Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Swanage School

Time for a new thread, perhaps..

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

As a supporter of the idea of a school for Swanage, i find the level of "debate" conducted on this blog to be really awful. It really does seem to be a place for opponants to find ways to denegrate the process of achieving this new assat for the town. Questions for TSS should be addressed to them. here are some points from my own experience of Purbeck School.
Bullying is continuing at a concerning level despite recent efforts against it, including on the school buses.
A growing and considerable, number of parents drive their children to the school.
Staff at TPS openly discuss acadamy status ( at least between themselves ).
I wont give names for obvious reasons but these are all happening despite denials on here and whatever TPS "unoffical" spokespersons may say.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with mud slinging. I find your post hypocritical. How can you criticise the "level of debate" and then make such statements?your comments add nothing to the debate. I was one of the people who asked for evidence that Purbeck staff were discussing academy status. I am not an unofficial spokesperson of the school and have no connections there (other than through my children). Just because a person stands up for a school and it's staff does not mean they are involved in the school in any particular capacity other than as a parent, which I am.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, that is such a funny post at 1:41PM. Pot, kettle, black!

Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the fact that it seems increasingly likely that, due to central government policy, all secondary schools in England will eventually become Academies, I too have to question the rationale of the first post above (not to mention their awful spelling). Denigrating the Purbeck School in this way is going to get you nowhere.

A lot of parents in Swanage are openly asking the questions that have been posted on Swanageview in recent weeks. Until a lot more certainty is publicly forthcoming from Education Swanage regarding planning permission, building schedule, pupil numbers, DfE funding agreement and teacher numbers, many parents like me will continue to treat the whole project with a high degree of scepticism. As things stand today I’m being asked to commit by kids to something that is high in aspiration but very low in anything tangible. Fact.

Anonymous said...

Many parents have also asked certain questions regarding bulling at TPS on here and their Facebook page set up by one of their teachers. Plus the issue about it maybe turning into an academy.

Though once again it's brought up to be shoved under the carpet again as if it never happen. I too would love a straight answer , thou it seems those kind of question are petty , mudslinging , outrageous and false statements:(

If parents have a concern about something that is going on do you not think we have a right to know. I for one would if I was thinking of sending my child TPS.

Anonymous said...

Excuse my igonorance but what difference does academy status for TPS make. So far as I can tell academies are constituted in a manner almost identical to free schools. Academies are funded directly by the D of E like free schools. They are constituted as trusts, charities and companies limited by guarantee, like free schools. They are self governing, like free schools. Both types of school are modelled on US charter schools.

The tone of the speculation about TPS becoming an ecademy suggests it is some form of collective punishment which is very puzzling as I imagine the posters who have written these comments are in favour of a Swanage School and by inference of the management regime common to both free schools and academies. Perhaps someone would be kind enough to explain this.

Anonymous said...

So what your saying is that TPS could become a freeschool if it was to go the academy route ?

Anonymous said...

Basically they're the same thing - funded directly by central government rather than through the local education authority (in our case Dorset County Council). The theory is that this allows a greater level of funding to go directly to the schools concerned, and not be top-sliced by the local authority. In turn this higher level of direct investment should lead to better educational standards. That's the theory anyway. As indicated above the Purbeck School may be forced to go down this route in line with all other secondary schools.

By the way, if people here are concerned about the Purbeck School's bullying policy why don't they get in touch with the school and ask them about it?

Anonymous said...

I asked the question because the possibility of TPS becoming an academy was being presented as some kind of bogey, whereas, in fact the majority of secondary schools are academies. I was hoping that the person who was writing this would explain why they were expressing it in this way, however, they seem to prefer silence, which may be the best thing for them.

Whether making schools academies makes any difference is another matter. The evidence is mixed and several had to be put in special measures. Essentially, its the usual story. Whenever something publically funded is perceived to be sub-optimal the politicians decide to change the administrative arrangements. We have seen countless NHS reorganisations over the last 40 years. The free marketeers always crawl out from under a stone and tell us the answer is for everything to be done by private companies. After their advice has been taken there is a brief tax-payer funded summer followed by decline into bitter winter, as we are seing now with care homes.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant to say a near majority not a majority of secondary schools.

Anonymous said...

128If I were a parent of secondary aged children I would be attending Purbeck School and The Swanage School open events to research which school would suit my children best. I would not be relying on this blog and the comments here, to decide where my child would go to school. I would prefer to meet the head teachers and governors of both schools and to ask direct questions face to face.

I would think that this is what the majority of parents would do, and are doing.

Anonymous said...

I'm 1.41. poor spelling checks result of fast typing and small screen device. I'm a pupil at TPS. which sucks

Anonymous said...

Have asked TPS many times about bullying , but as always there are no incidents and they are on top of it. Though we have a pupil on here now saying it goes on:(

Who do we believe?

Anonymous said...

In my experience, bullying happens in all walks of life and in all schools, human nature unfortunately. The pupil on here may have experienced it first hand or may know others who have been bullied. However I do not hear of bullying at TPS being on the increase and of the children who I know who are there (quite a few) it is not the first thing they mention, in fact they haven't mentioned there is a problem with bullying. Just because TSS will be a smaller school doesn't mean there wont be kids there who will bully others. I believe TPS deals with it well.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, no incidents of bullying, eh? What about the pupil reportedly chased onto a roof recently who then decided to try to jump off to escape the taunting, only to hurt themselves quite badly in the process? Or didn't that happen either? I've heard several TPS pupils discussing it quite openly in the last couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say no incidents of bullying, I said I had not heard they were on the increase. If you read what I said, you get bullying in all walks of life and an incident like you have just described is bound to be the talk of the school. Not nice but not often.

Anonymous said...

I think the comments about TPS teachers openly discussing becoming an Academy are pointing up the irony of the fact that several TPS teachers have spent much time in recent months on Facebook and blogs like this criticising Free Schools in general and the one that Swanage is getting in particular. Yet their own school is likely to become essentially the same thing just as soon as Dorset County Council stop lavishing local council tax-payers' money on making it even bigger, including 400 places that presumably won't be needed once a 400 place school opens in Swanage.

Anonymous said...

Or converse;y there will be 400 places going begging in the Swanage mini-school.

You don't think bullying starts in year 9 do you. If there is any at TPS its the failure of the first and middle schools that needs looking at. By the time these children are in their teens interventions are a good deal more difficult.

Anonymous said...

"as soon as Dorset County Council stop lavishing local council tax-payers' money"

How true, it will be Mr Gove overspending on academies instead and there is a great deal more of that isn't there. Another little irony?

Anonymous said...

A typical Purbeck excuse. Blame the kids and other schools, not the failings of the staff there.

Anonymous said...

That bullying incident is very shocking.

Anonymous said...

"A typical Purbeck excuse."

A strange thing to say as I have no connection with the place. You may think violence and bullying appear out of nowhere in years 8 and upwards. I think that is nonsense. The children at risk of becoming bullies can be identified at lot earlier when intervention is most likely to work.


Anonymous said...

Swanage Middle School is undergoing an Ofsted inspection today (5th December) and tomorrow. Good luck to all concerned!

Anonymous said...

How very strange to inspect a school that is closing. As if they didn't have enough on their plate! I wish them all the very best.

Anonymous said...

Good news on the ES Facebook page that DCC have now approved their starting construction on the middle school site early in the new year.

Anonymous said...

How very strange to inspect a school that is closing.”

On the contrary this is exactly the time to ensure that standards are being maintained. There has to be a degree of risk that low teacher morale might be having a detrimental effect on pupils’ education. Hopefully this will be found not to be the case and I too wish all the SMS staff all the best.

Anonymous said...

On their FB page ES have said English and Maths will be taught in ability groups. Now I have heard of mixed ability groups and of streaming but not ability groups. Can anyone tell me what that means?

Anonymous said...

Groups of like ability (aka. streaming)

Anonymous said...

Ok streaming is where children are assigned to one ability group across several subjects so if in the 'top' stream they will be with more able pupils for maths, English, science, languages, etc. Setting or ability grouping is where children of similar ability in a particular subject are taught together. In this instance a child who is good at maths will be in a group alongside others who are able in maths. They may not be as strong in English so may be in a lower ability group for that.
Mixed ability groups are just that - a range of children attaining at different levels.
There is research to suggest that near mixed ability groups (e.g a range of abilities without those needing a lot of support due to special needs, etc) are actually better for many children, particularly in English. Children whose language skills are not as well developed benefit from working alongside higher attaining pupils.
Are TSS planning ability groups in three separate sciences too? Or is it just English and maths? I wonder how many sets they will have? How flexible will the groupings be? Will there be lots of movement between them if children progress rapidly or need more support?

Anonymous said...

Actually better described as setting, assuming different subjects are assessed separately

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I get that now. TSS have only commented that English and Maths will be ability groups.

Anonymous said...

Here's some interesting reading on DfE website if you're interested. These bits stood out -

'Looking at pupil attainment, the study found that students with the same Key Stage 3 scores could have their GCSE grade raised or lowered by up to half a grade as a result of being placed in a higher or lower set. The greatest value added was in the school which retained mixed ability teaching in mathematics up to Year 10 and subsequently continued to use a wide range of teaching methods, including within-class grouping.'

'The effects of ability setting on teaching practices and the curriculum in the secondary school example included:
the best teachers being allocated to the top sets, despite evidence that high quality teaching is more beneficial to lower attaining pupils
curriculum polarisation, which meant that moving between sets was very difficult because they followed different syllabi
unreasonable expectations of the top sets, reflected in a fast, procedural teaching style
a lack of differentiation within sets, leading to many pupils finding the pace either too fast or too slow.
The study found that mixed ability teaching, by contrast, encouraged teachers to see pupils as having different needs, abilities and working styles.'

It's particularly interesting that this is published on the DfE website while in the press we read so much about Gove and Wilshaw claiming mixed ability teaching is bad. I think it probably depends on how well the schools teach within which ever system they use. If the groupings are flexible and don't result in too low expectations and an artificial ceiling placed on learning in lower sets, with careful differentiation in place, ability grouping can work well. The best teachers really are needed in the lower sets with the children who need more guidance to understand difficult concepts.

If, on the other hand, skilled teachers differentiate well, extend and support pupils in a mixed ability group the fact that all pupils can aim higher without lowered expectations has to be a good thing. Mixed ability teaching is hard work. It requires dedication on the part of the teacher and a belief that all pupils can do well. Lots of teachers don't like it because it makes planning more onerous.

Food for thought...

Anonymous said...

Interesting then that supporters of TPS have made much of fact that as a large school it can divide pupils into more, finer ability groups / sets and do so in more subjects. Clearly the benefits of this are arguable!

Anonymous said...

It is surprising that there has not been any research giving a conclusive answer on setting but there are a number of variables. Interesting that the material of the DfE webiste mentions evidence that mixed ability demands better teachers than setting. At the risk of sounding mean-spirited let me say that I would have thought all these "outstanding" teachers ES plan to recruit would take it in their stride.

Unless it has changed TPS has mixed ability of English but setting for a lot of other subjects, not just maths.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if they have ability setting for humanities. Maybe someone from Purbeck could answer? There are obviously positives and negatives with both approaches. The key, as ever, is the quality of teaching and flexibility. It is generally easier to teach mixed ability English than maths.
The question for me is how recruits to TSS are used to teaching and whether they are familiar with teaching in a small school, with all of the extra demands involved? I wouldn't imagine there are that many outstanding teachers looking for a post in a tiny school with no sixth form. Hopefully I am wrong and the allure of our beautiful setting will entice them to apply.

Anonymous said...

A little bird tells me that Swanage Middle were rated Good by Ofsted today. In the circumstances thats a fantastic result. Congrats to the staff who must be chuffed to bits.

Anonymous said...

Haha, that's super news but it's bound to make some people in Dorchester pretty nervous. How does DCC now justify shutting the Good local middle school and forcing Swanage pupils into a large secondary that "Requires Improvement" (the new OfSTED name for "Satisfactory") in Wareham instead?

Anonymous said...

Thats a bit parchial. Sandford Middle was classified as outstanding by the inspectors. I think that if you look at the picture nationally you will find that the three school system is on the way out pretty generally, although no doubt someone will tell us of exceptions.

My children would have been delighted if they could have gone to Purbeck at 11 instead of cooling their heels in a glorified primary school locally.

Anonymous said...

Not in Dorchester it isn't

Anonymous said...

No Sandford Middle's last ofsted in 2007 was rated good and they had an interim assessment statement in 2011 saying they wouldn't have another inspection earlier than end of 2012. I think you'll find it's the first school that achieved an outstanding report.
If Swanage Middle have achieved 'good' then I'm really pleased for them as it demonstrates an improvement from last time. However, schools are not allowed to release that information until the report is out. Purbeck could well achieve 'good' in their next inspection too. We simply don't know.

Anonymous said...

Dorchester is about the only one left standing and that is because they daren't touch the successful pyramid or interfere with Hardye's as Dorset's top performing state school. A the time of the Purbeck Review three of our middle schools did not appear to be doing so well.

Anonymous said...

Nor did the upper school for that matter!

Only 43% of TPS pupils this year managed 5 good GCSE's (A*-C including English & Maths), down from 46% in 2011. These figures come from the school's own website: www.purbeck.dorset.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Exam-results-grid.pdf

With Attainment down at that level (and falling year-on-year) it is far-fetched to think TPS will get GOOD at its next OFSTED.

Anonymous said...

Not great is it and perilously close to the Government's national floor standard of 40%. Any schools below this level are automatically taken out of Local Authority control by Michael Gove and obliged to become an Academy under an educational sponsor. No wonder TPS staff are talking about the possibility.

Anonymous said...

It will be ironic if, after opening TSS successfully, the DfE then asks Education Swanage to act as the Academy Sponsor for TPS!

Anonymous said...

No reason why there shouldn't be an Education Wareham and get more Wareham parents sending their kids to school in the town instead of elsewhere

Anonymous said...

Yes, The Wareham Academy has a nice ring to it

Anonymous said...

Then ES could steal back the Purbeck name for a school that's actually in Purbeck :)

Anonymous said...

Personally I'd prefer it to be called 'The Isle Of Purbeck Academy'. With facilities greatly superior to the forthcoming 'Swanage School' it certainly has great potential.

Anonymous said...

All Purbeck Middle School's have had OFSTED despite the fact they are closing. This will help TPS, and TSS for that matter, to know which subjects etc. the children have been taught well in. Also the staff leaving those schools when they close will be able to say how well they fared when lookoing for new jobs. As for TPS, there are great things happening there and I think it's a case of watch this space. I have every faith in the new head and her team. It is well worth visiting the school to get a better view of what they are proposing.

Anonymous said...

Jurassic Academy would be more appropriate.

"Where your children coast"

Anonymous said...

For crying out loud, give it a chance! With new facilities and new head and new year groups it will, in effect, be a new school. People are asking the ES doubters to give their school a chance so why can't you give TPS a chance. Haven't you heard of a breath of fresh air?

Anonymous said...

If we are talking about results, then let's take a look at middle schools too. Does anyone know the 2012 sats results for Swanage middle? If they are getting good from ofsted, it is likely that they are a significant improvement on 2011. looking on the 2011 dfe performance tables it seems they were 16% below the national floor standards for expected progress in English and 17% below for Maths. They were also close to floor standards for level 4+ including English and maths. They achieved 65% level 4+ in 2010 and 2011 while the floor standard was 60%.
It only seems fair to look at the broader picture.

TPS gcse results including English and Maths are not good, there's no denying it. However, it was 68% without English & Maths as they were badly hit by this year's English fiasco. Infact their maths results are good (62 %) and their Science a* to c is significantly above Dorset and National figures (69%). Separate sciences: biology (94%) chemistry (94%) physics(96%).

Anonymous said...

Sorry but what's that got to do with either TPS or TSS? Swanage Middle is being shut in 6 months isn't it? Why are you now trying to slag them off (OFSTED clearly disagrees with you anyway)

Anonymous said...

I'm not slagging anyone off. I was just pointing facts and if you read what I wrote properly you will see that I said Swanage Middle must have better sats results, which I see as a good thing. I was trying to indicate (badly perhaps) that schools can improve and that TPS is not necessarily going to have a bad ofsted report as implied. A previous poster said it is far fetched that TPS could get good. I am suggesting that it is not so far fetched if SMS can do it. It is difficult to get points across in writing sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Someone else brought up floor standards and I simply elaborated, using SMS as an example of where perhaps these are not the only significant factors taken into account by ofsted. Just a little fed up with the constant TPS bashing. And no I don't work there, nor do any of my friends or relatives. Although my own children have enjoyed their time at TPS and have achieved well.

Anonymous said...

Well I think that's pretty shoddy. You say you're fed up with people knocking TPS on here, but your response is to take a swipe at the Middle School, which is doing a stunningly good job in the circumstances, faced with 90%+ of its staff being made redundant in 6 months yet managing to deliver the full curriculum with a full roster of specialist subject teachers (which is certainly not the case in some of the closing Middle schools) and impressing OFSTED in the process. You do TPS no favours by associating it with such behaviour. If you're that fed up, just stop reading this tripe.

Anonymous said...

What swype? I didn't say anything negative about Swanage Middle. I too think it is doing a good job, especially under the circumstances. I simply quoted some figures that are published nationally because someone else raised them. If you read what I have since written properly, you will see i said i expressed myself badly in my original comment, for which I apologise. What I am saying is that performance data does not give the whole picture. That ofsted obviously look beyond floor targets and this is why I think it is still possible for Purbeck to be seen as a good school, just like Swanage Middle.
And what behaviour am I associating Purbeck school with exactly? I have stated clearly that I am nothing to do with TPS.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That is what people have been doing for months, trying to get answers to crucial questions regarding curriculum etc but have been met by a wall of silence or answers that swerve the question. If you ask questions of TPS headteacher she answers straight away because she can. She knows what her curriculum will be and how the staff are working towards their aims to make the school as outstanding as they can. TSS promise us a great new school and the plans for the building certainly confirm this but surely parents deserve a better understanding of how it will all work rather than getting a woolly 'week in the life of'in their most recent prospectus. Oh and no one will fail to realise that by putting the league tables in their prospectus they are having a dig at TPS even though they thinly disguise it as one of their aims to be 'up there' with the top performers.

Anonymous said...

Before anyone suggests I am mudslinging, I have no affiliation to TPS but am just frustrated by TSS making out they have been dignified in this whole thing when they make insidious little comments in the press and on their FB page. What exactly is a senior teacher?

Anonymous said...

What comments? Unless you back it up with evidence you are mudslinging.

Anonymous said...

OK well the first comment was the one I referred to above which was their publication of the league tables. In the press they have referred to DCC 'advising' people that there wasn't going to be a free school and TPS was the only one to go for and on their fb page they have intimated that TPS have told people that they already have a place at their school when they write and I quote: 'Interesting conversation with a parent who said she'd like to apply but she'd already been told she had a place at another school and would feel guilty to change. While it's true that this other school will probably not be oversubscribed – so if you apply there you will be offered a place – you are under no obligation to accept that offer yet and all schools know this'. This parent was probably trying to let them down gently, a bit like when you get cold callers trying to sell you their charity and you say 'No thanks I already give to a charity'. Everyone knows we wont hear which school are child has got into until March

Anonymous said...

oops I mean *our

Anonymous said...

Ah, so you were mudslinging.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why, if you're so keen to get answers about how TSS is going to operate, you're doing so on this Blog rather than asking the Headteacher or others involved with the school. The contact details are on their website. I've never seen anyone from ES answering questions on here (and I don't blame them when everything is anonymous). So stop moaning about never getting an answer : you're never likely to unless you ask the right people! Phone the Head, go to an information session or send them an email. And yes, I appreciate that this would mean revealing to them who you are! Maybe that's the real problem here.

The Postman said...

PLeeeeeeeeeease stop the mudslinging and stick to sensible debate

Anonymous said...

Surely the bottom line is that until Education Swanage know what their pupil intake is going to be – when the admissions window closes at the end of January - they won't be able to finalise their staffing levels and curriculum provision?

Anonymous said...

"Surely the bottom line is that until Education Swanage know what their pupil intake is going to be – when the admissions window closes at the end of January - they won't be able to finalise their staffing levels and curriculum provision?"

That is a fair observation, but the main problem has been in plain view from the start. Do the sums for yourself...if they get the full intake that they want, they will be able to afford x number of teachers (simple economics suggest that x will be a small number; obviously x will be smaller again if they don't get a full intake). The number of subjects in any secondary school's timetable = (x+quite a few more). So we have to assume that some subjects will be taught by non-experts and that teachers will be stretched across different subjects - this works for a Middle School, but maybe not for students trying to pass their GCSEs? There is also the question of classrooms - simple maths shows that not all subjects will have proper teaching rooms. Hate to come back to the comparison thing (and I hope this doesn't get labelled as mudslinging), but look at the great Purbeck science results above (if they are true) - how can a school with a maximum of 2 or 3 science labs and 4-5(???) science teachers (teaching other subjects too because of the small timetable) achieve that? Not saying it can't be done, just saying I'd like to hear a] An acknowledgement of the problem and b] Some info on how they will get around it.

As to why no one is asking these questions. The answer is possibly that Purbeck is a small community and that there is perhaps a fear of comeback for being seen to deviate from the expected norm. But I am 100% sure they read this website and are aware of these issues - they can tackle these sort of Qs any time they like, have has lots of opportunity.

Anonymous said...

"great Purbeck Science results (if they are true)" well they are published on TPS website so one can assume they are.
You have hit the nail on the head re staffing and non subject specialists. If I had time, it would be a useful exercise to calculate the number of teachers required to cover all subjects with specialists and then to calculate the number of teachers that can be afforded in a small school like TSS. Even at their full capacity, ES must have done some preliminary calculations and should be able to answer this. They don't need to know how many will sign up to work out a best and worst case scenario. I would expect some detailed information about staffing to be on their website and in their brochure but it is sadly missing.
Yes we can all email them individually to ask the question but it has been raised publicly enough times for ES to realise it matters to people. I think this sort of information should be freely available to all prospective parents and not just those who take it upon themselves to email.
It is entirely different to a school already up and running like TPS. Yes they will have to make fine adjustments according to future pupils numbers but you know what you're getting. The problem for me with TSS is that we don't know what we're getting.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem all that crucial to me. I'm just a parent but how 'specialist' do you have to be to teach subjects at GCSE or even A level? Most jobs seem to need a variety of skills - an architect will use maths, physics and design, a financial journalist will know economics and English, and they will probably know their subjects far better than a teacher needs to at GCSE. At my school my best English teacher also taught drama brilliantly, which helped enormously with Shakespeare and Chaucer. A science teacher taught PE and did both very well. In fact, to me not being narrowly focused on one subject seems to be preferable and much more like the real world. Being able to captivate and teach students well seemed to be the key skill, but perhaps it is different today.

Anonymous said...

"I'm just a parent but how 'specialist' do you have to be to teach subjects at GCSE or even A level?"

May I suggest that, if it is not too late, it would be in your children's interest to find out how important specialist subject teachers are rather than rely on anecdote and personal experience. I don't think it can be airily dismissed as you appear to. It should not be too hard to look for published verifiable evidence one way or another. One little question. How do you know you were well taught? At the risk of criticising your teachers I have to say the importance of establishing the facts does not seem to have been imparted very effectively.

Anonymous said...

Having read the above, I did a quick search and found this to be interesting reading. The government and ofsted seem to think subject specialists are important.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmeduc/1515/151505.htm

It states ofsted's opinion is that "An outstanding teachand generally has EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE and exceptionally good interactions with students"
Further down it says the government has introduced a bursary scheme to incentivise graduates with higher class degrees in physics, maths, chemistry, modern languages to train as teachers, presumably to get more teachers with exceptional subject knowledge in those areas.

Furthermore,"Looking at the academic research, some studies have suggested that strength of subject knowledge—which, as teachers speaking to us acknowledged, is very likely to have been gained through a degree—can play a role in determining a teacher's future abilities and impact. For example, the IPPR cites a study of almost 3,000 students in 2005, which found that "students taught by the most knowledgeable teachers (the top 5 per cent) learned around 25 per cent faster than the student taught by the least knowledgeable"

The publication quite rightly goes on to emphasise that subject knowledge on its own does not make a good teacher. Teacher's need to inspire and to have a good understanding of how children learn. If they are expert in their subjects, however, they are more likely to enthuse and inspire.


Anonymous said...

The "separate science" A*-C GCSE results for TPS are being presented on here as supposed proof that only a big school can teach science well. Yet they are only 1% or 2% higher than the national averages (which stand at 93.2% for Physics, 93.0% for Chemistry and 92.6% for Biology). That's not bad, but then you'd expect a school claiming a Science specialism to at least beat the national averages.
The reason these figures sound high is that only the more able pupils are entered for separate sciences, the rest either taking a "combined science" GCSE.
Many small schools beat these figures every year, and to claim that only a big school can teach specialist subjects well is disingenuous.
If being a big school improves the quality of teaching, then why are TPS results in other subjects so far below the national average, especially English ? Only 53% of pupils managed a C or higher in English this year, versus a national average of 64%.
What really drives results is the quality, not quantity of teachers, and this is where a start-up school has a major advantage by recruiting a full staff of inspirational, dynamic teachers with a passion for their subjects.

Anonymous said...

10:57: Thanks for supplying the link. You have rather cherry-picked the phrases that support your argument and ignored those that do not support it.

Your conclusion, lIke Gove's, that high class degrees are an indication of subject knowledge seems sensible, but as the report says this is just one part of teaching ability. Resilience seems to be rated highly and I note that this is highlighted as a key skill (for students) in the new Swanage prospectus.

And of course none of these findings prevent a teacher having "exceptionally strong knowledge" of more than one subject, just like those in any skilled career, which was the original point that was rather brusquely dismissed. No need to find research on that - the evidence is available in any work place.

Anonymous said...

To what, I wonder, do the posters who are keen to draw attention to the GCSE results at TPS ascribe their failure to do better. It can't be size because many larger schools get better results. Any suggestion that it has anything to do with how far behind many of the pupils are when they arrive from the middle schools is slapped down. So what is it and how does the Swanage School avoid the same problem teaching pretty much the same set of children?

I notice that nobody with direct experience of teacher recruitment round here has posted on whether it is practical for ES to aim to recruit nothing but outstandingly good teachers. I do know that recruitment at other schools in some subjects has been very difficult for years and that was before we had a few hundred new, small schools all enthusiastically chasing the same pool of high ability teachers.

I can see teaching here attracting life-stylers and those expecting an easier job in a rural school with a low proportion of "hard to teach" children, however, they are not what ES is after.

Anonymous said...

Explain hard to teach children ?

Anonymous said...

Children with special needs, whether physical or educational, children with statements, or in need of social assistance.

I have yet to see any specific mention of such provisions on the website.

Anonymous said...

I was not thinking of children with a special educational needs designation specifically because many difficult to teach children are not given such a designation. There is a brief description at http://www.jimwrightonline.com/pdfdocs/dttkids.PDF (an American website.)

A proportion have ADHD, others do not. It is something of an umbrella term. I appreciate it may be a novel concept to some reading this, after all it took Dorset LEA a 100 years from the first description of dyslexia in scientific literature to accept that it exists in their schools. I was a little surprised to be picked up on this. Teachera who want to work in country schools as an easy option compared to the cities are a well know stereotype.

Anonymous said...

An interesting question for the new Head Teacher from any parent with a child with special needs:

Will The Swanage School accept, and accomodate, statemented pupils?

Anonymous said...

As you know entry to free schools is non-selective. I don't think they have any choice when it comes to statements given to children in their catchment area, or whether it makes any difference. Statemented children attract a payment which comes from DCC and enables the school to pay for the extra costs. I will not comment on its adequacy. It is the same whether it is a county school, academy or a free school.

I can't help thinking some people think the Swanage School will be some sort of reborn grammar school. It will not. It will be a small comprehensive. Exactly the same concerns apply to special educational needs as any other specialised teaching in such a setting. It may be that parents of children with some particular educational needs will find it an attractive option. The sales pitch is all about small school, everybody knows everybody else, small premises etc.

I suspect there is an assumption that statementing is an indicator or lack of ability. It is not although "slow learner" cliches persist. A great many highly gifted people have had specific learning problems. One thinks of Nils Bohr, who won two Nobel prizes, but his mum had to write up his phd thesis. (Dyspraxia? disorthography? I don't know.) The computer game is dominated by people with autistic spectrum conditions. The whole point is to identify and support such individuals so they can realise their potential. Parents have to reach a conclusion as to whether this is best achieved with a large SEN department or a small one.

Anonymous said...

Here's a different approach to the so called ADHD and this so called approach to this term " special needs ". All education should be special to every child:)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=I1A4OGiVK30

Anonymous said...

Could you post a link to the desktop version rather than the mobile device version as I was unable to open the latter. I will comment further when we have all had the opportunity to lok at the the video.

Anonymous said...

By the way, for those unwilling to spend 78 minutes watching that video there is a 12 minute verson of Ken Robinson's thinking at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

This is the barest outline but it is a start. Having watched this my initial reaction was that I cannot see his views appealing to Mr Gove given his strange attempt to put the clock back by reintroducing O levels, precisely the sort or enlightenment elite derived model of education that Robinson denounces most strongly, indeed, it is at hte core of his critique of school systems.

Turning to his thoughts on ADHD, he says he is not claiming ADHD does not exist. In the short video he assumes that the level of medication for it in the USA is the same as the incidence which is a dangerous assumption and probably unsustainable.

Anonymous said...

Prof robinson's ideas are very interesting and I wonder if the poster who we must thank for drawing our attention to them has any knowledge of classroom application of his position on creativity and divergent thought.

The government set up Creative Partnerships, a programme to develop creative learning across England, in 2002. Unfortunately its funding was withdrawn last year as creativity is apparently not regarded as a priority any more. What a pity.

His views on ADHD form part of a wider critique of the historical and cultural background to our own educational system and those of other countries. This all forms part of his contribution to divergent thinking as it were.

I can't really comment on it in a few words and anyone interested would do well to follow it up.

How well an education that promoted divergent thinking would go down in Swanage is a moot point. My own, rather disappointing experience, is that there are rather a lot of parents and teachers here who think that conformity and uniformity are values they support. The latter quite literally with the fashion in schools for uniforms at the moment. I can only see this getting worse in coming years, as for example, history teaching is moved back to a "1066 and all That" exercise in memorising king lists and similar forms of non-critical rote learning.

Anonymous said...

David Furmage put me onto Sir Ken Robinson a while back , there's another link that David put up in the old thread about how school kills creativity , which is very interesting aswell.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that he is right and schools smother creativity. How helpful his views are is another matter since he calls for a complete revolution in the culture of schools which is beyond the gift of Education Swanage to deliver.

All the effort which goes into improving school standards revolves around precisely the style of education he attacks. Can anyone relieve my gloom by pointing to anything coming from the Gove regime which will result in creativity being encouraged?

Anonymous said...

The full planning application for the new “The Swanage School” is now on-line and can be viewed at:

http://planningsearch.purbeck-dc.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?recno=39635

If you wish to comment on the application, either by letter or on-line via the ‘Neighbours’ tab, please bear in mind that your submission – including your postal address - will be published in full in the ‘Documents’ tab after approx. 24 hours.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that Education Swanage is listed as a Limited Company, Registration No.: 07613612
Incorporation Date: 26 Apr 2011.

Is it normal for a school built with public money be part of a limited company? Will it have charitable status? Or are we dealing with what is, in effect, a private school being funded with tax payers' funds? It all seems convoluted and compromised.

Anonymous said...

You make it sound like a conspiracy.

From the home page of ES's website: "The group Education Swanage is now set up as a limited company and it will operate as the School Trust. Education Swanage will be a co-operative, which means that anyone interested in supporting the school can join."

Groups become companies so that members can volunteer without leaving themselves open to personal liability. The school is a charity like any trust school or playgroup.

Free schools are academies and they are indeed independent schools funded by taxpayers, and why not? They are open to any taxpayer's children and get only the same money per child as other schools. One in three schools is now an academy.

Anonymous said...

If you had checked that company number on the companies house website you would know it is a company limited by guarantee, the normal legal entity to use for a not for profit entity. It does not mean that they are setting up a business which will be paying a dividend to the shareholders. It can also apply to register as a charity.

Any group of people working on a project which, like this, will be running up big bills, needs to have a means of limiting their individual liability, in case things go horribly wrong. That is why it is called a limited company, it is members liability that is limited, in this case to the amount each member guarantees which may be only a few pounds. There have been cases of voluntary organisations whose members faced huge bills, loosing their houses and things like that as a result of fraud they knew nothing about committed by a member of their organisation. This is something thich is totally unfair but easy to avoid and not in the least sinister.

Anonymous said...

As if to echo what I said about the plight of creativity under Gove I came across this in today's Independent:

Film-maker Ken Loach wrote: "It is sad and short-sighted that creative subjects are to be excluded from Baccalaureate. Many students find confidence and fulfilment in music, art or drama. Other work is then supported and enriched."

It appears in an article reporting that the chief executive of Ofqual has basically said Gove's ebac plan is nonsense. Would you buy a new school from this man? to paraphrase a remark that sank Nixon for a good many years.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain why Mark Rainsley has taken against the new school? He has now objected to the planning permission application as a neighbour response even though he lives in Corfe Castle.
The Purbeck doesn't need 1600 children. That's almost twice as big as the average school. Why is anyone against parents choosing a local school?

Anonymous said...

Um, because he has a right to hold views and express them?

What's wrong with you people?

Anonymous said...

"Can someone please explain why Mark Rainsley has taken against the new school?"

Is that a rhetorical question or are you too idle to read his objection to find out why he is against it?

If you had taken the trouble to look at the documents relating to the application you would not need to ask in this thread. However, here is what he said:

"Totally inappropriate submission - e.g. being built two-storey
right in the path of St Mark's School against their wishes, will
be a huge waste of public money as a 400 place secondary
school simply isn't viable long-term, even were they to fill it -which is very doubtful. Absolutelynot in the best interests of
the young people of the Purbeck area. I will happily supply
more information and evidence on request."

By the way, what is wrong with large schools? Some people seem to have a fixation about small schools being better but never point to any evidence to support this.

Anonymous said...

I have the solution:

Build the school so that, if it fails, the buildings can become a leisure centre, swimming pool and gym for Swanage - long, long overdo.

A win-win.

Anonymous said...

We have 2 swimming pools and a gym in Swanage already

Anonymous said...

Oops sorry 2 gyms .

Anonymous said...

The post asked why Mark Rainsley is against people having a local school. That is a fair question. I can understand that he wants people to go to Purbeck, but why does he want to force them to go there? The Swanage School will not affect the viability of Purbeck and so I don't see why he is actively campaigning against it.

And he is not just saying that small schools are unviable. He is also trying to stir up trouble over the middle school site and saying that St Mark's will be compromised. St Mark's is a small school and even if it had 60 children a year, not 15 as it does now, it would still only need a third of the land at SMS.

He has been suggesting that Swanage Town Council is in some sort of conspiracy with ES. He calls the TSS head "beyond insane" for wanting to employ only staff who can demonstrate outstanding teaching, something that all good schools do.

He pretends this is about making parents aware that a small school won't work but he has gone way beyond that in his arguments.

We should be in favour of having good schools in both Wareham and Swanage. Even the threat of competition is clearly already having a positive effect on the Purbeck.

There is nothing wrong with big schools or small schools. Both can work. The point is that Purbeck does not NEED to be a very big school of 1600 and Swanage could have its own school. There is no need for any of this arguing from this teacher.

Anonymous said...

By the same token that Purbeck does not "NEED" to be verly large Swanage does not need to have a secondary school. It will function oerfectly well with post 11 education at Purbeck, just as it has functioned perfectly since 1974 with post 13 education there.

"outstanding" teachers are by deinition a minority. 10%, perhaps 5% or less otherwise they would not be regarded as outstanding. Of course every school would like to employ nobody else. No sschool sets out to employ mediocre teachers do they but the reality iswhen it comes to recruitment if they want to open the school they will have to choose from whoever offers themselves.

I am not going to put words into Mark Rainsley's mouth but can't you understand that he thinks a Swanage school will not be any good. Its as simple as that. He could be wrong. On balance I think he is right.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit ridiculous that someone thinks that Mark Rainsley is against the free school because he might be miffed that it will take children away from TPS. He has, time and again given his reasons why he doesn't think it is a very good idea and these echo what others think. What the poster highlights once again is that it is very difficult to speak out publicly against TSS so I doubt many people will object to the planning application. Mr Rainsley, as a resident of Purbeck is as entitled as anyone to make comment.

Anonymous said...

Even if only 10% of teachers are Outstanding, if TSS get 26 applicants for each position, as they did for the Deputy Head, then they're laughing as they'll have at least 2 or 3 outstanding teachers to pick from. In fact probably many more as I assume they're making it clear they're only after outstanding teachers. I remember they had a similar level of interest in the Headteacher role. I think Mr Rainsley seriously underestimates the attraction to many frustrated, inspirational teachers of being part of a start-up community-led free school, beyond local authority meddling, in a fantastic rural location like Swanage. I wonder how many applicants TPS school gets when it advertises a vacant position...

Anonymous said...

I was puzzled by the reference to LEA "meddling". What happens? What do those managing schools want to do thwt the LEA stops, or what does the LEA demand they do that they don't want to do? Are ther any concrete examples and any evidence that the outcome for the pupils was worsened or is this another example of tabloid "proof by anexdote" we see so much of?

I doubt that the DoE will resist the temptation to issue lots of "guidance" as it is quaintly called.

Anonymous said...

With the salary offered to the head and deputy no wonder they got a lot of applicants. Those sort of salaries are more often given to heads of much larger schools. So I expect they will be laughing all the way to the bank. May be a different story when they advertise for their 'outstanding' teachers. We will have to wait and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they will have to offer an 'Inner Swanage Allowance' so that new teachers can afford to live here.

Anonymous said...

"We will have to wait and see what happens"

That would indeed be most welcome, rather than a queue of TPS teachers and other hangers-on seeking to undermine confidence in a new, rival school (most improperly) before it has even opened.

Anonymous said...

How rude to call people who have a genuine reason for not wanting a free school here 'hangers on'. What are they supposed to be hanging on to? Just as those who want a school here feel passionately about it, others feel just as passionate about not wanting it. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion. People are not 'bad' if they don't want a school here and 'good' if they do. It's just a difference of opinion!!

Anonymous said...

Just because TSS state they're after outstanding teachers, doesn't mean mostly outstanding teachers will apply. You'd be surprised at the variety of candidates schools get for senior leadership posts.
Apparently Purbeck School leadership posts have attracted large numbers of candidates.

Anonymous said...

Important members of EducationSwanage attending Purbeck School information evenings, noting down the Swanage parents who attend and subsequently contacting/ canvassing them - fair or not? Im undecided on this one.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's 'bad' not to want a school here. If we get a school it does not harm anyone. If we don't get a school it will affect the suporters - and it will harm the town too because all of the benefits will not come. Those who want to use a sports hall at weekends and evenings will have to go to Wareham. It affects Purbeck kids living in Swanage too.

I've heard of glass-half-full types and glass-half-empy types. What I don't understand is the type who say "What do we need a glass for? There is one in Wareham."

Anonymous said...

"If we get a school it does not harm anyone"

Once again you miss the point. The reason I oppose the Swanage School is that it is better for our children to go to Purbeck School. You seem quite unable to grasp that anyone should thing that the balance of arguments is in favour of this. It is not a question of whether it is "good" or "bad" to want a school here. You seem to think that because you think it is "good" the school will give a better education to Swanage children than the currently receive simoly by virtue of being local.

What are the benefits to a town of having a secondary school. I can't see much benefit being enjoyed by Wareham apart of course from the co-location of the sports centre. Unless the school can give a better education you are in effect demanding that our children's interest take second place to other benefits you think will be enjoyed by Swanage. I ask again, what are they. What is Wareham getting we are missing out on?

Anonymous said...

Of course it is NOT bad to disagree with a Swanage Secondary School. Some of us are concerned and feel it might not be in the best interests of a generation of children. We are entitled to think this.
And I really don't believe that not having a school here will negatively affect the town but I am not going to call supporters names and certainly won't call them 'bad' for wanting a school. Who are you to be so judgemental?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, canvassing? Or pressurising? Sounds desperate.

Anonymous said...

If the person who thinks I am "bad" for opposing the school had thought it through they would realise they are saying having a shorter journey to a gym matters more than education otherwise they would not claim that benefits to Swanage justify it. I wonder how many GCSE grades they think it is worth. Put in these terms they will of course deny this is what they meant but I am afraid it is.

They really do not do their cause any favours with remarks like this.

Anonymous said...

"What do we need a glass for? There is one in Wareham."

The proposal is for a leaky egg-cup not a glass in Swanage. The supporters of a Swanage School studiously avoid discussing whether it will be any good. Take the claim that they will have no trouble hiring "outstanding teachers"

If they go for the upper decile, which is not very outstanding, merely towards the upper end and attract 25 applicants for each place they have the problem that teachers desiring a move are going to apply for more than one job. The outstanding ones will presumably get the first one they apply for leaving the others to make multiple. If it takes an average teacher 5 applications to get a job that means the field of applicants will contain many of them and the proportion of applicants in the top 10% will be more like 2%. Putting "must be outstanding" in the advert is childishly naive.

Of course they will simply hire whoever seems to be best and claim they are wonderful and marvelous.

Anonymous said...

Of course they will tell us they are marvellous. It is only after the staff have been in post for a while that we will see exactly how marvellous they are. Hopefully, they will be truly outstanding and live up to the huge expectations placed upon them by the town.
It was interesting to read that ES will only inform those registered with them via email who their newly appointed deputy is. That does seem rather odd.

Anonymous said...

I see both pros and cons in choosing a smaller school in Swanage over a larger one in Wareham. But the key thing is that I, and all parents in Swanage, should have that choice. Pretty much everywhere else in the country, parents can choose between the schools they apply to, but until now we've had no choice altogether (unlike parents in Wareham!). Why do those who oppose TSS not understand that it should be a matter for personal choice? If they prefer a larger school in Wareham for their children then fine, send them there. But it does not seem reasonable to me to go beyond that and seek to damage the prospects of new school. No-one is forced to choose TSS over TPS, yet those who campaign against TSS are seeking to prevent others having any choice at all. That seems completely self-centred and unreasonable to me. Put your energies into making TPS better, so more people choose it, not trying to damage another school. And I say the same to those who criticise TPS.

Anonymous said...

That is OK so long as DCC continue to offer a free bus to TPS, however, when the Swanage school has been going for a while and DCC's finances are under pressure what is there to stop them withdrawing it or charging for it. In which case your precious choice evaporates.

If size was the only difference I could understand the claim that it is down to personal choice but I have serious doubts about the education the Swanage school will be able to provide and as I said a few postings ago ES are not inclined to discuss this. The fact is they have no idea whether they will be able to deliver quality and that this will be sustained. Lots of cliches and ad talk though. Still if they don't it will get taken away from them and put in the hands of a sponsor. It will come as no surprise if we see a number of large firms emerging as the ultimate owners of free schools, just as we have seen the unstoppable rise of equivalent companies in the care home sector. Gove knows perfectly well that a random selection of parents, Postman Pat and assorted amateurs is nit going to work for long and this is obviously his real objective. Take a look at how this is developing in the USA.

Anonymous said...

I do worry about a certain teacher , to be honest who has done some harm in denting TPS reputation with his one sided opinion. But hey an opinion it is ! Though to pull aside certain students and ask them about certain supporters of ES and questioning them on this, this does scare me. If anything have we seen ES say anything bad towards TPS ? If yes then correct me , but I have not seen anything. I was going to send my children to TPS but after carefully weighing the odds , I personally would like something new and like people have stated . We have a choice and I am in my rights to have this choice and who in their right can tell me otherwise? That's right nobody , not even a teacher from another school.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people feel that one teacher can harm the reputation of a whole school. He doesn't represent the 80 odd teachers that work there and has always stated they are his personal opinions and not those of the school.

ES are perhaps more canny in the way they go about things but they do attempt to show Purbeck in a negative light.
One example of such is to put the league table of gcse results into their brochure. This has then led people on here to question whether Purbeck can be deemed as a good school by ofsted. Yes the information is publicly available anyway for any parent to find out but to publish it as a way of indicating that TSS will be much better with their aspirational targets is an attempt to tarnish Purbeck's reputation in my opinion. Incidentally, the 2012 Primary School league tables are now out and it is interesting to note that SMS is at the bottom of Dorset table for value added (and 13% below national average for level 4 combined English and maths). Yet it has achieved a good ofsted report. So one can assume that the same is possible with TPS. The thing is that many parents will not necessarily bother to research in depth and ES know this.

Anonymous said...

I am neither a supporter not objector but to leave a comment like "I do worry about a certain teacher , to be honest who has done some harm in denting TPS reputation with his one sided opinion. But hey an opinion it is ! Though to pull aside certain students and ask them about certain supporters of ES and questioning them on this, this does scare me" could see the post in court very soon. You should take care what you put in the public domain. Just because you used anonymous does not mean your identity is hidden.

Smurf said...

I just find the whole business has split the area, I was in agreement with the new school but am slowely changing my mind as I believe they have bulldozed the whole thing through, I dont agree with a lot of their concepts and ideas, but I dont think a teacher would be silly enough to put his job at risk by pulling students aside, just the normal gossip and accusations. My daughter went through Purbeck and she done very well and the teacher in question was a good influence and a great teacher. I just think the whole thing is getting out of hand at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion and entitled to say

Bards said...

Agree wholly Smurf, and to take any argument away from principles and into the realm of personalised ad hominem jibes diverts attention from the real issues. As well as being repugnant, and the accusations themselves I suspect wholly ill-founded. The Free School continues to lose support with these posts, whether they come from the inner EdSwan core or not. Shame; initially was a laudable idea...

Anonymous said...

A new school to educate 400 pupils from age 11 to 16? In Swanage, a town inhabited by a large number of people over the age of 50, 60, 70, 80? With a second choice,a large school within easy travelling distance with huge resources and facilities compared to those on offer at TSS, where will these children come from? Even if built, I would give it a few years before it flounders and slips into it's own flood plain!

Anonymous said...

I would guess the children will come from the four first schools.

For some reason it seems accepted that Swanage needs not one but four first schools but has no need for a secondary ?

Why would parents choose a large school over a smaller local one ? the pros and cons of both are well documented so parents can make an informed choice.

But at least there will be a choice.

Anonymous said...

As a Swanage parent with two children caught up in the middle of the current School reorganisation, I’ve read the above posts with a mixture of sadness and incredulity. It’s clear from this, and from discussions I’ve had with other parents, that the introduction of the Free School has sharply divided opinion. I fear that these divisions are at risk of only getting worse in the months ahead and once the Free School opens. A post on the “Education Swanage – free discussion” group by a former teacher at the Purbeck School sums up the situation excellently:

“Speaking from some distance this all reflects so badly on Swanage - I feel quite ashamed as a long time resident. If only DCC had sorted out the Middle School issues 25 years ago - yes it was being discussed that long ago to my knowledge - we would not now be in this sorry situation. Yes a secondary school in Swanage would be brilliant but not at the expense of so much unpleasantness”

David Furmage said...

I have suggested on the Education Swanage Free discussion , that I think the BBC should come down and make a programme called " War at schools " they have done wars on everything else. I find it all rather bemusing and funny . Get a grip please. Let Swanage have a school and if you don't want too send your kids to it , fine then send them to Wareham. It's so simple is it not? I look forward to a school in Swanage as its a breath of fresh air , something that's new and quite exciting. Last time I felt like this is when the Marina was on , though a mistake was made by not letting it happen. So please less of the offensive posts and that's from both sides. Children who will be going to Purbeck , good luck to you all. Children going to the Swanage school , good luck to you all aswell.

David Furmage said...

And can I also say the only sad thing here really is the fact that The Swanage Middle school will be closing its doors to children. Had some fond memories of my first 2 years at the school before moving to Belgium. My kids have had some great times too. And I would just like to say thank you to all who made it happen and wish everyone good luck in what ever they go on to do. Once again thank you.

Anonymous said...

In a way, the Middle School will live on in the new Swanage School.

Anonymous said...

All though I have no children of school age, I had two children who went to the Purbeck school. One of these had some diffuculties, which were not picked up, despite our concerns , and when they were picked up they were ignored. Both children were bullied relentlesly, both at school and on the bus. The Purbeck school took no action, saying there was not an issue. Well there was, my children suffered at the hands of both the bullies and the teaching staff.
One of the incidents involved being set on fire!!!!!
I have no sympathy for the Purbeck school, and to be honest it is nice to seem them squim, petty yes. But revenge is a dish best eaten cold!

Anonymous said...

As a teacher at TPS and first time visitor to this blog I am saddened by what I have read here today. It is worth remembering that there are two sides to any story. In my experience TPS acts robustly in response to any allegations of bullying. Staff at the school are in a difficult position: as professionals we have avoided becoming involved in a debate that seems to be peppered with false facts and back biting but this has left us unable to respond so some very unfair criticisms. I for one am very glad that 'a certain member if staff' is standing up for the school. I would also add that if you had met and knew the professionalism of this particular teacher you would know what a nonsense the recent allegation re 'taking aside students'is.

Anonymous said...

10:26 I am not doubting your proffesionalism, I was just stating what happened to my children.

You may not have been at the school when this happened, but from personal experience, the school let my children down.

Anonymous said...

I dont consider the setting up of a facebook page where the intention is to oppose and discredit another school to be very professional in fact quite the opposite.

Maybe the teacher in question should concentrate his efforts on putting his own house (school) in order before critizing another.

And as for his neighbours comment objecting to the planning application firstly its a planning application not an educational one the clue is in the title.
Secondly the head teacher of St Marks has said she has no objection to sharing the site so where exactly did he get this from ?
Next is the fact that he says it is "right in the path of St Marks" he needs to look at the plans before making such stupid statements.


Anonymous said...

The majority of supporters responses to the planning application are also education based so the same could be said to them, 'the clue is in the title' !

Anonymous said...

9:42 AM and 1:31 PM – please can you confirm when your children were at The Purbeck School? How recent is your experience?

Anonymous said...

So far about seven people have expressed support and one against. None of them seem to have couched their remarks in a way relevant to planning considerations though.

I can't see how this one can be turned down as the planners are not in the business of examining the merits of the case for a free school. The site is already used for education. St Marks has also applied for pp fora new school building on their part of the site. Even if PDC turned it down there can be little doubt that Gove's sidekick, Pickles, would over-rule them.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there does seem to be a degree of inevitability about the Free School planning application. However, that should not excuse the Council officers and Councillors involved from properly scrutinising what is a significant development. As far as I can see there are no national guidelines on what constitutes a valid objection to a planning application. However, the London Borough of Richmond’s website contains a useful list, see:

http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/planning_consultation_comments_and_applications/objecting_to_or_supporting_a_planning_application/what_is_a_valid_objection_to_a_planning_application.htm

The road safety implications would seem particularly pertinent in this case. Over to you.

Anonymous said...

There's no response yet from DCC Highways on the TSS planning application but they've given an interesting response to the St Mark's application on the DCC Planning website:

Consultation - - Concerns
COUNTY HIGHWAY AUTHORITY RECOMMENDATION 6/2012/0776 - Swanage Middle School, High Street, Swanage. I refer to the above planning application received on 23 November 2012. This site currently does not allow parents on site to drop off or pick up the pupils and the Highway Authority does not support the change to this, as proposed, within this application. The application has not been supported by a School Travel Plan and proposes effectively 1 parking space per member of staff, even though they have included survey data establishing that only 12 members of staff will drive to school. Without a School Travel Plan to justify the parking levels and the alterations to the parents dropping off and picking up, the Highway Authority believes that there is insufficient information to determine this application. David Brown Engineer Transport Development Liaison Planning Division, Dorset County Council, Colliton Park, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that a School Travel Plan will be produced by St Mark's as requested.

The Free School application will also no doubt need to be supported by one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm sure St Mark's must have a school travel plan already that can be dusted off. It seems odd to me though that one department of DCC (Highways) is raising concerns on an application funded by another DCC department (Education). You'd think they'd sort all that stuff out beforehand to avoid delays.

If you look back at the original ES planning application at the grammar school site, they asked DCC Highways to come up with their transport recommendations in the first place, which seems a smart move, and it also included the school travel plan. There's nothing yet from DCC Highways on the new application though.

Anonymous said...

Well hate to put a damper on your parade , though like you say there are always 2 sides to a story. And the story is , I personally don't like it when a student comes up too myself and tells me that certain teacher is asking questions about me , asking questions like , how do you know this person? What's the persons views onTPS , how long have you known this person?.

So I certainly don't think it's false facts and back biting. Also if you was a professional you must always get facts right first before coming on here and sticking by someone who clearly is stirring the pot. I am not obliged to say any names as I am not wanting to do this , though I have been very tempted.

Anonymous said...

15/12/12 @10pm, I don't understand your post. Are you saying a student told you that someone was asking questions about you? How do you know that student isn't 'stirring the pot' as you so eloquently put it? It's just a bit of an odd rant and it's not very clear what or who you are referring to.

Anonymous said...

I am referring too a teacher who 's one sided and his views to be honest are quite politicail minded. Maybe like a poster said a while back. That maybe just focussing on his job might be a good idea or quit and take up politics. As I see he makes a good politician , spouts rubbish and it's his views and no one else's . Basically not listening. Weather or not the teachers day job does not come into it , which it has , this teacher has now stepped or place himself into this debate and some things that come out might not be to this teachers liking. It's a cruel world out there and this teacher does need to take some hard views from others , even if the views of this teacher are hard too. Basically don't give it if you can't take it!


Yes a student came too me about being asked question about myself , which at first I thought quite funny though now I find this kind of behaviour very strange and unprofessional. I had in my mind enrolled my child to TPS ages ago and have filled out the form to do so , but after recent events I am now having to question my own judgement and its something I am not comfortable about. Not only this but the posts of bullying and reports of low grades are now part of this judgement too. I think a lot of parents are having a hard time with this , but the views of a teacher from TPS is not helping matters.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I too am finding your semi-literate ranting hard to take seriously.

Anonymous said...

How can anyoe be accused of being "one sided" if they express their opinion on an issue. They are not writing a BBC news bulletin. Are they expected to make hypocrits of themselves by pretending to advence arguments diametrically opposed to what they see as the facts of the case? On that basis we should all be given as many votes ineach election as there are condidates so we can be equally fair to all of them.

The teacher concerned would be likely to have my vote if theyenter politics as their position is entirely sensible.

Anonymous said...

Not ranting , just expressing my side to the story. But hey your right and I am wrong and everything this teacher says is ok and we must all agree with his views as no one else views count when it comes to chosing our children's education.We should not listen to the claims of bullying as there is none. The report on low score is nonsense. the fact they sixth formers should pay to get to school is justified and if parents dont like it tough , get a second job then .We should not have a choice , a different kind of school is wrong , TPS should get all the funding and no other school should step into the path of this. And I did not relize I was discussing my views to a bunch of grammar nazi's , sorry of me for being different. I should step in line and never question anything again. I shall conform to your ways.

Anonymous said...

Do you not realise that the Swanage School won't have a sixth form? If you don't want your child to go to Purbeck Sixth Form, you will have to pay for a bus pass to Lytchett, Poole or Bournemouth anyway to study.

Anonymous said...

I think you may find there are quite a few people who don't agree with TSS and the Purbeck School teacher is not alone. I am not talking about other teachers here, but parents and Swanage residents who think that it is not in the best interests of pupils and who do not want tax payers money spent on million pound projects to build free schools. The academies and free schools are simply a precursor to privatising the entire education system by moving them from local authority control. This government are conning the public into thinking it is about choice.

Anonymous said...

The bloggers who support the free school on grounds of choice should take a look at DCC's "HOME TO SCHOOL TRANSPORT ENTITLEMENT POLICY FOR CHILDREN ATTENDING MAINSTREAM SCHOOL" (their capitals not mine) at http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=164081&filetype=pdf

This says "Entitled transport is currently provided to the nearest or catchment area school"

"the LA is only legally required to provide transport to the nearest appropriate school."

"These schools may be Community, Voluntary Controlled, Voluntary Aided, Foundation/Trust, Academy
or a Free School."

In other words if DCC want to save money they are entitled to withdraw the free bus to TPS once there is a free school here and there is nothing you can do about it.

When TPS first opened they pledged that there would always be a free bus. Sixth formers lost this as it was not a legal requirement so we know they are capable of paring services down to the minimum. Ironically 6th formers are likely to regain their entitlement when the requirement for children to remain in education or training up to 18 comes in. DCC will be consulting on this next year.

Parents exercising theor choice in favour of ES may therefore be taking away the choice from other parents.

Anonymous said...

By the way, one of the prime reasons for ES wanting a school here is their view that a 10 mile bus journey would be too much for 11 year olds.

The transport entitlement policy also says:

"The maximum journey times from ‘gate to gate’ for travelling to and from school following Government uidelines are as follows;
•The maximum each way length of journey for a child of primary school ge is 45 minutes
•The maximum each way length of journey for a childof secondary school age is 75 minutes."

Hardly surprisong that as the journey time to TPS is half the maximum even for 6 year olds DCC orignally gave ES short shrift.

Anonymous said...

You raise some very good points regarding the provision of free bus travel for school children aged 11-16. DCC’s current position is that “there are no plans to change the transport policy currently in place” and that the cost of transport will be met for those children aged 11-16 in the catchment area living more than three miles from The Purbeck School. I know this as my quote is taken from an e-mail I received from John Nash (former Director for Children's Services) earlier this year. This sounds fine but you don’t have to be cynic to appreciate that “no plans” can also mean “subject to change at some undetermined point”.

DCC’s budget squeeze is only likely to get worse in the years ahead and with the possibility of The Purbeck School also becoming an academy in the next few years, there has to be a real risk that free bus travel will be withdrawn in respect of Swanage parents wanting to send their children to The Purbeck School. So no choice would then exist. This is one of a number of reasons why I remain opposed to Education Swanage’s plans. And I don’t need a Purbeck School teacher to influence me on that!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for agreeing. It also seems to me that the fear raised by supporters of ES, that parents of school age children would not want to move to Swanage becuase of lack of local 11-13 provision is likely to be replaced by a frea that parents wanting to send their children to a real secondary school will be similarly deterred by the extra cost of transporting their children to Wareham if DCC do not meet it.

Having no plans to change the policy is a meaningless phrase. All it means is that it is not in the current policy. There is nothing to stop them changing that or simply relying on the clause saying they have to provide a cost effective service.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the last few posts. If I thought my children would be restricted to a small Swanage school for secondary education, I would have to think twice about living here.

Anonymous said...

I can see the Swanage School full in the early years but numbers dwindling in the later years - in other words, filling the vacant role of the middle school only. After 14................

Would anyone care to wager that Gove is gone before this school opens?

Anonymous said...

I think the opposite will be true. It will be less than full to start with - certainly the Year 9 intake - but could potentially do well in the long term. Perception of its early performance will be key.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. Is DCC either:
a) All knowing and wise, caring deeply about the children of Swanage when it decided that the town was big enough for 4 primary schools but not big enough for a secondary school (or even a satellite campus of a twin-site school), despite the nearest alternative being 10 miles away, already larger than average and rock bottom of all Dorset schools in terms of academic results,
or else
b) A bunch of unscrupulous swine who can't be trusted to stick to their public promise to maintain free school transport from Swanage to TPS for those who want it?
I'm enjoying the irony of the blatantly contradictory claims made by those (very few individuals, I suspect) on here still huffing and puffing about the fact that Swanage is getting its own secondary school! Keep on banging the rocks together, guys...

Anonymous said...

I'm still chuckling at the claim that, if DCC does withdraw free transport to TPS in a few years once TSS is established and operating successfully, people will be discouraged from living in Swanage. Can I politely suggest that whoever typed that goes and speaks to a couple of estate agents about what people prioritise when choosing where to live. I think you'll find "good local schools" rather higher up the list than "free transport to a distinctly average large school in another town altogether".

Anonymous said...

Who says that kids must go to sixth form? My child is in that bracket where he can leave school at 16 , go to college or work

Anonymous said...

But we don't know that it is going to be a good local school yet.

Anonymous said...

Urgh, could it be that you mentioned 'the fact that sixth formers should pay to go to school'? I really don't care where your kids do or don't go but was responding to your comment.

Anonymous said...

And we won't until it gets built , like anything new it will be a challenged :)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't look like the planning application is going to have any problems on the transport / traffic front. DCC Highways conclusion (in a document posted today on the PDC website) is:

6. Conclusions
6.1 This Transport Statement has demonstrated that the proposed location of the
Secondary School, on part of the existing Middle School site, with improved pedestrian
crossing facilities to encourage walking and cycling to the school, is unlikely to have a
detrimental impact upon the surrounding highway network. The existing successful
Travel Plan will be further improved and applied to the Secondary School, which is
proposing less vehicular movement to the school, this combined with the fact the
students will no longer have to travel out of Swanage to continue their education will
reduce the amount of traffic in and around the Swanage area.

Anonymous said...

I find this conclusion very dubious. Surely there has to be a risk that there will be a net increase in local road traffic as children who would otherwise have caught a bus at their closest bus stop and be on their way to The Purbeck School are instead driven to The Swanage School and dropped off? Also if St Mark’s and TSS fulfil their pupil number targets there will be upwards of 600 kids accessing the site each day. There really should be a single transport statement covering both schools.

Anonymous said...

17/12/12 2:20 PM: I think you’ve deliberately missed the point. What is clearly being suggested is that there is a risk that in future DCC may, due to budgetary constraints, remove funding for Swanage school children to travel free to an established secondary school with excellent facilities, and instead be forced to attend a smaller school which may or may not have a better academic outcome. Choice – the great selling point of Education Swanage - would disappear.

No one is going to defend the recent disappointing GCSE results at The Purbeck School – least of all the current leadership team there – although there are mitigating circumstances. For example the loss of the brightest pupils to the Grammar schools of Poole. Also, their A level results more than compare favourably with other Dorset schools.

I’m not opposed to a secondary school in Swanage. I just wish that DCC and the DfE could have worked together to develop something better than the compromise currently on offer at the Middle School site.

Anonymous said...

Most kids will either walk , scooter or cycle to school and I hear that someone child's parent has volunteered to be a cycle guardian , which is an amazing idea. Hopefully at last we might have some real healthier children instead of being dropped of by car , which really is mad considering all traveling in swanage is under 2 miles.

Anonymous said...

Of course, TSS will also presumably be an established school with excellent facilities by the time DCC gets around to reconsidering its position on free transport between Swanage and Wareham.

It's worth remembering that in every other part of Dorset, and across the country, parents either choose their nearest school and receive free transport if it is more than 3 miles away, or choose another school further away but pay for any transport they might want. It would be great if DCC make a special case of Swanage and offers free transport to Wareham as well in perpetuity, but I agree it seems unlikely once TSS becomes an established part of the local schools infrastructure. Indeed I don't know how they would justify doing so to Council Tax payers in other parts of the county without setting a very expensive precedent.

If / when TPS becomes an Academy too (by choice or by compulsion because of continued poor exam results) it will of course be impossible for DCC to justify providing free Swanage-to-Wareham transport to one central-Government funded school but not the other.

But choice would certainly not "disappear". Parents would continue to choose between TSS and TPS depending on what they think of what each school has to offer. It's just that school transport rules would come into line with the norm everywhere else in the country.

Anonymous said...

"TSS will also presumably be an established school with excellent facilities"

More wishful thinking. This cannot be presumed at all. What if it is more like a resurrected Swanage Modern Secondary with mediocre facilities and results?

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully at last we might have some real healthier children"

Pigs should fly.

The justification for TSS was that children of 11 are too weedy and delicate to sit on a bus for 25 minutes. How can they possibly walk to school if their parents think they can't sit on a bus?

By the way, I am still waiting for one of the supprters to tell me what tangible gains there are for the town from the new school. Silence seems to rule on this point which is strange as they make plenty of noise about other thinks

Anonymous said...

Good local schools attract and retain young families, who fill local jobs, use local facilities, shop in local shops, support the local economy, and go on to form the families of the future. It's not rocket science. How many towns have you come across that want to give up their good local schools ?

Anonymous said...

Can you point me to where it says what you allege, that "the justification for TSS was that children of 11 are too weedy and delicate to sit on a bus for 25 minutes" ? Pointing out that the nearest school to Swanage is 10 miles away and so obliges children to be taught outside their local community is hardly the same thing. Supporters of TPS would do themselves more good if they didn't make such ludicrous claims without evidence.

Anonymous said...

How many towns do you know where a school has been closed? You are asking a meaningless question. Swanage is not giving up any good schools in any case so I do not know why you have asked. Good schools attract certainly but it is the quality of the school serving the town that mattersm not whether it is physically within the parish and I do not think the free school will be a good school. That is the whole point. Swanage will end up with a mediocre little apology of a school and that is not going to attract anyone.

Anonymous said...

When the campaign for a school in Swanage started it was claimed that although children from 13 upward had been using the bus to TPS for nearly 40 years 11 year olds should not. Therefore they think 11 year olds are in some way too weedy and delicate for the bus trip. They also appeared to be completely fixated on the distance to Wareham rather than the travel time. Then theres this "community" nonsense. What does it mean? Taught outside their local community. Shock horror! They are taught in a school for goodness sake, not in a "community". All I can see in the idea of education being in a local community is some sort of folksy clap-trap. Do please explain why you think this is important.

Anonymous said...

What about the perfectly good school that is being closed in Swanage next July, which started the whole process that led to TSS? As to whether TSS will become a good school, happily we're all going to find out soon enough so we don't need to bother with your opinion.

Anonymous said...

I actually feel rather sad for you that you don't understand the concept of community and think it nonsense. You are so obviously out of step with the vast majority of those who live in Swanage and have a very strong sense of community, evidenced by the strength of feeling over threats to the recycling centre, primary schools, secondary school, hospital, etc. I hope some day you may start to appreciate what you're missing.

Anonymous said...

Not that good according to the poster who recently pointed out it was bottom of the Dorset league table for value added.

Middle schools are being or have already been phased out all over the place. It is not simply a parish pump decision. If you do some research you will find a good deal of material on why they are going. Briefly middle schools are glorified primaries. No doubt wonderful pastoral care but not the answer.

You can accept or reject my views, thats your priviledge. You are also entitled to mistake claims and expressions of good intentions as a forcast of outcomes.

Anonymous said...

11.36

So what tangible benefit is there in having a secondary school in the parish. All you have done is make noises about "community" which seems to show I am right. If it has any meaning you should be able to point to real educational advantages not this warm feelly good smoke screen.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought of the problems at the top of washpond lane at the moment when the school starts and finshes the amount of cars which are there and trying to get out of Days Rd its very difficult, can anyone tell me what the Herston people thinks of this, how much more traffic can this junction take, its waiting for an accident to happen.And has anyone asked the occupants of the houseing on the other side of the road what they think of this,

Anonymous said...

If you look at the "Vision" page on the ES web site you will see that they expect the children to walk or cycle to school. Whether this aspect of the vision is any more likely to become reality than any of the other equally fantastic claims is another matter. Apparitions are what you see in visions I understand.

Anonymous said...

On the planning application for the free school they claim that the children of Swanage currently travel over 20 miles to get to their nearest school. This is misleading. We know that their journey there and back is roughly 20 miles but it reads like they have to travel 20 mile to get there!

Anonymous said...

Thats because ES make a fetish of the distance rather than the travel time. No doubt this is for the simple reason that the government guidelines for maximum travel time for secondary school pupils say anything up to 75 minutes is acceptable. Even the slowest school bus to Wareham makes the journey in about a third of this time. When the Swanage children are walking or cycling up to Herston it will take them pretty much the same time to get to school with the added attraction of being rained on.

Anonymous said...

That's why someone invented waterproofs:)

Anonymous said...

Charles Macintosh in 1823, hence the name for them. His firm still make them but is now Japanese owned. (No, I am not a mac nerd)

Anonymous said...

But some kids of secondary age wouldn't be seen dead in a mac!! When I was young everyone walked or cycled to the middle school but when it is hammering down many parents will take their kids to school nowadays, me included, which is why I feel it will be far more eco friendly for my child to get on a bus to Purbeck.Hell, even in London,even when schools are relatively nearby kids hop on a bus to get there.

Anonymous said...

Then maybe the parents could as a collective buy their children some waterproofs with the money they save in fuel dropping kids off to school . Plus with the stress of parking it seems like a win win situation :)

Anonymous said...

If you think the parents of years 7 and 8 are going to be more likely to persuade their children to walk to school becaue their destination is called the Swanage School and not Swanage Middle School you have another thought coming. By the way teaching a room of wet kids is not fun.

Anonymous said...

But they would not be wet , because of waterproofs !

Anonymous said...

In the real world if parents wanted their children to walk to school in the rain they would be doing it now. What is the point of these "it would be nice if..." flights of fancy?

Anonymous said...

These comments are becoming farce.

One wonders if Basil Fawlty really WAS born in Swanage.

Any middle school child would read them and say, as they do, WTF???

Look. The Government wants to inject millions of pounds into the Swanage economy. Builders. Suppliers. Shops. The Town in general.

And you want to quibble? Who else wants to inject millions into Swanage? Partilculary an entity that propoeses to provide a free servioe to benefit Swanage children.

You people who object astonish the world, which has some comon sense. Do you sit at home all day, arranging the kickknacks to make sure they are place?

Honestly!

Anonymous said...

11.05 - it's not so simple.
Whilst I agree that there are some farcical comments on this thread, your response is superficial.

Yes, the Government is willing to spend millions on its pet project Free Schools. This is not necessarily a good thing for Swanage.
You mention boosting the local economy in the form of jobs etc, but the key is what is best for the education of the children of our town.
The Swanage School may well not be able to provide a broad curriculum, taught by qualified and specialist teachers, that will give Swanage children the best education.
Funding for buses to The Purbeck School may well be withdrawn by DCC in the future, thus effectively removing choice for Swanage parents, especially on lower incomes.
The Swanage School may struggle to attract enough children to be economically and educationally viable.
Although ES vehemently deny it, reduced numbers of children at Purbeck, mean reduced funding, therfore potentially harming the education of children from all over Purbeck (Swanage included) who choose the Purbeck School.

There are still very real questions, that many people on this blog would like answers to. It's not a 'What's not to like?' situation, and ES have yet to convince (or indeed answer) many legitimately concerned parents.

Anonymous said...

Millions of pounds into Swanage?

However many millions may flow into the local economy if the education given to Swanage children is worse than going to TPS then its not a brilliant trade-off. The argument about benefits to Swanage either assumes the school will give a better education than TPS or it assumes this does not matter. As I have repeatedly said, looking at the information available and cutting through all the dreamy visiony stuff, there is no reason to think ES will deliver a better education. Mess of pottage anyone?

By the way, has ES published its business plan anywhere? I must have missed it on their website. They had to produce one and justify it to the DoE. Perhaps it contains some hard information produced after they woke up from having their vision.

Anonymous said...

There seem to be a lot of Purbeck School fans on here. I wonder...are they Swanage parents> Or TPS staff and governors?

Let's be honest for once. The Swanage School will dent the money The Purbeck School wants. The complaints are all one sided; and I (for one) am disappointed thay TPS is not cheerring on the fledgling Swanage School. They willk, after all, have to work in partnership.

Where is the support from the head and governors of The Purbeck School? Their silence speaks volumes........

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when you question ES the cynics assume the comment is made by TPS staff / govs?
Is every supporter of TSS a governor?
No - of course not, there are just two sides of concerned parents and Swanage residents.

I am not a particular supporter of TPS (nor am I staff / gov), but have genuine, unanswered concerns about the viability of and quality of education to be provided by TSS.
TSS Governors have said that they will have no need to work with TPS (other than 6th form transfer). Rather, they have stated their intention to work with other small 'human-scale' schools around the country.
Personally, I feel the new Head at TPS will be much more out-reaching, so I am not sure that anyone's silence 'speaks volumes'.

Perhaps you should also question TSS's intentions about working in partnership with TPS......

Anonymous said...

I reckon the Swanage school might have a advantage over the Purbeck , who knows ?

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-cycle-path-to-happiness-8422706.html

Anonymous said...

I understand that the widing of washpond lane is part of the new school project, but what about the state of some of our roads in Swanage like Days road it has more holes in it then a golf course, and who is paying for the widing because i understand DCC has to make more savings look at what we have already and deal with this first,

Anonymous said...

Wonder what ES will use their £50K De Moulham Trust grant for?

Anonymous said...

It certainly won't be funded by DCC Highways. All works to the roads needed for the school will have to be funded by the Government budget that is paying for the school.

Anonymous said...

De Moulham Trust grants must generally be spent on capital items that support improved facilities for the town's people, especially local children. It will likely end up being spent on things like minibuses, sports equipment, music and drama equipment, etc. Doubtless someone on here will think this is a BAD THING too! Unbelievable how negative and moany the TPS supporters are when the vast majority of the town loves the fact that we're getting the new school. Even when that other Purbeck School teacher, Lyndsay Shaw, set up a petition against the free school, he only managed 70 names or so and these were mostly TPS staff / governors, or family and friends of TPS staff / governors. It's all pretty disreputable and self-serving.

Anonymous said...

Oh,not again, 10.41.

If this thread is any guide support for ES seems to come mainly from people who respond to a simple emotional appeal but would rather not have their heads troubled by looking at facts. I know this is what wins elections but it is a poor basis for determining how our children will recieve their education.

Let us take one aspect of the ES prospectus. If small schools are so wonderful where is the research which proves it?

The fact is that throughout this saga ES have been unable to show any evidence that having a school here will be better for education and all we have is nonsense about it being beneficial to the local branches of builders merchant chains. Honestly, you could not invent that.

Parents who opt for TSS should be asking ot see evidence that the approach outlined by ES will lead to better outcomes. Betting their children's future on a vague hope, as the "give it a go" faction suggest, is wildly irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

Let me set out my stall:

I don't intend to send my children to either Purbeck School or The Swanage School but this only means that I'm exercising my choice as a parent not that I'm necessarily against either school.

Hopefully this will show that there are some people that can have an opinion without being for or against either school.

I have a concern over the traffic generated by two schools on the middle school site.

Despite the Swanage School aspiration of students walking, cycling and scooting to school, the reality is that the route to the school from the town is not safe (as pointed out by Swanage First supporters when they marched against their school being located there) and many parents work out of Swanage and will drop their children by car on their way to work.

Like many others, I don't feel that I can raise my views on the Purbeck Planning site as my details would be made public and I would then be branded as a Swanage School opposer.

Anonymous said...

OK, so now we have it. You are a NIMBY who doesn't want the inconvenience of school traffic near where you live, but who is opting out of the local state schools altogether, because your kids are bright enough to secure a Grammar school place or you are wealthy enough to pay for a private education. By definition, this means you'll either be driving them there yourself or paying for someone else to do so. Or else you don't live in Swanage at all and it's got nothing to do with you. And you expect Swanage parents to take your opinions seriously? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Evidence please that the majority of the town 'love' the idea of a new school.

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