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 Post subject: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:28 pm
Posts: 69
Dear All

An interesting discussion in one of the other forums regarding Ranking of schools. Diverging opinions exist based on which source parents use/ trust to determine comparative evaluation of schools- viz. League tables, Gov.uk comparison tool ; Ofsted report comparison; Telegraph; Oxbridge hit rate; goodschoolguide, exampaperplus, britannia study, Guardian , best school guide, Brand Name, friends and family etc. etc.

Anyone having DC across schools might be able to comment which of these accurately refers a true comprehensive ranking. How far a deviation is really a deviation (does it matter if progress score is 1.22 vs. 1.1 OR if historical average results of school X are 85% A*-A and School Y having 75% A*- A )


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:52 pm 
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I would imagine the vast majority look at their local schools and visit them (when allowed) and then make a decision based on the fit with their child, such as subjects provided, extra-curricular activities, and - importantly - how easy they are to travel to.
We naively moved to Buckinghamshire when our eldest was very small. We had vaguely heard the the schools in Bucks were good, but knowing nothing more. 2 out of 3 passed the 11 plus (& one moved later). All went to the catchment grammar school on the basis that, for an individual, any difference in league tables (which I didn't look at, but was vaguely aware that our chosen one wasn't considered to be such a "prize" as others) would make no difference.

With hindsight I would not have moved to a grammar school area, and would have sent my children to the local comprehensive school where everyone in the town attends a small selection of schools and they have local friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:59 pm 
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I agree, for most people the difference in league tables is irrelevant as they often only have one catchment school locally - certainly that was the case in Yorkshire


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:30 pm 
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Virtual open days have made the assessment of schools difficult. Although a one day visit is difficult to assess schools except for the vibe. If all schools follow same cirriculum then the differentiators are surely peers, teaching methods, staff quality, Head Teacher vision and spending per student. What about Brand name, Alumni network, age of school? Would someone experience a positive bias from School X vs. School Y based on brand name?


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:32 pm 
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Just looking at one of those, how would you assess "staff quality"


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:43 pm 
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hermanmunster wrote:
Just looking at one of those, how would you assess "staff quality"

Forums have some pointers :) ...but yes Ofsted Reports have obscure hints (depends on year of the report though) and the go-to source is through friends network (both teachers and students).


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:10 pm 
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Samurai wrote:
hermanmunster wrote:
Just looking at one of those, how would you assess "staff quality"

Forums have some pointers :) ...but yes Ofsted Reports have obscure hints (depends on year of the report though) and the go-to source is through friends network (both teachers and students).


there is a significant turnover between schools so yes the reports can be quite out of date - how would you assess them from friends and forums - is that not just a case of teachers the kids like? or the ones who engage well with parents at parents evenings?


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm
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Quote:
If all schools follow same cirriculum then the differentiators are surely peers, teaching methods, staff quality, Head Teacher vision and spending per student. What about Brand name, Alumni network, age of school? Would someone experience a positive bias from School X vs. School Y based on brand name?


I think the main difference is their selection in the first place. If they choose children who are good at exams at 10, it should be no surprise that they are good at exams at 16 & 18. The teaching will vary in quality within every school, teachers will change over time. I wouldn't even consider the "brand name", alumni network or the age of the school.
Look at the local schools, visit where possible, particularly during the school day & ask questions, watch the behaviour of the pupils & talk to friends who have children at the school. I would never move away from friends and community for a school - a bright child is likely to achieve well anywhere - but I know there are many people with a different view. Also consider siblings who may not be suited to the same school.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:39 pm
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Pursuit of the perfect at the expense of good.

Once the results are out the realistic options become clearer.

On the other hand, for today's kind of wet Saturday, this is a worthwhile pursuit.

my2p.

_________________
“Sometimes I remain silent. Sometimes I don't. I don't know which I enjoy more”.(lifted)


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing schools
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:44 pm 
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scary mum wrote:
Quote:
If all schools follow same cirriculum then the differentiators are surely peers, teaching methods, staff quality, Head Teacher vision and spending per student. What about Brand name, Alumni network, age of school? Would someone experience a positive bias from School X vs. School Y based on brand name?


I think the main difference is their selection in the first place. If they choose children who are good at exams at 10, it should be no surprise that they are good at exams at 16 & 18. The teaching will vary in quality within every school, teachers will change over time. I wouldn't even consider the "brand name", alumni network or the age of the school.
Look at the local schools, visit where possible, particularly during the school day & ask questions, watch the behaviour of the pupils & talk to friends who have children at the school. I would never move away from friends and community for a school - a bright child is likely to achieve well anywhere - but I know there are many people with a different view. Also consider siblings who may not be suited to the same school.


All great points. But would you deny the positive bias of the " Brand Name". Maybe generation has changed but at least when we were in the system .. positive bias existed all over just through a name.


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