Tag "Education" - page 2

Fear of comprehensives holds us back

I WAS at Amherst School in the 1950s. I benefited enormously from some excellent teachers. In particular the deputy-head Mr Rowe, and the superb Miss Daley. In 1957 I took the 11-plus exam and got a place at the Grammar School. Most of my friends went to Vauvert School, then the secondary school for the Town area. What surprised me was that several of them were actually much brighter than me. Worse, a number of pupils who had been perfectly OK at Amherst went off the rails at Vauvert because they felt like second-class citizens. It was the old adage. Label someone a failure and they start to act as a failure.

Grammar ranks among best schools nationally

AHEAD of the next crucial Education debate on 30 November, it is vital that we, on behalf of the Intermediate and Grammar Schools Association, share with you at this time some crucial and compelling performance indicators which simply cannot be ignored. The Department for Education in the UK has recently published the results of the new Progress 8 performance measure, which replaces the discredited five GCSE grades A*-C including English and maths measure and instead aims to capture the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It is a type of value-added measure, which means that pupils’ results are compared with the actual achievements of other pupils with the same prior attainment. It assesses and ranks every secondary school in England (both selective and non-selective) on the extent to which the school adds average grades to its GCSE results. The range is usually between -1.00 and +1.00. A full link to the UK national results can be found here: https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/schools-by-type?step=phase&geographic=all&region=0&phase=secondary and an extremely useful video explaining Progress 8 is available at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4IAEgFMSGDY.

Myths abound in education debate

AS THE second debate on education fast approaches it’s timely to revisit some of the smoke-and-mirror tactics used by a few of our deputies recently. A common one has been to devalue the contribution of the teaching profession by giving preferential consideration to ‘other stakeholders’. In a radio interview in February, Deputy Ferbrache stated that, ‘Teachers do not know best … They should be respected but their views are not paramount. Their views are to be weighed in the balance.’ And more recently he elaborated, saying, ‘I’m also very influenced by what parents say … and I trust the parents more than anybody… (parents’) views are those that weigh heavy with me … they know their individual child or children better than anyone else. Better than a teacher.’ Of course Deputy Ferbrache is correct in thinking that parents have a unique and intimate insight into their own children. But there is a crucial difference between a parent’s knowledge of their child and a teacher’s in-depth understanding of that child’s academic performance and aptitude gained over time within the school setting. Failure to make this distinction and weight the parents’ opinion above a teacher’s is misguided and unjustifiable. It’s an approach which demotes the contribution of teachers. Their consensus should be considered indispensable for an informed debate about any education system change within the Bailiwick.

Chalkboard system left languishing in digital age

Broken chalk on a black board for politics

At the end of the month, Education, Sport & Culture will ask the States whether to retain selection or move to a comprehensive system. But with many islanders unable to see past their own 11-plus system experience and the majority of teachers campaigning for change, the weighting of the arguments will prove crucial in what is expected to be a tight vote

Guernesiais at risk of extinction

THE collapse in the number of fluent speakers of Guernsey’s native language is an acute illustration of the task facing those trying to save it. Just 200 remain, with only six under the age of 65. It has reached a point when the island needs to decide whether it is happy for Guernesiais to be consigned to history, perhaps remaining as a quirky relic spoken among the interested few and held in ghostly recordings, or whether a concerted effort, backed by more than just words, is needed.

Pro-selection duo split on best way

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CONTRASTING visions for the future of secondary education are being pursued by still-divided members of Education, Sports & Culture, with even its two pro-selection members in disagreement.