Summit called over our schools

THURROCK’S education boss plans to face up to the borough’s school woes by hosting a summit in the new year.

Cllr Oliver Gerrish, responsible for the council’s education and children’s social care department, plans to invite the Department for Education, chief inspector of Ofsted, headteachers and governors to talk about what more can be done to “accelerate progress”.

He also plans to set up and be chairman of a cross-party panel that will scrutinise schools and their governing bodies.

Cllr Gerrish made the announcement at a full council meeting last week, just a day after it was announced that Thurrock is in the bottom three for the number of good or outstanding primary schools.

Cllr Gerrish said: “On the measure of the percentage of good or outstanding schools, Thurrock’s secondary schools and special schools are in the top 20 per cent in the country.

“However, our primary schools are in the bottom five per cent. Primary schools have been the unremitting focus of our attention since taking office in 2010.

“We have made that progress by never being complacent.

“We are already working closely with the DfE and academy sponsors to deliver rapid progress in the most vulnerable schools.

“We are robustly using the powers available to a local authority to challenge underperformance.”

Comments (4)

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9:18pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Dave_ says...

I think 'government' has done enough damage to education and having a meeting will do nothing other than increase the amount spent on biscuits. Let schools get on with teaching.
As for academy sponsors, the easy way out for the govt/council
I think 'government' has done enough damage to education and having a meeting will do nothing other than increase the amount spent on biscuits. Let schools get on with teaching. As for academy sponsors, the easy way out for the govt/council Dave_

10:03pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Marcus P says...

Could the under performance of the primary schools be explained by the huge influx of EAL (English as an additional language) families in to Thurrock over the past ten years?

The secondary schools do well in terms of league tables. So why the contrast in fortunes to the primaries?

I know mass immigration is championed by many in Thurrock; however this could be one of many downsides.
Could the under performance of the primary schools be explained by the huge influx of EAL (English as an additional language) families in to Thurrock over the past ten years? The secondary schools do well in terms of league tables. So why the contrast in fortunes to the primaries? I know mass immigration is championed by many in Thurrock; however this could be one of many downsides. Marcus P

7:19am Thu 6 Dec 12

Dave_ says...

The only way to judge the effect of EAL is correlate with other areas.
What strikes me is that if EAL is a negative effect, why this isn't taken into account by the LEA and OFSTED. If it isn't maybe that's a fault in the inspection system. You can apply the same thinking to SEN, as this is a drain on a school's resources. Also with primary schools the cohort size has a massive bearing on its percieved performance.
The only way to judge the effect of EAL is correlate with other areas. What strikes me is that if EAL is a negative effect, why this isn't taken into account by the LEA and OFSTED. If it isn't maybe that's a fault in the inspection system. You can apply the same thinking to SEN, as this is a drain on a school's resources. Also with primary schools the cohort size has a massive bearing on its percieved performance. Dave_

11:48am Fri 7 Dec 12

Bernard 87 says...

"Could the under performance of the primary schools be explained by the huge influx of EAL (English as an additional language) families in to Thurrock over the past ten years?"

While some of the newer residents in Thurrock (and Britain) may have English as a second language most of Thurrocks African community are well versed in English and all their children would almost certainly have English as a first language. The Eastern European children may not however so maybe thats filtering through into these results.

Failure of schools is down to a lack of good teachers in many schools, a complete lack of discipline, a drift away from reading, writing and maths to other areas - many of which are a complete waste of time, too much bureaucracy involving headteachers, education bosses at the council and school governers. Also some parents don't push their children or help them academically at home which doesn't help.
"Could the under performance of the primary schools be explained by the huge influx of EAL (English as an additional language) families in to Thurrock over the past ten years?" While some of the newer residents in Thurrock (and Britain) may have English as a second language most of Thurrocks African community are well versed in English and all their children would almost certainly have English as a first language. The Eastern European children may not however so maybe thats filtering through into these results. Failure of schools is down to a lack of good teachers in many schools, a complete lack of discipline, a drift away from reading, writing and maths to other areas - many of which are a complete waste of time, too much bureaucracy involving headteachers, education bosses at the council and school governers. Also some parents don't push their children or help them academically at home which doesn't help. Bernard 87

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