Keep them small

18th April 2008 at 01:00
In the interview with Dave Harris, "The Conversation: All through schools" (TES, April 4), the retiring principal of one of the new vogue all-age schools praised mixed-age teaching; teachers worked more flexibly across the school and across age groups and he could see "no educational basis for separating pupils solely by age".

The virtues he described are already well documented in almost all Ofsted reports on small schools, however. Ofsted has recommended a place for small schools in national provision. But as LEAs enthuse to do government bidding, putting all their eggs into big-school baskets, our dwindling stock of small schools is threatened.

Cumbria says schools under 50 must not survive. Why? Schools under 100 on roll are getting the best results nationally and the Scottish government reported in 2006 that children in its smallest schools had a 25 per cent better chance of reaching higher education. Why then do we need all-age schools at great expense just to capture qualities already thriving in smaller schools? Research affirms that as schools get bigger, the gap between rich and poor widens. We need small schools.

Mervyn Benford, Information officer, National Association for Small Schools, Shutford, Banbury.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now