.

I've kindly been invited a few times to the one in NYC and am in awe of the teachers there. As are the kids.

They certainly do not have low aspiration, no matter how disadvanatged the pupils.

Talkinpeace Wed 26-Jun-13 17:28:46

Finland is notorious for bringing all students up to a certain level but doing nothing to help the bright aspire to greatness.

KIPP schools in New York are not representative of the main stream US system.

next try

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 17:37:49

Apparently New Zealand has a good system, but someone who knows it criticised it saying 'well these days ANYBODY can get a qualification'. I see this as a strength in a system - this particular woman saw it as a weakness.

NotEnoughTime Mon 01-Jul-13 16:25:13

I would say it very much depends on the school.

At the secondary school that my son is going to in September there is a very high expectation (amongst the staff AND the pupils) that the children will work hard and do their very best there.

jellybrain Wed 03-Jul-13 13:36:58

Haven't read the whole thread but, I do think that there is an element of coasting in some schools for bright kids. We have just had DS2s end of year report for Y8 which includes his targets for the end of KS3 he has only one subject with a level 8 target and in most subjects he is expected to make just 1 sub level of progress in an entire year. His current levels already include a number of level 7s. He is achieving what's being asked of him but, is not being challenged. The only subject in which additional work has been set is French and even that seems to have petered out to nothing.
I can see parent's evening being quite full on this time.

EvilTwins Wed 03-Jul-13 17:31:34

Which is the L8 subject?

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