Last week, the Times & Citizen published a 300 word piece from SMS summarising our position. It is reprinted here.
Educationally, the arguments used for change are weak or non-existent. Crucially there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that a move to two-tier will mean an improvement in our children’s education. In fact, authorities that have made this switch have seen massive disruption to a generation of children, schools and communities, and a sharp drop in GCSE results which persists for many years.
Financially, there is no business case, no detailed plan, just an assumption that this hugely complex change can be funded. The lower to primary change in particular is woefully under resourced. This is a critical flaw and will result in either Council Tax rising and remaining high for many years or savage cuts in other vital council services.
The Government has recently confirmed that BSF funding (only available for secondary schools) is not dependent on change to our school system and that it is an entirely local decision. The private sector has long recognised the value of middle years (or “prep” school) education. As the Rose Report (April 2009) has recommended more specialist teaching in Years 5&6, we could be said to be ahead of the game – pioneers of an education system for the 21st century.
The consultation process has been very one-sided. We are being asked to trust officials who produced a consultation document littered with errors, and containing many assertions but very little evidence. The analysis of results is deeply flawed and uses statistics selectively, comparing apples with pears at several points.
There are no compelling reasons to change our current system of lower, middle and upper schools. So let us work together to gain BSF funding and produce a transformation of education that will result in a model three-tier schools system for the next 50 years.
If you agree with us, you should TAKE ACTION NOW