Our school is pretty good in the grand scheme of things.
Compared to our last school, which was a sodding unmitigated nightmare, it’s like someone shined a light down on my poor pair and thought they deserved a good place after the shit they put up with before.
There are a few little niggles like all schools, but, for the most part, if a little slowly at times, stuff gets back to the Head and it gets dealt with. Yes, Mini has had a bit of a tough time with some older girls and some dinner ladies who for reasons I wont go in to side with them, but that’s lunchtimes and, after speaking with the Head, it has been noted.
I have a lot more faith in the school here than in the last.
The difference between the two though was our last school was rated Outstanding, and this one isn’t.
I have long since said OFSTED is a piss take.
I fail to see how the last school got that rating. They were very similar schools, both Church of England, both in middle class Berkshire.
However that was where the similarities ended, and sadly, it feels that like many traditional church schools, if you dare be English in an English church school you are doomed to be marked down for not being multi-cultural enough.
It didn’t seem to matter to OFSTED that many of us parent’s flagged serious failings to them. It didn’t matter that we felt teaching standards were atrocious, or that parent’s views within school did not matter. It did not even register when we said bullying was not just a simple case, as it was told to them by the school, of a bit of old fashioned playground teasing, but as serious as actual physical assaults on a daily basis. No.
What mattered was that the Head could smile and nod in the right way, and that they had practically cut all ties with the church. Even our Christmas plays were not allowed to be a nativity, but were a multi-ethnicity spectacular so as not to offend anyone.
They were commended on this!
However, since the last time OFSTED were in the presence of my pair, the goals have somewhat changed.
As we all know, the Tories are facing a big old budget shortfall after Osbourne the part man, part alien looking chief Silver spoon tosspot messed up his budget.
Schools cost a hell of a lot of money, and have seen budgets cut time and time again. Our current school luckily has parent’s that use their initiative and spare time, and our PTA, of which I am a member, work tirelessly to raise as much as we can (£31,000 last year) so the kids don’t suffer as others do.
Its no surprise then that suddenly, the bright idea is that all school’s should be made Academies and run by outside businesses. That way, problem solved, the government doesn’t have to pay for them anymore.
They are so convinced of this scheme that school’s already seen as failing by OFSTED are being fast tracked to become someone else’s problem.
Which brings me to my point.
OFSTED had been due to come to our school in December. They didn’t. And, at that time, we first heard of the Academies idea.
They are only here today, some near on 5 months later than planned.
So, we have two possibles here.
Either our school’s rating improves, and the Government still has to cough up the meager amount they have to now.
Or, we fail, and it’s one less school to pay for.
We all know this Tory Government has no care or concern for us plebs who can’t afford private health or education, the way they are behaving to our vital NHS support, the Junior Doctors, says it all.
They can happily go to a private hospital if they feel rough, no waiting on lists for them, no mad scramble at 8.30am to get an emergency meeting with the GP. No worries of whether the school their little one goes to can afford books or heating, or to actually pay good staff.
I feel now that, just as with Maggie in the 80s, a whole generations future well being, be that having the right to a good education over profiteering, and be that having a good rate of healthcare, is on a very small ledge.
They don’t care if this generation of kids passes or fails, as, if they are let down by this wonder plan and leave school with no possibility of getting onto the jobs ladder, they can become the next group to be hounded by the Tory spin machine in the press, and made out to be scum and layabouts.
We need to all, universally, stand up and say, this is not on. We all love our children, and we all want to see them do well, and a good education that comes from a caring school environment, not something set up as a money making tax break for friends of Dave’s is not it.
I for one hope that Cameron and his Eton boys club are forced out over the embarrassment this, Brexit and the NHS strikes will cause.
And let someone who actually cares about the future generation stand up and run the country instead.