Thursday, 7 February 2013

Rehman Chishti's reply on Medway Schools


Following on from my previous posts on Medway's failing primary schools I have had a response from Rehman Chishti MP with a response from Medway Council's new Education officer:


Dear Mr Sams,

Furthher to my recent letter, I hav now recieved the enclosed response from Barbara Peacock, Director of Children and Adults at Medway Council.

Ms Peacock informs me that there are 8 Medway Primary Schools that fall below the  nw National Floor Target at Stage 2.

In her letter, Ms Peacock confirms that these schools are recieving considerable attention. She states that one of these schools has converted to an academy with a new Head and support from the academy sponser, which is a local outstanding Grammar school. She also states that others are making good use of National Leaders in Education, with active plans in place with these schools to accelerate their rates of progress.

I understand that one of Ms Peacock's top priorities as new Director of Children and Adut Services in Medway is a focus on raising standards in Medway's primary schools. Se states that there is much to be celebrated with many good schools and 72% of children in Medway  do achieve Level 4 in English and Maths, and recognises that we would  all like more Medway Children reaching this standard. Apparently, 85% of children in Woodlands School achieved Level 4 in English and Maths.

Ms Peacock encourages you and all parents to play an active role in children's education, as, she says, research clearly shows how much difference this can make for a child

I have enclosed a copy of Ms Peacock's letter. I hope that this has addressed the concerns that you have raised with me. However, if I can be of any further assistance, please get in touch.

Thank you once again for contacting me.


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Here follows Ms Peacock's letter.

Dear Rehman,

There are 8 Medway Primary Schools that fall below the new National Floor Target at Key Stage 2.

These schools are recieving considerable attention.One of these schools has converted to an academy sponser, which is a local outstanding Grammar schol. Others are making godd use of National Leaders in Education.

There are active plans in place with these schools to accelerate their rates of progress.

As a new Director for Chldren and Adult Services in Medwayone of my top priorities is a focus on raising standards in Medway's primary schools. There is much to be celebrated with many good schools and 72% of children in Medway do achieve Level 4 in English and Maths. I recognise we would all like more Medway children reaching this standard, and there is much active work in hand. In Woodlands School 85% of children achieved Level 4 in Engllish and Maths.

I would like to encourage your constituent, and indeed all parents, to play an active sole
[sic] in their child's education. Research clearly shows how much of a diof a difference that can make for a child. I will continue to be tnacious in driving this agenda forward.

Yours sincerely

Barbara Peacock

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Although I am relieved that the new head of Children & Adult services has promised that she is moving forward on this I, like the majority of concerned parents will be keeping a close eye on this and the standards of the local schools.

Granted she has not been in post long but the woes of this department have been ongoing for a while - some have been politicised by the opposition, others, such as last years exam fiasco are fairly clear.

On the subject of parents helping their children it is something that I know many find difficult around work and life but it is something that we should all do. If you leave education solely to the schools then you are tempting fate greatly. It is your responsibility to help your children learn, read them stories, take them to places. talk to them and help them learn to read and write.

We've taught Sophie to count to thirty in English and ten in German, French and Japanese, she's been shown how to write her name (she attempted but didn't get far) and shown a lot of edcuational programming and she's only 2 and a half!

Though this is only half the battle, the schools do need to do the work too.

Let us just hope that Medway is turning a corner.

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