Wednesday 25 March 2009

Great On Maths & English, But FAIL! On Ideology & Grievance-Mongering…

…is the damning verdict on Stretford Grammar School:
A grammar school with a 96 per cent GCSE success rate has been threatened with closure after inspectors criticised its 'outdated' race equality policy.
Because what’s a great academic record, if you aren’t indoctrinating the kiddiewinks in the latest progressive agenda?

I mean, how will they be employable in the future if all they can do is read and write?
Stretford Grammar was branded 'failing' by Ofsted inspectors who also singled out its sex education programme.

They said the school's curriculum was 'inadequate', while admitting academic standards were 'exceptionally and consistently high'.
Pshaw! Who expects a school, of all places, to concern itself with producing children that can read, write and add up?

What were these teachers thinking….?
Robert McCartney, of the National Grammar Schools Association, said: 'This report seems ludicrous.

'Here you have a school getting almost 100 per cent five A* to C GCSEs and they are getting caned because they're not allegedly up to the mark in some non-academic subjects.

'This smacks of a plot, another line of attack, to try and undermine grammar schools. Ministers have a skewed idea of what is really valuable to children in education.

'You wonder how many comprehensives are failing on the criteria this school is alleged to have failed.'
None of them, probably, Mr McCartney. You see, state school administrations know what’s really important…
Last year, 96 per cent of Stretford pupils achieved five GCSEs at A* to C grade, or vocational equivalent.

But Ofsted said achievement, the curriculum and leadership were inadequate. It said of the curriculum: 'Arrangements for sex and relationship education are underdeveloped.'

Its report also warned that the school was 'not compliant with statutory requirements in relation to race equality and community cohesion'.

Achievement was judged inadequate despite its headline results because 'girls and higher ability students make very slow progress'.
So basically, they are doing everything right with regards to the old fashioned ‘teaching’ stuff, but failing to swallow every single bizarre and intrusive policy dreamed up by the Righteous in the Departments of Education, Health, Business and Telling Us All What To Think?

Is that about the size of it?

And if that’s slow progress, what would fast progress look like?
Ofsted found persistent 'significant underachievement' in relation to children's abilities on arrival.
Presumably, if this is resolved successfully, they’ll be getting 126% achievement in GCSEs in future…

And it’s red meat to the Righteous:
Stretford is in the constituency of Children's Minister Beverley Hughes, who criticised the school and Tory-run local education authority.

She added: 'This is the first grammar school in the country to go into special measures. The Conservative council is trying to brush this under the carpet and pretend this is not happening. This is a shocking indictment of the management.'
No, actually, it’s not, Bev old girl.

And the parents agree:
But parent Kevin Parker, 50, said: 'On one hand Ofsted are saying how excellently they have done in their exams, on the other there is an assertion of out-and-out failure. It's hard to make head or tail of it.

'We have been pleased. My son gets all kinds of great attention.'
Well, yes, but schools aren’t meant to be run for the likes of you and your child, Mr Parker. What do you think you are, some sort of ’customer’…?

Still, the school can surely count on the support of the local Conservative MP to champion the cause of academic excellence and condemn the focus on politically correct nonsense with a stirring rebutta….

Oh. Wait:
Graham Brady, the Conservative MP for nearby Altrincham and Sale West, said: 'Any school can suffer if its management and leadership are not right, and it appears from this Ofsted report there are significant problems in that regard at Stretford Grammar.'
Odd choice of statement from a former staunch defender of grammar schools.

At least one local councillor has his head screwed on right:
Councillor David Higgins, chairman of Trafford council's children's committee, said: 'Schools depend very heavily on a good head teacher and unfortunately the head has been away through illness for some time.'

But he added: 'There must be a lot of teachers doing a good job to have obtained the results Stretford Grammar School has obtained. They stand very well against results across the country. It's hard to argue how much further you can get above excellent.'


Anonymous said...

When I heard the report of this on the BBC yesterday or the day before I knew there was something fishy about it.

The report made no mention of the reason for the report, i.e. not enouth vibrancy and diversity studies. The BBC made out that it was a failing school, full stop. They had to mention that it got twice the average for GCSE passes, but sneered that it was because it was a selective school.

Trust the BBC (or rather, don't) to blur the issue if there's a juicy target like a grammar school to attack.

Anonymous said...

Madness, no other word for it, well sorry there is, sinister. I'm sure grammar school pupils who have shown the ability to work hard and gain excellent grades are also able to conduct themselves perfectly politely and responsibly in the race and sex minefields. When was the last time you read of a 12 year old grammar school boy fathering a child with a 15 year old grammar school girl. Grammar school pupils very rarely make the headlines, because they are too busy 'achieving' unlike the rest of the state system where they are positively encouraged to under achieve. There is an advert for teachers that makes me want to kick the screen in, black female teacher discussing 'human rights' and 'torture' with suitably diverse class of pupils. I think you've seen it - says it all. Lowest common denominator.

Anonymous said...

I bet if you took two schools- one with a dismal academic record but an extensive sex education program, and one where the pupils actually learn to read and stuff- and then tested their students five years after they leave school for teenage pregnancies and stds you'd find that the second school did better than the first.

Anonymous said...

'inspectors criticised its 'outdated' race equality policy'.
WTF is the agenda of Ofsted here? 'Outdated' here could simply mean that the staff weren't using the correct nomenclature (eg by not categorising West Indians as 'Afro-Caribbeans').
This news item indicates that Ofsted's 'mission' has accommodated NuLab dogma, and it no longer does what it says on the tin. Under Chris Woodhead it was genuinely concerned with educational standards, but now it shows signs of turning into a PC political commissariat.

Dr Evil said...

What sort of policy is the school supposed to have regarding racial equality? Something like treating each child without favour? That would seem reasonable. Inadequate sex education? So basically they were under orders to find something wrong so "we can bash a grammar school". Funny how those Nu Labour twats will send their child to a fee paying or high performing faith school rather than the 'bog standard' comprehensive round the corner. Such hypoctites.