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Barking Mad?


observer
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I presume we are talking about the story on the front page news today about Woolston High being named as on of the top 40 most improved schools in the country :?

 

So who's barking the loudest on the madness category

 

1. The Government

 

2. Helen Jones

 

3. Warrington Borough Council

 

4. WBC's Education Department / Exec Board

 

5. DCFS

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I totally agree that Helen Jones is no good as an MP and since getting her whips job has done more to promote herself and her party than Warrington..... however, if the reports were to be believed, Woolston WAS a failing school which at the end of the day {quick cliche there} was failing its pupils and wasn't doing the job that it was supposed to do and what the taxpayer was paying for. If all that is true, then that is why it was handed its marching orders and for no other reason. If it wasn't failing, it wouldn't have been closed surely?

 

Being a model school now is no good if the decision has already been taken

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..... however, if the reports were to be believed, Woolston WAS a failing school which at the end of the day {quick cliche there} was failing its pupils and wasn't doing the job that it was supposed to do and what the taxpayer was paying for. If all that is true, then that is why it was handed its marching orders and for no other reason. If it wasn't failing, it wouldn't have been closed surely?

 

Being a model school now is no good if the decision has already been taken

 

Thought the other reason for closure was falling pupil intake numbers.

 

The schools obviously not failing it's pupils so surely if given a reprive the intake numbers would rise significantly as it's well above average national level for exam pass rates now and seems the staff and management certainly know how to turn things around and succeed :wink:

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But Dis, all that would happen then is that the intake for another high school in the town would fall and so the cycle would start all over again. If there are falling pupil numbers then there is no need to have the places; especially in the cutback climate we are in now. Years ago I would have said just keep it open and the numbers will eventually come back but now we can't afford to keep schools open if there aren't sufficient numbers to keep them open.

 

The money will be made available in the future if a new school is needed to be built so worry about it then

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Using the logic from the posts on this forum, all schools and businesses should be allowed to fail because of bad management, and not to be given any chance of reprieve, (the banks are a good example after being bailed out by the tax payer? and seem to be in profit?).

 

If the school or business has new director or head teacher and they then right the wrongs of previous bad management practices by being given another chance by Ofsted to improve and then make a success, their reward for the hard work and dedication, should be to keep the school open, was not that the idea when the current head teacher took over? Then surely the schools successes would only encourage parents to send their children to one of the best schools in Warrington such as Woolston High.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not quite; we have a stupid system of league tables, which encourage equally stupid parents to try all kinds of gambits to get little Jonny into "the best" school, regardless of his intellectual capacity.; rather than having a policy of ensuring ALL schools attain a common high standard, and intakes are based solely on catchment areas; this would no doubt require added investment in better teachers in the more challenged areas (the reverse of the current trend), and the actual delivery of the declared aim of smaller class sizes. The implication of course would mean a requirement for more teachers - perhaps no longer possible in this new age of austerity. :roll:

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We have a stupid system of 'New Build' funding from central govt through the DFES which encourages even more stupid local councils to try all kinds of gambits to get their hands on the cash regardless of whether or not they really actually need it. :roll:

Which means money supposedly for education can be used to further other objectives....such as releasing profitable development sites or providing the infrastructure for such. There are no official 'bodies' set up to ensure that the applications for funding genuinely fit the criteria set which means vast amounts of public money can be wasted unnecessarily.

I think the whole 'Building Schools for the Future' programme is just one big disorganised mess which benefits nobody but building/housing Developers and the construction industry. :evil:

 

I agree with Obs that a policy of "ensuring ALL schools attain a common high standard, and intakes are based solely on catchment areas" would make more sense.

If children were allocated places according to which was their nearest school it would be easier to predict and organise long term provision, so the money being spent on building, demolishing, then rebuilding schools according to parental whims and thus fluctuating pupil numbers, could be spent on staff, resources etc and could ensure a high standard of education in all schools!

It would also relieve the congestion/pollution on our roads!

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I agree with Obs that a policy of "ensuring ALL schools attain a common high standard, and intakes are based solely on catchment areas" would make more sense.

If children were allocated places according to which was their nearest school it would be easier to predict and organise long term provision, so the money being spent on building, demolishing, then rebuilding schools according to parental whims and thus fluctuating pupil numbers, could be spent on staff, resources etc and could ensure a high standard of education in all schools!

It would also relieve the congestion/pollution on our roads!

 

It would merely reinforce the present trend of parents moving into the catchment area of a supposed "good" school, thereby perpetuating the struggle of schools in deprived areas to maintain good results from children in those areas who are statistically less likely to do well (so more intelligent children from poor areas end up doing less well than less intelligent children from affluent areas).

 

Let's face it, there was a bit of this about the Woolston closure proposal with parents threatening not to send children to Padgate / Lysander (and indeed finding other schools further away).

 

I've not checked, but (while recognising the improvement under the present head) I wonder whether some of the improvement at Woolston is because the pupil-teacher ratio is better as the school "winds down" (plus the usual caveat that "improvement" in this context usually means comparing two entirely different groups of children - if one year's intake is "bright" and does well in tests/exams, the next year's results may be worse even though those particular children have made excellent progress).

 

The real problem with test scores is that the "level" is supposed to be the average expected across the country, and now every school is somehow expected to produce results better than the average. Which, as every fule know, is impossible.

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Well. IF if middle-class parents start to move into deprived areas, cos the sink schools are getting all the money and best staff, and theoretically best results; that would be a bonus to fixed catchment intakes - providing of course, that we had a Gov that actually believed in a fairer future for all, and actually spent more on sink schools in the first place! :wink:

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