Friday, January 16, 2009

Does Poverty Equal Low Performance in UK Schools?

Here's a question for you. Do you think that a poor area of London will only produce low academic results in school? Many do.

Just google Hackney & Brixton and you'll see what I mean. There are plenty of teachers out there that won't go near those areas as they think the students are too tough to teach. They are the "unteachables."

The children's secretary Ed Balls disagrees and said yesterday,

"Don't tell me that poverty means low performance... In the end, if there are excuses, we have the power to say that's totally unacceptable."

Read this article in the Guardian for more information. The government is coming out strong against schools and administrators making excuses for their poor performances. No doubt this will cause much discussion and controversy in the coming months. Teachers will demand more support and the government will say it's providing support & funding. Everyone will feel the pressure to perform. As usual, education is incredibly political in the UK. Check out this post about Canadian newspapers vs UK newspapers to see what I mean. Also, check out Sarah Ebner's post about what parents are doing in reaction to the government shutting down one of their favourite schools.

See my previous posts about academies in the UK, and 10 Myths About Teaching in London. Get your copy of the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians.


  1. Victoria, I just wanted to tell you that I've been following this blog closely, and at times, it's my one source of respite while undergoing the teacher education program. I think you're doing a great thing here; your compassion and commitment shines through everywhere in your writing.

    I'm so looking forward to meeting you when you come to UBC on friday! I'll be the (possibly) frazzled student teacher with a red jacket. :)

    Joann Liu

  2. Wow! Thanks so much Joann, that's very kind of you. It's people like you that keep me going with this little blog of mine.
    See you at UBC!


Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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