La Mare parents see their reality
Tuesday 10th September 2013, 4:00PM BST.
WITHIN the past week three very different letters have appeared in these pages on the subject of La Mare de Carteret’s GCSE results.
All were written by La Mare parents and all seek one thing: answers. And that is where agreement ended.
Two went out of their way to praise teachers who were inspirational, supportive, hard-working and dedicated. It was students and parents who failed to engage who were letting the school down and an Education department which needed to have more faith in its staff.
Those two parents were pleased with the results their children had achieved and angry that the school’s good name – and by association their own child’s – was once again being questioned.
Contrast that with today’s letter from a parent at his or her wit’s end because of what they perceive to be poor, unenthusiastic teaching. Supply teachers, non-specialists and a focus on troublesome pupils are all preventing the school from delivering the support this parent wants for their child.
They feel failed by the school and the system.
The disparity is marked and illustrates both the heartfelt passion of mums and dads to do the best for their children and the danger of relying on single experiences when judging something as complicated as schooling.
None of those letter writers is wrong, yet how can they all be right?
Children are uniquely challenging, as any parent will tell you. Just as there is no perfect guide to parenting, each child needs an education suited to their needs. Not all will relish staying after school for extra lessons, settle down to homework and readily ignore the distractions of a noisy class.
It is for that reason that the GCSE statistics are so important. Education might argue that one year group is weaker than others but an average taken over scores of high school pupils and compared to thousands across the UK shows that something is very wrong with our education system and hundreds of pupils are being let down each year.
That is something upon which everyone can agree.