Day 49 – D-Day September 2015

The D here stands for Destruction of the education of a generation of children. It is when 3 year groups move from middle school to the new secondary schools, more or less doubling their size.

So, what evidence does SMS have that this might happen? (remember evidence, that’s the thing missing from the non-consultation document)

Firstly, Northampton(shire). This is the last authority to change from three-tier to two-tier, and now has the most schools in special measures or on notices to improve of any authority in the country.

SMS spoke to a School Improvement Partner who said that they moved all the y6/7/8 together in Northampton and it was one of the major causes of the plummeting results. They said that the y7 looked to y8’s for how to behave and y8’s to y9 but as none of them had any understanding of the ethos of their new school there was no benchmark and poor behaviour and as a consequence lack of achievement ensued. In Milton Keynes they did it with 2 year groups and even then they underestimated the difficulties it created.

Secondly, the experience of the Peers School Oxford (see Day 30 blog) where nearly 700 pupils joined the school on one day in three year groups, many of whom were from underprivileged backgrounds. That school, already struggling to improve, collapsed and its results at GCSE 2 years later were appalling (10%). It limped along for 3 more years before being closed last summer and replaced by a brand new shiny academy with shiny happy pupils. The dream of a seamless changeover period for The Peers School Oxford turned into a nightmare of devastated education for a generation of children.

If you want to stop this happening, you need to TAKE ACTION


7 Responses to Day 49 – D-Day September 2015

  1. Maureen says:

    Day after day we read messages from people who give us research data, personal experiences and common sense advice. The testimonial from a Year 9 student yesterday really did say it all. We are all now taking action. Is the Mayor taking ANY notice at all? Can he really be as indifferent as he seems to the wishes of the people in the area he supposedly serves?
    I think it is time he came along to one of the meetings to hear the views and serious concerns that are being expressed by parents and professionals every time.
    He is more than welcome to attend tonight’s meeting at Margaret Beaufort Middle School in Riseley.
    I’m sure someone will be prepared to sit next to him!

  2. Jonathan Parsons says:

    dear maureen
    our invisable Mayor won’t attend, as i attended the Goldington Middle School and Mark Rutherford School meetings and did hope that he may put in an apperance but alas to no avalale, his head is well below the parapit and may pop up when this is all finished, as as a now panicing parent have seen both sides of the agument and put vaild questions to members of the local council and SMS and i have to say both were very good presentations but come questions the council seem to think there will be little or no disterbance to childrens one chance at education and i dont think thay have a clue at this point a best there will be 6 years but more lightly 10 to 12 ,and in truth if this goes ahead i think our Mayor will need a new job shortly, but like goverment i am sure somthing will pop up for him, i went through this in my years at school in it messed up my education we cannot afford to let this happen again

    sorry my rant jonathan

  3. Sally says:

    I too hoped that Mr Branston would be there to face the music when I went along to Mark Rutherford. I guess he doesn’t have any children of his own going through the system right now so it’s not such a priority for him as it is for those of us who do!
    I emailed him on 7th July with my concerns for local democracy but I’m still awaiting his reply!

  4. Sally says:

    Whoops! 7th June! Up too early writing to councillors this am!

  5. KDev says:

    In the 2006 Bedfordshire “Consultation” we were assured by Bedfordshire Council Officers that, unlike every other LA, they would succeed in changing from 3-Tier to 2-Tier without a drop in attainment because the change would be carried out as quickly as possible: in 3 years if I remember correctly. The spin then was that every other LA had taken too long – money ran out, teachers had time to leave etc.
    NOW some of THE SAME PEOPLE, but in a new guise as Bedford Borough Officers, are saying that unlike every other LA they would succeed in changing from 3-Tier to 2-Tier without a drop in attainment because the change would be carried out over an extended period in excess of 6 years.
    No other LA has been successful in carrying out the change since 2006, our neighbour Northamptonshire being a clear example. Is there any evidence to support the change in opinion now held by these Officers – or have they had a “Conversion on the Road to Damascus”?

  6. joedy follington says:

    Can someone ask at a meeting why is our county different from Northampton? if all the schools are failing then why on earth are we considering doing this to our children here too. What makes our county so different and what promises can our councillors make to make sure that this wont happen to our children too.

    We have some amazing schools in this county Goldington middle,alban middle to name a couple are outstanding schools…why close outstanding schools doesnt make sense to me.

    with all the stats they keep throwing to us, can i say that it proves that lower and middle schools work as we are above national average in all sat tests, where are we failing… in Upper schools…so why are are making these bigger? why are we not improving the learing in these schools? why are we not changing the curriculum or the way we run upper schools as these are the only failing to our children. improve what we have and the GCSE will improve.

    making children get up earlier to travel for further and be tired all day with older children around them and making them grow up into adults before they are ready are not the right way to go and wont improve GCSE. What we have have works within our community and is right for our children, why change what works?

  7. Colin Mosedale says:

    5 meetings down …1 to go…will we see Frank? …I doubt it. I had an email conversation with him. He believes that the Consultation process has been fair and balanced. His concluding remark to me was “I consider the officers are the best people to present the argument for change and the supporters of three tier are the best to argue for the status quo”. Says it all doesn’t it?

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