Do you remember in the dim distant past (5 months ago) when the School Organisation Review (public consultation) was published? Do you remember the core arguments made in favour of change?
1. Bedford’s GCSE results aren’t very good.
2. Our three tier education system must be the cause of this.
3. There is £350M available for secondary buildings if we can show transformational change.
4. Therefore we must change to two-tier to improve results and get the dosh.
Someone trained in logic would have a field day with this chain of reasoning. It is nonsense from start to finish.
1. Results can always improve but we are in line with the national average, perform better than authorities of similar size and demographics (Milton Keynes and Swindon for example), and have some outstanding schools with none failing.
2. The Government has admitted that no credible source has ever shown that one system of schooling is better than another – it is much more to do with quality of teaching and leadership. Northamptonshire is now almost completely two-tier and still struggling.
3. Does anyone truly believe that from 2011 there will be a third of a billion pounds available for knocking down serviceable buildings and throwing up some more…? And where is the money coming for the lower-primary move?
4. Even if the money is available, there is no necessity to change school system to access BSF funding – again, the Government has admitted this.
The truth is that this was a non-consultation, a huge waste of public money, based on logical inconsistencies and misleading arguments. It was a nonsense then and it remains a nonsense now.
SMS calls on our new Mayor to show that he really understands the needs of Bedford Borough and to reject any proposal to move to two-tier immediately.