Thursday, 12 June 2008

IS THE GOVERNMENT IN SPECIAL MEASURES?

KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday 12th June 2008 – 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 079444 71083


IS THE GOVERNMENT IN SPECIAL MEASURES?

The Government has identified 40 secondary schools in Kent which it threatens with closure if they do not submit improvement plans within 50 days. The schools have three years to ensure 30% of pupils leave schools with 5 or more GCSEs with good grades, including English and Mathematics(1). The schools (33 in Kent and 7 in Medway) are likely to be severely demoralised by such labelling, especially where improvements are being recorded. Hazel Dawe comments:

“Is this about the performance of 40 schools in Kent and Medway, or is it about a Government that is in ‘special measures’ itself?

“The fear of losing an election is prompting this government into panic-based policies. Schools clearly need different time periods to improve, and different levels of increased resources. This blanket approach, and labelling, will not help the reputations of the schools, the morale of staff or pupils or the confidence of parents.

“Kent Green Party is concerned that the 40 schools in Kent and Medway do have poor GCSE results. This shows far more schools in this position than other Local Education Authorities, even allowing for population size. This suggests fundamental problems with the Kent Test and grammar school system Kent is operating. Kent, Birmingham and Lincolnshire – all with selective schools – show poorer performances than other local education authorities which do not operate selective school systems(2).

“In yet another attack on local democracy, the Government has indicated it will take schools out of local authority control and turn them into academies if they do not meet its targets(3).”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair, Kent Green Party on 01732 355185 or mobile: 079444 71083. Contact address as above.
Notes:

1. http://www.dfes.gov.uk/publications/nationalchallenge/downloads/DataSheet.pdf 2.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/the-cost-of-grammars-selective-councils-have-most-failing-schools-844223.html
3.
http://www.teachers.org.uk/resources/word/pr6308.doc

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