My heart goes out to Mr Ball, the previous Head of New Manton Primary who, despite improving KS2 results two-fold and being rated as an ‘excellent’ leader by Ofsted, has been removed from his post because his local authority deems the school as ‘consistently underperforming’. (It has moved from bottom of the league tables to sixth from bottom.) But my heart goes out even more to the children of the school who, parents say, have increased in confidence under Mr Ball’s leadership. What does this say to them? “Heh, guys, you may have worked hard, improved, your behaviour is better, there is a sense of community, but that just ain’t good enough when your SATs results are still to low.”
The way I see it, as long as there are league tables, there will be someone at the top and, surprise, surprise, someone at the bottom. Does that mean that each year the Heads of the lowest-performing schools will be relieved of their jobs? Or will someone eventually see sense and stop judging schools in this highly artificial way that leads to stressed-out children, teachers and parents?