7 Oct 2014
“I am absolutely sure it is going to happen,” says Michael Wilshaw in an interview with the Sunday Times.
Here's what he's talking about:
- Schools will form local clusters of six of seven with a superhead at the helm
- One school within the cluster could take on the role of a grammar school
- Another might take on the role of a vocational school
- Another might have a music specialism
- Or a PE specialism
- Or be a faith school, maybe.
Children would be assessed “in consultation with parents, teachers and employers” and directed to one school or the other.
“I am absolutely sure it is not going to happen,” says Wilshaw's opposite number at Schoolzone, Philip Collie. Here are some reasons why it won't.
- Schools won't want it to happen
- Errr... that's it.
Some questions which Mr Wilshaw will need to address before he presents this idea to the CBI in the next few weeks - you may like to add your own to the comments box below.
- Who decides which schools to cluster with which?
- How many schools have five or six neighbours that they'd want to abandon their competition with, in order to work like this?
- Who pays for all the students to be moved around town? And what about school uniform?
- Why would parents want their children to have to move school at this crucial time - especially if it's seen as a demotion?
- How will schools decide which role to take?
- Which staff will teach at which school? Not least, who chooses the superhead? Who would apply? It's difficult to get non-super heads.
- Why would governors in successful schools want to take on the responsibility of partnership with less successful ones? OK this does work where schools are willing, but not if imposed.
It's not clear why Ofsted (or is it just Michael Wilshaw?) would want to recommend this idea - surely Ofsted is the Office to tell government about standards in education, not to tell it how the school system should be radically altered in order to achieve aims that aren't even specified.
Anyway, you can be sure that if the government (the next one presumably), looks as if it's taking it seriously, Schoolzone will be among the first to find out what teachers think of the idea. In the meantime, please comment below.
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