Are 'free' schools a response to local demand?

janee's picture
by janee
 56
In Wandsworth we have an example of just how far the public statements are contradicted by the practice.

One of the arguments against the Bolingbroke 'free' school, dubbed the bankers' school, was that there are already surplus places in secondary schools in the borough with a further net 1000 places given to out of borough students. That argument is being made even stronger now, given the approval of the Bolingbroke, with the news that Katharine Birbalsingh is now looking to set up in Tooting and is being welcomed by Wandsworth Council, even though there has been no demand for the school.

Lambeth Council sold the building Ms Birbalsingh wanted and, when Gove ordered a review of underused Government owned buildings, she expressed an interest in Balham Youth Court. However, it now appears that she is after a building in Tooting, almost next door to Graveney School, recently converted to an academy and an excellent school.

The picture now is unclear. On Woman's Hour today, Ms Birbalsingh claimed that she would be opening her school in Tooting in September 2012. Whereas, Wandsworth Council claim that it is not even certain that there is a suitable building.

This situation would be farcical if it weren't for the appalling waste of money being spent on these vanity projects. If this one goes through it will also blow apart any claim that 'free' schools are set up in response to local demand.

The Council statement can be found here
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Comments

Jake's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 11:07

Jane Eades - given your membership fo the AAA national executive and its connections to the far left SWP, there is zero objective credibility to anything you post on this site or anywhere else. I don't know about the alleged potential free school in Tooting or wherever but my understanding of the Bolingbroke is that it meets part of the 'basic need' forecast in Wandsworth over the coming years. Furthermore it was a well supported campaign run by parents concerned at a lack of a local community comprehensive school. Your snide dig at the 'bankers school' says more about you than the reality of the situation while your ongoing bitter tirade about all things 'academy' actually works in favour of academies because you are so 'one eyed' with your invective. Keep up the great work.

Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 14:34

Jon -

Where does your "understanding" of the Bolingbroke campaign come from? Would you like to clarify this? And what is your opinion of their inviting a head teacher from a comprehensive to head up their Academy, Jon?

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 15:43

I'm puzzled, Jake. You say that it is your "understanding of the Bolingbroke is that it meets part of the 'basic need' forecast in Wandsworth." Yet page 5 of "Wandsworth Borough council Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny committee 2nd March 2011: Special Executive 9 March 2011" gives a table which shows that without the proposed free school (Bolingbroke) it would not be until 2019/20 that the projected roll exceeds capacity, and then by only 2 forms. It should have been possible, surely, to have expanded provision at one or more of the existing secondary schools.

On page 6 there is a table showing provision of places if the free school were allowed (which it has). This shows that there is over-provision of up to 1,569 in 2015/16 and then falling to 423 in 2019/20. The Council says that it accepts over-capacity to allow for parental choice. However, as money follows the pupil, what will be the effect on a secondary school in the borough which became unviable?

http://ww3.wandsworth.gov.uk/committ/documents/s13320/11-233%20-%20Bolin...

janee's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 17:10

Jon, why do you sink to this sort of mud slinging? You are making the case that all schools should come under the oversight of the local authority if the best arguments you can come up with are that I know people who are in the SWP. Incidentally, it was you that told me this, it isn't relevant to anything I do. I distrust people who hide behind pseudonyms to post personal attacks on others.

Jake's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 17:56

I am sorry that you are puzzled Janet. A little knowledge is as they say is a dangerous thing - you need to understand the trend behind the stats. Let me try and explain. The table you point to settles at a projected 11-16 roll by 2016 of 10,960 pupils. That is the long term estimate dtrend. But this includes the new RC school of 1,050 places and also uses a 5FE total for the new free school - which in reality is only 4FE, so another 150 places in that figure of 10,960 which is not relevant. Deducting the Catholic school - it admits on faith base only - and the extra 1FE leaves a corrected total of 9,760 places. Looking at the peak projected roll of 10,537 one has of course to also deduct the RC school on that side of the equation to balance up the columns. The vacancy rate of the RC schools is 60% - therefore adjust 1,050 x 60% = 630 forecast vacant places at the new RC school. This adjusts the 10,537 roll down to 9,907. So there is actually a deficit of 9,760 less 9,907 = 147 places (or a 5FE shortfall) even before allowing the councils 5% contingency addition (which would make the 'basic need' numbers look even worse of course). I hope that helps. It does of course make the case for the additional free school looking at projected basic need places without the new Catholic school skewing the numbers. Take that up with the Pope. The Bolingbroke is I believe a secular school.

Jake's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 18:01

I live in Wandsworth and support the free school policy (on the basis that it improves standards and choice) so this has been an interesting project to follow in recent months given its profile. I cannot though help you Butthead with your ongoing paranoid delusions. Suggest you lie down in a dark room or stick to being a classical music agent who dabbles in education as a little hobby in your spare time.

Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 20:36

Interesting Jon -

What is your connection to Bolingbroke? And what is your opinion of their inviting a head teacher from a comprehensive to head up their Academy, Jon?

Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 20:52

Jon -

You support the Free School policy but all you have offered up as evidence that they are worth their huge amounts of investment creamed off existing schools is that the KIPP model is the one to be adopted. Never mind that KIPP's alleged success is spread over just 100 charter schools in America.

Jon -

Charter Schools have failed to raise educational standards in the US, America's standing in the world rankings being average, like ours, and many other developed nations with similar socio-economic challenges. Charter schools have not raised attainment for the poor nor have their existence been responsible for driving up standards in competing charter schools or regular schools.

Jon -

Where is the evidence that Free schools "Improves standards and choice"? They have been up and running only for one term. Their success is theoretical, but the example of America - not just KIPP Jon! - shows that they are unlikely to make much impact on transforming education. As you well know, Jon, successful charters like KIPP are dependent on huge amounts of philanthropic money. Not only do we not have a culture of huge philanthropy in this country, education investment has been cut by 60% yet Free Schools - which, like KIPP schools, educate a minuscule number of students - are being set up to guarantee only profits for education companies, at the tax payers expense.

Jon -

Osborne's catastrophic economic policies have flatlined the economy with no hope of growth; the private sector haven't employed the public sector workers who were made redundant; nearly 3 million people are unemployed and are there are increasingly fewer jobs for the one million 16-24 year olds.

Jon -

If charters need billions to shows some success in a minority of schools, then how will this be applicable to all schools in Britain with a few pennies?

Jon -

It's like being a construction manager, Jon, isn't it? When the bricks and cement run out you can't build the house anymore.

Jon - What do you think of Bolingbroke hiring a head from a comprehensive school? Why will you not answer this? Does he know you?

Why are you so reluctant to tell us what your association with Bolingbroke Academy is? And why have you chosen to hide behind an assumed name so that you can attack those of us braver and more principled than you to debate the issues openly?

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 11:47

Jake - the new Catholic school will take non-Catholics if it has vacancies (see link below). It was, therefore, legitimate for the Council to include this school in its projected numbers. As money follows pupils, I think it's unlikely that any school would deliberately keep its numbers low if there were a demand for places.

http://www.sjbc.wandsworth.sch.uk/index.php/information/admissions/

Leonard James's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 21:35

I'm pretty sure you've mentioned the 'comprehensive head' story several times. What point are you trying to make by bringing it up?

Fiona Millar's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 08:28

I think I raised the issue of the Bolingbroke head - currently deputy at my daughter's outstanding community comprehensive. The supporters of this new free school have on several occasions used this site to make allegations about low standards and expectations in community schools. I was simply pointing out that there is excellence in the maintained sector and in many local comprehensive schools. So much so that our schools are now being trawled to provide high calibre heads and staff for free schools and academies. See Michael Wilshaw's comments about Claire Edis here.

Jake's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 12:11

Why on earth do you believe that non-Catholic parents would be happy to put their children through a Catholic education purely on the basis of surplus places? This is a very wrong assumption on your part. Education should be demand not supply side driven so that parents are not compromised in how their children are educated. Introducing a degree of surplus places and variety of school types into the system is a good thing - that is, parents then have choices.

Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 21:37

I'll let Jon answer that.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 14:51

The link to the Council statement doesn't seem to be working. However, this might be the one that Jane Eades is referring to:

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/10883/new_free_school_plan_for...

No-one seems to know exactly where in Tooting the free school will be so how the Business Plan was passed is unclear. I thought proposals for free schools had to be backed up by evidence of demand. I don't live in London, but I thought the Michaela School was initially supposed to meet an alleged demand in Lambeth.

The council statement above said the free school would be like a public school. Again, I don't live in London, but I would have thought that a site the size of, say, Rugby School would be rather difficult to find. Does this mean that the free school will just take on the superficial trappings of a supposed public school: a distinctive uniform (probably from the same supplier as Eton), chanting, "amo, amas, amat...", calling terms "Michaelmas" and so on, and teachers floating around in gowns giving off a whiff of chalk?

There's a clue in the council statement: pupils will "obey". As an ex-teacher, I'm quite fond of discipline - teaching is impossible without it. But there's something that makes me uneasy about unquestioning obedience. Where does a legitimate demand for discipline end and bullying begin?

Leonard James's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 21:41

"Does this mean that the free school will just take on the superficial trappings of a supposed public school: a distinctive uniform (probably from the same supplier as Eton), chanting, “amo, amas, amat…”, calling terms “Michaelmas” and so on, and teachers floating around in gowns giving off a whiff of chalk?"

This just makes you seem like someone with incredibly low standards and a massive chip on their shoulder.

Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 22:04

Actually it does not. It needs to put into the context of how, for example, Free Schools are being encouraged to be adopted by private schools, such as Wellington College, so that they are associated with a level of privilege not accorded to other state schools. This comment also stems from Toby Young's insistence that West London Free School be the "Eton of the State Sector", opting not just for a "classical curriculum" but a special uniform bought from a special shop, Latin and general aping of private school mores promoting the belief that the children who go through their system will be able to compete with privileged children in banking jobs or just entry to the Bullingdon Club. It's not Janet with a massive chip on her shoulder for not having been sent by her dad-with-a-title to public school.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 10:47

Leonard - I thought my use of the word "supposed" to describe the public school would indicate that the description which followed was in fact a parody. I doubt that there are many public schools (with the exception of the uniform), who fit my description. The majority of independent schools have moved on. Some public schools do describe their terms as Michaelmas and so on, like Eton and Wellington. Other public schools, like Harrow and Uppingham do not. However, if a brand-new school with no long-standing tradition uses such words it gives the impression of trying just too hard to ape external trappings.

And how exactly does my description of a type of school which hasn't existed since the fifties show that I have "incredibly low standards"?

Leonard James's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 07:20

So if Toby didn't have a 'chip on his shoulder' then you and Janet wouldn't need to scoff at privatised education or any state funded school trying to adopt its methods?

I'm not sure what your point is other than to demonstrate your animosity towards Toby Young.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 08:47

Leonard - you introduced chips into the menu. I am not scoffing at private education, but I am questioning the point and validity of a minuscule number of tax payer funded state schools adopting the manners and culture of Eton. The Eton of the State Sector actually isn't Eton and if impressionable parents and children think that by going to such schools they are going to break the glass ceiling and take their place easily alongside the class privileged then they are being done a huge disservice. I've no doubt some of them will go on to get great grades and get into the universities they wish to go to, but that is not the same as fashioning your school as some kind of establishment for an elite. Or perhaps that is what places like WLFS are trying to do. It is offputting to many people but then I suppose that promoting it as an Eton for the Proles panders to certain prejudices and the school may well have weeded out any undesirables.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 11:25

Leonard - I've made it clear below that I was presenting a parody of an English Public School. All schools, whether independent or state-controlled, should use appropriate teaching methods, but there is no evidence that such things as uniform improve standards. Neither does including Latin on the curriculum show that a school is better than a neighbouring school merely because the former offers Latin and the latter does not. In Finland, the top-performing European country in the PISA tests, Latin is rarely taught.

Research from the OECD showed that private schools do have an advantage - better resources, more advantaged intake, better discipline - and pupils who attend these school benefit from the experience. However, the existence of private schools in a school system does not raise a country's overall level of attainment. Once socio-economic background was factored in, public schools (state run schools in this context) outperform their private counterparts.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/43/48482894.pdf

Leonard James's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 21:47

"I’ll let Jon answer that."

You keep mentioning him as well - who is he?

Rosemary Mann's picture
Wed, 14/12/2011 - 22:41

The concept of choice, used to market the free school idea, sounds a great idea. Parents love to be told that they have 'choice'. I am not sure that is ever true and can materialise as the concept of 'choice' ie a provision of a range of suppliers of education from which to choose, is inherently difficult to produce at a reasonable standard and also is extremely wasteful as a good 'choice' situation automatically means that some suppliers will be in demand and others wont. And what happens to those who are undersubscribed.
I compare the situation to a good restaurant. One is presented with a menu of, say, 5/6 options for each course. This might seem like 'choice' but in reality, you have a vegetarian course, a white meat course, a red meat course, a fish course, a shellfish course, and a standard omelette. If you are vegetarian, you only have the option of one course. If however you are flexible and willing to try new things, you have a fantastic choice of six courses. However you are coeliac and cant eat three of these courses, so the only option for you is in fact the vegetarian course. Overall, you are in fact presented with a small range of options which looks great but which in practice puts you into a bit of a corner and results in you having to put up with the only course which you are able to eat but do not really like.

In any restaurant the concept of ' choice' is entirely deceptive. You are presented ith a very limited range of options that someone has decided they are prepared to cook or which is dependent on local supplies. therefore your decision has effectively been made for you.

My point in case I havent made it by now is that we cannot afford to open up the school markets to fickle ever discerning consumers in the manner proposed by free school ideology. This pick n mix pop up school philosophy needs putting back in its place and quick.

Leonard James's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 07:10

You seem to be saying that because there is a limited menu in a restaurant we shouldn't have a menu at all when it comes to education - I don't follow.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 08:34

I suggest you look at and study the best performing nations - non selective, no segregation, mixed ability teaching, a focus on student development rather than standardized testing, great teaching, trust. "Choice" is the buzzword masking free market influence in state education. When there is a competitive dog-eat-dog fight between neighbourhood schools, results across the board do not improve, as they have not done in America and Germany.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 11:37

There is mixed evidence within the OECD area about whether user choice in education provides better outcomes. OECD research found that user choice may increase segregation of high-ability and low-ability pupils. Its research also discovered that increased user choice in Sweden had shown no measurable long term effects (despite what Mr Gove et al keep telling the electorate about how Swedish free schools have increased attainment). Several high-performing OECD countries offer very limited choice.*

*Reforming Education in England, OECD 2011, (not available freely on line - details of how to obtain a copy are here: http://www.oecd.org/document/38/0,3746,en_2649_34569_47283558_1_1_1_1,00... )

janee's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 17:02

There always has been choice - it is the choice of what happens within a school, not the form of governance. Creating umpteen different types of school just confuses the issue and, currently, is wasting money.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 15/12/2011 - 13:05

Jake - you asked me above why non-Catholic parents would want to send their child to a Catholic school. This question could equally well be asked about faith-based free schools who are allowed to select up to 50% based on faith. Some faith-based free schools go out of their way to attract other children. The Krishna Avanti School, Leicester, for example, makes it clear that it wants 50% of its intake to be non-Hindu, and it has a Christian head.

There is an assumption, then, that parents who are of a different faith or no faith might wish their child to attend a faith school. There are a large number of non-Christian children, for example, in C of E schools. So it doesn't follow that all parents would be put off by the faith-based nature of a school. That said, there are parents who would be, and would feel that their choice was reduced. Perhaps the answer would be to have all secular schools as in France.

I note that in your post above you use the word "demand" rather than "need". Which comes first: the demands of a particular group or the need of an area as a whole? In any case, the evidence about the relationship between user choice and educational outcomes is mixed, as I point out in my reply to Leonard above.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 08:07

Janet

Firstly I'm not sure an insulting 'parody' of state schools would go down to well here so in the interests of balance perhaps you would agree to refrain from such practice in future?

Secondly what standards are you talking about regarding your comments on uniform and Latin?

Thirdly I believe that the OECD research has already been discussed on this site and you were unable to provide a methodology that describes how 'socio-economic background' is being factored in - for all we know someone could be making it up!

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 08:19

If you were trying to question 'the point and validity of a minuscule number of tax payer funded state schools adopting the manners and culture of Eton.' why didn't you just say so?

The rest of the statement seems to be criticising people for being ambitious and that they really shouldn't bother.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 08:39

My point was about the analogy but you ought to know that 'student development', 'trust', and 'great teaching' are also buzz words.

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 08:41

Leonard - I will deal with your objections (18/12/11) one at a time in separate posts. First, the criteria that OECD use to determine socio-economic background is described below:

OECD uses the Index of Economic social and Cultural Status (ESCS) to determine the socio-economic status of a family. OECD uses this index as a way of determining a family's socio-economic status because data re parental wealth is not available to PISA. For detailed description of ESCS follow this link:

http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=5401

OECD factor in socio-economic background because it recognises that socio-economic background has an impact on outcomes. In order to judge the efficiency of school systems OECD tries to rule out factors which would affect the outcome but over which the system has no control. In the case of private schools - globally, not just in the UK - OECD found that they outperformed public (ie state) schools BUT this was because of the quality of the intake and better resources. When the socio-economic background was factored in then state schools performed better and this was particularly true in the UK. In other words, state schools did a good job in more difficult circumstances.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/33/8/46624007.pdf (page 13, para 53)

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 08:50

Rosalyn's example of a restaurant menu seems to be an unfavourable analogy for this sort of choice - contrary to what she says the analogy seems to support the creation on different but specialised restaurants.

We also need to be careful about money - plenty of things that schools could be considered a waste if the only consideration we have is cost efficiency.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 09:14

None of this is a methodology. Why are British state schools being given an approximate points boost of 37 points in the reading scores to bump them above private schools? Why not 38 points?

Why are we even factoring in these scores in the first place given that socio economic disadvantage surely doesn't 'cause' lower educational outcomes?

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 09:47

Leonard - follow the link to OECD above. You will find much information about the impact of socio-economic background on learning outcomes. It has also been discussed on this site - see links below for examples. There is also a typo in your post above - the number of points by which UK public (ie state) schools outperformed privately managed ones was 20 not 37. And it isn't just British schools - OECD said that public schools outperformed privately managed ones by an average of 7 score points globally. OECD looked at international data - their conclusions were not designed to "bump" up the reading scores of pupils in UK state schools.

For more information on private and public schools see PISA in Focus 7 (link below).

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/08/school-intake-governs-acad...

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/07/socio-economic-disadvantag...

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/07/disadvantaged-pupils-do-wo...

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/43/48482894.pdf

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:01

Fine why are British state schools given a boost of 82 points? Why not 83?

I get that there is a correlation between socio economic background and learning outcomes but I don't understand how one prescibes the numbers.

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:33

Leonard - your question is erroneous. UK state schools have not been given a "boost of 82 points" as I pointed out in the post above. I cannot understand why you are giving false figures unless you are merely being mischievous. However, I will continue to treat your questions seriously and provide links which may explain more about methodology. The first paper was first published in 2005 so is a little out-of-date (there have been two more PISA cycles since then). Also it contains data re UK which OECD later found to be flawed so any info re UK should be disregarded. The second is an OECD book which explained methodology on page 306. This was published after the 2003 PISA tests and there may be more up-to-date descriptions. However, it gives an insight into OECD thinking although as a non-statistician I find it difficult to follow.

https://mypisa.acer.edu.au/images/mypisadoc/aera2006_schulzw_pisa_escs%2...

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7UovMtPZp78C&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=pi...

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 09:17

Leonard - you asked what I meant by "standards" in regard to uniform and Latin. I was referring to outcomes as measured by tests. However, not everything that counts can be counted and it may be that you were thinking of important qualities not measured by tests such as discipline. Popular opinion (and the DfE) think that there is a link between standards of behaviour and uniform. This is discussed here:

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/03/dfe-can-produce-no-academi...

As far as the teaching of Latin is concerned, there is no evidence that this raises educational achievement. Latin is rarely taught in Finland, the top-performing European country. I can find no evidence that Latin is taught in Shanghai - the top-performing educational system according to PISA. I'm also unable to find any evidence that the teaching of Latin improves behaviour.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 09:29

I don't understand you point about Latin. Are you suggesting that we should only teach subjects that significantly contributes to educational achievement in other subjects or improves behaviour?

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 09:59

Leonard - my point was in answer to your own question. Perhaps you had forgotten it, in which case I reproduce it here:

"Secondly what standards are you talking about regarding your comments on uniform and Latin?"

The answer to your question above is No.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:05

Then I'm sure Latin has test so I don't understand what are you complaining about?

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:44

Finally, Leonard, your concern about my parody of private schools. I made it clear that the type of private school no longer existed - it has more in common with Billy Bunter's Greyfriars than any modern private school (at least, I hope so). However, for the sake of balance I will provide a parody of state school:

The teachers are more concerned with spreading left-wing propaganda than teaching the 3Rs. They spend more time teaching five-year-olds how to use a condom than how to read books. Christmas is banned (it's called Winterval) and nativity plays have been replaced with a drama about how Mary (a single parent) collects her benefit. Discipline is non-existent (except in academies) and the pupils are a feral underclass who can't read or write, talk in grunts and riot in summer. UK state schools are, in short, the worst in the world.

The worrying aspect of this parody, however, is that many in the media actually believe it.

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:54

This is more like a leftist parody of somebody who is right wing than a parody of state schools.

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:57

In which case it would be amusing to read your parody of state schools. And I have enough sense of humour to be able to enjoy it.

Allan Beavis's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 11:14

I agree Janet. It is the humourlessness and lack of wit that is so depressing!

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:48

Janet - re: my erroneous figures. I am using the paragraph you linked to. Please explain how one should interpret this paragraph to conclude that a score other than 82 is not added to the state school reading scores to 'account for socio-economic background'.

"On average across OECD countries, privately managed schools display a performance advantage of 30 score points on the PISA reading scale (in the United Kingdom even of 62 score points). However, once the socio-economic background of students and schools is accounted for, public schools come out with a slight advantage of 7 score points, on average across OECD countries (in the United Kingdom public schools outscore privately managed schools by 20 score points once the socio-economic background is accounted for)."

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 10:55

Leonard - See graph on page 2 of PISA in Focus 7:

http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/43/48482894.pdf

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 11:45

So I should have ignored the paragraph you linked to and jumped straight to the graph you provided later. Great.

The graph (and the scale isn't the best) appears to show that 92 points are added to the reading scores for state schools to 'account for socio economic disadvantage'. Are you happy with this number Janet or am I still being mischevious?

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 13:35

No, Leonard, I did not suggest that you ignore the linked paragraph. The graph was to give you further information. I'm sorry the scale wasn't the best - I'm not responsible for that. As for whether I'm happy or not, I will go with what OECD concluded, since they at least seem to be offering just one figure:

"...in the UK public schools outscore privately managed schools by 20 score points."

I'm quite happy for you to add all the points together to make an even bigger gap between UK private schools and state schools. However, that might be misleading. I will stick with the analysis of the OECD statisticians.

Any advance on 92?

Leonard James's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 14:27

Surely if the state schools are 62 points behind private schools to begin with and end up 20 points ahead a total of 82 points has been subtracted from the private school/or added to the state school total to account for socio economic disadvantage. If this is wrong please can you explain how one makes the relevent calculations.

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 18/12/2011 - 16:51

Leonard - if your observation is correct, then I am surprised that the OECD statisticians didn't notice it. According to the statisticians (I presume they are trained) UK state schools outscored private ones by 20 score points in reading. I do not know how they made the relevant calculations, so perhaps you could ask them to explain. Once you have the answer you can come back and tell us. The link is here:

http://www.oecd.org/contactus/0,3364,en_2649_34257_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

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