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