Incredible flexibility

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has shown incredible flexibility – for a government – and altered decision making to fit the need of the people. That is something he should be praised for. They listened and acted to come up with best possible solutions.

I am also blaming the media for making a circus of it and stipulating calls for resignation rather than having some kinder comments to make. Perhaps that doesn’t attract readers.

Nobody could have anticipated the chain of events that happened after the realisation of Covid-19.

Unfortunately some opposition politicians critisize for the sake of making points and opposition instead of looking at the issue.

Especially in government departments like Education, we do not want a constant change in the ministerial lead. All those who communicate with the Deptartment of Education see how frustrating it is to get those notifications, that correspondence cannot be answered at the moment because of a change in leadership.

I very much welcome it that he doesn’t resign.

 

The exam result revolt

the latest decisions by education ministers reveal that pupils can use their Mock GCSE or A-level results if algorithms’ used to determine grades seriously lower their achievements.

We are in such a predicament. The school has been closed because of bad results – among other reasons. Yet my child’s results have always been above average. Went to a low-achieving Primary and the year of his SATs the school’s standing in the league tables rose.

Unfortunately for us, now in the school, which is also closing this year, the school has refused to supply a printed copy of the second Mock GCSE results.

The first Mock GCSE results already provide a pass for Sixth form entry but the second lot was even better. I do not understand why a school would refuse to give a printed copy of those mock exam results to pupils.

I have now contacted the head of education in the borough, Christine McInnes and the head of the closing school and the Executive head of the school who works in another school.

It is stressful to say the least.

XR school strike this Friday

Just as all pupils in London either have started their GCSE mock exams this Monday, which will go on till the end of next week or start their GCSE mocks next Monday, Extinction Rebellion is calling for a school strike this Friday.

Why do this in the middle of the important GCSE mock exam?

It really is not necesary to prevent pupils from getting good grades by spending a day out of school at this time of year.

There are other, more suitable days – for example during holidays to do this.

Happiness, the forbidden word

sculpture st. pancrasThe per-pupil funding formula leads to huge, overcrowded schools, which leave no time for enjoying education. Pupils are perched into class-rooms like chickens in a coop.

Pupils are stuffed in their hundreds and thousands into the smallest available space and treated as profit making goods to get as much yield per square metre of pupil occupied in relation to GCSE results achieved.

Of course the law of probability will ensure that the more pupils there are, the more top results will be achieved. Perhaps a couple per hundred achieve top results.

So any school that has a huge building, with even more pupils can kid themselves by saying, they provide quality education because a few of their pupils achieved top marks. Smaller schools will find it harder to get the same success total. If a dense school achieves 10 out of 2.000 top achievers, a small school will probably only produce 1 out of 200.

It then comes down to cost spent per top grade achieved. It is no longer about the person.

If it was and researched and the research would be publicised to show how much knife crime originates from over-crowded schools, how much misery and despair follows in the aftermath of production line style education follows, we would see a sudden change in attitudes, yet those figures are never made public in that context.

I dare to say that our increase in knife crime and gangs is a direct result of per pupil funding, bigger schools and absent parents, who work for the work program.

The government believes a crowded school is more rewarding, cheaper to run with bigger yields.

So our not so clever government tends to rate all schools, that manage to educate hundreds of kids like robots on an assembly line with top Ofsted ratings simply because a small percentage of the huge pool of pupils get top grades.

If those pupils then can actually behave on the day of the Ofsted inspection, the school can get a world class rating. Ofsted puts no weight on pupil’s mental health, physical health or happiness. Well they look a bit at healthy meals, but that’s all.

Happiness, is the forbidden word.

Smaller schools, which can actually find the time and space to allow for some personal freedom to build meaningful relationships with teachers or among pupils are only possible in either private schools or such remote environments, that there are naturally very few children around.

The government has to change the per pupil funding formula and Ofsted has to consider mental, physical and academic health of pupils. Ofsted should enquire about any reports of stressed behaviour, how many pupils bunk off, how many have eating disorders, mental health issues, learning disability and special needs, the amounts of bullying, the air quality, the green space, academic, sporting, craft, arts achievement, all important factors to ensure a young person can develop a great personality.

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