Tuesday, October 25, 2005



Seriousy though, this is SUCH a bad idea. I don't know why New Labour thinks that destroying the brilliant comprehensive system is a good idea. Yes, it certainly isn't perfect, but the whole point is its open for all. The point is that if your parents are busy, and don't take the time to get you into the perfect school, that it doesn't matter, because you can succeed in any school. And yes, that is not happening, but a "market" of schools is CERTAINLY not the way to improve. There are SO many worrying things about this idea

"The trusts are based on those that control academies, but in a marked departure from the academy scheme, the government appears keen to encourage charities, private schools, universities and groups of parents to run schools as opposed to attracting sponsorship from wealthy individuals.

Parents will also be given new channels to complain to the schools inspectorate, Ofsted, and to demand that a new school be formed or that a headteacher of an existing school be sacked if they think they are not up to scratch. Local parent advisers will also be employed to give parents advice on choosing their children's schools to ensure that middle class parents are not advantaged in "playing the system".

Parental choice will be backed by a new "market" in schools. Ms Kelly has previously indicated that failing schools will be closed if they do not improve after a year. A new provider will be found to run the school through a trust if no changes are made."

shudder parent power is SO overrated. Its petty politics at work, the worst kind, I have always found the idea of these idyllic communities of the past that som long for creepy- I prefer not to know my neighbours- why should I be friends who the only thing I have in common with is that they live on the same street?

"Trust schools will be able to set their own admissions, curriculum and teachers' pay and conditions, and will, controversially, be able to set these outside of national guidelines where they can prove that the measures will improve standards"

NO. Just no. Yes, the national curriculum IS flawed, but allowing individual schools to decide which bits they want is NOT the solution at all....

Sigh... and our alternative is David Cameroon.


At 9:40 pm, Blogger Kirbie said...

I have to agree that Tony should stop screwing with everything. He loves to mess with education and has messed with mine for fucking years.
However I don't see why you find the prospect of co-operating with your neighbours to be a bad thing. I have to admit that I have had pretty awful neighbours most of my life, but have also had some good ones. Saying the only thing you have in common is you live next door is probably untrue, most people have quite a lot in common really; even if it doesn't appear so.
Still i'm not saying that everyone should be all Stepford wives-like with their neighbours, but isn't it good to know more people? I guess if you don't want that it's fair enough, I just think it's a bit of a shame. I also think that getting on with your neighbours makes your surroundings nicer and makes you more socially minded, which is probably lacking in most places. Anyway I guess I wasn't really commenting on your main point, but I just found this topic interesting, as it's something we often have to think about in projects.

At 11:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that I agree with Kirbie upon matters of local interest. If, as a whole, everyone tended to ignore their next door neighbours and others who lived around them, instead focusing upon communicating only with their "tribe" of friends, there would be a danger of people becoming isolated and extremist in their viewpoints and whole communities seizing up!

As for schools being run locally instead of centrally.... again, I think this idea could have some really positive benefits.

For a start, I believe that the government generally is far too removed from the day to day functioning of school life (disagree with me if you like) - and that yearly OFSTED inspections can only do so much to record academic standards. Sure, exam results are good indicators, but at the end of the day, they're not necessarily the most important thing about a child's schooling.

Certainly it is true that under any circumstances, there are national standards to which all pupils and teachers alike must adhere and therefore written guidelines, inspections as OFSTED, exam league tables and nationally recognised teacher training qualifications are essential. However, it shouldn't be forgotten that at the end of the day, it is the parents who are able to see the end results of their child's day at school, who want the best for their children and have, (or should have) the most contact time with them.
Fully grown adults who are taking the time and effort to launch a campaign against some particular issue of their childs education should, I believe, be given serious consideration or at least be listened to. It's not a reform which is going to allow one crazy individual to change the entire course of for example, 300 children's intellectual destiny. Reforms would, I suspect, only be allowed if there were a vast majority of citizens in support of such a measure. The people of Great Britain generally are not stupid. The abundence of information available today (as opposed to 100 years ago) through newspapers and the internet and similarly, the diversity of people living from place to place due to the ease of transportation means that every community should be able to realise when local education is falling below national standards. If nothing else, giving parents more control and getting them involved in their childrens education may go some lentghs to improving parental standards overall, ensuring that information and discipline learnt within school hours is not undermined or contradicated in the home above all places.

Personally, I believe that this is a much better idea than the subsidisation of education from the sponsorships of wealthy individuals. This scenario is easily comparable with the world market economy where major companies such as arcadia monopolize big business, forcing local competition sideways. Giving wealthy individuals power within Government simply because they are able to throw away money screams of despotism. We are meant to live in a democracy where people are meant to be able to shape their own destinies - and it's about time that power was handed back (at least partially) to the people.

At 1:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, why was there no allusion to hattrick?! Come on people! prioritise!

At 6:47 pm, Blogger Mr K said...

Well, that was quite the long answer to my written in anger post, anon.

To all, yes I suppose getting along with your neighbours can be enjoyable, but I guess I don't like the idea of being forced into it, as I would if I was trying to look after the school.

Anon, I completely agree with you on various points. Certianly giving wealthy individuals control is not a good idea, but generally I don't think giving any group too much control is good news. I do not know the details of the bill, but I certainly do not want the spread of faith schools, as this would certainly encourage. Especially when they are able to not allow someone into the school for not believing in God. Frankly, I don't want to live in a country where schools are allowed to do that. Also the group of parents idea does worry me, simply because I don't think they will necessarily represent the best interests of all parents. In fact those parents particularly interested in pushing forward a particular agenda are far more likely to step forward than those who are too busy working to spend all their time watching whats happening at school.

I dunno, I understand that central control can be too broad, but in the case of something like schools, I think generaly its useful. Certainly parents should have a say- but in the curriculum? I don't think thats a good idea at all; our curriculum is designed (or should be designed) to give all pupils a fair stab at any career path they would wish to do, and editing it in a slapdash manner is only going to lead to inequality, and also possible confusion from employers.

At 12:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm willing to accept that both sides of this argument are slightly extremist and that a centre viewpoint is probably the way forward!!! A school system with extra input from parents could be an advancement, but like you say there are a lot of potential pitfalls and probably a whole new set of laws and guidelines would have to be passed if measures like these were to
be successfully introduced! Oh - and a referendum would have to be held :-P


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