Darland High School is Adequate and Needs Improvement

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  • #166454

    Thomasfrancis1205
    Participant

    Another Wrexham school receives a poor report from Estyn.
    Darland High School was inspected in January 2019 and its report was published last month.
    Darland is supposedly one of the better schools in Wrexham.
    The report can be read at https://www.estyn.gov.wales/sites/default/files/documents/Darland%20High%20School.pdf
    This is a very poor report for yet another Wrexham school.
    It states that leaders have not had sufficient impact on developing teaching, raising standards and improving pupils’ attendance.
    The results at GCSE are below the average for pupils in similar schools.
    Attendance rates are below those of similar schools.
    The number of fixed-term exclusions has increased and is high.
    Tracking and monitoring has not had sufficient impact on pupils’ attendance and the standards they achieve.
    Many of the recommendations from the school’s last inspection, 6 years ago, have not been addressed and remain in need of improvement.
    The quality of information provided to the governors by the school leadership has not been accurate or clear and has not allowed the governing body to challenge the school effectively.
    The pupils who attend Darland High School and their parents have a right to expect better than this.

    #166466

    Matt
    Participant

    I’m not being funny in this current education environment they should take Adequate and need of improvement as a win and be thankful it’s not yet another Secondary School in Wrexham put into special measures.

    At least they can take on board the feedback and try and go some lengths to improving standards.

    Fact of the matter is schools are chronically underfunded both by WAG and the Council – although the Council admittedly are struggling with budget cuts so if they increased funding on schools they’d be taking money from welfare elsewhere.

    It is also the case that a significant number of deprived children will be going into Darland just like many of the other local secondaries. So there’s insufficient support available at school due to staff shortages and obviously insufficient support at home.

    Let’s hope things do pick up over the next 12 months for Darland. I’m sure most parents are very aware of this very difficult time our local schooling system is going through.

    I am very interested to know why you have delivered the information in such a negative manner and completely failed to mention the fact that the care, support and guidance element of the school was rated as good.

    #166470

    bubble
    Participant

    I currently have too much time on my hands; I’m grieving, weary yet restless, and have all sorts of existential questions. However, perhaps the term that best describes my specific current state is “drunk”. Maybe I’m getting a bit deep, but why do we discuss issues on here? Who are we discussing them with and to what end? In short, what’s the point? Looking at the two posts on this thread I am reminded about how relieved I am that I’ve never wanted or had children. I like children well enough but they need and deserve a great deal of attention, guidance and support. It must be such hard work policing their internet & social media interactions, fighting their corner in parents’ meetings with teachers, defending them against bullies without making them look like wusses to their bullies etc, whether to vaccinate, and – pertinent to this thread – getting your children into a good school. Parenting (good parenting, that is) must be exhausting.

    #166471

    Matt
    Participant

    Existential questions are good as long as you try not to overthink them.

    My guess is we discuss topics on here (fairly open ended) as a committee of Wrexhamites who have an above average interest in things that happen around the town away from the Riff Raff of Facebook & Rampant Tribalism of Twitter. Who these people are? I ain’t got a bloody clue – but I’m guessing the anonymity the forum offers is quite a strong draw.

    Qualifier on my position Bubble. Parent of 2 girls – still way off Secondary School. However, there is the option for them to be bussed out of County to Dinas Bran if needed (which is currently scoring Adequate/Good). Pretty much to avoid any special measures or recently out of special measures schools.

    Good primary school at the moment. Haven’t had to police internet yet, too small to have bullies – it’s just petty squabbling at the moment, hardly ever see the teachers (you take that to assume everything is well). Vaccinations – just seemed like a no brainer to follow what the health visitor said. Why would you want to risk your child catching measles, meningitis etc… – My opinion anyway.

    Biggest challenge of children is the children themselves. You give them a set of guidelines and a rule set depending on what age they are and what danger/mischief/levels of cheek they might dabble in.

    You will find they quickly learn the rules then use them to their advantage. Things like trying to point out parental double standards, publicly shaming behaviour of other adults – including grandparents, aunties and uncles, family friends and complete strangers (why is that man saying naughty words?). Also using them to try & rule their siblings with an iron fist or get them into trouble, finding loopholes, using them as bargaining chips/emotional blackmail.

    You basically have to stay 1 step ahead at all times.

    There will be others with far more experience than me with more to add.

    #166475

    MargaretA
    Participant

    You basically have to stay 1 step ahead at all times

    WhenI was expecting my first baby, a well practiced mum said ‘Low animal cunning is what you need to stay ahead!’

    I had many occasions to reflect the truth of the advice!

    #166515

    Matt
    Participant

    If Darland has been given what is perceived to be a poor report then that must also mean that Wrexham’s GOLDEN Secondary school The Maelor in Penley is in a similar state of affairs as it only received 1 rating higher than Darland. 3 Adequate/In Need of Improvement and 2 Good.

    https://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/17558662.mixed-picture-for-maelor-school-as-estyn-inspectors-release-findings/

    https://www.estyn.gov.wales/sites/default/files/documents/The%20Maelor%20School.pdf

    Again, I guess we need to have perspective that in this diabolical funding state of affairs that at least these schools are not in Special Measures.

    It will be a major point of interest as to whether or not these schools will be kept out of the doldrums and will see some kind of improvement over the next 5 years.

    #166525

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    It is interesting (but also disappointing) that the flagship secondary school in Wrexham has slipped- there is however one common denominator in all the schools in Wrexham and that is the organisation called GwE the Regional School Improvement Consortia. As this organisation si contracted by all six Local Authorities in North Wale to support the improvement of schools then perhaps some of the blame may be resting with them. Surely if they were doing their job, they would pick up on some of the issues contained in Estyn School reports.

    This is not about blame shift but the need to acknowledge the whole support structure in which schools operate.

    #166527

    bubble
    Participant

    Existential questions are good as long as you try not to overthink them.

    My guess is we discuss topics on here (fairly open ended) as a committee of Wrexhamites who have an above average interest in things that happen around the town away from the Riff Raff of Facebook & Rampant Tribalism of Twitter. Who these people are? I ain’t got a bloody clue – but I’m guessing the anonymity the forum offers is quite a strong draw.

    Qualifier on my position Bubble. Parent of 2 girls – still way off Secondary School. However, there is the option for them to be bussed out of County to Dinas Bran if needed (which is currently scoring Adequate/Good). Pretty much to avoid any special measures or recently out of special measures schools.

    Good primary school at the moment. Haven’t had to police internet yet, too small to have bullies – it’s just petty squabbling at the moment, hardly ever see the teachers (you take that to assume everything is well). Vaccinations – just seemed like a no brainer to follow what the health visitor said. Why would you want to risk your child catching measles, meningitis etc… – My opinion anyway.

    Biggest challenge of children is the children themselves. You give them a set of guidelines and a rule set depending on what age they are and what danger/mischief/levels of cheek they might dabble in.

    You will find they quickly learn the rules then use them to their advantage. Things like trying to point out parental double standards, publicly shaming behaviour of other adults – including grandparents, aunties and uncles, family friends and complete strangers (why is that man saying naughty words?). Also using them to try & rule their siblings with an iron fist or get them into trouble, finding loopholes, using them as bargaining chips/emotional blackmail.

    You basically have to stay 1 step ahead at all times.

    There will be others with far more experience than me with more to add.

    Thanks Matt and Margaret. You come across to me as a very reasonable, fair-minded person, Matt. I’m firmly in favour of vaccination and resent those who don’t get their kids vaccinated but instead rely on the herd immunity provided by the children whose parents got them vaccinated. Always seems to me to be very unfair, mean-spirited and selfish that some parents are unwilling to vaccinate their own children but happy for others to do so for the benefit of their own children.
    I’m sure your girls are lucky to have you for a father, Matt. When I was a child, my own father used to sometimes tell me I should marry an airline pilot or a doctor – I was in my twenties before I gave this any particular thought and only then started to wonder why he hadn’t suggested that I aspire to be a pilot or a doctor myself. I never thought of my father as sexist actually, but I think of it now as an example of the subtle, ever present and often unconscious bias when it comes to conditioning women & girls into knowing their place. As Lennon sang, “woman is the nigger of the world” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5lMxWWK218.
    I do hope your girls grow up in a fairer, more equal world, Matt.

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