Is “Average” the ultimate goal for schools?

The relentless focus on C-grades in schools grinds away at aspiration and makes achieving the average the ultimate goal I am a maths teacher working in a secondary school in East London.

We have a “hit list” of 60 year 11 students in our school; their portraits neatly adorn the walls of our staffroom. These students wander the corridors in a permanent state of ashen-faced grimness, wearily dragging their feet as they move from room to room. They are the intervention cohort. The C/D borderline students who may as well wear sandwich boards marking them out as so, just in case their peers had somehow missed the fact they are being mysteriously removed from registration, summoned to endless booster sessions and harangued by every member of the senior leadership team who has had a quick look over the mark book of late.

They are victims of the C-grade culture: an insidious little plague affecting students and teachers alike.

The energy devoted to those students would likely be enough to power several counties. In of itself, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I wholeheartedly believe all that can be done to help students to achieve their goals, should be done.

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