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Brightest pupils failed by state schools chief inspector warns.

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Brightest pupils failed by state schools chief inspector warns.

Post  Panda on Sun 27 Jan - 14:05

Brightest pupils failed by state schools, chief inspector warns


The country’s brightest pupils are being held back by comprehensives which fail to push them to achieve the top grades needed for the best universities, the chief inspector of schools has warned.








Sir Michael Wilshaw Photo: GEOFF PUGH





By Julie Henry, Education Correspondent

9:00PM GMT 26 Jan 2013




Sir Michael Wilshaw has ordered an urgent “rapid response survey” of how state schools teach the most able children. It will be the most extensive investigation of gifted and talented provision undertaken by the watchdog.


The “landmark” report, to be published in the spring, will address fears that children who get top marks in primary school are being let down by some secondary school teachers who leave them to coast rather than stretch them to achieve the best exam results.


The report was disclosed after league tables showed that hundreds of secondary schools did not produce a single pupil with high enough grades in tough academic subjects to win a place at elite universities.


Inspectors will investigate concerns that bright pupils who are taught in mixed ability classes are failing to be stretched and that schools are entering clever children too early for GCSE exams so that they gain only the C grades that count in league tables and are not pushed to the full extent of their abilities.


Sir Michael said the big disparity in admissions to Oxford and Cambridge, where a small number of mainly independent schools sent more students to the universities than thousands of state secondaries was “a nonsense” that must be addressed.



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He said that comprehensive schools had to learn lessons from independent and selective schools on how to realise the early promise of the most able children.

“I am concerned that our most able pupils are not doing as well as they should be,” Sir Michael said.

“Are schools pushing them in the way they should be pushed and are pushed in the independent sector and in the selective system?

“The statistic that four independent schools and a very prestigious six form college are sending more youngsters to Oxbridge than 2,000 state secondary schools is a nonsense. When the history of comprehensive education is written people need to say that they did as well by the most able pupils as they did by the least able.”

Research published by The Sutton Trust, the educational charity, last year showed that four independent schools - Eton, Westminster, St Paul’s, and St Paul’s Girls - and one state school, Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, together sent 946 pupils to Oxford and Cambridge between 2007 and 2009.

By contrast, 2,000 lower-performing secondary schools sent a total of 927 students to the two elite universities, getting less than 6 per cent of available places.

Over the next few months, inspectors will look at existing inspection data on gifted and talented provision and at statistics on the progress pupils make. A representative sample of more than 50 secondary schools will be visited to investigate how they deal with the most able.

“I am passionate about this, it will be a landmark report,” Sir Michael said. “I am as concerned as the next person on the issue of social mobility. Are our children and our children from the poorest backgrounds who are naturally bright doing as well as they should?”

Sir Michael, the former head of Mossbourne Academy, in Hackney, east London, said any school which entered pupils early for GCSE exams had to show that the most able were reaching optimal levels at GCSE.

Some schools were too focused on gaining C grades, because it is this measure which counts in league tables, when pupils had the capacity to achieve a A* or A grades, he said.

League tables published last week revealed that nearly 600 schools - one-in-four nationally - did not produce any pupils with A-level scores of at least AAB in the key subjects of maths and further maths, English literature, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and modern and classical languages, which are demanded by many of the Russell Group of selective institutions.

More than 108,500 pupils classed as high achieving at the end of primary school failed to achieve the English Baccalaureate, which is awarded to pupils with C grade GCSEs or better in five academic subject areas.

“I would like to see GCSE league tables reformed,” he said. “The anxiety to get as many through those C boundaries have sometimes meant that schools haven’t pushed children beyond that.

“We need sophisticated league tables which shows progress. Youngsters leaving primary school with level 5 should be getting A*, A or B at GCSE.”

He said that as state schools were improving, middle-class families were beginning to trust the system, highlighting his own experience in east London.

“It is a chicken and egg situation. Parents in Hackney were moving their children wholesale out of the borough, particularly middle class parents, 10 years ago. They are not now. If schools get better, aspirational parents will remain in the state system. Our new rule which says “satisfactory” is no longer acceptable is part of that.”

Since September, the Ofsted judgement of “satisfactory” has been scrapped. Any school which is less than “good” is told it “requires improvement”, leaving the way open for it to be taken over and turned in to an academy.

Sir Michael also said that he was in favour of controversial Government plans announced last week to reintroduce a two-year A-level courses and drop the AS-level, which was worth half an A-level.

“I have seen the modular approach when I was a headteacher and I welcome the return to linear,” he said.

“With a modular approach, youngsters felt they had a second chance, they took one module didn’t do particularly well and did it again. The focus was on doing exams rather than on the quality of teaching and on in-depth study over the period of two years.”























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Panda
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Re: Brightest pupils failed by state schools chief inspector warns.

Post  Badboy on Sun 27 Jan - 14:10

PERHAPS SLIGHTLY OFF TOPIC,MY CHIROPODIST SAIDS THAT AT SCHOOL,CHILDREN ARE NOW LEARING THEIR TIME TABLES BY LOOKING AT GRIDS OF NUMBERS,WHICH THEY MIGHT HAVE TO CARRY AROUND FOR LIFE TO KNOW THEIR NUMBERS,WHEREAS THEY USED TO DO IT IN THEIR HEADS.

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Re: Brightest pupils failed by state schools chief inspector warns.

Post  Panda on Sun 27 Jan - 14:30

Badboy wrote:PERHAPS SLIGHTLY OFF TOPIC,MY CHIROPODIST SAIDS THAT AT SCHOOL,CHILDREN ARE NOW LEARING THEIR TIME TABLES BY LOOKING AT GRIDS OF NUMBERS,WHICH THEY MIGHT HAVE TO CARRY AROUND FOR LIFE TO KNOW THEIR NUMBERS,WHEREAS THEY USED TO DO IT IN THEIR HEADS.

Badboy, before calculators and Computers were introduced to schools children should have been taught as we were, to remember their Times table, be able to spell without a spellcheck etc. No wonder Britain is 18th in Europe for standards of Education.

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Re: Brightest pupils failed by state schools chief inspector warns.

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