Sunday, October 04, 2009

Back to school

This week I, along with many parents in England, made visits to secondary schools to try and decide on the school we will apply for on behalf of our son.

I visited a slightly run down looking school beyond Woking - ( this is Surrey - the money went North to Labour heartlands, though it was raised here ) and tried to dig through the good show the school was putting on. So I asked the two pupils showing us round what was the best and the worse thing about the school, thinking that the worse thing would be the most informative.

But I had a surprise. They two girls replied that the best thing was the new discipline system. Classes are no longer ruined by those pupils ( sorry students ) who can't control themselves. The school operates a sin bin system where disruptive pupils spend the rest of the day, and being sent there is suitable unpopular. In addition the school tries to help those pupils lacking self control by letting them leave classes to go to a holding area where they contrinue their work and get help with "anger management".

The result has been rapidly improving results - most appreciated by the majority of the students who can finally get on with learning.

It sounds so simple, but how long it has taken to get here. Teachers are back in charge, students learn and achieve.

The school has had a poor reputation, the thing that our guides identified as the worse aspect of the school - and how angry they were that people thought of the school like that given it was far better than the reputation suggested. I think its about to improve a lot.

Like synthetic phonics your immediate response on seeing how well it works is why doesn't this happen everywhere ?

1 comment:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

One of the reasons it doesn't happen everywhere is the reluctance of some Heads to admit there is a problem, or if they do, it's the teacher's fault and not the child's. I'm glad the teachers are back in charge in this school.