Monday, 27 September 2010

What's the Point when there's no Point? Academies. Whatever

Well, Michael, Mr Gove

Let's talk academies: set up by the so-called Labour government to improve so-called failing schools. Now also, set up by you to reward the so-called outstanding schools. So what's it's all about, Alfie? What's the point, Michael?

Academies, [somewhat like war] set up for no very good reason, actually for no reason at all. What are they good for? Nothing. No good.

Let's talk DYA [that's David Young Academy]. In order to prove that academies can boost exam results, they made all their pupils jump through small little hoops. So when their A-Cs come to 93.6% you would be amazed. Wonderful, you would say, and dance around your living room. At last these kids have a future.

Well, no.

Including English and Maths this year's results are 30.6%, which is 2% less than Parklands and Primrose and about 1% more than City of Leeds [which takes in half the children that DYA excludes, the other half being at Primrose] . It's all a bit average, don't you think. And when you think that Parklands and Primrose beat them when they were under threat of closure . . .

Results overall are 93.6% A to Cs. I bet that looks like a result. But I have to suggest that, probably, in order to make themselves look good, DYA concentrated on a load of "mickey mouse" exams in order to boost the measurable number of grades achieved.

It's only a suggestion. But what it suggests to me is that pupils whose greatest need was to improve their numeracy and literacy were let down by a school who cared more about its own image than about the pupils that it purported to care for.

And, do you know, my glass used to be half-full.

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