Saturday, 5 March 2016

Academies Should Choose their own Students. No.

In response to the bizarre suggestion that schools, or rather academies, can "manage their own admissions policy", i.e. choose the kids they want to get the grades that make them look good, here are a few livefyre responses:

I suppose that as the bribe money given to academies runs out the only tool left to academies to get faux 'improved' results is a corrupt admissions system.

Trobe's comments about the Office of the Schools Adjudicator looking at admissions criteria implies OSA looks at them all.  It doesn't.  It only acts if there is a complaint.  And these complaints would fall if the proposal to confine them only to those with an 'interest' (ie parents) rather than any member of the public who believes the law is being broken.
It would be better if all publicly-funded schools were covered by the same area-wide criteria which would cover even faith ethos schools.  This would ensure fairness and stop schools which are their own admission authorities from having admission criteria which doesn't comply with the Schools Admission Code.

One of the first things that happens when one of the Academy chains takes over a new school is that it cleans out those pupils who are not going to contribute to the claim that results have improved.  In areas where nearly all the secondary schools are academies, this can lead to huge stresses on the existing community schools.

In the "good old days" I remember that my school worked with other schools and sometimes swapped students to give a fresh start.  I very clearly remember one boy returning after a swap.  As an outsider at the new school he realised he had a choice: join the rogues or settle down.  He settled down and kept in touch for years, reporting back on his successes.

I know that not all managed moves worked as well as that but unless schools do work in cooperation it cannot ever work.

From the very beginning David Young Academy manipulated its admissions and also excluded more children than all,other Leeds schools put together, thus skewing the admissions for all other inner-city schools who were already taking more than their fair share of challenging children and their families. With League tables already oppressing us, this condemned schools, already in tricky circumstances, to a further inner- outer brain drain. My friend was on the exclusions appeals panel, and she despaired.
But in the end DY Academy has been found out and is now in Special Measures itself. a sort of Robespierre for our time. It all would be amusing if it were not for 1. The kids and 2. The terrible effects it has on education providers who are made to feel they are failing when they are not!

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