Day 151 – Northamptonshire’s Great New Vision

Back in 2005, Northampton’s 3-tier system was changed to 2-tier. By November 2007, there were more schools in special measures or on notices to improve in Northamptonshire than in any other authority, many of them in Northampton as a direct result of the change.

Well, the special forces team have been into Northamptonshire for the past year and have now come up with a brand new shiny 21 point plan to improve educational standards. The Northampton Evening Telegraph covered this a week or so ago on their front page.

The proposed changes include cutting the summer holidays to four weeks and lengthening the school day.

Cllr Ron Sawbridge, chairman of the pupil attainment working group which is behind the plans, said: “If we are going to improve the situation quickly we need to introduce radical changes.”

Apparently changing from three tier to two tier wasn’t radical enough.

SMS wonders how much money has been diverted from teaching and learning to come up with this plan…and whether Suffolk are going to produce the same plan in a year’s time…and whether Bedford will be in 5 years’ time…

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8 Responses to Day 151 – Northamptonshire’s Great New Vision

  1. Ed Thomas says:

    Yesterday afternoon, a Lib Dem volunteer was delivering ‘The Bedfordshire Journal’to my estate, which is basically Dave H’s manifesto. Again, this does not make Dave’s position crystal clear to the voting public. It was only right to challenge the volunteer with the simple phrase “Is Dave, two tier or three tier?”. No response! Again the question was asked “Is Dave, two tier or three tier?”. At the point, I knew this was no volunteer, he was a dedicated politician. His response was to ignore my question, but give the true Dave quote ‘He’s a Bedford man and so was his father! After reflection, I feel I have missed an opportunity, as I have the same qualifications as Dave to be Mayor! ED

  2. JamesD says:

    Evidence, evidence and more evidence. Suffolk, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire and apparently all of the LA that in the past have forced the change from 3-tier to 2-tier have had huge problems and lower attainment for years. Bedford Borough education officers are pro 2-tier to a man and woman, that was what the previous Chief Exec and late Mayor recruited them for – the false gold of all of that Government money and massive borrowing was going to be a large fillip to Bedford’s economy and it could be financed by cutting future school budgets. Whilst the promise of money was still credible, a win –win situation for the bureaucrats and economy of Bedford Borough BUT a huge loss- loss for the generation of children in school during the change over and beyond.
    Meanwhile the Labour and Lib-Dem mayoral candidates, both upper school governors and councillors, can claim that attainment at GCSE was not their fault for under funding the schools for decades – it could all be blamed on the school structure!

    • I V Dzhugashvili says:

      What has evidence to do with decision once the elite and their apparatchiks have decided? Keep the people confused; do not let them know the true policy. I think that you now call it spin but I always preferred the term propaganda by my bureaucrats.

  3. Martin Hamilton says:

    It’s not just underfunding of the past that those with influence have been responsible for either.
    While their attention has been taken up by persuing a structural change it can’t have been applied fully to addressing the percieved issues of transition. Since this has so long been the perceived problem, what exactly was done about it in the intervening years? This is a serious question. I can’t remember an equivalent “21 point plan” to deliver improvements to the current system. Perhaps Fred Bagnall or anyone else could enlighten me?

    • KDev says:

      “perceived problems with transition”
      Martin,
      Perceived by whom? No OfSTED report on Bedfordshire schools has raised transition as a problem. The 2-tier protagonists had to find something to persuade (con) the parents that there was a problem with the school structure as there is no evidence that nationally 3-tiier produces different results from 2-tier.

  4. A.Voter says:

    No, please, I can’t take any more scary visions of the future chaos ahead for my poor children if all this nonsense goes ahead. I’m sick of these arrogant so-called experts who still think creating an enormous underfunded mess is a good idea when clearly all around the country its all going horribly wrong.

    THEY say Savemiddleschools are scaremongering but Suffolk and Northampton are real places. How could anyone be naive enough to believe things would be any different here? Do we really believe that the people who brought us the so-called Public Consultation, with all its faults, would be capable of successfully managing this kind of change? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

    I’ve listened to Upper School people telling me how misguided we all are to not welcome this change. Every time I hear their pro 2-tier mantra I am more convinced they are wrong. Really they are only interested in getting their hands on as much BSF money as they can and not having to share it out more widely. The arguments about improved results are just a smokescreen. Bedford Borough’s results have been improving year on year. Just imagine what they could achieve if all this nonsense was finally put to bed and teachers could get on with teaching!
    I will be voting for the Mayoral candidate who shows the greatest degree of common sense on this hugely important issue.

  5. JamesD says:

    After all of the evidence against wrecking our 3-tier schools the two Upper school Governors in the Mayoral election are still pro 2-tier. I will not support either the Labour or the Lib-Dem candidate because of their position. I will also not trust any party which could chose such candidates as suitable for any public office. So good bye to my vote in the Mayoral, National and Local elections.

  6. Baldrick says:

    JamesD – sadly as someone who feels very strongly that the electorate has a long fought for right to be heard in our ‘democracy’ (I use that word loosely) I too will not be voting for the parties that would normally be where politically I sit, in the mayoral election. It has also made me think twice about voting for either of them again in ANY election. In a first past the post system I think for the first time ever I might spoil my ballot paper – for someone who has always believed in the political process I find it increasingly disappointing that I’m in effect giving up on it because of what I see.

    The local political landscape in the borough will be damaged for many years to come if the electorate is not listened to on this issue.

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