All the time there is something in the news about the worrying state of education in the UK. It does concern me slightly. I know the majority of teachers are trying their best. But with cutbacks to funding and a shortage of resources teamed up with classes filled to overflowing and not enough support staff, it’s a challenging profession to manage successfully. Even when you are dedicated and committed to the job.
Not Meeting Targets
This means targets are not always met. But when you hear about some countries flourishing it makes me panic! I don’t want my children not to have the same opportunities just because they end up in the “wrong” school. According to this article in the BBC News 282 secondary schools are under-performing. That’s a lot of secondary schools falling behind.
Targets have changed its not just about the exam results now but how the students are progressing as a whole. I guess that’s a more accurate gauge for success and a quicker way to see if some children are struggling. Mind you its probably cost a lot to bring in this new initiative. Money that might have been better spent elsewhere, training and recruiting teachers to work on class sizes would have been my preference.
Supporting Your Child
I like to provide my children with as much support as possible. This is mainly books and resources at the moment and finding ways to encourage them to read nightly and we do the occasional spelling test or run through times tables. Although what support I can provide when they move on to secondary school is more limited. I don’t have the subject knowledge anymore. I would not be afraid to source external help like using Fleet Tutors instead or urging them to continue with educational apps like Smartick.
When you choose your child’s secondary school it might be performing well at the time. However, during the five years your child studies there anything can happen. So it’s good to have a bit of additional support for them when they need it. You can’t really get your child to change school midway through if they are generally happy and get along with their peer group. It would be quite unsettling for them to adjust to a new set-up elsewhere. In that case I would use a tuition agency just so my children continue to succeed even if the school isn’t.
By all means do look at league tables when choosing your child’s secondary school. But like all things make sure its somewhere your child will be happy too. If all there friends are going to another school it can be quite upsetting and a little scary starting afresh without them. You can always do a bit more to fill gaps in learning at home if the secondary school isn’t one of the better ones. That is much easier to achieve than making an unhappy child enjoy school.