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How different can Primary Schools be in the UK?


William Broughton

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of How different can Primary Schools be in the UK?

Initially, we discovered that an important question to address when presented with this project was in fact ‘why’ Primary schools are different in the UK. We agreed that this would aid us to better understand, explain and describe ‘how’ Primary schools differ by a number of factors. Despite the necessity to fulfill the requirements of the standard UK curriculum and to work within certain government regulations, the way that education is approached and implemented in Primary schools is influenced by a number of factors and this can ultimately, even subjectively, impact upon the style, quality and direction of education that a child receives. Some of these factors revolve around a particular purpose, or ethos, such as striving for the best results, catering for specific pupil needs and welfare or supporting tradition. The final example might encompass same sex and faith schools. However, factors such as location, finance and reputation present other influences with outcomes that are often stereotyped; such a child’s capability to ‘achieve’ in a conditioned school environment. This would perhaps encompass private schools or schools in areas of deprivation. Introduction How different can Primary Schools be in the UK? Our... First... Thoughts... The main points that we intend to discuss and present to explore the cogency of our initial thoughts are as below -

What 'types' of Primary schools are present in the UK?
What are the pros/cons of these school systems?
What factors can influence the approach to education and its implementation within Primary schools?
• Main... Points... Types of Schools in the UK What factors can influence differences within Primary Schools and education? What are the pros/cons of these types? Guess how much it costs (on average) to send a child to a private primary school in the UK? Academies and Free Schools are independent establishments that are funded by state resources.

They are free from the Local Authority but maintain a contract with the government. For example, Academies and Free Schools are exempt from the National Curriculum, but must provide a 'broad and balanced' approach to education which must include English, Maths and Science.

Traditional Academies generally form from under-performing schools, which are granted a new provider, whereas Academy Converters are usually existing, high-performing schools that seek independence from the Local Authority.
All 'maintained' schools follow the National Curriculum and conditions determined by the Local Authority.

Community schools are run entirely by the Local Authority. They own the land and buildings and manage admissions and employment. Foundation and Trust schools however are owned and regulated by the government.

Voluntary Aided/Controlled schools are generally 'Faith' schools. This is often because land and buildings are owned by a religious organisation.

The difference is that in 'VC' schools, the Local Authority determines admissions and employment. Academies & Free Schools Maintained Schools Independent and Grammar Schools Independent schools, as the name suggests, are independent from both local and national government in finance and operations. However, they are lightly regulated, monitored and inspected by a range of bodies.

Funds are received through school fees, gifts and endowments, the use of such is governed by an independently elected board of governors.

Grammar schools select their pupils based on academic ability. Grammar schools are not always independent schools and sometimes fall under the 'maintained' category.
£2600 per term! www.newschoolsnetwork.org - Comparison of Different School Types July 20, 2010 The ‘Academies’ concept and system is enthusiastically supported by the Conservative party. Michael Gove, Secretary for Education argues that it will 'inject fresh dynamism into the state education sector by empowering head teachers and liberating them from state bureaucracy’. Opponents of the bill argue that by allowing all schools to opt-out of local government control the coalition government will essentially be creating a two-tier state education system reducing equality of opportunity for students. Polly Toynbee has argued that the Academies bill will 'fail the poorest and fuel the rise of faith schools'. Ed Balls MP, the Shadow Education Secretary, has criticised the concept arguing that 'it will accelerate the social segregation of children as money flows away from deprived areas towards better schools in wealthy areas'. Key facts:

Approximately 1 million children attend Church of England schools.

25% (4484) of all primary and middle schools are C of E.

193 (6.25%) secondary schools are C of E.

With 50 sponsored and 156 converter academies, the Church is the biggest provider in England.

564 independent schools declare themselves to be C of E.

'Church schools are recognised for their distinctive Christian ethos and the impact this has on standards and all round education. The proportions of Church schools regarded as 'outstanding' (by Ofsted) is much higher than the national norm and yet the Church schools are fully inclusive and serve equally those who are of the Christian faith, those of other faiths and those with no faith'. Ethos Reputation Finance Location Catchment areas often mean that schools in deprived areas expect to receive pupils of a stereotyped ability. This means that such schools have to provide a different approach to education than perhaps what you would expect in a private school. This can cause schools to differ, in the practice of education and also the system structure (academies!). The location of a school can also impact upon the number of pupils in attendance. Classes in London, where the population is more dense, are larger than those in the North-East of England. This can affect the attention that pupils receive and this can influence the implementation of education. It can also affect the opportunities available, such as school trips and local facilities. Schools in areas of deprivation or under a system of restricted funding may not be able to provide facilities and opportunities for pupils. They may have to adapt a system that suits the schools financial needs. This difference could impact upon the development of these pupils. Independent Schools To justify paying the fees for this type of education you would expect the results of the pupils to reflect its worth. However, many argue that in fact public schools are equally as capable and can achieve similar, if not better, results. Perhaps the decision to go 'Private' is based on reputation and stereotypes. However, the fees can often significantly improve the standards present in the school, whether through facilities or better trained staff for example. Academies Faith Schools Deviations from the National Curriculum could present negative changes as the substitute curriculum may not be as comprehensive or extensive for example. http://www.articledashboard.com/Article/Pros-Cons-of-the-UK-Academies-Bill-2010/1784009 Approximately how many people alive today went to a faith school? 15 million! http://www.churchofengland.org/education/church-schools-academies.aspx Reference List - www.newschoolsnetwork.org - Comparison of Different School Types http://www.articledashboard.com/Article/Pros-Cons-of-the-UK-Academies-Bill-2010/1784009 http://www.churchofengland.org/education/church-schools-academies.aspx Reputations can be particularly persuasive when it comes to providing education. By striving to improve standards over last years, for example, schools may require adjustments to their approaches or system regarding education. Ethos can encourage developments and transitions within Primary schools systems. It may influence education policy and structure, for example in schools that pride themselves upon providing various opportunities and pupil development over exam results. It may be within a subject field, such as sports, and a school may provide changes to fulfill this. Despite this, many still see Faith schools to be exclusive, as religion often forms a pivotal and routine part of everyday education. Also, the choice to send a child off to a Faith Primary school is that of the parents, and as such there would be an argument to suggest that the child has not yet had an 'educated' opportunity to evaluate their religious beliefs. Therefore perhaps education should be approached separately to religion when considering Primary schools. Conclusion Throughout the project we have discovered much more about the structure of education and its application in modern day Primary schools. We have explored both how and why there are differences between UK Primary schools. We have confirmed our initial thoughts, and by studying the pros/cons of school systems we have brought together some evidence to shed some light upon the impacts of such differences. Thank you for listening!
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