Evening Standard/10 key challenges for Andrew Adonis

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Evening Standard/10 key challenges for Andrew Adonis

Post by quipg. » Tue May 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Thanks to TES/Opinion 'Blair's Education Guru :Andrew Adonis' posting by 'nomad' :

"According to today's London Evening Standard, there are 10 key challenges that Lord Adonis needs to tackle.

1. Literacy and numeracy
About a fifth of 11-year-olds still leave primary school without being able to read, write or add up at the level expected of their age. These children usually go on to get no GCSEs, or a handful at grades D or below.
2. GCSEs and A-levels
Only about 43 per cent of pupils get at least five Cs including English and maths at GCSE, a record the Confederation of British Industry has branded "scandalous". At A-level, pass rates have risen but are propped up by state school students choosing softer subjects such as psychology. Private schools say they now provide most of the candidates taking the "hard" subjects of maths, science and foreign languages at university.
3. Truancy
This worsened last year despite a huge expenditure in time and money. A hard core of pupils, many of whom attend London schools, is blamed for much of the absence.
4. Classroom behaviour
OfSTED says the proportion of lessons where behaviour is good has declined from more than three quarters to less than two thirds, while indiscipline is unacceptably high in a stubborn eight per cent of comprehensives.
5. Failing schools
OfSTED said the number placed on the list of official failures rose last year as inspectors got tougher on incompetent teaching.
6. School admissions
In London, many parents are so desperate to avoid poorly performing comprehensives they lie to try to get places at popular schools.
7. Class sizes
More five-, six- and seven-year-olds are being herded into illegally large classes of more than 30. Primary schools are increasingly struggling to cope and lost 200 teachers last year.
8. Teacher shortages
Labour trumpeted 30,000 extra teachers during the election campaign but the number of unqualified staff working in schools has soared by 500 per cent since Labour came to power in 1997. Many London schools are dependent on young, inexperienced trainees and temporary "supply" teachers to ensure all classes are staffed with an adult.
9. City academies
The brainchild of Lord Adonis, the Government's flagship £5 billion programme to rescue innercity schools from failure has so far not produced a major boost in results. Most of those that have opened are still near the foot of exam league tables, despite costing hundreds of millions of pounds.
10. Universities
Again, Lord Adonis is credited with devising the policy to let universities charge students top-up fees, which led to the biggest Commons rebellion against Tony Blair during his second term in power. The Government must decide whether to lift the £3,000 cap - as virtually every university is demanding behind the scenes.
Having had a look at that lot when listed out, it is very aparent, I think, that Ruth Kelly has no chance of dealing effectively with the issues."

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