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Praise for Probus Primary School

Every few days, with this in mind, I trawl through whatever google has to offer under the heading of “education”. Mostly, it is dreary and depressing stuff about how (a) things are terrible, and (b) it is all the fault of those other bastards, or (if it is Africa) (a) things are terrible, and (b) things are terrible. Only when it comes to Chinese people or Indian people is the education news ever very good by the time national newspapers get hold of it, and of course that only depresses other people.

So, this story made a nice change:

The quality of education and behaviour of pupils at Probus Primary School have been praised by Government inspectors.

Ofsted inspectors highlighted children’s good behaviour and attitudes towards learning and the partnership with parents and the local community.

The report notes the improvements made since the last inspection and concludes that achievement is satisfactory overall and standards are rising.

It said: “Probus is providing a sound education for its pupils. There is good teaching through the school. The school is well led and managed and there is a good partnership with parents. There is a good team ethos and members of staff are supportive of each other.

“Pupils are well cared for and those with special educational needs make good progress.”

What this really illustrates is probably only that whereas national newspapers like bad news, local newspapers prefer good news. The national newspaper definition of news is: whatever someone does not want printed. Local newspapers are such that whatever someone does not want printed tends not to get printed, because that someone plus all their employees and friends and relatives add up to a significant slice of the readership. Thus, local newspapers are full of sickeningly satisfactory happenings, where everything went according to plan and everyone was happy and satisfied with the outcome. The news, every time is: our readers are good people, successful people, happy people.

There is occasionally bad news, so bad that its occurrence cannot be concealed, in which case the story is how nobly our readers are coping with the situation, but on the whole, there is simply not enough bad news to go round.

Britain as a whole cranks out enough misery, conflict and personal embarrassment per day to satisfy the nationals, and of course the nationals also have a whole world of misery to contemplate beyond their nation’s borders.

But Truro and Mid Cornwall, the area reported on by the newspaper that supplied this Probus Primary School story, is just too nice a place for all the news to be bad.

5 comments to Praise for Probus Primary School

  • Just now I was reading a link from The Gantelope to the China Education & Research Network http://www.edu.cn/20011109/3009003.shtml article “China to Draft Law on Private Schools” that talks about how private schools have developed rapidly in China since Although local goverments at different levels have put a lot of cash into education, goverment-run schools can’t meet the needs of the public due to the alrge population of China. The article ends by saying “The law will encourage individuals and social organizations to invest in private schools . . so more people will receive a more varied and better education and the educational sturcture will be improved in the future.”
    Two things: in education, as in everything,
    1. competition improves the product
    2. give people a choice and they’ll take it.

  • Pete (Detroit)

    For me, the telling point was
    “The school is well led and managed and there is a good partnership with parents.”
    Here in Detroit we spend far too much and get far too little from out schools. Yes, there are problems – poor managment, outright graft, silly regulations (both state imposed and union), but by FAR the biggest issue is the total lack of parental commitment. In towns where there is “a good partnership” the kids don’t show up un-washed, un-fed, improerly dressed and packing a weapon.
    Things are tough all over. In one ‘burb, Dearborn, there is a high percentage of Arabic students, and Iraquis, Iranians and Kurds don’t necessarily get along any better HERE than they do THERE. Also, many of the kids are freshly arrived, and used to thinking of school buildings as targets, not ‘safe’ places. In the high school my Mom taught at, 25% of the senior girs were pregnant. Now, they were all Arabic, and MARRIED, but still, that’s a different dynamic.
    My sister in law teaches in another ‘burb where 10-20% of the kids (12-15) are are Ritallyn or other “meds” for “attitude issues.” They’re well behaved little zombies now…
    A former girlfriend is in a district that is threatened w/ loss of funding as they “failed to show significant improvement” in some standard testing. They scored 92% the first year, and 93% the next – so they’re being penalized for success?
    Still and all, you can’t teach kids who aren’t there or won’ t learn, and the essantial key is Parental Involvement.

  • You’re on the money on that, Pete. I attended a private school where the students that did well (academically as well as in life) were the ones whose parents took time and care to be involved in their children’s lives.
    And the results still show, decades later, with my former classmates

  • My local news has the same desire for bad news as the nationals in the U.S. If you read the paper or watched the news where I did, you’d be led to believe that education is a mess.

    Not like I doubt that, but when the local high schools finally take the initiative to require that students pass their final exams to graduate, they should be recognized for the improvement. Instead, I hear about how the final exams are a pain for students and how we’re facing a teacher shortage.

  • David N

    I’d like to say that your precis of local vs national newspapers is somewhat flawed: actually though, it is complete rubbish. My local paper, The Falkirk Herald (Scotland’s biggest selling local newspaper), being staffed by Daily Record wannabes, loves nothing more than stories about How Bad It Is and often features stories of whinging locals demonstrating how stupid they are. The current frontpage of the website also carries this article about how not-very-good the local education is http://www.falkirktoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=927&ArticleID=778446

    In Central Scotland at least, the local papers are more than happy to have a go at whoever (councils, businesses, government, health boards, developers) is currently winding people up.