At the chalkface: One in five

If pupils are too poor or “challenging” they’re somehow chucked out. It’s all the go. You don’t want to screw up those league tables. So “poorer” children must be excluded… Ian Whitwham, a former inner city London teacher writes in SecEd.

“Poorer pupils far more likely to be in failing schools, finds research” – so goes the limp and dismal headline. Well, knock me down with feathers. This could pertain to anytime in English history. I don’t know which is more depressing, the fact or the findings.

And it does beg a few questions. “Poorer” than what? What is a “failing” school? One with “failing” pupils? What’s a “failing” pupil? A “poorer” one? Do “poorer” pupils cause schools to “fail”? Murky stuff. 

In England “poorer” pupils are nine times as likely to attend an “inadequate” school as the wealthiest. 

Other dreary headlines confirm these things: “New exams favour the rich.” Don’t they all? “Disadvantaged pupils doing watered down curriculum.” It was ever thus. We had Secondary Moderns in my day. “Schools funding will hurt poorer pupils.” I thought it was meant to do rather the reverse. “State schools more socially exclusive than ever.” Enough already!

We are creating an underclass with nothing to lose, who will probably have a career of gangs, drugs, deep maladjustment and jail. They will swap school for jail. They go from ill-nourished pupils to fully fledged criminals.

Zilch is being done about this. Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, chirps up: “No child should be held back from reaching their potential because of their background.”

Well, knock me down with another feather. There’s no fooling her. So it goes.

Read the full article At the chalkface: One in five

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!

 

 

London students to be ‘hyper-diverse’ by 2030
Record number of students through clearing as universities scramble to fill course places
Categories: Exams, Infant, Parenting, Primary and Secondary.

Let us know what you think...