Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Let me Object to the Creation of The Temple Learning Academy, Leeds

The article on the Temple  Learning Academy in YEP [2.10.14] is disheartening. All the more so for its matter of fact tone. Since a law was passed in 2011 that local councils were not allowed to open new schools, this and any new educational establishment has to be an "academy", and thus accountable only to the Secretary of State for Education. In vain would a parent complain to the council about their child's school, treatment, or being sent home for wearing the wrong style of shoes.

Now this article also goes on to state some things which need a good challenging: 1. Schools in the trust in East Leeds were oversubscribed. Well, over past decade they closed and knocked down Foxwood /East Leeds, Braimwood, Agnes Stewart, Cross Green/Copperfields. So hardly a surpise that not enough school places, Furthermore, these schools catered for many children from deprived areas; the effect of poverty on their educational progress condemned the schools. The schools closed but the poverty went untreated.

2. The "postcode analysis" - analysis suggesting something academic, but is actually just counting addresses. Temple Moor, advantaged already by being placed in the middle of a middle class estate has worked hard over to maintain its successful image, but I would argue its staff works no harder than we did at Foxwood, but with a different clientele, set of circumstances and most of all public image.

3. Then we had the crocodile tears from the lady who cried for the kids who have to travel. They wouldn't be desperately seeking the "best" school for their kids  if rumour, Ofsted and private education  company Education  Leeds hadn't taken a scythe to our Leeds primary and secondary schools. Successive governments have created laws which encourage dissatisfaction and the pointless criss-crossing of towns everywhere in search of the best school for Bertie and Rachad.

4. Now the concept of a "through school" . This is not a innovative educational initiative. It's a practical solution. A high school which includes a primary is the only way that local council can increase school places without privatising them so well, done to Roundhay for managing this and yet getting its primary pupils into a separate building.

A school is like a private party. Its success depends entirely on who attends, and all these levels and grades and sinister men and women in suits at the back of our classes, and the millions of our public misspent pounds, do nothing for the "education" our children.

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