St Cyres School banding unrealistic

I AM writing in response to your recent front page article concerning the banding of St Cyres school (Penarth Times, December 19).

As a parent of St Cyres pupils and an NHS employee, I am heartily sick of these unrealistic and unhelpful objectives set by Government.

I was also very disappointed to note the unhelpful comparison between St Cyres and Stanwell School. On what basis was this comparison made when the student populations of these schools is entirely different?

Surely, it will come as no surprise to anyone (with 5 or more GCSEs between A* and C grades) to learn that a school with a predominantly white, middle class catchment has more children achieving high grades?

St Cyres student population has a large proportion of children from a broad range of cultural, social and economic backgrounds. It is also well known as an inclusive school, providing great opportunities for children with learning difficulties and learning disabilities. Refreshingly, the ethos of St Cyres is the achievement of personal bests, which is why we chose to send our children there in the first place.

Surely, as parents, our priorities are that every child is provided with real opportunities to reach their full potential whatever that might be. The current system only serves to remove opportunities for those less able children for fear they may influence the figures!

In support of St Cyres I would like to say that I have been consistently impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the majority of teaching staff who are often coping in difficult environmental circumstances and endeavouring to meet the ever changing goal posts of Welsh Assembly and Central Government. All of us who are involved in 'meeting' educational and health targets are well aware that they are seldom worth the paper they're written on and simply a reflection of the skills of management in manipulating the figures!

A St Cyres parent

Penarth

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