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Placing Schools at the Heart of Community

(13 Posts)
GGumteenth Tue 07-Jul-20 18:41:07

Those interested in education may be interested in this.

scroll down to "Placing Schools at the Heart of Community"

growstuff Tue 07-Jul-20 18:50:16

Interesting video. It's currently about the fourth one of the list. Thanks for posting. People who aren't aware what schools do, really should watch it.

People in Cambridgeshire probably know that the village colleges started with a vision to be at the heart of their communities and there was all sorts of provision outside the standard academic curriculum, including for adults.

Unfortunately, over the years, budget cuts and other pressures have meant that they have had to concentrate increasingly on academic learning and abandon the other aspects of learning.

GGumteenth Tue 07-Jul-20 19:12:56

Not everyone's cup of tea I know but so interesting to hear how these people, who have an influence, are thinking.

SueDonim Tue 07-Jul-20 19:40:31

I don’t have time to watch the video but it’s hard to see how some of us can put schools at the heart of our community when the councils are busy closing them down. sad

growstuff Tue 07-Jul-20 20:03:32

I'm not sure I know what you mean SueDonim. Some schools do get closed when there's surplus capacity, but it doesn't happen very often. Currently, the country needs extra secondary places, while the need for primary places is decreasing slightly.

I've watched the video and it's mainly about all the other things schools have been doing behind the scenes, particularly for the most vulnerable children, and how much they will have to continue to do pastorally, even after pupils have returned.

SueDonim Tue 07-Jul-20 20:09:51

Our village schools, Growstuff. There’s now a presumption against closure in Scotland but councils have other ways of making life difficult for small schools. My own local school has finally gone, after a group of parents, of which I was one at the time, began battling to keep it open some twenty years ago. sad

growstuff Tue 07-Jul-20 20:35:21

OK! Understood! Yes, a lot of very small village schools have been deemed not to be viable. They're expensive to maintain and generally can't offer a full curriculum. However, that's not the picture nationally.

One was shut in this area about ten years ago. By the time it closed, it only had about 30 pupils and the building was falling down. There was spare capacity in neighbouring schools.

SueDonim Tue 07-Jul-20 21:03:42

This isn’t the right thread but small schools are about a lot more than the school itself. It was a learning curve when we went into battle for ours twenty years! smile

growstuff Tue 07-Jul-20 21:12:48

No, it's not the right thread.

My experience of small schools is opposite from years. I opted for both my children not to go to the small village school. My daughter spent a year there, before I managed to found her a place in another school. My son never even started. The majority of local parents didn't send their children there either until pressure on places in neighbouring schools meant their only option was to choose an independent school, which they couldn't all afford.

It was a horrendous experience. There were only two full-time teachers and the school was effectively run by the mother mafia clique. Bullying of "outsiders" (as my daughter was because her mother wasn't one of the school gate gang) was overlooked. The bullies, of course, were children of the volunteer worthies and the teachers didn't dare upset them. I don't think she actually learnt anything - it was more like an extension of nursery.

Small schools are expensive and take away resources from other schools, where children don't have the "privilege" of choice.

However, that's not what the video is about. Maybe you could start a thread in "Education" on small schools.

growstuff Tue 07-Jul-20 21:13:39

"find" NOT "found"

SueDonim Tue 07-Jul-20 21:19:25

That’s the opposite of my experience. My girls absolutely flourished at our local school and in fact dd1 loathed school until we moved and she started here. It was v inclusive and we had parents of children with disabilities requesting to attend because their children blossomed in the gentler, more personalised environment.

I won’t start a new thread - my children are all adults now and, as they’d say, I’m over it. smile

GGumteenth Tue 07-Jul-20 23:03:34

Can I just explain to anyone who looks in on this that the video is nothing to do with village schools per se. It is about moving forward after the lockdown, what we can learn and what the professionals would like to see.

growstuff Tue 07-Jul-20 23:48:43

The trouble is it's quite a long video.

It's not about village schools at all, but a more holistic approach to education.

It all comes down to the age old question about what people understand by the word "education" and what all stakeholders (parents, children, employers, state, etc) want from schools.