Day 83 – Authenticity

First of all, thank you to everyone who emailed, texted and phoned BBC 3CR after Monday’s breakfast show. Stephen Rhodes was inundated with support for three-tier. This shows what we can achieve just by adding something to this blog. Keep it up – we need to keep making a noise.

Some would say that this is a form of manipulation, but when many people all respond the same way from a simple request at the drop of a hat, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that we have genuine passionate support. Our views have authenticity…

…unlike the supporters of two-tier, who appear to be a handful of individuals involved in education. Unfortunately, these individuals are influential and they have the machinery of bureaucracy at their disposal. So official documents arrive in parents’ hands with recommendations to change to two-tier.

These documents have included often one-sided, sometimes misleading and occasionally inaccurate comments. Parents are busy people. They haven’t got time to research the other side of the story. They are used to accepting recommendations that at first glance appear authoritative and unchallengeable.

Many of these parents have voted for two-tier in the consultation process with no idea of the potential consequences because they were not allowed to hear both sides of the story. This, of course, would be one of our legal arguments should this ever come to Judicial Review.

The views of the two-tier lobby, when they present them in public, lack authenticity. They struggle to get popular support without controlling information flow. They have never been keen to debate in public with their opposition.

The thing about authenticity is that intelligent people in politics and the media will realise SMS are not the aggressive Luddites we have been made out to be by certain members of the educational establishment.

The truth is – we represent the majority of parents.


4 Responses to Day 83 – Authenticity

  1. JamesD says:

    Let’s be clear about the Council’s proposed change to the school structure.
    All of the national data show that there is no difference in educational attainment between 3- Tier and 2-Tier structures. There is a considerable body of peer reviewed academic research that shows 3-Tier to provide better pupil social development and better Value Added to pupils’ progress. There is overwhelming evidence that during any change of school structure pupils’ attainment reduces significantly and with that their life chances.
    2-Tier means fewer schools, less staff, less awkward parental choice and income from the sale of sites. If the BSF money is forthcoming, if the estimate for primary schools is correct, if there is no overrun in costs and the sale of middle school sites brings in all of the money estimated then the Council will get future education cheaper. It is bureaucratically simpler, it aligns Bedford Borough with the majority of English schools and DCSF doesn’t like difference. It is also a “big project” – good for the CV of those forcing it through. The change has overwhelming appeal to those who want power and influence but who can cut and run at the first sign of disaster.
    Every child matters, their life chances are not acceptable collateral damage for the “greater good” or for the future of Bedford’s education establishment!

  2. River Song says:

    You highlight something which seems to have been apparent over the consultation period, an attitude of “we know best” from a minority of people in “high” places who have attempted to manipulate the trust, we as parents have placed in them.
    Why oh why wouldn’t those who argue for two tier have taken on the three tier arguments in an open debate if it wasn’t the fact that they had something to hide, i.e. a flawed, incompetent and inadequate argument and plan?
    Those who represent us on the council and on the mayor’s executive should listen with caution to these “high” positioned “important” figures, who advocate two tier. I suggest, if not urge them to hear both sides and think about the implications of their decision for the generation of children whose education will be damaged by the change.

  3. PT says:

    I find the above comment about collateral damage is very pertinent and, for me, cuts straight to the heart of this issue.
    All through the consultation process we have heard talk of the potential of 2-tier education to improve standards but never once has any of the education officers been brave enough to place a timescale on these claimed improvements. I suspect this is because they know that results will not be instantaneous and that, more importantly, the immediate effort of this massive disruption will be to degrade standards and adversely affect our childrens education for some indeterminate time to come. The reasons are self evident – teachers leaving doomed middle schools, building works, organisational confusion (especially in large secondary schools) and, in the doomsday scenario, a potential withdrawl of BSF funding.
    I do not want my childs education to be part of this collateral damage. In fact, I do not any child’s education to be affected in this way, especially when so many of them are gaining so much from the current system. They get only one chance at their education – it should not be put at risk in any way.
    I challenge anyone in support of a change to 2-tier schools in Bedford Borough to live up to the “every child matters” paradigm and to prove (or even claim) that no child’s education will be adversely affected by this reorganisation.

  4. PL says:

    They can’t offer us this reassurance and the Doomesday scenario just got that little bit closer. Heard on the national news this morning that Education will be suffering a massive hit in forthcoming Govt cuts. We would be embarking on massive system change in the current economic climate at our peril. Even if it was a good idea it would be pure madness right now.
    As an extremely concerned parent I would urge all our Councillors to vote a resounding no to these proposals in September.Then we can get on with obtaining such BSF money as may still be available in order to enhance and improve on the strengths within our existing 3-tier system.

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