Time to earn your money and your votes

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

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.

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