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BacktoDemocracy

new BBC documentary called "school"

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13 minutes ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

A worthwhile watch for anyone moving back with children, unfortunately rather confronting.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0brj65l/school-series-1-episode-1

Except that iPlayer is only available in the UK.  Doubtless there are some systems, probably of doubtful legality) which some use to circumvent this but potential returnees will not have access.


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9 hours ago, Gbye grey sky said:

Except that iPlayer is only available in the UK.  Doubtless there are some systems, probably of doubtful legality) which some use to circumvent this but potential returnees will not have access.

Did wonder whether there would be technical difficulties with accessing it.

It is a fly on the wall view of a group of academies in the UK struggling with austerity, I felt it was a must view for anyone with children returning to the UK and the expertise to get into it.

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For those unable to access BBC iPlayer there are written reviews that give a flavour of what this programme is about. This is a fairly typical example:

www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/nov/06/school-review-documentary-series

Most people would feel alarmed at what the programme highlights however education is a devolved issue, which means the curriculum and policy focus differs between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All four home countries are struggling financially due to the current government’s austerity agenda but, in my experience, while there are some schools really struggling there are also schools that are still managing to produce intelligent, balanced, well educated young achievers.  I understand why the programme has been made and it’s right to highlight the real problems being tackled on a daily basis but, if thinking of moving back to the UK, it is not a given that your child will experience this level of education. Finding the right school for your family may be a challenge but it is not an impossible task.

Just to put this in a different context (and definitely not to start a UK versus Aus argument) in 2017 a UN report ranked Australia 39 out of 41 countries for quality education. Some parents will identify with the findings, but equally there will be other PIO members living and raising their children in Aus who will feel it is not a true reflection of their own experience.  T x

 www.smh.com.au/education/un-agency-ranks-australia-39-out-of-41-countries-for-quality-education-20170615-gwrt9u.html

 

 

 

 

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Every school is different and this just puts focus on one school, bad areas have schools you really would not send your kids to, affluent areas generally have better schools with better behaved children. Looks at the league tables which prove my point.

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4 hours ago, Perthbum said:

Every school is different and this just puts focus on one school, bad areas have schools you really would not send your kids to, affluent areas generally have better schools with better behaved children. Looks at the league tables which prove my point.

It's actually a Multi Academy Trust( MAT ) of 3 schools, but don't let nationalism get in the way of the truth, hey.

People deserve to know some facts when they are trying to make momentous decisions, I assume you watched the first episode in its entirety, especially about the average 6000 pounds pay cuts for head of subjects.

I didn't see much evidence of poor behaviour or low acheivement, but that is by the bye, what is important is that people should be aware of the effects of cuts in funding and narrowing of the curriculum in England are having on education in large areas of the country.

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4 hours ago, tea4too said:

 

For those unable to access BBC iPlayer there are written reviews that give a flavour of what this programme is about. This is a fairly typical example:

 

 

www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/nov/06/school-review-documentary-series

Most people would feel alarmed at what the programme highlights however education is a devolved issue, which means the curriculum and policy focus differs between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All four home countries are struggling financially due to the current government’s austerity agenda but, in my experience, while there are some schools really struggling there are also schools that are still managing to produce intelligent, balanced, well educated young achievers.  I understand why the programme has been made and it’s right to highlight the real problems being tackled on a daily basis but, if thinking of moving back to the UK, it is not a given that your child will experience this level of education. Finding the right school for your family may be a challenge but it is not an impossible task.

Just to put this in a different context (and definitely not to start a UK versus Aus argument) in 2017 a UN report ranked Australia 39 out of 41 countries for quality education. Some parents will identify with the findings, but equally there will be other PIO members living and raising their children in Aus who will feel it is not a true reflection of their own experience.  T x

 www.smh.com.au/education/un-agency-ranks-australia-39-out-of-41-countries-for-quality-education-20170615-gwrt9u.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't want to get into any argument, but reliance on the PISA scores as a basis for education policy is what has got UK education into such a confused state with concentration on university education as one of its biggest confusions

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I work in a MAT and have worked in schools most of a my career. Whilst there are cuts many schools are continuing to function fine. Historically lots of schools have wasted quite a lot of money but with the cuts they have been spending better and as a result better value for the tax payer. For example I know one school (not one of mine) that saved £15,000 by printing more in black and white and less in colour. I am not saying this applies to all schools though.

 

 

As to what people think about the school in the video. Don't think all schools are like that. I work in multiple primary and secondary schools. All of them are different and don't operate the same. I would probably say that no 2 schools are the same. They are shaped by a number of elements such as size, area, students and staff.

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

I don't want to get into any argument, but reliance on the PISA scores as a basis for education policy is what has got UK education into such a confused state with concentration on university education as one of its biggest confusions

I’m not relying on PISA scores to validate the quality of education in either country, simply pointing out that reports and television programmes, do not, in themselves always provide context or the complete picture. If I was in the process of emigrating to Aus and read the Sunday Morning Herald article it would be reassuring to know there was a balancing view. Likewise as the thread was posted in MBTTUK as a worthwhile watch for parents (which I don’t dispute), it might also be helpful to know that education is a devolved issue, and that the standards portrayed are not everyone’s experience. T x

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14 minutes ago, tea4too said:

I’m not relying on PISA scores to validate the quality of education in either country, simply pointing out that reports and television programmes, do not, in themselves always provide context or the complete picture. If I was in the process of emigrating to Aus and read the Sunday Morning Herald article it would be reassuring to know there was a balancing view. Likewise as the thread was posted in MBTTUK as a worthwhile watch for parents (which I don’t dispute), it might also be helpful to know that education is a devolved issue, and that the standards portrayed are not everyone’s experience. T x

 

I was just highlighting that the position of Australia at 39 was established around PISA scores and the leading scorers are Asian with a very different approach and view of the function of education.

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Schools are failing in the UK,far to much testing of pupils, cutting of essential skills like cooking, woodwork, metalwork, PT classes which used to be 2 hours a day cut to 2 hours a week.Stop testing kids at every stage with memory tests and teach real life skills FFS


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10 hours ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

I don't want to get into any argument, but reliance on the PISA scores as a basis for education policy is what has got UK education into such a confused state with concentration on university education as one of its biggest confusions

in your opinion of course, people with far more knowledge would say its the best system.


Drinking rum before 11am does not make you an alcoholic, it makes you pirate..

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10 hours ago, Perthbum said:

Schools are failing in the UK,far to much testing of pupils, cutting of essential skills like cooking, woodwork, metalwork, PT classes which used to be 2 hours a day cut to 2 hours a week.Stop testing kids at every stage with memory tests and teach real life skills FFS

 

1 hour ago, Perthbum said:

in your opinion of course, people with far more knowledge would say its the best system.

Are you just trolling

You can't have it both ways.

Whatever I post you pop up making contrary comments.

 

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1 hour ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

 

Are you just trolling

You can't have it both ways.

Whatever I post you pop up making contrary comments.

 

Because instead of giving "your opinion" you post as though your statements are facts, they are opinions and you know what opinions are like. You throw your toys out of the pram when someone has a different opinion that does not marry up to your opinion. Your opinions are no better or worse than anyone else's opinions. I have gave my opinion on schools which many will argue is a waste of time in today's technical society, I can handle that.

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2 hours ago, Perthbum said:

Because instead of giving "your opinion" you post as though your statements are facts, they are opinions and you know what opinions are like. You throw your toys out of the pram when someone has a different opinion that does not marry up to your opinion. Your opinions are no better or worse than anyone else's opinions. I have gave my opinion on schools which many will argue is a waste of time in today's technical society, I can handle that.

Comments about the uses and abuses of the PISA scoring system as a basis for formulating education policy, allied to a slavish adherence to private schooling curricula is hardly opinion, it's a commentary on the failure of govts to introduce an education system that works for all children in achieving a success thro a lifetime.

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3 hours ago, Perthbum said:

Because instead of giving "your opinion" you post as though your statements are facts, they are opinions and you know what opinions are like. You throw your toys out of the pram when someone has a different opinion that does not marry up to your opinion. Your opinions are no better or worse than anyone else's opinions. I have gave my opinion on schools which many will argue is a waste of time in today's technical society, I can handle that.

Uhhhhmmmm......

You could do a bit of research for yourself and then disprove my" opinions"

I don't see any toys round my buggy, but I constantly see your toy drum fife and rattle going up in the air.

You seem to be determined to make each and every thread and post into a confrontation around what you think everyone else should think .

 

 

Edited by BacktoDemocracy
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I'd say the education in Australia is going downhill fast as well- for different reasons. That is why so many cough up for private schools here.

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On 9/11/2018 at 11:15, Perthbum said:

Because instead of giving "your opinion" you post as though your statements are facts, they are opinions and you know what opinions are like. You throw your toys out of the pram when someone has a different opinion that does not marry up to your opinion. Your opinions are no better or worse than anyone else's opinions. I have gave my opinion on schools which many will argue is a waste of time in today's technical society, I can handle that.

Well this headmasters seems to repeat my words, read and expand your  horizons.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/nov/27/bbc-headteacher-resigned-tv-james-pope-school

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On 21/11/2018 at 11:29, starlight7 said:

I'd say the education in Australia is going downhill fast as well- for different reasons. That is why so many cough up for private schools here.

If anyone is still interested, this gives pause for thought

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/feb/28/school-stockport-close-early-fridays-lack-funding

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All schools are suffering under the Tories austerity. Brexit will just make it worse.

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22 minutes ago, newjez said:
All schools are suffering under the Tories austerity. Brexit will just make it worse.

They are not actually. I know a few well managed schools that are running with surplus budget. A healthy one at that. The schools are also rated as good and Outstanding by Ofsted.

One problem is that in many schools the people managing the budgets are teachers. Many don't have any financial management experience. This can often be a cause of money problems.

Edited by JetBlast

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12 hours ago, JetBlast said:

 

They are not actually. I know a few well managed schools that are running with surplus budget. A healthy one at that. The schools are also rated as good and Outstanding by Ofsted.

One problem is that in many schools the people managing the budgets are teachers. Many don't have any financial management experience. This can often be a cause of money problems.

I am always intrigued by this argument, staffing, heating , lighting, rates, maintenance,, consumables and books would seem to be the outgoings for a school and if a number of schools are saying that they have cut surplus staff and now their only way to make further savings is to actually reduce standing costs by turning off heating and lighting and standing down auxiliary staff before lunch time on Friday, so cutting their wages also, I think that even 'teachers' might have considered what else they could do to keep costs dow before taking that step. As  we all know staffing is the most costly item of overheads but as you are selling education there is a point below which you cannot go and stay in business, buying power will be maximised thro the LA so fixed overhead costs are the only thing left to be cut.

May it be, perhaps, that the schools you are talking about are Academies or MAT's with substantial reserves derived from selling assets bequeathed to them by the LA's  when they are forced to hand over buildings and land to the newly formed academies in accordance with govt regs or they are academies in affluent areas who can raise support from parent, of course the academies can be a lot more with staffing, getting rid of more experienced staff and replacing them with younger, lower paid staff and trainees is an option open to academies who do not have to comply with LA equal opportunities policies in quite the same way.

 A very different scenario to LA schools who are totally dependent on funding from the LA in accordance with govt subsidies and who often struggle with getting any support from their parents who are often less affluent, isn't this just more of the same from this govt at the moment, divide and rule, create winners and losers, make everything a profit making enterprise

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Quote

buying power will be maximised thro the LA so fixed overhead costs are the only thing left to be cut.

You would think so. Most the LAs I have dealt with don't do this and the ones that do have a very limited scope.  It would be great if this was true - it would make total sense. I know of one LA that provides internet to its schools, but it's cheaper for the schools to go to the open market. There is also a DFE buying scheme (the name escapes me) it was cheaper to get the same products as a MAT on the open market. It does confuse me as to why this happens. I know one school who gets their bin emptied by a city council 10 miles away as their LA is too expensive.

 

Quote

May it be, perhaps, that the schools you are talking about are Academies or MAT's with substantial reserves derived from selling assets bequeathed to them by the LA's  when they are forced to hand over buildings and land to the newly formed academies in accordance with govt regs or they are academies in affluent areas who can raise support from parent, of course the academies can be a lot more with staffing, getting rid of more experienced staff and replacing them with younger, lower paid staff and trainees is an option open to academies who do not have to comply with LA equal opportunities policies in quite the same way.

The surplus was from left over money at the end of the financial year. Not the sale of assets. They are not all legacy LA schools, there are new ones being / been built. In fact they have been purchasing and investing assets not disposing of them. They are also in some of the most statistically poor areas of the country. The staffing is interesting, the pay is generally better than the LA, the idea is to reduce staff turn over and make savings that way but this also brings stability.

I won't work with a MAT or Academy that is managed by a profit making company.

 

Quote

A very different scenario to LA schools who are totally dependent on funding from the LA in accordance with govt subsidies and who often struggle with getting any support from their parents who are often less affluent, isn't this just more of the same from this govt at the moment, divide and rule, create winners and losers, make everything a profit making enterprise.

 

LA schools also suffer with funding problems created by the LA. Some schools in some LAs closers to the town centre get more funding per head than schools on the edge of town. This combined with the buying power not offered by the LA but is offered by MATS has driven them to become academies.

 

One thing that many schools have historically done is use pupil premium money to prop up the budget (wrong IMO). This has then meant they haven't had any motivation to reduce operating costs. Now they are struggling because that isn't as viable as it once was.

 

This isn't a politically motivated reply. I am not a fan of the red or the blues. This is my first hand experience after many years service within the industry both in LA and Academies. I still deal with both types of school now. The business side of things is what many schools are poor at and they get little support from the LA. Schools are often slow to adopt to change as well such as moving onto more modern computer technologies that come at a reduced costs.

Edited by JetBlast

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Don't get me wrong. There are good LAs and good MATs. There are also bad LAs and MATs.

It's just not as black and white and the media makes out.

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1 hour ago, JetBlast said:

Don't get me wrong. There are good LAs and good MATs. There are also bad LAs and MATs.

It's just not as black and white and the media makes out.

I'm sure you are correct, but it does concern me that education is now all about making money, not that head teachers should simply waste money but they are employed as educators and their time is then taken up with trying to juggle budgets and staffing, it does take their eye off the ball somewhat and if that is to be their primary job then why recruit teachers in the first place.

It seems that schools are in an impossible position, under constant threat from Ofsted and struggling to make the books balance,  and often the projected savings often require capital investment to achieve the long term savings.

Unfortunately I do see it as a political choice,  but that maybe beyond this site.

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