Failing primary schools told ‘become academies’

First published in News by

FAILING primary schools across Basildon have been told to become sponsored academies in a bid to improve poor standards.

Tim Coulson, the director of education at Essex County Council, issued the ultimatum during a crunch meeting with primary schools.

Mr Coulson said it was the only way County Hall believes schools in the borough can achieve rapid and sustained improvement.

Seven Basildon primaries are rated inadequate and 14 rated satisfactory by Ofsted, Now Essex County Council is looking at bringing in a multi-academy sponsor to raise standards.

However, the move has been slammed by Alasdair Smith, chairman of the Anti-Academies Alliance. He said: “This is a dangerous move. Once primary schools start being turned into academies they are out of local authority control and then they will be turned into businesses which are encouraged to compete.

“Schools should be given the chance to improve teaching and parental participation and not just be told to become an academy.

“Look at what happened with the Basildon Academies which is in special measures. It doesn’t work every time.”

Last week Cherrytree Primary School, in Church Road, and St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, in Elsenham Crescent, were placed into special measures, bringing the total number across the borough to five.

This includes the Basildon Academies, in Basildon and Pitsea, The Willows, in Church Road, and Briscoe Primary and Nursery School, in Felmores End, Pitsea.

Briscoe Primary is already trying to turn things around by teaming up with the Wickford C of E School in Mount Road to become a sponsored academy, although headteacher Diane Pilgrim said last week the school had no choice in the decision.

Poor standards in education have already been highlighted in the town’s secondary schools where just 36.5 per cent of pupils are gaining five A to C grades at GCSE, including maths and English – well below the national average of 57 per cent.

Stephen Castle, councillor with responsibility for education, said: “The council is determined to see all children go to good schools, whether these are academies or not.

“The council believes it has a responsibility for all children, including those at academies.

“We believe where it is appropriate for a school to become an academy, this is a productive route.

“The Briscoe Primary School has the support of an outstanding school, which has led to improvements which have been documented by Ofsted through its monitoring visits.

“We see this as a successful development and believe children are getting a better education.

“Academies are not seen as the only way for schools to do better, but for some, such as the Briscoe Primary School, this is an important route to improvement.”

A Department for Education spokesman added: “Academy status is proven to be the best way to improve schools that are consistently underperforming.

“Academies have already turned around hundreds of struggling secondary schools across the country and are improving their results at twice the national average rate.”

Comments (14)

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4:33pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Last Poster says...

I think we all have seen how much schools now concentrate on getting the figures to look good, even if it means encouraging one or two sharp practices. However, is it not true that the best of our teachers percolate into schools where the results are generally good anyway, and the poor standards of education generally reflect the poorer standard of living imposed by Governments such as the one we now have, Where supporting the already privileged is what they truly believe to be important. In which case moves such as this one are primarily designed to better the lot of the Nation's money hungry rich. Any form of privatisation results in a larger cash share-out for the honey-pot that is the stock market.
I think we all have seen how much schools now concentrate on getting the figures to look good, even if it means encouraging one or two sharp practices. However, is it not true that the best of our teachers percolate into schools where the results are generally good anyway, and the poor standards of education generally reflect the poorer standard of living imposed by Governments such as the one we now have, Where supporting the already privileged is what they truly believe to be important. In which case moves such as this one are primarily designed to better the lot of the Nation's money hungry rich. Any form of privatisation results in a larger cash share-out for the honey-pot that is the stock market. Last Poster
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Fri 13 Jul 12

emcee says...

Quote: "Mr Coulson said it was the only way County Hall believes schools in the borough can achieve rapid and sustained improvement".
-
Because making schools acadamies merely moves the goal posts making it easier to achieve satisfactory standards. It really is all a big con.
The best way to achieve better standards is, firstly, to improve teaching. There is a growing number of NQTs, and university graduates going into teaching, who haven't the first clue how to teach, let alone understand the subject they are teaching.
Secondly, quite often, the SLT prioritise the management methods which make themselves look good rather than benefiting the school as a whole.
Quote: "Mr Coulson said it was the only way County Hall believes schools in the borough can achieve rapid and sustained improvement". - Because making schools acadamies merely moves the goal posts making it easier to achieve satisfactory standards. It really is all a big con. The best way to achieve better standards is, firstly, to improve teaching. There is a growing number of NQTs, and university graduates going into teaching, who haven't the first clue how to teach, let alone understand the subject they are teaching. Secondly, quite often, the SLT prioritise the management methods which make themselves look good rather than benefiting the school as a whole. emcee
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Fri 13 Jul 12

emcee says...

emcee wrote:
Quote: "Mr Coulson said it was the only way County Hall believes schools in the borough can achieve rapid and sustained improvement".
-
Because making schools acadamies merely moves the goal posts making it easier to achieve satisfactory standards. It really is all a big con.
The best way to achieve better standards is, firstly, to improve teaching. There is a growing number of NQTs, and university graduates going into teaching, who haven't the first clue how to teach, let alone understand the subject they are teaching.
Secondly, quite often, the SLT prioritise the management methods which make themselves look good rather than benefiting the school as a whole.
Excuse the spelling :o). I must have gone to an acadEmy.
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Quote: "Mr Coulson said it was the only way County Hall believes schools in the borough can achieve rapid and sustained improvement". - Because making schools acadamies merely moves the goal posts making it easier to achieve satisfactory standards. It really is all a big con. The best way to achieve better standards is, firstly, to improve teaching. There is a growing number of NQTs, and university graduates going into teaching, who haven't the first clue how to teach, let alone understand the subject they are teaching. Secondly, quite often, the SLT prioritise the management methods which make themselves look good rather than benefiting the school as a whole.[/p][/quote]Excuse the spelling :o). I must have gone to an acadEmy. emcee
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Fri 13 Jul 12

APR says...

Strange that we can leave comments on this story but not on the
"...Ros Ferdinand, headteacher at Porters Grange Primary School..."

Who is alleged to have fiddled exam results. As if she's the first to do that...allegedly !

As far as becoming an academy, what difference would it really make ? Apart from making it sound more up market.

Rather like calling school children "students".
Strange that we can leave comments on this story but not on the "...Ros Ferdinand, headteacher at Porters Grange Primary School..." Who is alleged to have fiddled exam results. As if she's the first to do that...allegedly ! As far as becoming an academy, what difference would it really make ? Apart from making it sound more up market. Rather like calling school children "students". APR
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Fri 13 Jul 12

jolllyboy says...

The fact that so many of our schools are failing their pupils and need to be renamed academies does not improve the teaching.

There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to.

Back to basics with discipline with the teaching as teachers hands are tied and they have to follow the current trends of R,R and Rithmatic.
The fact that so many of our schools are failing their pupils and need to be renamed academies does not improve the teaching. There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to. Back to basics with discipline with the teaching as teachers hands are tied and they have to follow the current trends of R,R and Rithmatic. jolllyboy
  • Score: 1

5:20pm Fri 13 Jul 12

The Cater Wood Creeper says...

There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to.


you've hit the nail right on the head there.
[quote]There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to. [/quote] you've hit the nail right on the head there. The Cater Wood Creeper
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Fri 13 Jul 12

Last Poster says...

The Cater Wood Creeper wrote:
There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to.


you've hit the nail right on the head there.
I went to school what, must have been close to a thousand-years ago (I failed at "Rithmatic") and, if my memory serves, I did not want to be there. This was true with around 40 of the 45 pupils in my class. However, there were rules in place then, overseen by teachers who let it be known that you were there to learn, and learn was what you would do. They commanded respect and had tools, such as a size 13 PE slipper or a 36" blackboard rule to ensure you understood that. I firmly believe that the new think of treating mild corporal punishment as "Savage" or whatever, took away everything required to ensure that 99% of pupils finished school with the basic understanding of "Mutual Respect", so lacking in today's society.
[quote][p][bold]The Cater Wood Creeper[/bold] wrote: [quote]There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to. [/quote] you've hit the nail right on the head there.[/p][/quote]I went to school what, must have been close to a thousand-years ago (I failed at "Rithmatic") and, if my memory serves, I did not want to be there. This was true with around 40 of the 45 pupils in my class. However, there were rules in place then, overseen by teachers who let it be known that you were there to learn, and learn was what you would do. They commanded respect and had tools, such as a size 13 PE slipper or a 36" blackboard rule to ensure you understood that. I firmly believe that the new think of treating mild corporal punishment as "Savage" or whatever, took away everything required to ensure that 99% of pupils finished school with the basic understanding of "Mutual Respect", so lacking in today's society. Last Poster
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Fri 13 Jul 12

asbo uncut says...

Last Poster wrote:
The Cater Wood Creeper wrote:
There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to.


you've hit the nail right on the head there.
I went to school what, must have been close to a thousand-years ago (I failed at "Rithmatic") and, if my memory serves, I did not want to be there. This was true with around 40 of the 45 pupils in my class. However, there were rules in place then, overseen by teachers who let it be known that you were there to learn, and learn was what you would do. They commanded respect and had tools, such as a size 13 PE slipper or a 36" blackboard rule to ensure you understood that. I firmly believe that the new think of treating mild corporal punishment as "Savage" or whatever, took away everything required to ensure that 99% of pupils finished school with the basic understanding of "Mutual Respect", so lacking in today's society.
you absolutely nailed it
[quote][p][bold]Last Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Cater Wood Creeper[/bold] wrote: [quote]There is a huge problem in all of our schools at the moment - its called children who do not want to be there and no-one can make them learn if they dont want to. [/quote] you've hit the nail right on the head there.[/p][/quote]I went to school what, must have been close to a thousand-years ago (I failed at "Rithmatic") and, if my memory serves, I did not want to be there. This was true with around 40 of the 45 pupils in my class. However, there were rules in place then, overseen by teachers who let it be known that you were there to learn, and learn was what you would do. They commanded respect and had tools, such as a size 13 PE slipper or a 36" blackboard rule to ensure you understood that. I firmly believe that the new think of treating mild corporal punishment as "Savage" or whatever, took away everything required to ensure that 99% of pupils finished school with the basic understanding of "Mutual Respect", so lacking in today's society.[/p][/quote]you absolutely nailed it asbo uncut
  • Score: 0

5:10am Sat 14 Jul 12

soul man says...

some of the teachers are not fit to teach, some of the kids dont want to be taught, too much paperwork after hours for the staff, and too many distractions i.e. phones i pods ds's and others, and no RESPECT, in my day we had to stand if the head came into the class, you got a whack if playing up, and one when you got home by your folks if you told them, this is a downward spiral of many schools today and in the uk schools generally, theres no hope if they show east enders shameless and the like, the kids think this is normal family life today, i bet i get slagged for saying about the whack, but here lies the real reason as said earlier, RESPECT, there is none in some cases by both parties
some of the teachers are not fit to teach, some of the kids dont want to be taught, too much paperwork after hours for the staff, and too many distractions i.e. phones i pods ds's and others, and no RESPECT, in my day we had to stand if the head came into the class, you got a whack if playing up, and one when you got home by your folks if you told them, this is a downward spiral of many schools today and in the uk schools generally, theres no hope if they show east enders shameless and the like, the kids think this is normal family life today, i bet i get slagged for saying about the whack, but here lies the real reason as said earlier, RESPECT, there is none in some cases by both parties soul man
  • Score: 1

7:10pm Sat 14 Jul 12

southendshrimper says...

Typical we cant post on Ros Ferdinand, headteacher at Porters Grange Primary School, in Lancaster Gardens, Southend, has been placed on indefinite gardening leave. They interviewed someone who did not want to be named & said she is respected! ha ha that's a million miles from the truth. All the parents I have spoken to dislike her & can't wait to see the back of her.
Typical we cant post on Ros Ferdinand, headteacher at Porters Grange Primary School, in Lancaster Gardens, Southend, has been placed on indefinite gardening leave. They interviewed someone who did not want to be named & said she is respected! ha ha that's a million miles from the truth. All the parents I have spoken to dislike her & can't wait to see the back of her. southendshrimper
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Sat 14 Jul 12

Last Poster says...

soul man wrote:
some of the teachers are not fit to teach, some of the kids dont want to be taught, too much paperwork after hours for the staff, and too many distractions i.e. phones i pods ds's and others, and no RESPECT, in my day we had to stand if the head came into the class, you got a whack if playing up, and one when you got home by your folks if you told them, this is a downward spiral of many schools today and in the uk schools generally, theres no hope if they show east enders shameless and the like, the kids think this is normal family life today, i bet i get slagged for saying about the whack, but here lies the real reason as said earlier, RESPECT, there is none in some cases by both parties
Why would you get told off? What you are saying is what every person who can remember the difference is saying. Trouble is, the "system" is run by people who know everything about nothing and will never listen to the group of people who have been right since before man learned how to stand upright....... They were called "Our forefathers" This world will level out again but, sadly, the price our youngsters will have to pay will be far too high!
[quote][p][bold]soul man[/bold] wrote: some of the teachers are not fit to teach, some of the kids dont want to be taught, too much paperwork after hours for the staff, and too many distractions i.e. phones i pods ds's and others, and no RESPECT, in my day we had to stand if the head came into the class, you got a whack if playing up, and one when you got home by your folks if you told them, this is a downward spiral of many schools today and in the uk schools generally, theres no hope if they show east enders shameless and the like, the kids think this is normal family life today, i bet i get slagged for saying about the whack, but here lies the real reason as said earlier, RESPECT, there is none in some cases by both parties[/p][/quote]Why would you get told off? What you are saying is what every person who can remember the difference is saying. Trouble is, the "system" is run by people who know everything about nothing and will never listen to the group of people who have been right since before man learned how to stand upright....... They were called "Our forefathers" This world will level out again but, sadly, the price our youngsters will have to pay will be far too high! Last Poster
  • Score: 0

7:02am Sun 15 Jul 12

soul man says...

Last Poster wrote:
soul man wrote:
some of the teachers are not fit to teach, some of the kids dont want to be taught, too much paperwork after hours for the staff, and too many distractions i.e. phones i pods ds's and others, and no RESPECT, in my day we had to stand if the head came into the class, you got a whack if playing up, and one when you got home by your folks if you told them, this is a downward spiral of many schools today and in the uk schools generally, theres no hope if they show east enders shameless and the like, the kids think this is normal family life today, i bet i get slagged for saying about the whack, but here lies the real reason as said earlier, RESPECT, there is none in some cases by both parties
Why would you get told off? What you are saying is what every person who can remember the difference is saying. Trouble is, the "system" is run by people who know everything about nothing and will never listen to the group of people who have been right since before man learned how to stand upright....... They were called "Our forefathers" This world will level out again but, sadly, the price our youngsters will have to pay will be far too high!
your probably right about the price paid by the youngsters, and my being ''told off'' was meant by saying getting whacked i.e the cane or whatever, the downward spiral began when this rule was stopped, there are as you say the system, and yes, its systematic failure by those who think they know whats good of others because it suits ''their'' ideas, i had first hand experience of this with my own kids some 15 yrs ago, by someone who was more interested in his own persona than the kids at the school, he was forced off the school by ofsted one day in front of all the staff
[quote][p][bold]Last Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]soul man[/bold] wrote: some of the teachers are not fit to teach, some of the kids dont want to be taught, too much paperwork after hours for the staff, and too many distractions i.e. phones i pods ds's and others, and no RESPECT, in my day we had to stand if the head came into the class, you got a whack if playing up, and one when you got home by your folks if you told them, this is a downward spiral of many schools today and in the uk schools generally, theres no hope if they show east enders shameless and the like, the kids think this is normal family life today, i bet i get slagged for saying about the whack, but here lies the real reason as said earlier, RESPECT, there is none in some cases by both parties[/p][/quote]Why would you get told off? What you are saying is what every person who can remember the difference is saying. Trouble is, the "system" is run by people who know everything about nothing and will never listen to the group of people who have been right since before man learned how to stand upright....... They were called "Our forefathers" This world will level out again but, sadly, the price our youngsters will have to pay will be far too high![/p][/quote]your probably right about the price paid by the youngsters, and my being ''told off'' was meant by saying getting whacked i.e the cane or whatever, the downward spiral began when this rule was stopped, there are as you say the system, and yes, its systematic failure by those who think they know whats good of others because it suits ''their'' ideas, i had first hand experience of this with my own kids some 15 yrs ago, by someone who was more interested in his own persona than the kids at the school, he was forced off the school by ofsted one day in front of all the staff soul man
  • Score: 0

10:48am Mon 16 Jul 12

concernmom says...

As I parent I feel very frustrated that the system is failing our teachers and kids as they're not interested in what the real world hold, but only their dream worlds.

Ofsted is not geared to look at data taking real life into account, and our kids suffer as there is unpresidented pressure then on teachers to perform and we all know that nobody in whatever position you are can function to your full potential when under these stress levels some of our schools are to change to fit a mould that is not suitable for a modern day society.

Secondly to the system failing is that there is no basic moral / standards in our schools anymore. No RESPECT & No DISCIPLINE.
As I parent I feel very frustrated that the system is failing our teachers and kids as they're not interested in what the real world hold, but only their dream worlds. Ofsted is not geared to look at data taking real life into account, and our kids suffer as there is unpresidented pressure then on teachers to perform and we all know that nobody in whatever position you are can function to your full potential when under these stress levels some of our schools are to change to fit a mould that is not suitable for a modern day society. Secondly to the system failing is that there is no basic moral / standards in our schools anymore. No RESPECT & No DISCIPLINE. concernmom
  • Score: 0

11:52am Thu 19 Jul 12

lewis911 says...

Sponsored academies don't always succeed. Take a look at the Witham academies run by the Academies Enterprise Trust and sponsored by Greensward Academy. After 5 years of being run by this trust, these two academies are still at the bottom of the Braintree District results league tables, and very low on the Essex tables. That is even despite using 'equivalent' GCSE courses to try and boost their results.

Greensward Academy, despite being rated as 'outstanding' overall, is only rated as 'Good' for their teaching and learning. Surely only schools/academies rated 'outstanding' for teaching and learning should be allowed to sponsor other schools. County and local councillors do not appear to hold the Academies Enterprise Trust to account for their failure in Witham. Once handed over both county and local councillors appear to wash their hands of these schools or are they to in awe of this Trust (and others like it) to criticize. Beware Basildon .....
Sponsored academies don't always succeed. Take a look at the Witham academies run by the Academies Enterprise Trust and sponsored by Greensward Academy. After 5 years of being run by this trust, these two academies are still at the bottom of the Braintree District results league tables, and very low on the Essex tables. That is even despite using 'equivalent' GCSE courses to try and boost their results. Greensward Academy, despite being rated as 'outstanding' overall, is only rated as 'Good' for their teaching and learning. Surely only schools/academies rated 'outstanding' for teaching and learning should be allowed to sponsor other schools. County and local councillors do not appear to hold the Academies Enterprise Trust to account for their failure in Witham. Once handed over both county and local councillors appear to wash their hands of these schools or are they to in awe of this Trust (and others like it) to criticize. Beware Basildon ..... lewis911
  • Score: 0

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