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Another day, another £4.2 million pissed away by the Tories who say there is no money for education

(26 Posts)
noblegiraffe Tue 24-Apr-18 20:08:33

Yet another failed Free School closes its doors after being open for under two years and leaving kids in the middle of GCSE study needing to find another school.
Nineteen failed UTCs and studio schools in 8 years. What a colossal waste of money. £4.2 million was just the cost of the building!

And if there are sufficient places in the surrounding secondary schools to accommodate its pupils, why was it opened in the first place? There were much better uses for that cash, surely?

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sanam2010 Tue 24-Apr-18 20:18:06

If it's for the building, it's not necessarily wasted assuming they will just open another school. They might give it to a more experience academy chain to run.

noblegiraffe Tue 24-Apr-18 20:50:31

It’s a studio school, they’re tiny. They’d have to open another studio-style school and that model isn’t working.

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Walkingdeadfangirl Tue 24-Apr-18 21:36:25

Well they can just sell the buildings and recoup the cash, its hardly wasted.
19 closed schools in 8 years, just over 2 a year doesn't sound a lot for the whole of England. Close bad schools keep the good ones open, what is wrong with that? Better than failing state schools becoming black holes that fail kids year on year.

noblegiraffe Tue 24-Apr-18 21:44:13

Walking, that’s 19 closed UTCs and studio schools. There were under a 100 of them to start with. About 1 in 5 closing within 8 years isn’t great, is it?

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NotAnotherJaffaCake Tue 24-Apr-18 21:51:06

It’s a disgrace. Is it bad I am hoping that a large academy chain goes under soon, to drive home the point about how bad an idea they are? Our local academy has about 2 people with education experience on the board of trustees, and a plethora of nuclear engineers, who will obviously know all about sorting out challenging schools. It’s also all white and all male. Another academy chain had a significant number of staff being paid £149k, just below accountability to DfE thresholds. It’s a total racket, with at best lip service paid to education.

Walkingdeadfangirl Tue 24-Apr-18 22:30:06

About 1 in 5 closing within 8 years isn’t great, is it?
Obviously any school failing isn't great, but if that means 4/5 UTCs are succeeding with children in a way that other types of school couldn't provide, then having them is a good thing surely?

We can only compare if we know what the alternative outcomes would have been for these pupils had UTCs not existed. I doubt it was a choice between an outstanding comprehensive and a UTC.

noblegiraffe Tue 24-Apr-18 22:42:00

means 4/5 UTCs are succeeding

Oh, I’ve got bad news for you there too.

Schools have to be pretty terrible to close. Not closing doesn’t mean they’re succeeding!

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TheFallenMadonna Tue 24-Apr-18 22:48:36

There's a ICT on the nearest city to me. The majority of secondaries in the city are good or outstanding. They are all above the UTC in performance measures. It hasn't closed but it is neither suceeding nor necessary.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 24-Apr-18 22:49:04

UTC, not ICT...

twelly Tue 24-Apr-18 23:14:49

Absolute shambles - new schools opening up, not inspected for two years and then failing the children. It's an experiment with children's lives.

noblegiraffe Tue 24-Apr-18 23:29:41

It is, twelly. And those poor kids now having to switch schools at the start of Y11. How many threads do you see on here where someone asks if they can move their child’s school in Y10/11 and everyone says ‘that’s a terrible idea, so disruptive, don’t do it’?

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Walkingdeadfangirl Wed 25-Apr-18 00:19:55

Just looked at that link you provided noble, and it shows out of the 14 UTCs inspected in 2017 only 2 were put in special measures. The rest are either good or what we used to call 'satisfactory'. Now I am guessing their intake is more challenging pupils and they are relatively new, so surely that is a pretty good result.

I am still not seeing why trying to make education more vocational for some pupils is a bad idea?

NotAnotherJaffaCake Wed 25-Apr-18 07:19:29

‘Satisfactory’ is now Requires Improvement and having been a governor in an RI school, it is not good enough. Our local FE colleges do a good job of vocational training. Why not support those? Oh yes, that’s right, they aren’t a)new and sexy or b)cash cows.

If a LA squandered money like this the right wing press would never let it be forgotten.

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Apr-18 07:46:48

Crikey, Walking, you’re really trying hard to make out this isn’t a total balls-up. Even Michael Gove admits that UTCs are a failure.

“UTC pupils have lower GCSE scores, make less progress academically and acquire fewer qualifications than their contemporaries in comprehensives.” He said.

I’m not sure whether anything has been specifically said about studio schools.

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noblegiraffe Wed 25-Apr-18 07:48:35

still not seeing why trying to make education more vocational for some pupils is a bad idea?

I dunno, try asking the Tories who want every kid to do the Ebacc and have devalued vocational qualifications?

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Clavinova Wed 25-Apr-18 10:10:48

And if there are sufficient places in the surrounding secondary schools to accommodate its pupils, why was it opened in the first place?

No prizes for guessing which nearby secondary schools will have spaces - whilst the UTC in Plymouth was rated inadequate in 2016 - 3 surrounding secondary schools were also rated inadequate in 2017. It's more of a 'Plymouth problem' in this instance than a 'free school problem' I think - the nearest free school to me has been a resounding success.

Piggywaspushed Wed 25-Apr-18 15:49:03

Can I just add, having worked with them, the majority of UTCs still open are pretty awful and nearly empty , employing unqualified teachers from whenever they get them, struggling with empty but expensive buildings, and having either vastly inexperienced SLTs or post retirement heads earning pin money . They are nearly all on their knees.

Piggywaspushed Wed 25-Apr-18 15:51:08

Also... UTCs were not intended to be for the less able or the disaffected. they may have ended up that way but it was not an intended aim.

If we forgive RIs because of challenging pupils, how come a fair few APUs are rated good and even outstanding?

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Apr-18 16:33:50

They forgot to consider the obvious question ‘which kids would want to leave their current secondary school that they’ve been at for 3 years to go somewhere different?’

It’s not the happy, successful kids who like school.

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TheFallenMadonna Wed 25-Apr-18 16:34:36

More AP rated good or outstanding than mainstream secondaries in fact.

pointythings Wed 25-Apr-18 17:09:40

They tried to push one of these in our patch a couple of years ago - all Yr 9 parents got a letter home advertising it as a good choice for their child. hmm So my highly academically able not at all interested in ICT DD would benefit from going to this specialist school which btw would mean a 90 minute commute each way every day? I recycled it. Not surprised this initiative is failing.

The government needs to fund comprehensive education properly for all children. It shouldn't be rocket science.

Piggywaspushed Wed 25-Apr-18 17:13:25

They had to push them in all areas. I got two of those letters. It was 'revealed' that a barrier to their success was that schools were not informing parents that their DCs could move to a UTC for year 10 onwards (obviously!), so the government decreed everyone needed a letter. I reckon it's made sod all difference.

stickerrocks Wed 25-Apr-18 19:50:08

The Isle of Wight Studio School is also closing in 2019. All of the secondary schools on the island had surplus spaces when it opened, except one which is now up to its neck in debt. There was no need for the school to open and it was operating at huge under capacity. It was a joke from day one.

LimeIce Thu 26-Apr-18 12:52:33

I agree with you Noble. It's an absolute disgrace.

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