LETTER: Ely College needs to engage with the community more

PUBLISHED: 17:34 20 March 2016

Austen Dack is right. Ely College does have a lot of great things going on, and the school needs to engage more with the local media and community to promote that.

He is also right that our MPs need to clarify the government’s latest proposals about fairer funding. It launched a consultation in early March about this, which could see schools across the county benefit from a long overdue increase per pupil.

But it won’t be enough, and I want to know why my children aren’t valued as highly by the Department for Education as children in Tower Hamlets, Oxford or Leicester.

Austen is wrong about blazers though. The evidence shows that uniform alone has little or no impact on outcomes.

It is an expensive distraction from the things that have a real positive impact on student performance, which are providing better feedback to students, developing self-regulation and meta-cognition, and sorting out poor behaviour (see the EEF toolkit for more).

Student performance is different to school performance though. The thing that has the greatest impact on a school’s league table position is the average prior attainment of its GCSE cohort (how well they did at primary school).

Which is why - as Austen says - it is vital that the school engages with the community and encourages all parents to support their local school.

BEN GIBBS

Ely

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