If she goes there will be trouble . . .

Last week’s announcement that the city’s secondary schools remain firmly rooted near the bottom of national league tables – no matter how they try to spin it – elicited the following responses from readers of The Cancer:

2005 Ms Tomlinson: “It doesn’t help to keep blaming people and harping back to the past. “It’s much better to say, as you would advocate in a school that’s having difficulties, face up to it and sort it out.” Blah, blah, blah nothing changes, the LEA is still at the bottom”

Surely after 3 years it is time to get rid of the Director of Education and Childrens Services as more parents send their children to schools outside of Bristol at the expense of Bristol council tax payers. Where is Ms Heather Tomlinson’s statement on another year of poor exam results? Please do the [city] a favour and annouce you are going to resign, so that Bristol does not have another set of bad exam results next year.

I think that this Labour Cabinet that we have had better sort out the Director of Education and Childrens Services and her coteries before the people of this city send more children to other authorities and we are left to pay the bill while our schools and academies are left are half full. What has happened to the DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, Ms HEATHER TOMLINSON? She has not made a statement or provided an excuse about the results. Is she sat in her COMFORT ZONE hoping the matter will go away? It’s about time this Council and all of its parties laid the blame at the right door.

These results are all the more disgraceful when you bear in mind that Bristol is economically much better off than its rivals at the bottom end of the tables.

Where is the civic pride that demands its children have the best education? That doesn’t come from hiring, as Director of Education, someone whose career was previously spent in the worst performing education authority in England (Nottingham). It doesn’t come from whinging about poor health, police and transport. It means action to replace complacent officers and representatives with people who are committed to making Bristol work.

At least 50% of the city’s population seems to “boast” an estuarine accent these days, so perhaps it’s time to drop the drop the “the locals are thick and uneducatable, and I don’t want my children near them” attitude

Every time there’s bad news for Bristol’s education service, the Director Mrs Tomlinson seems to go into hiding. Yet when there’s a glimmer of good news (which does happen occasionally), surprise, surprise, she pops up with some comment. People in Bristol aren’t daft and can see through this woman’s approach. I only wish the Labour Cabinet were bold enough to tell her to go.

That seems pretty unaminous then. It’s perfectly apparent to most people in the city that Education boss Heather Tomlinson has failed. She’s now had three years earning £140k a year of our money and she’s blown it. She simply hasn’t delivered the better education system for the city that her salary demands neither has she even managed to communicate a coherent vision or strategy of how things might improve in the future.

The city’s education system is simply drifting and everybody knows it except, it seems, our councillors who continue on as if there’s no problem and continue to support Tomlinson despite the mass of evidence she’s an ineffective waste of money.

Why don’t our coujncillors sack her? They’d get almost unaminous support if they did. What are they scared of? None of them even have the nerve to move a no confidence motion in her. Are they simply going to continue to hand £140k a year in perpetuity to a complete failure? Why?

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5 Responses to If she goes there will be trouble . . .

  1. Rach says:

    ‘If she goes there will be trouble’? If she goes there will be rejoicing, more like! Dancing in the streets the type of which hasn’t been seen in this fair city since Margaret Thatcher left office! (Well, I say ‘in the streets’ … at the very least in the Council House corridors)

  2. Wal says:

    Soon after she arrived in Bristol in 2004 Heather Tomlinson published, at great public expense, a booklet called ‘On Course for Success’ in which she outlined her plans. As I write this I have a copy in front of me. Here are some extracts from her 2004 preface:
    ‘Raising educational standards is a top priority for us all in Bristol……. standards overall are not improving fast enough …. This is an unacceptable situation for us all in Bristol…… We now know what works and what doesn’t work’.
    Read that last bit again, will you. ‘We now know what works and what doesn’t work.’ Tell me: three years on, what evidence is there that she is putting into practice things that work? Hmmmm. Is that the sound of tumbleweed?
    But there’s lots of evidence of failure – at huge public expense. An Audit Commission assessment which resulted in an Evening Post report saying her service “had deteriorated in 2006 and was now below minimum requirements.” October 2007 and we’re one off the bottom of the GCSE league tables. Rubbish attendance figures. Wasted potential. Millions squandered on consultants with no beneficial effect. A south Bristol child dies because of failures by her service.
    For fuck sake, she can’t even spell….
    I don’t want this woman inflicted on any other city’s kids. But if only she’d agree to go, I’d drive her there myself.

  3. The Last Bristolian says:

    You will all have to STOP sending your kids out of town to be educated for a few years, and the problem will stop. No amount of changes of leadership or new education initiatives will work as long as all the “able” kids are continually removed. Thats why theres no progress. We’ve all heard the “where should we move to, before the kids reach 11 conversation”

  4. Digger says:

    … send the kids to South Glos where they’ll be looked after by a Director who’s just been banned for two years for downing a bottle of wine before supper and then driving to the offie to get another.

  5. Overayard says:

    Like promotes like. If she goes then someone equally as bad will take her place. Also its not ALL her fault. What are the head teachers/teachers/advisors up to? Millions spent no real improvement in results when compared to other LEAs.

    Also she is the head of Childrens’ Services. It would be interested to know whats going on there.

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