Friday, February 18, 2011

Stiperstones sings while Philip Dunne flounders

Stiperstones C of E Primary is a good school. The very positive ethos rests on deeply held Christian principles about the value of every child. As a consequence, school staff show great warmth towards pupils, and take good care of them.
The school focuses as much on pupils' personal as on their academic development. It is not surprising therefore that the pupils are happy, and greatly enjoy being at school. There is a good partnership with parents, who readily endorse the school's values. One satisfied parent wrote that her children were very positive about Stiperstones C of E Primary School because 'the staff are dedicated and give more than is expected of their time to improve the school and ensure the children have a well-rounded education.'

The school's inclusive ethos and the good quality of pastoral care lead to pupils' good personal development, including their good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. One school council member said that he would recommend the school because 'the teachers actually care for you like your parents.'
In lessons, pupils behave well and are attentive and responsive to their teachers and other adults, with whom they have very good relationships. In the playground and around the school, pupils are friendly and considerate towards others.
It's no wonder that people are fighting to keep Stiperstones Primary School open: this is an extract from the school's last Ofsted report.

As today's Shropshire Star reports, there have been two developments today. The school's 29 children have recorded a song, Don't Go Stiperstones, written by a former pupil.

And the area's Tory MP Philip Dunne has put his foot in it, chirrupng on local television about schools that are too small.

Another Star story says:
In the interview on the regional news programme, Mr Dunne said: “There comes a point when a school becomes too small to provide the quality of education that we all want for our children.”
Not surprisingly these remarks went down very badly with the parents of children at Stiperstones School and the same Shropshire Star report shows him desperately trying to undo the damage:
Mr Dunne today said: “They seem to have misinterpreted what I said as I have made no specific reference to Stiperstones School.”

The MP said he believed the school provided a good education and should not be closed.
But this is too weak. If Conservatism means anything beyond making sure the rich stay rich, then Dunne should be championing this school's virtues.

One final point of interest is that Stiperstones is a C of E school. This part of Shropshire was always a enclave of Nonconformity, in part because of the influx from Cornwall when the lead mines were developed in the nineteenth century.

The parents of children at Stiperstones School have now set up a Facebook page.


rachie241 said...

Thank you very much for giving us a guest spot on your blog and for your support!
Rachael x

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your support and for featuring us on your website. Tracy

Unknown said...

Thank you. Your article is accurate, relevant and just the kind of publicity we need. Heather