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They want us to talk about grammars so we're not talking about this

(49 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 10-Sep-16 07:27:49

Everyone interested in education is talking about grammar schools.

Is this debate a smokescreen to divert attention from the absolute disaster that is facing UK education?

Fairer national funding formula postponed
Delayed report into the Ebacc
No information yet about Y7 SATs resits
Scrapping of levels with no replacement leaving schools and parents confused
Heads threatening to boycott KS2 SATs
Massive budget cuts
The imminent plummeting GCSE pass rate
Last minute syllabus releases for reformed GCSEs
The mess that is decoupled AS-levels
The teacher retention disaster
The teacher recruitment crisis - latest news is that targets have been badly missed for teacher training this year in key subjects
Calls for more financial regulation of academies

That's off the top of my head, I'm sure there's way more.

And it is infuriating that with all this going on, the DfE will be spending their time fannying around with a proposal from Theresa May which is purely political.

DorothyL Sat 10-Sep-16 07:29:19

Couldn't agree more

cricketballs Sat 10-Sep-16 07:56:11

Always the same; government wants bad news that they will struggle to not put the blame on teachers hidden - let's announce something that will cause big headlines

Tanaqui Sat 10-Sep-16 08:01:35

Completely correct. I have a y 11 and a y12 and god knows what is going on with the exams they sit in a few months.

The new primary curriculum is implemented so differently in different schools that y 7 teachers are going to have an even harder job.

I went to an awful comp, and I wouldn't wish hat experience on anyone, but I can't see how more grammar schools can be the answer, plus the pressure it puts on 10 yr olds is insane. And round here it is such a short test- there must be a huge randomness factor.

Blu Sat 10-Sep-16 08:03:47

YABU. surely grammar schools will cure all that lot in one swish of a posh striped tie!

Why is there an impending plummet in GCSE results? The cynic in me says that this will instantly create the currently missing 'reason' to bring back grammars.

My DS is just starting yr 11 and I feel he is a sacrificial guinea pig.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Sep-16 08:12:50

The GCSE headline figures in maths and English next year will be based on the grade 5 which is higher than a C. Statisticsl analysis shows an expected drop of around 23% in the headline figure pass rate based on the new pass grade and how it will be calculated. This is inevitable, and can't be changed by teachers teaching the new courses any better than they already are.

The government can bang on about improving standards and more rigour and so on, but when a substantial extra number of Y11s fail the new GCSEs, I expect their parents might be a bit annoyed, even if they are fobbed off with a 4 not forcing a resit for the first couple of years.

PumpkinPie9 Sat 10-Sep-16 08:15:06

I agree.

Everytimeref Sat 10-Sep-16 08:26:19

Where I work each departments budget has been slashed from £9000 to £2000, we arent even sure if we will have enough exercise books for the year and photocopying has been banded. In a subject that the syllabus has been changed and no text books available. Which everway I try to organise the tables some students can't see the boards.
But don't worry soon the "clever" kids can sit in a new shiny school. Whilst the rest dont need an education as they will be needed to work in the fields. (Zero hour contracts)

CreamTeaFor4 Sat 10-Sep-16 08:31:59

I agree. It's a smokescreen. What little money we (the government) has should be spent on improving existing schools, across all abilities. Not another half-arsed implementation of an ill-thought out idea.

Everytimeref Sat 10-Sep-16 08:33:27

* banned not banded! !

notthebees Sat 10-Sep-16 08:39:33

I agree. How convenient for the memo to be 'leaked.'

PumpkinPie9 Sat 10-Sep-16 08:43:30

The tories certainly excel at creating divisions.

SnugglySnerd Sat 10-Sep-16 08:44:09

I agree. I started teaching my new year 10 class this week with no idea how the new grades work or how to mark their practice papers or predict grades yet they will trust me to put the right predicted grades on college applications. It feels like a stab in the dark and I agree, the students are guinea pigs.
I work in a lovely school which has always had a low staff turnover but about 20 staff left in July, many of them leaving the profession. It's a mess.

walruswhiskers Sat 10-Sep-16 08:46:57

Spot On.

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 10-Sep-16 09:37:16

Completely agree. i am actually scared by that list but it exactly sums up the situation we're facing.

TeenAndTween Sat 10-Sep-16 10:36:40

Can we add 'Including exams into BTECs' which now leaves no options for kids who don't examine well.

notthebees Sat 10-Sep-16 10:43:38

Don't forget the farce with transferring statements to EHCP's.

NicknameUsed Sat 10-Sep-16 10:46:46

I agree. DD's school has been a victim of the unfair funding formula for years. Their budget is ridiculous. (I know because I used to be on the finance committee). How they manage to retain good teachers is beyond me.

jeanne16 Sat 10-Sep-16 13:16:42

It is nonsense to suggest huge numbers will fail the new GCSEs. Grade boundaries will simply be readjusted to prevent this.

Effic Sat 10-Sep-16 13:37:43

Jeanne16 - like they did with the new Key stage 2 SATs? Pass rate has dropped by over 25%? No one changed any boundaries?

Sadik Sat 10-Sep-16 13:45:14

Totally agree. Frankly, I think the main one speaking as a parent from your list is recruitment / retention. It's not rocket science, is it - if you want good results anywhere you need to pay staff decently and treat them well.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 10-Sep-16 13:54:12

Totally agree.

They've slashed budgets so much and raised the bar so much re exam result expectations schools are already silently managing out pupils with Sen/SN.

But clearly the solution is to create more schools for the most academic so they don't have to mix with the kids that struggle and those pupils can now be left in the old schools that will I assume be allowed to be sink schools?

TwoLeftSocks Sat 10-Sep-16 13:57:29

Yep, agree with you on all of that OP.

situatedknowledge Sat 10-Sep-16 14:00:37

I agree. I've thought about each of those things at some point, but putting them in one list is terrifying. I am not a teacher, but have DC in Y8, 10 and 12. Our school has asked (begged) for increased parental contributions this year. You can hear the sadness in the HTs voice in the begging letter.

MaryField Sat 10-Sep-16 14:17:27

Agree. Also this week they slipped in the fact that new Catholic secondaries will be able to select 100% on faith instead of the current 50%. Apparently this opens up 1000s of new places for the chosen few and is good because Catholic schools are the most ethnically diverse. They obviously haven't been to Hertfordshire.

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