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Which school?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by saluki, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Not a dilemma, just a discussion:
    Being nosey and having time on my hands I visited two open evenings - middle school.
    Shiny School is quite large. Everything is new. Average age of staff 25. Class sizes - 29. Pupils were on show but did not talk to prospective parents. Ofsted good. Books in library in perfect condition. When asked about outdoor learning the young teacher burst into giggles and laughed in a prospective parent's face and said 'no my kids prefer to watch Netflix as a treat' They often team teach in classes of 60. Head teacher looks a right snide.
    Scruffy School is half the size. Older staff many of whom have been teaching 20+ years. Everything is old and quite tatty. Class sizes - 20. Pupils showed the prospective parents around and chatted about the school. When asked about outdoor learning the pupil enthused about a project which they had performed for a certain subject which had taken place outside and it had all been filmed - apparently it was fantastic. She also casually pointed out the gardens where gardening club grow their own flowers and vegetables. She also accidentally went off script and showed parents 'the cooler' and explained how poor behavior was dealt with. (Shiny school either don't have a cooler or don't have poor behavior - staff didn't mention it). Books in the library old and well read. Reading time is an integral part of the day. Rewards and sanctions are also widely used. Ofsted good but has been RI in the past, up and down. Head teacher looks a right B. He prides himself on behavior management and turning the school round.
    Shiny school's SATs results are 3% better than scruffy school's. Is this a big difference? Both are above the national average.
    Which school would you choose to work in? Which school would you choose to send your child to?
    Happyregardless likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'm not sure I'd want to work in either, tbh, but if forced then school 2, the 'scruffy' one. I'd also choose that one for my children, I suspect...

    "Books in library in perfect condition" - presumably because they are never used!

    "Pupils were on show but did not talk to prospective parents." - says it all, really....
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I would want my kids (I don't have any, so can dispose of these hypothetical beings in a high handed way) to go to the scruffy school. I think I'd also prefer to work there, not least because I am much too old for the shiny school.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    At one school I visited when looking round with my daughter, a few students were doing a chemistry experiment. It looked interesting, so I asked one of them something about it. Just as the student was about to reply, a teacher stepped in and stopped her. It was made clear to me that I had stepped out of line. Needless to say, that school was not on our application list.

    Scruffy school, for sure!
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Did the staff talk much? I'm inclined to think that I want to know that my child's teachers are happy in their jobs. Older staff suggests experience is valued, and that the move from RI to Good has not been achieved by chucking everyone out and replacing.

    3% difference isn't likely to be statistically significant - that's one kid per class, less in Scruffy School.

    When we looked at secondaries, school A was trumpetting being at the top of the county league table that year (I think 14% higher than school B). I looked at previous years' figures - comparable to school B. I talked to staff - yes, it was a particularly good year group. Sure enough, when the next set of results came out, school B did better than school A.
    Lara mfl 05 and rustyfeathers like this.
  6. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter

  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    No confusion for me ether. Scruffy School -in both cases.
    henrypm0 and Piranha like this.
  8. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Scruffy to send my son and scruffy to work in :)
  9. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Average age of staff 25!
    Who would pick that school? New teachers need and deserve experienced mentors, older staff don't want to worry about the obvious...
  10. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Scruffy. Things are too pristine in Shiny, sounds a little Stepford to me. Also, lack of experienced teachers in Shiny might signal that maybe teachers get shafted when they become too expensive and replaced with ‘shiny new things’...just like the library books.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Girlfromthenorthcountry

    Girlfromthenorthcountry New commenter

    'Team scruffy' sounds like the place I work and I wouldn't want to work anywhere else. It's not perfect but the quirks make every day more interesting! I've been in shiny and as they say 'all that glitters is not gold'. Long live scruffy!!
    Lara mfl 05 and efm like this.
  12. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    Scruff-tastic rather than plastic.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    No contest really.

    The phrase 'Fur coat and no knickers' springs to mind.
    Lara mfl 05 and Piranha like this.
  14. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    scruffy all the way!
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Vote me in for Scruffy Academy.

    Shiny Academy - AVOID
  16. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    scruffy, obviously, but why laugh at shiny school not going outside? we just have absolutely no opportunity in my current school, there is just one patch of concrete. I've taught in a previous school where the only outside space was on the roof. It doesn't sound unusual to me
  17. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    It was shiny teacher who laughed at the notion of going outside. They do have an outside area with room for gardens or whatever. Scruffy school had completed their outdoor project in the playground - which isn't spectacular but a bit of imagination goes a long way.
    Scruffy school is in an area with a lot of social housing and some drug problems. There are some owner occupied houses and some 'executive developments. Their intake comes from scruffy first school next door which fluctuates between RI and Good, an outstanding first school a couple of miles away and two other first schools.
    Shiny is only a couple of miles away in a fractionally better area. Their intake comes from the shiny first school next door, a shiny first school a few miles in the other direction which has just gone from good to inadequate and the two other schools.
    The two other first schools which are good/outstanding tend to have 'aspirational' parents. Some parents from scruffyland and shinyland go there. There is then a big discussion when it comes to choosing middle school.
    Parents at scruffy and shiny seem happy with their choice.
    Shiny was built just before the cutbacks. 2008 ish? Before that Shiny first and middle schools were both in old buildings, like scruffy. There was nothing to choose between them with regards to results. I suppose Scruffy was next in line for a rebuild when austerity took hold.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    You already know...go with your heart:cool:
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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