Crack team to beef up schooling in Basildon

Echo: Crack team to beef up schooling in Basildon Crack team to beef up schooling in Basildon

ALL 43 Basildon primary schools have signed up to be scrutinised by a crack team of headteachers, much to the delight of parents.

An education rescue squad will move in to judge primary schools in the town amid concerns schools are failing theirpupils.

The panel, led by ex-Ofsted head Sir Mike Tomlinson, is the brainchild of Basildon Council and Essex County Council.

They hope to turn around schools which Ofsted have said need improving.

Mum Sarah Steel, 34, welcomed the idea. All five of her children have been to Janet Duke Primary School in Markhams Chase.

She said: “Every school could do with a kick up the bum. When my son left he couldn’t read or write properly.

“Janet Duke has improved since Harriet Phelps-Knights became headteacher. Outsiders might be able to bring in something different.”

Daniel Shave’s daughters Ellie- Jade, eight, and Lilly-Mae, six, also attend Janet Duke Primary School.

Daniel, 29, of St James Road, Vange, said: “There is always room for improvement.

“I don’t think a school should stop improving if it is getting great reports. It should always try to better itself.”

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball said the whole community needed to get behind the scheme, after hearing horror stories of some parents not taking enough responsibility for their child’s education.

He said: “Some of the headteachers said their teachers spent a lot of time ringing round trying to find out where little Johnny is rather than teaching.

“One teacher even said a parent had stopped their child reading because they said they were doing it too much.

“The community as a whole has a responsibility as well.”

But Paul Rook, 37, of Rydene, Vange, said they should be focusing on secondary schools.

He said: “Some primary schools are good already. Where the kids of Basildon are being let down is in secondary schools.

“My godsons are at Lee Chapel Primary School and that school is the best I’ve ever known. It’s a shame when they leave. The secondary schools are way below average.”

The crack team will be launched at an event next month. Sir Mike Tomlinson, will be paid an undisclosed fee by Essex County Council.

Mr Ball said: “It’s not just about the schools getting the results, it’s about creating an environment where teachers want to come to Basildon and giving the children the best education we can.”

MILLHOUSE Junior School has already turned around its fortunes after being graded good by Ofsted for the first time in more than 10 years.

The primary school in Tavistock Road, Laindon, has been graded three, which used to stand for satisfactory, but now stands for “requires improvement”, in its four previous inspections.

The latest report, out today said: “The school is a happy place. Pupils enjoy their lessons and work hard. The headteacher and senior staff are determined to go on improving the school.”

It praised the school on teaching standards, the progress children make and their good behaviour.

Deputy headteacher Jenny Haken said: “We are really pleased. We have had a few headteachers over the years but when the current head Gareth Allen came in 2010, that’s when all the changes started, particularly with behaviour. There’s a lot more focus on helping children achieve and overcome barriers, from the dinner ladies up to the headteacher, so they are ready for secondary school. Before drive was not there.”

OFSTED said urgent action is needed at Bromfords School, in Grange Avenue, Wickford, as standards continue to fail pupils.

The secondary school was graded as requiring improvement during an Ofsted inspection in June last year.

It found inconsistent teaching, well below average attendance, and teachers slow to tackle underachievement.

Headteacher Marian Spinks left the troubled school in December – less than a week before inspectors said for the second time the school urgently needed to improve.

Inspector Elaine Taylor wrote: “Progress for lower and middle ability students is not good enough. The gap between the progress made by the majority of students and others remains too wide.”

The report said persistent absence is still too high and some pupils had a poor attitude to learning. Exclusions have fallen but the number is still above average.

Deputy headteacher Martin Coulson has stepped in as headteacher temporarily.

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level.

He said: “Too many of our children are moving on to secondary school not being able to read or write.”

However, he didn’t rule out focusing on secondary schools at a later date.

Comments (7)

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7:27am Wed 15 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Disturbing use of two words, Crack Basildon.....
Disturbing use of two words, Crack Basildon..... Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 3

9:49am Wed 15 Jan 14

Kim Gandy says...

Two quotes here stand out to me. Firstly...

"Mum Sarah Steel, 34, welcomed the idea. All five of her children have been to Janet Duke Primary School in Markhams Chase.

She said: “Every school could do with a kick up the bum. When my son left he couldn’t read or write properly."

and

“One teacher even said a parent had stopped their child reading because they said they were doing it too much.

“The community as a whole has a responsibility as well.”

I am no big fan of the current education system which has been interfered with beyond all measure by loony Labour when they were in office, obsessed as they were with political correctness, box ticking, "diversity" and a whole host of other trendy Leftwing rubbish.

However, I DO agree with one thing mentioned above. The community as a whole IS responsible. And as for the lady above who says her son couldn't read or write properly...I cannot believe that statement.

I taught both my children to read before they went to school. Both started school able to write their names and a few words and were soon on advanced reading. My daughter had to go to the classroom two years above to borrow books because the ones her class were reading were too easy for her.

In my book, reading with your child is a most precious thing. I enjoyed the hours I spent with my children, on pre reading skills, with things like shape sorters when they were babies, to letter recognition as soon as they could sit up and interact, showing them letters in the Letterland books and making the phonic sounds with them. I used to make it into fun games.

Later, just before they started school I was using flash cards.

I would do the same thing with my grandchildren. Sharing time reading, is a very close, intimate and loving thing for a parent to do. The child sits on your knee, you have a cuddle while you're reading.

I encouraged my children to express themselves on paper both in drawing and rudimentary letters.

As for the woman who says her child was "reading too much". What a dumb attitude. Thick or what? How can a child read too much?

If these parents spent more time with their kids encouraging them in their skills instead of relying on the education system, we might all be a lot better off.

Yes, we pay taxes to have our children educated but education is the responsibility of everyone involved with the child. Parents, school, relatives and friends.

Too many people want it all on a plate these days. And don't want to have to bother themselves participating. They'd rather stick their kids in front of the telly.
Two quotes here stand out to me. Firstly... "Mum Sarah Steel, 34, welcomed the idea. All five of her children have been to Janet Duke Primary School in Markhams Chase. She said: “Every school could do with a kick up the bum. When my son left he couldn’t read or write properly." and “One teacher even said a parent had stopped their child reading because they said they were doing it too much. “The community as a whole has a responsibility as well.” I am no big fan of the current education system which has been interfered with beyond all measure by loony Labour when they were in office, obsessed as they were with political correctness, box ticking, "diversity" and a whole host of other trendy Leftwing rubbish. However, I DO agree with one thing mentioned above. The community as a whole IS responsible. And as for the lady above who says her son couldn't read or write properly...I cannot believe that statement. I taught both my children to read before they went to school. Both started school able to write their names and a few words and were soon on advanced reading. My daughter had to go to the classroom two years above to borrow books because the ones her class were reading were too easy for her. In my book, reading with your child is a most precious thing. I enjoyed the hours I spent with my children, on pre reading skills, with things like shape sorters when they were babies, to letter recognition as soon as they could sit up and interact, showing them letters in the Letterland books and making the phonic sounds with them. I used to make it into fun games. Later, just before they started school I was using flash cards. I would do the same thing with my grandchildren. Sharing time reading, is a very close, intimate and loving thing for a parent to do. The child sits on your knee, you have a cuddle while you're reading. I encouraged my children to express themselves on paper both in drawing and rudimentary letters. As for the woman who says her child was "reading too much". What a dumb attitude. Thick or what? How can a child read too much? If these parents spent more time with their kids encouraging them in their skills instead of relying on the education system, we might all be a lot better off. Yes, we pay taxes to have our children educated but education is the responsibility of everyone involved with the child. Parents, school, relatives and friends. Too many people want it all on a plate these days. And don't want to have to bother themselves participating. They'd rather stick their kids in front of the telly. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 5

11:40am Wed 15 Jan 14

The Stinker Returns says...

I thought perhaps they were getting Nigella in
I thought perhaps they were getting Nigella in The Stinker Returns
  • Score: 3

12:02pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Stamper2 says...

"Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level."

That sums things up. It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful. Why is Tony Ball so unwilling to deal with this obvious problem? His comments indicate he is a complete half-wit. What a shame for pupils that such an incompetent councillor has any say over education policy in Basildon.
"Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level." That sums things up. It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful. Why is Tony Ball so unwilling to deal with this obvious problem? His comments indicate he is a complete half-wit. What a shame for pupils that such an incompetent councillor has any say over education policy in Basildon. Stamper2
  • Score: 3

8:09pm Wed 15 Jan 14

LauqhLast.. says...

Stamper2 wrote:
"Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level."

That sums things up. It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful. Why is Tony Ball so unwilling to deal with this obvious problem? His comments indicate he is a complete half-wit. What a shame for pupils that such an incompetent councillor has any say over education policy in Basildon.
Mr Tony Ball is a bit more than a half-wit.
[quote][p][bold]Stamper2[/bold] wrote: "Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level." That sums things up. It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful. Why is Tony Ball so unwilling to deal with this obvious problem? His comments indicate he is a complete half-wit. What a shame for pupils that such an incompetent councillor has any say over education policy in Basildon.[/p][/quote]Mr Tony Ball is a bit more than a half-wit. LauqhLast..
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

E.C.M. says...

Stamper2 wrote:
"Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level." That sums things up. It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful. Why is Tony Ball so unwilling to deal with this obvious problem? His comments indicate he is a complete half-wit. What a shame for pupils that such an incompetent councillor has any say over education policy in Basildon.
Stamper 2 "It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful"!

And there was me thinking your New Year's resolution was to realise 'education' isn't all or just about results!

Britain today: A huge rise in children with mental illness (Royal College of GPs), self-harm an epidemic, teenage pregnancies higher than any other european country and our boys and girls unhappier and more stressed than those from any other nation in the western world (UNICEF)! And you STILL bang on about 'qualifications' being the be all and end all!!!

You are clueless!
[quote][p][bold]Stamper2[/bold] wrote: "Basildon Council leader Tony Ball refused to step in to improve secondary schools, saying the new education panel will tackle the root of the problem at primary level." That sums things up. It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful. Why is Tony Ball so unwilling to deal with this obvious problem? His comments indicate he is a complete half-wit. What a shame for pupils that such an incompetent councillor has any say over education policy in Basildon.[/p][/quote]Stamper 2 "It is the secondary schools that particularly need attention - their results are all awful"! And there was me thinking your New Year's resolution was to realise 'education' isn't all or just about results! Britain today: A huge rise in children with mental illness (Royal College of GPs), self-harm an epidemic, teenage pregnancies higher than any other european country and our boys and girls unhappier and more stressed than those from any other nation in the western world (UNICEF)! And you STILL bang on about 'qualifications' being the be all and end all!!! You are clueless! E.C.M.
  • Score: -1

11:56am Sat 18 Jan 14

William S says...

funny how janet duke school mentioned but probably the improvements really are the outcome of overall governance from governors who really mastermind and decide on the future strategy of the school NOT the head-teacher......!!
funny how janet duke school mentioned but probably the improvements really are the outcome of overall governance from governors who really mastermind and decide on the future strategy of the school NOT the head-teacher......!! William S
  • Score: 3

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