by Keren Suchecki
Ahh, the new school year! As usual Bristol’s LEA’s tongue is sticking out the corner of its mouth in concentration as it tries to understand the latest GCSE results. One week Bristol’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services was all over the press like a Big Brother winner, grinning her inane head off at the ‘fact’ that “Some schools have made huge strides forward”. The next week the results with English and maths adjustments were released and everyone’s back in the bunker hiding behind the sofa.
One week one secondary in this area had 61% of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C GCSEs, the next week that same school has 16%. The one at the other end of the estate went down to 11%. That’s right, 89% failed by the most common standard.
Bristol’s solution to this shameful situation is to build Redland Green school in one of Bristol’s most affluent areas. Such promise does it hold that houses in its already obscenely expensive catchment area have risen by £100k. The £33 million budget has been allowed to go over by £5.7million, but more significantly it’s funded by the council, the dfes and the learning and skills council. Meanwhile, the school in this neighbourhood with the 11% achievement record is being rebuilt through a contract with a time-share bloke in Benidorm and a loan arranged by Carol Vorderman.
Redland Green is getting cash blindly shoveled into it because its purpose is to provide a smokescreen for the utter crapness of the LEA by buying children who would have otherwise gone private. In defense of this ploy (which he thinks no one can see through hehe!) the executive member for education said on the news that this school will raise the whole city’s aspirations (umm how?). Of course what he really means is that it will raise the LEA’s average GCSE results and sod the kids still rotting in the old schools.
This article first appeared in ‘Regeneration Start’ magazine. Keren Suchecki is a regeneration worker in South Bristol.