Who is going to speak up for young?

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So Parson Cross has some of the worst-performing schools in Sheffield, with Chaucer and Yewlands almost at the bottom of local authority school league tables.

To add insult to injury, one of the feeder schools, Mansel Primary, has been judged by Ofsted as ‘requiring improvement’, claiming that ‘pupils do not make good progress’ and that ‘the overall quality of teaching is not good throughout the school’.

What hope do our young have when all three schools in their vicinity are faring so badly?

Sadly, in all three schools, Ofsted reported that children were not challenged sufficiently and that ‘work was too easy’ suggesting a climate of low expectation, but in similar areas of Sheffield it was recently reported that their children were out-performing the more privileged and why not?

Ofsted judges on the quality of teaching and progress of children, not on the ability of pupils and have recognised that, despite failings, Yewlands has teachers who get the best from them.

In these instances they found pupils were ‘excited and engaged throughout’ and as a result, ‘learning was rapid’, proving that while the area is classed as ‘deprived’ for the purposes of accessing various funding streams, the title bestowed on it in no way reflects a lack of ability of its young to learn and achieve.

Who, with any semblance of power, is going to speak up for these young people who depend on a decent education to make their way in this highly competitive world?

Surely they have the same right to a good education as other young people around the city fortunate enough to have good schools to prepare them for what will be very challenging futures.

Mary Steele

Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, Sheffield, S5