Saturday, 29 September 2012

Never Mind the Children; What about the Percentages.

Thanks again to Yorkshire Evening Post [25/9] for printing my letter:

The YEP comment [7/9/12] was right, that City of Leeds School proposal to sacrifice its school and its young people on the Gove alter of private education is not some sort of “magic bullet”.

The worst thing about this proposal is that it reactivates in the public’s mind the quite erroneous notion that it is a “failing” school. In the article the school is described as “struggling”, mentions that it has no sixth form, and stresses that the numbers dropped during the aerial bombardment that was Education Leeds’ tactics for caring for its disadvantaged schools. The article could have mentioned the improved results, the great mother tongue languages results, that it was awarded the School of Sanctuary; that the new headteacher is a successful Ofsted examiner herself . . .

City of Leeds School, which has passed one inspection after another over the last years, has only one crime: i.e. low number of A-Cs.  And its only struggle is with the Authority who should know that poorer, disadvantaged, often newly arrived refugee children are unlikely to produce exam results to compete with Queen Ethelburga’s.  And who should applaud the teachers who choose to work where they can include supporting and educating our city’s most vulnerable children, inside their regular job.  And whose reward seems to be quite unwarranted public castigation. [Thank goodness for job satisfaction].

The only way to stop the city having schools with a low percentage of A-Cs, well, apart from reneging on human rights deals and closing the borders, is to spread out the inner-city kids around all Leeds schools, and dilute the poverty effect on any one individual school’s results.

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