An article appeared on my facebook timeline last night that I was genuinely troubled by.
England’s worst schools revealed…..
The article, written by the Daily Mirror, which can be read here, states that official government figures released this week, show that one in eight mainstream secondary schools are under-performing.
Schools fall below the government’s performance threshold if pupils fail to make enough progress across eight subjects, with particular weight given to English and maths.
My son’s school is on the list!
This school has been attended by all three of my older children and they have all enjoyed being at the school and achieved good GSCE results, with Kian on track for his A-Levels and excited by university offers.
I cannot even begin to feel how these teachers must be feeling right now. I know friends currently in the profession and know that each and every one of them strive to do the very best for each child they teach.
Isaac is currently in Year 5, so come September we will be looking into secondary schools for him and I have to admit that I had a bit of a wobble, however, my lovely friend, and an amazing teacher, replied to our concerns and I asked her permission to share it on my blog to put others’ minds at ease:
League tables only tell a tiny piece of the picture! It’s lovely to see schools make progress but if they’re not as high as previously, it doesn’t now mean they’re rubbish!
Children aren’t robots, they don’t enter a school all at the same predefined level and subject to what the government seem to think, outside factors will always play a part in how they approach school and learning.
As a parent and a teacher, the most important thing to me is how happy my children are. Do they come home buzzing with what they’ve learnt (yes I know as they get older, asking them about their day is harder than getting a cow to poop gold!!) but they will still have those days when they can’t hold it in! Are they happy to go every day? Is the school providing them with a well rounded curriculum, so children who struggle with the core subjects, feel that they can achieve at what they are passionate about? That to me is more important than any league table!
So don’t judge a school on league tables or SATs results….. judge them on your gut instinct, judge them on your heart, judge them with your children’s smiles…. that tells you more than you need to know!
What should you do if you are worried about your school’s performance?
If your kids love school, are thriving and getting good results, then that speaks volumes but remember, our children need our support too.
Parents evenings are a great way of communicating with teachers and finding out how your kids are getting on and are great for early interventions if your child is struggling in a particular area.
Teachers can only do so much and kids are only at school for 6-7 hours a day. You can help by supporting their learning at home, making sure they complete their homework, reading books or even watching the news.
Learning doesn’t stop when they walk out of school and whilst kids need their downtime, even chatting about what they have learned at school shows you are taking an interest and can encourage them to find out more after their lessons have finished.
Whilst I do think schools performance should be monitored and failing schools given the additional support they need, I think performance tables can be misleading and are unfair on our already overstretched teachers. Let them cater to individual children’s needs and not the governments targets.
What are your thoughts on school league tables?