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To expect my grandchildren to be given a good education?

(64 Posts)
gillybob Wed 16-Oct-13 15:35:41

I have mentioned before that my grandchildren go to a school with a very poor Ofsted report. I am becomming more and more disillusioned with the schools "we are working towards......." attitude and want to see some action.

On Monday I was helping my 7 year old with her homework. The five year old mentioned that she had not had a reading book for several weeks. She could read well when she started school (as could her older sister) and is a very bright child (despite the school). I asked her why she didnt have a book and she said that the teacher said she didnt have time to see where she was at with reading as most of her classmates are only just learning to read. She asked me to write a note to the teacher and I said that I wouldn't write a note but I would have a word with her at "in time", which I did. I said I appreciated that she was busy with other children but could she please at least have a reading book ( and ideally some homework) as she is becomming bored with school. The teacher smiled and very patronisingly said "Oh dear we can't have that can we? I will see what I can do". at this point my darling little grandaughter handed the teacher a note that read:

Dear Teecha

Can you plees give G a readin book plees and some homwurk aswel.

Love Grandma xx

We both burst out laughing but still no reading book or homework either !
angry I wonder what it will take.

Iam64 Wed 23-Oct-13 08:29:46

Thanks for the link Mamie. It's interesting that there has been little publicity about the problems Ofsted find in private schools. The problems in the school in Derby were predictable. I appreciate the frustration when children aren't getting a good experience at school, but I don't see Free Schools or the move to academies as the answer. Flickety's 18.10.13, 18.31 post expresses my views, much better than I would.

Granoveve Fri 22-Nov-13 15:54:52

I really feel for you. My DGS seems to go to a school where teachers have so many different jobs that the children are taught by different teachers depending on the day.
Can you volunteer to hear readers? You wont get to listen to your GC, but it will benefit the childrenand give you an idea of whether the lack of provision is a school-wide or just a teacher issue.

Re split classes: Blame the government for part of the problem. With an intake of 50, the ideal class would be 2 x 25 in each year, but there is insufficient funding, so what we get is 1 x 30 FS, 1 x 20 FS + 10 Y1, 1 x 30 Y1, 1x 10 Y1 + 20 Y2 and 1 x 30 Y2.

Few teachers would choose to have a split class, but that's how it is. The way to avoid this in many areas would be to amalgamate small schools and bus children in and out. I wouldn't like that either.

Having said that, it's not as hard as it sounds. You look at the children's abilities aand the targets for the year group. Layered targets have Must, Should and Could for each year. For Progression and Challenge, the targets should be differentiated according to ability. For each year group there are 3 broad ability ranges.
Must – All children in the class (with the exception of children with special educational needs) should achieve this target. This target is generally taken from the year group below (the Should target for the previous year).
Should – This is the age appropriate target and the majority of the class should achieve this.
Could – Children working above age related expectations. This target is generally taken from the teaching programme for the following year (the Should target for the year above).
Good teachers will be using some form of this. Have a look here for an example.

broomsticks Fri 22-Nov-13 17:08:42

I sympathise too. My grandson's local school was rated unsatisfactory across the board. He couldn't get into another local primary because it's a C of E school and they wouldn't lie and say they were church goers. Not good!

annodomini Fri 22-Nov-13 18:36:04

Don't 'faith' schools have to take a certain quota of children who don't belong to that particular church?

gillybob Sat 23-Nov-13 09:05:16

The state of my grandchildren's school is as a direct result of amalgamating several smaller schools. It is now a very large school in the middle of a large council estate. A lot of the children are from fairly deprived backgrounds. There is a shortage of teachers and a large amount of pupils. Virtually all the classes are split , something I cannot get my head around as I fail to see how one teacher can teach two entirely different curriculums to around 30 children at the same time. The head teacher is an unapproachable and by all accounts a nasty piece of work who is feared by children and teachers alike. Ofsted have been "working with her" to try and bring the school up to scratch but I understand they have now left.

Nelliemoser Sat 23-Nov-13 09:17:16

Lots of school problems are down to poor leadership. Can school governors and parents get a vote of "no confidence" in a head teacher.

It would probably happen in an area where the parents feel they are involved in their children's education.

Sook Sat 23-Nov-13 09:43:29

Yes they do anno my DGD attends a Catholic primary school and neither parent is of that faith.

annodomini Sat 23-Nov-13 10:35:46

Governors are usually reluctant to pass a vote of no confidence in a HT. If there is still any LEA control, measures can be put in through the advisory service. However, Mr Gove has set himself the task of taking away this safety net.

trisher Sat 23-Nov-13 11:26:34

Can I suggest some practical steps? If you or someone else close to your DGD could offer to go into the school a couple of times a week to help with reading you might get a clearer idea of what is happening and help out stressed teachers (not excusing them just trying to get to the root of the problem). But don't think split age classes are necessarily a problem. The old Literacy strategies set out clear guidelines about how these should be dealt with, and any good teacher should be following these.(although there is a new National curriculum introduced by Mr Gove which is now being implemented-more change!)
Also don't assume that a reading book is necessarily an essential in learning to read. That probably sounds a bit weird but think how much reading we do that doesn't involve books. They do give a means of monitoring ability but you can encourage reading in so many other areas-recipes, labels, shopping lists etc- you know what I mean.
Other actions you could take-is there a PTA? This school needs some sort of support system. I can see why you are worried, getting together with others to work on this will help. Approach your parent governor with your worries but also an offer to help where you can.
Finally don't assume a supply teacher is necessarily a bad teacher. I was one for years when my children were small. I was sometimes dropped into situations where I was expected to clear up a mess left by someone, get to know new children and a new school, teach, and reassure worried parents- it wasn't easy but I did it. Try to make your approaches to teachers concerned but supportive. People under stress react badly to more criticism and respond much better to offers of help.

broomsticks Sat 23-Nov-13 11:56:57

My grandson goes to a catholic school now. Lots of different faiths, and no faiths, there. The C of E one was oversubscribed I suppose. They could have appealed but the appeal wasn't going to be heard until the October after he was supposed to start school. Not a lot of use.

Penstemmon Sat 23-Nov-13 13:09:20

I am no apologist for poor teaching or school leadership. I have taught in schools, lead schools, advised schools and inspected schools. Most are absolutely fine and children make good progress and enjoy their time in school too!

My advice to gillybob is to get parents to write a 'non-angry' but concerned letter about grandchild's progress and ask to see the Head to discuss this and how they and the school can make sure she is progressing and attaining at the right level for her. No good saying most of the others are not at her stage..she is and she needs to progress!

OFSTED are awful at publicising what their (ever changing) grades mean.
Requires improvement is the old satisfactory. It can mean that one relatively small aspect of the school is not working as well as an other , e.g kids make slower progress in KS1 than in KS2 or that the gap between boys/girls learning is too great or the children in receipt of free school meals do not make the same progress as children not on free school meals. The report will spell it out.

OFSTED expect all children to make good progress from whatever level they start at and those that start at lower levels than expected for child of that age are supposed to make faster progress to 'close' the attainment gap. if they do not they are likely to judge the school as requires improvement.

It is not a 'crap' school! It will have some very good aspects to it otherwise it would have been Special Measures!

Gillybobyour DGD does not need school readers to get better at reading (though it would be a great help!). Make sure she goes to the library and gets some interesting picture books and let her listen to those and then read along with the grown up. She is on the reading road and will pick up the more she reads. BUT it is the teacher's job to do this so that needs to be addressed!

brcl1519 Mon 02-Dec-13 06:55:43

well everybody need a better education to live up in a society, Even your grandchildren,so help her develop that credential and try to solve the problem that is affecting her education.

brcl1519 Mon 02-Dec-13 07:01:15

Everybody has right to get better education and live up to standards of the society, Make sure that one becomes educated and live a happy life we need to make sure that they get everything in life that they deserve to have better future.