Peers school in Oxford is one of 638 “failing” secondaries. Last summer, only 19% of its pupils got five GCSE grades at A*-C, including English and maths, easily the lowest in Oxfordshire and well below the government’s 30% threshold for acceptability.
Peers, though, was always fighting against the odds…When Oxford’s middle-school system was abandoned in 2003, Peers faced the upheaval of reverting to an 11-18 school. It was one whammy too many.
Nearly 700 children joined the school in three days, of whom nearly a third had acute levels of need. The school’s approach in the past had been based on giving autonomy and responsibility to an older age group, and it wasn’t prepared for the challenge of dealing with less mature pupils.
Perhaps some of the politicians, local authority officers and civil servants responsible for the succession of upheavals that afflicted Peers should feel uneasy, too. (Peter Wilby writing in the The Grauniad, June 2008).
Furthermore, in 2005, 2 years after the change, only 10% of its pupils got five GCSE grades at A*-C, including English and maths !
In July 2008, The Peers School was closed and re-opened in September as The Oxford Academy (“Learning and Leading for the World of Tomorrow” – bet that was written by a bureaucrat in a comfy office well away from the real world)
If you replace the name Peers with John Bunyan or Hastingsbury, then this could happen in Bedford, where three year groups are planned to go to the new secondary schools in September 2014.
This isn’t scare mongering. It is the future of education in Bedford if we allow the unelected bureaucrats and our maverick mayor to ignore public opinion.