Hard to get their ear...

Shane Rae's picture
I've been a teacher for 20 years starting out in Canada, then the US and for the last 12 years in the UK. I have been shortlisted to receive the National Leadership in Teaching Award 5 times. I have been an active governor at my local primary school, Brize Norton Primary, for the past 9 years (and was also the Chair of its Parents Association for 5 of those years). My wife is a teacher at the school and my son a pupil. I am a member of the Schools Frontline Forum. I left the chalkface 3 years ago and have entered the world of educational publishing where I am currently employed as a Senior Publisher (Primary) for the world's largest education publisher. I have carried out extensive research in the field of education around the world with a concentration in UK (state) primary schools.

Our local primary is a far better school than any of the many high-priced independent schools in the area (Oxfordshire is full of them). Our pupils are happy, healthy, attain well above the national average, have high CVA, staff are happy, enjoy strong support from Governors and greater community, always have a large budget surplus and OFSTED says we’re ‘Good with Outstanding elements’ (which we expect to be upgraded to just ‘Outstanding’ in our pending inspection).

We think we’ve got it right and we’re keen to help others. To this end I’ve contacted Gove, Gibb, Cameron (MP where our school is!) etc, and do they want to know? Do they heck. They could not be less interested.

So I’ve now approached our LA’s Head of Attainment and the Leadership Team-and they seem a little more interested.

We’re a successful school and a very short distance away there are schools failing badly. We want to help but are finding it difficult to ‘get anyone’s ear’.
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Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 23/02/2011 - 14:22

If you are not an Academy or a Free School, the Government won’t be interested. If you look at the website’s home page, you will see links to Academies and Free Schools, but not to LEA schools. The Academies and Free Schools links take you to further pages of publicity about these schools, but none for LEA schools.

If you search for “case studies of schools” you will find that each case study over ten pages is marked with these words in red: “This page may not reflect Government policy”.


The DfE website is a propaganda pitch for two types of school: Academies and Free Schools.
You might be an outstanding LEA school - but the DfE doesn't want to know.

Francis Gilbert's picture
Wed, 23/02/2011 - 15:28

I can see your dilemma. Basically, LAs have had their Advisory Teaching services completely dismantled.

We certainly want to know about what you're doing right. A previous post highlighted the fact that perhaps it's time to consider setting up as a provider/disseminator of good, FAIR practice. Perhaps this isn't feasible? Maybe if we all club together and form a coalition where we want good, local schools for all, with FAIR admissions, then perhaps we can redress the balance?? My email is francisgilbert10@gmail.com if you're interested in talking to me about this. I think it's a question of drawing together the right people. But I do think we need to fight back, gathering together interested LAs, unions, schools, parents, teachers etc and coming up with an alternative to the horrors of privatisation that appear to be upon us very shortly...

Shane Rae's picture
Wed, 23/02/2011 - 15:40

Hi Francis, I'll get in touch.


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