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Failing Schools

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:57 am
Ofsted report says 200,000 pupils stuck in low achieving schools ... ng-schools

Re: Failing Schools

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:43 pm
We can be fairly confident that the vast majority of those 415 failing schools have high concentrations of poverty. We’ve known since the Coleman Report ( 1966 ) that high concentrations of poverty make it much harder for schools to be rated good or better.It’s not that high poverty schools can’t be good schools, we know from the example of Michaela Free school and others that they can, it’s just so much harder. In 2000 The Heritage Foundation published a report entitled ‘No Excuses’ to show that high poverty schools could work well. The author proudly declared that he had found not one or two high poverty , high performing schools but twenty one high poverty , high performing schools. Unfortunately these twenty one schools were dwarfed by the 7,000 schools identified by the US Department of Education as failing.

Re: Failing Schools

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:13 am
After 3 years without a Parliament in Northern Ireland we have finally managed to cobble together an agreement that allows us to return to devolution. Our new Education Minister is Peter Weir Of the DUP. The DUP are big supporters of the Grammar Schools and a system of selective education. Here's a copy of a letter I have just written to the Irish News which is the biggest selling newspaper in Northern Ireland.

Last week Ofsted reported that more than 200,000 pupils in England are being educated in schools that have performed poorly for at least 13 years despite being inundated with improvement iniatives from central and local government.
Does anyone really think that the situation is any better here? Given what Sir Bob Salisbury has said that no schools in England have such poor achievement as the lowest achieving schools in Northern Ireland, the situation here is likely to be much worse. We have fewer graduates here than any other region of the UK and up to 30% of the population with little or no qualifications.
All the research and there’s a lot, from the Public Accounts Committee, the Equality Commission to the OECD point to the detrimental effect that academic selection has on our education system. According to the Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation Report ( ILIAD ) which was one of the most comprehensive pieces of research carried out here by academics from Queens University and Stranmillis University College the biggest barrier to improving educational outcomes for poor children here is academic selection at eleven. They called for selection to be scrapped, claiming that it, ‘ reinforces privelege and disadvantage’.
Academic Selection is based on a system that labels over 60% of our children as failures. It is a system based on social selection where disadvantaged children go to one type of school and their more advantaged peers go to another. We have the most socially segregated system of education in the developed world, bar none. In 2012 the OECD placed us 34th out of 34 developed countries on the level of social segregation in our schools. The more socially mixed a school system is the better it performs . A child from a low- income background does much better in a school with a socially mixed intake. The peer effect is vital. The same child attending a high poverty school does much worse , always.
Peter Weir and the DUP now have the opportunity to do the right thing for all our young people and replace the present selective system with a system of comprehensive education that will help all our young people and particularly our most disadvantaged to fulfil their full potential.