Day 174 – Educational Half-Truths (2)

Continuing our theme this week…most of the arguments pro two-tier are based on half-truths. This is an excellent way to mislead, because the unwary recognise the half that is true and fail to spot the logical inconsistency in the other 50%.

Example number 2:

Pro two-tier: Two transitions are more disruptive than one.

Pro three-tier: Not if they are managed properly. Two smaller well-managed transitions between smaller, medium and larger schools ensures that children have the maturity to cope with change.

On the other hand, one harsh disruptive move from class-based teaching in Year 6 to subject-based teaching in Year 7, in huge schools of 2000 adolescents and young adults, can leave vulnerable young people emotionally disturbed for months if not years.

When this happens with three year groups at once (planned for Bedford in September 2014 or 2015 when Years 7,8 & 9 will all move at once), most of the new secondary schools will be struggling under the weight of nearly a thousand new pupils in one intake. In other schools in other authorities, this has caused standards to plummet for a generation.

Parents and teachers of middle (and prep) school children all over the country recognise the value of middle years education in producing rounded and confident young people.

Perhaps it is only bureaucrats and politicians without direct parental experience of the system who don’t recognise this.

2 Responses to Day 174 – Educational Half-Truths (2)

  1. KDev says:

    No mention of transfer problems in any Bedfordshire OfSTED report. No evidence that 2-tier structures perform better than 3-tier, not from OfSTED or the DCSF. So a reason had to be found to support the change away from 3-tier. The 2-tier spinners immediately gathered “opinion”, from other 2-tier believers of course. Peer reviewed and published studies by Cambridge University and others are ignored, whilst opinion and “belief” are used to cause apprehension in parents.
    There is excellent evidence that 2 well managed transitions are better than one huge shock at 11 years old. However, structure is far down on the list of factors affecting educational attainment, resources and socio-economic backgrounds are high on that list.
    The 2 transition problem is yet another red herring designed to confuse the people of Bedford. If you consistently under fund schools then educational attainment will fall; in 2008 £137 per pupil per year less than those areas judged to be similar to Bedford Borough but produce better GCSE results.

  2. Martin Hamilton says:

    My daughter has had a great transition to middle school really pleased. If I had a son at our local middle school I would be really pleased about the number of male teachers around. Don’t know the figures but when I looked around the room at a recent parent’s evening there were probably 30% male teachers. Apparently 25% of primaries in UK have no male teachers at all. Big problem i should say – does it show up in GCSE results for boys?

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