State schools too ‘under the cosh’ to match our success – Dragon school head

The Guardian is reporting that the headteacher of independent school that produced three lead actors in BBC’s ‘The Night Manager’ said it would be difficult for state schools to replicate such success.

John Baugh, the head of the Dragon school in Oxford…said he thought the school’s acting success stemmed from its encouragement of all children to have a go at performing or speaking publicly.

In contrast, he said, despite the best efforts of teachers, state schools were unavoidably obsessed with exams, results and Ofsted judgments, leaving little space for children to pursue more creative activities including drama and acting…

Asked whether he thought the school’s success could be replicated in the state school system, Baugh said: “It’s very hard because of the resourcing, and there’s an obsession with Sats, which seem to be the only measure of whether a school is deemed to be successful or not.”

“They don’t have the time or the space to do some of the incredible things other children in other schools can do.”

Baugh has witnessed some of the constraints facing state school teachers as a result of the Dragon school’s role as lead sponsor of the Blackbird academy trust, which includes three primary schools in Blackbird Leys, a deprived area of Oxford.

“In our academy trust, the leadership there is really keen to try to help develop these things in the school, but are finding it difficult timewise and because of resources.”

“They can’t be seen to take their eye off the assessment ball. They can’t be seen to miss those baseline marks, those scores – they’ve got to achieve, otherwise they are deemed to be underperforming, poor schools, which they are not. But that seems to be the only judgment…”

More at State schools too ‘under the cosh’ to match our success – Dragon school head


Interesting comments from John Baugh on his experiences of the state system.

What do you think of the points he raises?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. MsHMFL

    splozza SchoolsImprove moral compass, #character, #happiness, future wonderful citizens, employees and parents a measure families may use?

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Baugh makes a decent point; DfE force schools to obsess over exam results to the detriment of everything else in learning

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