Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Poor areas give poor chances

From the Scotsman:
"The figures compiled by the Scottish Executive show the total percentage of pupils leaving school with no qualifications fell from 5 to 4 per cent in 2003-4 and has remained at this level since.

But in Glasgow City the figure is twice as high, with one in ten children leaving school with no qualifications last year.

Across the city there are huge differences between affluent and deprived areas. For example in Strathkelvin and Bearsden, just 2 per cent of children left school with no qualifications last year, compared to 14 per cent in nearby Glasgow Anniesland. In Glasgow Maryhill the figure peaked at 20 per cent in 2001-2 but has now halved to 10 per cent."
I just love the explanations that are offered here:
"Paul Martin, the Labour MSP for Glasgow Springburn, defended the pupils in his constituency who leave school without any qualifications.

He said many of the pupils are at a disadvantage because they cannot afford extra tuition and other perks.

He suggested children in a deprived area should be offered after-school help, access to a telephone helpline and online assistance."
If he believes the disparity is due to extra tuition in "leafy suburb" schools, he's capable of believing anything. My own suggestion would be to send kids in deprived areas to schools that aren't completely mental - quite sure that would go some way to addressing the problem.

Now, anyone who works in these places knows the bullshitters are an obstacle to progress here - so I've been trying to think of some practical reforms. So far I've come up with the idea of drawing lots instead of interviews for selecting headteachers. Get a bunch of people with similar qualifications and experience - put the names into a hat and this, surely, would at least increase the chances of eliminating some of the management-speak morons who are 'relishing the challenge' of rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic?

Or they could be elected? Why not? You think this is silly but turning our education system into a supermarket is a "really good idea", do you?

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