Local Schools: Share Your Positive Stories

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Rhona Dodds: Outstanding! an update on our wonderful school.

A year ago I posted the uplifting story of Nether Edge Primary School. We had an Ofsted inspection last month and we were rated outstanding (full report on our school website and will be on Ofsted website next week). Here's the original post... 'I know eyebrows were raised and some concerns expressed amongst family and friends when we decided to ... read more and comment →

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Nathalie Hales: There is a snobbery in our area where schools in the wrong area are shunned due to out-dated information and myths.

I live in an area where there are many schools close by. I discovered when applying for a reception place that I lived 50 yards further away from the school that I expected my daughters to go to (and where the eldest was at nursery) than my nearest school that I had never heard of and never seen as ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "This BBC News story is also relevant. 'Pupils in some areas are not offered vital GCSEs' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30983083 The first serious research I was involved in after I retired from headship in 2003 was sponsored by TES. With my statistician colleague. Roger Davies, we ......"

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emma kay: Islington – doing brilliantly without academies

Research published recently finds that expecting pupils to go to their local school has the net effect that poorer children are much less likely to attend high-achieving schools. This is demonstrably not the case in Islington, despite it being one of 10 most deprived boroughs in London. Pupils in this borough can go to their local school, regardless of postcode ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Andy: "I too wish Islington well and applaud them and moreover their parents for resisting the lure of academisation (i.e. 5 Academies and 1 Free School out of 56 schools) Out of 10 Secondary schools there no Free Schools and only 2 ......"

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emma kay: Islington’s excellent state maintained schools – a continuing story of success.

In 2012 I posted about Highbury Grove School, at which my daughter was a student in year 8. Since then increasing numbers of parents have been putting HG first on their school admission forms, recognizing that there is a school on their doorstep which is performing brilliantly for all its students. Now in year 10, these children are flourishing and ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Martin Richardson: "Hi Emma My son is at a different Islington secondary school. Very happy with it overall, manages to balance very good exam results with wide ranging education. On my calculations (KS2 average intake score to 'best 8 capped' points in KS4) Islington ......"

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Henry Stewart: Let’s celebrate all fast-improving primary schools

Last month the DfE issued a press release headed “primary academies on the rise”. It took an oddly partial look at the primary sector, giving specific examples of 8 schools, all academies, and quoting the Secretary of State as saying "Primary academies give children the best chance of starting secondary school with good literacy and numeracy". I am sure Michael Gove ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Henry - you're right to draw attention to ALL improving schools. Unfortunately, the DfE focuses only on academies and free schools. Worse, they downgrade community schools and describe them misleadingly as "council-controlled" (which they are not because LAs ......"

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Henry Stewart: School culture: is there another way?

In England we have become so used to a regime of endless grading of students, focus on the data, monitoring of teachers and always being ready for Ofsted that it feels normal. Going to the Oppi festival of education in Finland, and getting a different perspective, it felt as though we are all trapped in a giant hamster wheel. Finns certainly ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Phil Taylor: "It's great to read about a head and a school that are bravely going their own way. It requires a lot of confidence. The tragic thing is that there used to be more schools like this before education became such ......"

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Rhona Dodds: We chose the local inner-city state primary, a decision that’s just paid us back in spades!

I know eyebrows were raised and some concerns expressed amongst family and friends when we decided to send our kids to the local inner-city school with the bad reputation and where over 90% of kids have English as an additional language. Well that was eight years ago and my goodness what a turn-around! The Nether Edge Primary School did ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Rhona Dodds: "We wanted to use the local school and it seemed ok and less than 5 mins walk away. Ofsted good, staff seemed nice, lovely children. I knew our kids would be fine. We weren't aware of quite ......"

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Henry Stewart: Biggest SATs increases are in non-academies

It may not have been mentioned in the DfE press releases this week but its data indicates that the biggest improvements in the key KS2 benchmark (% pupils achieving level 4 or above in reading and maths test and writing) were in non-academies. This should call into question whether the best solution to an "under-performing" primary is to force it ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Becky: "Yes I can see that sifting through all of that for individual schools would be a bit of a nightmare (!!) and, digging a bit deeper, there does seem to be a fair bit of missing data too. Hope the ......"

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madeleine holt: Meet the Parents moves on up

Sometimes I have an education fantasy: that Posh and Becks or Kate and Wills decide to send their children NOT to Eton or Harrow but to the comprehensive school down the road. What more powerful message could there be that these schools are fine? It happens in Holland. But then I wake up and remember I am in England, where it's ... read more and comment →

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madeleine holt: Meet the Parents: why I set it up

If you go the local school you will become a postman. My son came home one day and told me this. He had heard it from his school friend, who had heard it from his mum, who'd heard it from a neighbour... And so it goes on: the endless rumour mill about the local comprehensives. In the playground at my ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Fiona McWilliam: "The problem is that too many parents think they would be subjecting their children to a potentially damaging social experiment without actually investigating what's really on offer at their local, non-selective comprehensive school. Also, they need to have more confidence ......"

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