Have I just been lucky in the schools I have worked in?
Always taught in schools that have high expectations of students. Two comprehensives and one non selective in a highly selective borough. All have pushed students to succeed in education no matter what their desires were post 16. All have attempted to personalise the curriculum (with an academic core) to allow students to take courses that suit their assessment styles and then make progress. None have had a prescriptive way of teaching for the majority of teachers. Any teachers that have struggled and needed support have been given guidance on the best practice in that school. The schools have had a high expectation on student’s uniform and discipline.
Yet I keep hearing/reading about schools that have low expectations of the students. Call students selfish if they want the highest grades. Where all students are forced to study a BTEC no matter what their aspirations are (i do take the point that this has been the quickest route for schools in challenging circumstances to achieve arbitrary floor targets. Force all teachers to teach in an identical way. That don’t have academic curricula routes so there is very little for students who aspire to Russell Group universities. Where groups of students rule the roost and staff are ‘scared’ to challenge. Where students quote verbatim their rights and any SEN requirement…
My question is therefore, do these places actually exist and therefore I have been extremely lucky or are they constructs used by people to elaborate on one or two examples to make political points?
So this is my challenge, if you are a teacher or know teachers what experience do you have? If I have been ‘lucky’ and the schools that I have worked in are the minority then you are right to scream about the state of state education from the rafters…however it does seem unlikely that this will be the case.