Gove Asks LAs To Submit Plans For Improving Performance

Shane Rae's picture
In his letter surrounding 'raising the floor' for under-performing schools, MG has asked LAs to draw up plans for improving all schools (excluding Academies) below the floor.

He asks that these be submitted by 15 April and mentions that his 'officials' will be in touch soon.

Letter here:

It mentions exemptions for those that fall below the floor but who 'make better than average progress' will be exempt from intervention.

This suggests continued use of Raiseonline, which is tied up to National Curriculum sub-levels. So just what exactly ARE they looking at in the Bew Review (for example)? SATs to stay, NC levels to stay, performance management structure to stay-they're going to struggle to find new initiatives to invent at this rate!
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Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 03/03/2011 - 14:12

I've just read Page 1 of the letter. Mr Gove says his White Paper "draws on the best evidence of what works in education, in this country and abroad". I

feel like the audience at a pantomime shouting: "Oh, No, it doesn't". Read this website, Mr Gove, for evidence of what other countries are really doing. You could start with Finland.

And what on earth is the meaning of "moral purpose" and "virtuous dynamic"?

I despair. I'll leave reading pages 2-5 later. Be reassured that I will comment.

Sarah's picture
Thu, 03/03/2011 - 20:15

The interesting thing is to compare the letter sent to Academies with the one sent to Local Authorities. The LA letter says that the improvement plan for schools falling below the floor target is expected to be Academy conversion. The Academy letter tips Academy sponsors off to this fact but is silent on what the improvement plan for failing Academies might be. So a maintained school which is failing will be improved by becoming an Academy - but a failing Academy gets to have a little chat with the DfE. Hmmm!

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 05/03/2011 - 16:34

Sarah is correct: Mr Gove equates improvement with conversion to academy status. He wants to introduce "high quality academy sponsors".

I wondered about the phrase "moral purpose". It means shared whole school vision and goals, or community values. I thought schools already had these. However, I've no idea what "virtuous dynamic" means. Is this a Govism, ie meaningless jargon?

Sarah Dobbs's picture
Sat, 05/03/2011 - 17:43

I think that Lincolnshire County Council are a perfect model of this "virtuous dynamic" talked of by Gove.
Lincolnshire School Improvement Service is run by CfBT. Our Deputy Assistant of Children's Services is also a CfBT manager.
CfBT have a schools improvement partner for all Lincolnshire schools, to offer educational advice and help raise standards in schools. (They are currently "helping" the governing body of my daughters' school to appoint a new head. The vice chair of that governing body has said she is disturbed by the level of input CfBT want to have in the process.) And last week CfBT held a meeting in a plush country hotel in Lincolnshire, to which they invited all of the heads and governing chairs of all of the primary schools in the county. It was a sales pitch to invite them to go over lock, stock and barrel to academy status.
How is that for a virtuous dynamic? A firm to advise and privatise, all in one go from within the local authority itself. Apparently 90 schools within the county attended, and another meeting is coming up soon as this one was over-subscribed.
Will the last pupil left in a local authority school in Lincolnshire please turn off the light?

Janet Downs's picture
Mon, 07/03/2011 - 17:29

I note that CfBT will provide "intervention" for "coasting and under-performing schools". I suppose that in this context "coasting" means any school which is going along quite nicely providing a satisfactory service but is not "improving" year on year. I suppose the intervention will be conversion to academy status. How long will it be before Mr Gove decides to include all "coasting" schools in his enforced conversion scheme?

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