Statement by David Pointon, independent educational consultant: As a member of the West Burton School Representative Group I am very aware that the debate about the request to defederate the school has fuelled a lot of misinformation about education, schools and the optimum size of classes.
The principle purpose of a school is to equip children with the knowledge and skills to be successful in their lives and be useful members of their community and the wider universe.
It should be providing opportunities to enable the children to access knowledge as well as providing a stable, safe, inclusive and comfortable environment in which the children can learn. It should be concentrating on learning before teaching.
Learning is an individual process.
All schools should be concentrating on the above ‘shoulds’ with the children as the central main priority.
Teaching should be adapted to the needs of the children. There is much supporting evidence that most children thrive and learn better in small groups. In fact some children would be submerged in large groups and may then need special provision. Teaching is imposed on learning and requires very special people to ensure that all childrens’ individual needs for learning are met.
These are the basic premises that govern a successful school. Does your child’s school meet these standards?
A school should not be training children to pass tests and to help to get a good Ofsted or other reports, so it can meet financial targets. It should not be stealing and misusing the children’s time in useless exercises (such as in-school-day bussing).
For time is our only non-renewable resource.
Every adult with any contact with the school has a responsibility to enable and support the learning and teaching to be achieved, to the highest standards.
D.G.Pointon, BA, Cert Ed.,DipCTB, CETHIC, Fellow of VIEW
Independent Educational Consultant.
(VIEW is the professional association of the Visual Impairment Education and Welfare)