Time to earn your money and your votes
The performance of Peterborough schools in the latest SATS league table is a disgrace.
The city is rock bottom – and by some distance – signifying a huge failing of the city’s children.
And it’s not as if it’s come out of the blue or is a blip – the city has been languishing at the wrong end of most tables for far too long.
But what do we get from the powers-that-be? It’s the same old excuses – and yes they do sound like excuses rather than reasons – and some glib words about how things will get better. Again.
Anyone would think no other city had to deal with problems such as migrant children. And no-one can say city schools are underresourced with the millions and millions of pounds that has been spent on them.
Council leader and the man responsible for education in the city Cllr John Holdich cares passionately about the education of the city’s children.
But is that enough? I’m sure Roy Hodgson cared passionately about England’s football team but he wasn’t able to deliver results.. and we know how that ended.
Peterborough points to its rate of improvement as a plus point and that’s fair enough. But to extend the football analogy, if you’re bottom of the table at Christmas with no points even if you end the season second from bottom you still get relegated.
I found this response from a council spokesman telling... and disturbing.
He said: “Results cannot be compared to previous years’ results as, following changes introduced by the government, new tests were introduced for pupils this year.’’
Maybe they can’t be compared to previous years’ (nobody was!) but they sure can be compared to all other local authorities faced with exactly the same situation as Peterborough.
A comment like that smacks of either complacency or of an organisation in institutional denial.
The city was promised a long time ago that its education performance would improve, but look at where we are now.
The council says the results will be better next year – well, they would certainly struggle to be worse – but is either unable or unwilling to explain why this will be
But where is the strategy to ensure there is a longterm improvement?
It’s time the city’s MPs, councillors, education administrators – both council officers and those who work with trusts – and teachers got together and started earning their money and/or their votes and sorted this mess out.
I didn’t include parents in that group.. but I don’t excuse them from this shambles. My eldest child starts school this week and I’m confident she will receive a good education from the school she is in. But even if she doesn’t I will accept responsibility for her performance.
And if she fails I will be a disgrace.