Bright pupils are losing out due to the ‘curse’ of mixed-ability classes, the head of Ofsted warned yesterday.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said thousands were failing to reach their full potential due to poor teaching methods. Inspectors will now be critical of schools that do not differentiate between high and low achievers.Hurrah!
… Sir Michael’s intervention is likely to make headteachers rethink their practice of mixed ability classes for fear of being marked down in future inspections.Because if there’s anything guaranteed to concentrate their minds, it's an OFSTED inspection.
The chief inspector of schools said that of the brightest pupils at primary schools, about one in five did not go on to achieve top grades at GCSE.
‘It’s a combination of low expectations of what these youngsters can achieve, that their progress is not sufficiently tracked, and what I would call and have done ever since I have been a teacher the curse of mixed-ability classes without mixed-ability teaching,’ he said.And there was even worse news for the ‘equality of outcome for all no matter what the cost’ comprehensive school fans:
Nick Clegg’s flagship billion-pound funding programme for disadvantaged pupils is having ‘no effect’ for many youngsters, teachers say.
The ‘pupil premium’ of £600 per disadvantaged child is for schools to use as they see fit, but was designed to help provide extra support, such as one-to-one tuition and homework clubs, for those who are in care or from low-income families.
Despite this, one in five head-teachers told an Ofsted survey that the extra funding had had no impact ‘at all’ on poor students since it was introduced last April.And just why was it a failure?
Many teachers said it had simply been sucked into the main school budget and was being used to pay for teaching assistants, uniforms and trips.Only yourselves to blame, there, then!