People are mobilising against needless turmoil in state education. They want schools rooted in their communities, where teachers are trusted as professionals and every child can flourish. Now is the time for families and communities to speak out.


SATS - Know Your Rights

As the days start to lengthen and the thermometer starts to rise (finally!), thoughts amongst primary school parents begin turning towards SATS. We hear many rumblings about parent boycotts and whilst we feel that it is an individual parents' choice to make, we are today publishing a guide to your rights. Click here to read.


Rescue Our Schools backs More than a Score: the new movement by parents and professionals against SATS
 

Rescue Our Schools is delighted to announce that we are a key partner in More than a Score, the new coalition against SATS. 

A total of 13 organisations (including Let Our Kids Be Kids, NUT and experts in child mental health and primary education) have united to call for SATS to be suspended in 2017 and for the government to set up an independent review into alternative forms of assessment and new ways of holding schools to account. More than a Score wants a meeting with the education secretary Justine Greening to tell her why she must suspend SATS for 2017. More than a Score wants to make sure we never see a repeat of the summer of 2016, when nearly half of all eleven year olds “failed” the SATS and were told they were not ready for secondary school.

Take a look at the More than a Score website (www.morethanascore.co.uk) and sign their call to action. You can also see the More than a Score launch film made by ROS co-founder, Madeleine Holt. The in-depth film looks not just at what went wrong with SATS in the summer of 2016, but at how we could do things differently. Only England and America put schools and children through the factory system of standardised testing. More than a Score want you to encourage your headteacher to hold a meeting with parents and share their film – or for you to organise your own coffee morning or meet up.  (Teaching unions are due to decide in the next few weeks whether to ballot for a boycott of SATS.) 

For more information on the More than a Score social media campaign please follow: 

Twitter: @morethanscore

#morethanascoreUK

Facebook: www.facebook.com/morethanascore

 


Selection is Rejection

RoS is very concerned about Theresa May’s intention to remove the ban on establishing new grammar schools. Grammar schools are based on the assumption that separating out children with particular abilities will help them achieve better results regardless of their background. However  there is a wealth of evidence that although children in grammar schools tend to do well, they are children who would do well in comprehensives anyway; grammar schools do not improve standards overall. Grammar schools were largely abolished in the last century because it was widely accepted children develop at differing rates, so assessing them at 11 was unfair and, overall, not in their best interests. And as Sir Michael Wilshaw has noted, grammar schools do not  improve social mobility because children whose parents can afford private schooling or tutoring are more likely to pass the 11+ test.

Selection at age 11 can be highly stressful for children and parents. We believe that this is neither emotionally or socially beneficial for our children. Politicians focus only on the supposed benefits of grammar schools to those children who pass the 11+, but they need also to consider the impact of selection on the children and families who do not get a grammar school place.

Many grammar schools are good schools, but the selection system is  socially divisive and undermines comprehensives in the surrounding area, depriving them of ambitious students who can inspire others.  Our school system is already facing unprecedented challenges due to the government’s White Paper and the reduction in school budgets. RoS fears that re-igniting the debate about grammar schools will provide yet another distraction for parents and schools to deal with at a time when we most need the new prime minister and education secretary to be focused on the challenges already facing our schools.


GRAMMAR SCHOOLS - respond to the dfe consultation

To win the argument on Grammar Schools there neeeds to be a strong, clear response to the DfE consultation "Schools that Work for Everyone". We have until 12 December. Find the consultation here, and advice on how to fill it out here.


Grammar Schools - Write to your MP

Download the template letter and send to your MP to raise their awareness of parents' concerns about the possible return of grammar schools



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Ros Asquith on Parent Power in the Guardian

Ros Asquith on Parent Power in the Guardian


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