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Wiltshire Schools - not Suffolk 'n' good.

May 18, 2012 9:35 AM

If you want to know what's wrong with the English educational system, digest the following paragraph:

"In drilling down into the components which constitute National Indicator 72, the percentage scoring 6+ in PSED and CLL (page 3, line C, Appendix 1) shows a 10.3% improvement since 2006 in the 30% Super Output Areas (SOAs). It can also be seen that the gap between the 30% SOAs and the remaining 70% SOAs has narrowed from 33.9 in 2005 to 13% in 2009. This reinforces that we are narrowing and reducing inequalities between children within the SOAs but not at the expense of all children improving."

If you enjoy turgid gobbledygook go to:

http://194.72.162.210/documents/dscgi/ds.py/Get/File-23469/Item_No._08_-_Pupil_Performance_In_Public_Tests_And_Examinations.doc

where you'll find plenty more of the same.

It's from a report to Wiltshire's so-called 'Children's Services Select Committee' which attempts to explain why Wiltshire schools rank among the lowest attainers in comparable council areas, scraping in just above Suffolk.

Here's an explanation from the report of just how dire the situation is:

"Key Stage 2 performance has remained broadly in line with national averages. National Indicator 73, the percentage of pupils achieving level 4+ in English and maths has fallen by 2% since 2008 and is now 1% below the national. English at level 4+ is in line with the national average, although the percentage has fallen by 3% since 2008. Reading and girls writing have remained in line with the national average, whilst boys writing has slipped by 2% on 2008 performance, at 59% and is now 1% below the national average. . Performance in Level 4+ Mathematics has fallen by 1% overall and is now 2% below the national average. English level 5+ is also down by 2% since 2008 and is now 2% below the national average at 23%. Mathematics Level 5+ is in line with last year's performance, but is now 3% below the national average."

"We have acted swiftly in relation to these results," screams the council. "We have already held a successful conference for teachers on boys' writing which is kick starting the drive for improvement in this area. The focus on one to one tuition, the development of the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts programmes are being focused on children who will benefit the most from the additional support. Additional training and resources are being re-focused on increasing achievement."

What's the difference between kick starting and just starting? It's particularly odd that this cliche keeps running now that the kick started motorbike is about as obsolete as the crank handle on a car. Or perhaps 'electric starter motoring the drive ...' sounds less dynamic. As for the Every Child Counts programmes it's remarkable that most children can still count despite 50% of them being of below average intelligence.

Here's another nice phrase:

"The target set for National Indicator 73 in 2009 was 80%; this was set as an ambitious target. Our achievement at 71% (pending re-marks) was in line with our minimum expectation; however we continue to aspire for more and are working closely with our schools to accelerate our achievement."

"In line with our minimum expectation" is Blairite for abject failure. "Mr Manager how do you feel about losing ten-nil?" "Well Brian the result was in line with my minimum expectation, and I can promise you the lads are looking to accelerate their achievement next Saturday"

Original article November 2010