Yorkshire’s schools deserve better

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I’m a big believer that if you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result you are either stupid or incompetent or quite possibly both. Unfortunately this is what appears to be happening with the education system in Yorkshire. Yet again Yorkshire schools as an entity hold up the education league tables. This has been the case for a number of years now.
It didn’t used to be like this. In the 1990s and early 2000s London schools were regularly propping the nations league tables up. In 2015 London are top (excluding Northern Ireland) – and not for the first time.
So what happened to transform the capitals schools from educational basket case to national leader? With the help and support of government the capital’s schools tried something different – they created the London challenge. More money was pumped in yes – but that was happening to schools across the UK. The novel approach the capital tried however was to work as a region and collaborate. They supported each other – they were critical friends to each other. They worked together. Those who were strong in particular areas worked with and supported those who were weak in those areas. All this didn’t happen in an ad hoc manner. It took a regional control to coordinate what was going on. The results are plain to see. In the 1990s London schools were where Yorkshire’s are at the moment. Now they lead the country. Deprivation in some of these London areas is just as bad (if not worse in some cases) to some of the most deprived areas of Yorkshire. The big difference is the confidence of collaborating with fellow professionals with the scope and opportunity to try new approaches.
Why isn’t this happening in Yorkshire? Why are the government still using the brutish blunt instrument that is OfSTED to threaten our schools into improving? This has been the approach for the last 10 years or more – has anything really changed? A regional approach has been proved to work when tailored for that region and with trust at the centre of the approach. I repeat my opening premise – if you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results you are stupid or incompetent.
I charge the government of stupidity, incompetence and dereliction of duty towards the young people of Yorkshire.

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Wayne Chadburn

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