Homework -

Homework –
Week beginning: 9th February 2015
Mrs Smith and
Mrs Rowlands
Parents’ Evenings:
Wednesday 18th
March and
Thursday 19th
Dear Parent/Carer
I thought I would just give parents really advanced notice about the Parents’
Evenings we have this term. Reports will go out to parents on Thursday 12th
March. Details for arranging appointments will be sent out immediately after the
half term holiday…
I never thought that a letter which started: “Dear Mr Brian, it gives me great
pleasure to congratulate your school…” could cause so much concern
amongst parents  (I am referring to the letter from the Minister of State for
Schools - David Laws MP – that I received and mentioned on last week’s
homework ands then put on the website.) The letter is excellent news from the
school because it congratulates us for succeeding in a key element of government
strategy for schools: making sure that children who attract the pupil premium
achieve as well as pupils who don’t. This letter will make Ofsted smile happily at
us as they enter our school (whenever that will be…)
Unfortunately (and this is a big unfortunately) the terminology the
government uses to describe pupils who attract the pupil premium is
‘disadvantaged pupils…’ and it is clear from conversations with parents ( as well
as hearing the buzzing of social media) that this term has caused upset – lots of
There is a clear link between the academic success rates of children and their
economic situation – so in general, children who are less well-off tend not to do as
well at school as well-off children. The schools where children achieve the best
results tend to be schools in middle class areas where only relatively wealthy
people can afford to live in the catchment area. In order to give schools in less
well-off areas more of a chance, the government introduced the Pupil Premium in
2011 which now gives a school £1300 a year for each pupil who has ever been
entitled to a free school meal – which is extra funding of about £100, 000 a year
to our school…which is brilliant 
Unfortunately, the term used to describe these pupils is ‘disadvantaged’ pupils
and I agree with parents that the very word has a stigma attached, and I will be
writing to David Laws to tell him that his ‘good’ news, actually upset parents who
found that the term carried overtones that they found unpleasant – no one likes
to be labelled. In all this, of course, we must not forget that both the Pupil
Premium and this letter are good news for the school.
I will let parents know when I have received a reply.