Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley warned children in the city have been left “unable to read” because the city council decided to launch its own three-year reading programme, at a cost of £505,000, rather than taking up a county council scheme./facepalm
… all six schools on the KRM reading programme – John Henry Newman, St John Fisher, East Oxford, Pegasus, Windale, and Orchard Meadow – had dropped out two years into the three-year scheme./doublefacepalm
Mrs Tilley said: “I’m really upset there are children who still can’t read in the city because the city council didn’t follow our programme.
“I asked the city council if they wanted to come in on our reading programme and they didn’t say yes or no. Then they went on and started their own programme and lorded it over us saying we weren’t doing our jobs properly.
“The reason it [the scheme] failed was because it wasn’t purely reading, it was based on lots of psychometric testing which causes kids to lose interest.
“Now I’m stuck with trying to help the city’s children and I don’t know if we can now get any more money to do it.”Naturally, the council is in full ‘It’s not our fault!’ mode:
Spokesman Jonathan Solity said it was a “pity” schools had dropped out and added the programme had been “highly effective” .
He said: “The programmes achieved what they set out to achieve, were extremely successful and demonstrated that the gap in attainments between pupils in schools in disadvantaged communities can be bridged through the quality of what is taught and how it is taught.”
He added: “[Mrs Tilley] is looking to score cheap political points at the expense of children’s education rather than take the time to check her facts.”
City council spokesman Chofamba Sithole said Mrs Tilley’s comments illustrated “a disappointing lack of understanding about the KRM programme” and failed to address the basic question of why the county “has been unable to address the underperformance of these schools over many years”.So, who’s right?
Ah, who cares? It’s only taxpayer money, isn’t it?