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Head of St Olaves suspended

(21 Posts)
wineoclockthanks Thu 19-Oct-17 18:03:20

BubblesBuddy Fri 20-Oct-17 10:17:01

It is a good move by Bromley that the school is investigated and that the Head has been suspended by the Governors during the investigation. If this practice has been established over a number of years it is illegal removal of children from the school. Finding an alternative school mid A level would have been extremely difficult and very damaging to their exam prospects.

It has brought the school into disrepute and I bet the Head may end up going or being disciplined. It's inevitable.

I am also concerned about what the Governors knew or didn't ask! Did they know this was happening or did they just accept the numbers of pupils the Head gave them? Was there any discussion about this policy in Governing Body meetings? Senior staff must have colluded in it too. Shame on them. The whole practice stinks and anyone who allowed this to happen should be disciplined. They must have known it was illegal but didn't actually care about their pupils, just league tables. I hope they have to face the music!

TeenTimesTwo Fri 20-Oct-17 10:38:32

I also was wondering about the governors. Surely they should/would have known about the reasons for people not continuing to the second year?

Dumbledore345 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:07:49

The governors and the LA have all known about this practice for years.

So while I do not object to the head being suspended I think it would be grossly unfair if he were to take all the blame. The governors and the LEA leaders should also go.

Andtheresaw Fri 20-Oct-17 13:13:50

Lots of schools do this: if they don't offer other courses for Y13 and the Y12 results show that the children won't pass A levels, then it's beholden on the school to tell them the truth and encourage them towards college where they can get a different qualification.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 20-Oct-17 13:36:54

Andtheresaw yes. But your rider the Y12 results show that the children won't pass A levels is critical to your statement.

In St Olaves people were being turned away for not getting 3Bs at AS/end y12 exams. Grades BBC is not failing A levels!

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 20-Oct-17 13:59:49

That sort of thing has been going on for many years in academically selective schools. Students not being entered for exams or being encouraged to study elsewhere if they're not going to hit the magic number is nothing new sadly but those schools simply have to get the headline grades so it's what they resort to.

KittyVonCatsington Fri 20-Oct-17 14:03:06

The new Head was not popular when they first started (bringing a Tarauntula to an Assembly, anyone?) so I wonder if this suspension will lead to a dismissal.

tiggytape Fri 20-Oct-17 18:11:18

That sort of thing has been going on for many years in academically selective schools.
Yes but this is different. Aspects of being selective are fine (or even desirable). Other aspects are not:

1. A state comp telling a Year 11 pupil with a Grade 5 in maths that they cannot stay on in the 6th form if they insist they want to do A Level maths is fine (and desirable in the sense that they'd have almost zero chance of passing it).

- An academically selective school requiring Year 11 pupils to get 6 grade A's or higher at GCSE in order to continue into Year 12 is fine.
Year 12 is a natural time for people to move.
Yes, some children on 4A's and 6B's may be required to leave against their will but a selective school is expected and entitled to set a high standard for admissions (just as it can choose to set an 11+ score so high that it doesn't fill all of it's Year 7 places if it wishes to).

- Telling Year 12 pupils who got a string of A and A*s at GCSE (but who are now on track to 'only' get B's and C's at A Level) that they must leave half way through their A Level course is not fine.
It has huge negative consequences for the pupil for no good reason.
The pupil may still pull a top grade out of the bag but, in any case, aren't set to fail.
The pupil cannot continue their courses elsewhere because the combination of exam boards, subjects and available spaces won't match up.
They will have to start Year 12 again for no absolutely good reason other than their selective school feeling shown-up by a B grade.

admission Fri 20-Oct-17 18:44:21

It is interesting to note that both the previous chair and vice chair of governors resigned since the start of this issue, though it is said that the resignations are not related to the issue.
It will be interesting to see what is actually disclosed in the future when the Council have completed their investigation.

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 20-Oct-17 20:06:33

Tiggytape, when I sat my a-levels many moons ago weaker students were simply not entered for the final exams. It really isn't anything new.

AlexanderHamilton Fri 20-Oct-17 20:51:31

Weaker students are not those with B/C grades though. Weaker students are those struggling to get an E.

tiggytape Fri 20-Oct-17 23:08:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Fri 20-Oct-17 23:12:13

Here's the extract from the Guardian that reported the parents' and children's reactions over the policy of securing 3B's in Year 12:

"The process this year began on the last day of term in July when letters were handed to all year 12 students. According to parents, one set were told they had secured the required grades and their place in year 13 was confirmed; a second set were put on warning following unsatisfactory results for internal exams, until the outcome of their AS levels in August; a third set were told their grades in their internal exams were not good enough and that they were out.

Parents were horrified. “There was no counselling available, there were no parents there. They were just given this letter,” said one mother. “It was shocking. These kids have been at that school since year 7.”

Others had to wait for their AS results in August to see if they had made the grade. “It was absolute carnage,” said one parent. “It was dreadful. There were just groups of children in tears.”

Over a Year 12, 3 Grade B 's cut-off!

tiggytape Fri 20-Oct-17 23:19:16

Didn't see Alexander' post which pretty much summed it up!

AgonyBeetle Fri 20-Oct-17 23:27:19

Even nowadays there are plenty of students who struggle with the transition to A level and don’t do as well as they could at AS, but pull it round before A level.

One of my dc got BBCD at AS, but by a concerted effort in Y13 got A*AA at A level. Luckily their 6th form had a floor of DDD for progression into y13 - they didn’t automatically chuck out dc who got below that, but did bring them in for a serious chat about how to move forward, including the option of retaking y12.

I agree with tiggytape - schools select the students after GCSE, and that should constitute a commitment to see them through to A level, unless the student really duffs up their side of the deal by not showing up to lessons or doing no work at all.

Astronotus Sat 21-Oct-17 00:50:01

Pastoral care 0, league tables 1. Is this how we really want to treat our children, especially in the face of a mental health epidemic in our schools?

noblegiraffe Sat 21-Oct-17 13:27:42

We’re now going to see children being allowed to continue with totally unsuitable A-levels which they are most likely doomed to fail and there will be fall-out on results day because people will equate ‘being told they can’t continue with less than a B’ and ‘being told they can’t continue with an E/U’.
One is bad practice and is designed to protect league table positions. One is fine and is designed to protect students from wasting a further year on something they will fail.

elkiedee Sat 21-Oct-17 21:36:45

I think that students who aren't coping for whatever reason with courses should be identifiable before the end of the first year, not just in exams.

When colleges chuck lots of students out half way through A levels, where else do they go?

PettsWoodParadise Fri 17-Nov-17 18:14:10

I appreciate we are all innocent until proven otherwise but this smacks of jumping before he’s pushed

Astronotus Fri 17-Nov-17 18:51:11

Let's hope the authorities will look closely at other high achieving schools that push students out.

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