Gransnet forums


League Tables

(18 Posts)
Gracesgran Thu 29-Jan-15 19:35:20

I despair sad.

Ana Thu 29-Jan-15 19:41:06

Of what? confused


J52 Thu 29-Jan-15 19:44:42

If only the money it all costs was spent on the children! x

Retiredguy Fri 30-Jan-15 16:42:34

It's a mess this year for sure.
For educationists our schools mandarins have done a pretty good job to ensure that very few parents will understand the new league tables or that comparing them to last year's tables is a meaningless 'apples with bananas' exercise.

Mishap Fri 30-Jan-15 18:35:49

"Apples and bananas" indeed - what a meaningless waste of money. And those poor teachers working their tripe out and getting clobbered over and over again. Will parents be any the wiser from looking at these tables?

The whole system is a mish mash - there are schools that were rated when OfSted had a more lenient approach and those who have been inspected since their new tougher rules - how is a parent to compare? How unfair is that on schools who have been downrated because of the new rules? It is like GCEs and GCSEs all over again when employers had no idea what they were looking at.

Schools inspectors used to be employed by the LA and linked to particular schools so that any negative findings were addressed by them seeking suitable support to help the school to improve. And they knew the localities and understood the challenges of different catchment areas in a realistic way and would help find solutions.

The OfSted inspector who came to our village school told us governors that we were lucky to have a problem free catchment area - when asked what he meant he commented that there were no ethnic minorities! We were shocked both by the implication that ethnic minority = problem; and also his complete absence of awareness of rural poverty and deprivation.

vampirequeen Fri 30-Jan-15 19:10:50

The place I worked was told by one inspector that due to the nature of the school population we couldn't get above a satisfactory. This was because the OFSTED system didn't allow for a school that had 74% EAL with 45% who spoke little or no English and had been in the UK for less than 2 years. This meant we could never achieve the targets that were set for us even though we, as he said, worked miracles.

So there we were. Teachers who worked miracles in the real world but were rubbish on paper.

Retiredguy Sat 31-Jan-15 14:33:53

The Ofsted's been a mess for years and it's getting worse
I was an inspector in the Adult Learning Inspectorate which was rolled up into the Ofsted.
Back then we had seven grades so there was a degree of fine tuning possible.
Then the powers that be reduced it to four grades which is a crude measure at best.
Under the old regime the inspector's job was as much advisory as it was investigative. You had the time to pass on examples of good practice locally.
" X at School Y does this in such and such a way and that's working well.."
Nowadays with the target driven culture that's all gone.

Mishap Sat 31-Jan-15 15:06:17

" Teachers who worked miracles in the real world but were rubbish on paper." - You have hit the nail on the head. That is exactly the situation we were in. Historic poor data that we had come in and grabbed by the balls and dealt with - the inspector was extremely impressed with this - but he was bound by the rules to use the old data - so a poor rating. Did that give prospective parents the chance to see how brilliantly we had all done (yes - I am patting myself on the back!) and what a huge commitment had gone into turning things round? He even suggested that our example might be good for other schools - but parents still see a low OSted rating. It is total madness!

Eloethan Sat 31-Jan-15 19:53:13

I agree, it's madness.

There were no "league tables" when I was at school - and I guess the same is true for all the Gransnetters on here. I was in a class of 48 in Romford, a fairly working class area. We could all read, write and do basic arithmetic reasonably well before we started secondary school.

rosequartz Sat 31-Jan-15 19:58:27

We could all read, write, do long division, knew some history and geography (and knew what it was like to have a ruler smacked on the back of your hand, well at least BF and I did!) hmm

Ana Sat 31-Jan-15 20:02:16

Ooh - no corporal punishment in my day! But as you say, basic skills and knowledge all in place by the time we left primary school.

Penstemmon Sat 31-Jan-15 21:15:56

Ana & rose I don't believe everyone did leave school reading, writing and numerate!! A great number of children did not leave school with the basics! Nor were they expected to. In the 'good old days' it was not expected that all children would or should all be academic successes. There were still work opportunities for 'unskilled' labourers and more opportunities for apprenticeships etc. Children with disabilities were often not in schools.

Things are far from perfect now but the levels of attainment expected for eleven year olds are higher now than when I was at school. There will always be people who find some learning difficult and not master it as easily as others. Schools are far better at meeting different needs today. also society is different so the needs of young people in 21C are different.

Education has become far too politicised. Instead of just deciding on levels of funding for education governments now interfere in the professional aspects of schools etc. Education has become too narrow in its purpose and is seen purely as a route to employment (important though that is!) rather than for its own sake. League tables and the name and shame of OFSTED inspections are the 'whip' that governments think will motivate teachers. What they have failed to do is also provide a 'carrot' .

vampirequeen Sat 31-Jan-15 21:30:36

It took 8 years for teaching to finish me off. The stresses of targets and OFSTED just became too much. I wanted to educate. To teach. To develop a love of learning. Instead I had to push children to jump through hoops. Spoon feed them the information they needed to pass tests. Teach 7 year olds exam techniques.

Since I left three years ago two of my colleagues have also left due to depression. Now a third colleague is on long term sick with depression. This is just in one small single intake primary school with 8 teachers.

rosequartz Sun 01-Feb-15 10:36:07

I don't remember anyone in my 1950s junior school class of about 42 children being unable to read, write or do arithmetic. It was not a particularly well-to-do area either.

thatbags Sun 01-Feb-15 10:58:02

Good post, pen.

I was in a class of 17 in my final year at primary school. Two of those kids had not mastered basic reading and arithmetic by the time they left, even with extra teaching from the HT. I wonder how they would have fared nowadays? I've a feeling, from observations at my own kids' primary schools, that their learning difficulties might have been given more attention early on nowadays, which might have helped.

There were no classroom assistants when I was at school. Most schools have some now.

Gracesgran Sun 01-Feb-15 11:36:43

Of course not everyone left primary school equipped a we would like. If 100% of all the children achieved this how come some went into secondary schools with remedial needs and some into the lower grades where they had to catch up with the basics.

There has never been a time in history where everyone has achieved their potential but they are probably closer to it today than in the past.

Governments (of all types) will not allow that professional people know how to do their jobs and the interfering gets worse and worse. Gove will be shown historically to be an interfering journalist who thought in headlines.

Mishap Sun 01-Feb-15 11:43:05

"Governments (of all types) will not allow that professional people know how to do their jobs and the interfering gets worse and worse." That is certainly true and goes for medicine and social work as well. If you treat people as though they need checking up on at every turn, they will lose heart.

Gracesgran Sun 01-Feb-15 13:02:05

I would agree Mishap. I feel there is a "let us not allow that they know what they are doing or we will lose control" attitude.

I can see a point coming when just one more form, one more set of tick boxes, one more ridiculous target, with economies improving here and elsewhere, and we will lose these people in droves. Some will never forgive what they have been through.