Interesting isn’t it…we think we live in a democracy…yet when important decisions like changing school system are being suggested…the information flow seems to be very one-sided.
What evidence do we have?
First, there is a non-consultation document that purports to give a genuine choice between two and three tiers, yet only contains 18 words about three tier, mentioning none of the advantages of three tier and none of the disadvantages of two tier.
Secondly, the consultation document is misleading and on occasion inaccurate. Assertions are made rather than evidence being given. Phrases such as “we believe” or “it may” are used as substitutes for evidence. Where statistics are used, they mislead and do not shine light on the complex problem that educational achievement certainly is. Beware of simplistic solutions to complex problems. That is how big mistakes are made.
Thirdly, the consultation evenings did not allow an alternative view to be put forward. They were also hijacked by Head teachers in favour of change, individuals who are hardly impartial. The overwhelming feeling from parents in those meetings was that this massive disruptive change was unnecessary and potentially very damaging to our children.
Fourthly, the upper school Heads have stifled debate within their own pyramids by making their position known in the press. How on earth can ordinary teachers, whose careers are dependent on being well regarded by their managers, make any genuine comment? How must parents feel when they have to speak against influential people who have control over their children? What can children do except follow the example set to them by their Head? Freedom of speech doesn’t exist any more apparently.
Fifthly, some lower school Heads have refused to pass on information about meetings held at middle schools – and why on earth would they do that? One governor even told SMS “Don’t believe what the middle school are saying. They’re only giving you one side of the story” ! What irony…
All we want at SMS is to have a proper and open debate so that BOTH sides of the story can be heard…and then everyone can make up their own mind what they believe. And next week, we have 4 meetings (see the meetings tab above or click here)…Beauchamp on Monday night at 7pm should be good as Mike Berrill (Principal of Biddenham International College) will speak pro two-tier. So come along and listen to a real open and honest debate.