Defend George Mitchell School!

Following a blog post I wrote on this very website less than a week ago about the brilliant success of George Mitchell school in its “surprise” Ofsted inspection last week, the Government yesterday decided to include George Mitchell school, based in the Leyton ward, on its national list of “failing” schools.

I am at a complete and utter loss to work out what the hell is going on.

Last week, on the first day at school back after summer half term, the school received a phone call informing them that they were to be inspected only two days later.

But, following that inspection, the Head Teacher Helen Jeffery and her superb Senior Management Team, were told by the inspectors that in every area it is educating its pupils George Mitchell should consider itself rated “good” or “outstanding” –

– an absolutely fantastic assessment seeing as George Mitchell’s pupils are 67% special education needs, educate more kids from the Beaumont Estate (the 5th most deprived estate in Britain) than any other school in the borough, and because the school’s premises are situated in a ward where two-thirds of residents come from Black and Minority communities where a disapproportionate number of those BME families live in the most appalling of overcrowded conditions.

I could go on.

I believe the Government’s decision to label George Mitchell a “failing” school is a travesty. No school is a “failing” school and it is a real insult to pupils, parents and teachers in areas like mine to have out of touch bureacrats who don’t use any service in the state system label our area a “failure” just because they can.

George Mitchell school is NOT a failing school and the whole of the Leyton community now needs to rise up and speak out against this decision.

The debate has already started HERE over at the Waltham Forest Guardian.

Please add your voice to the growing chorus of people from Leyton who want a school at the heart of our community to succeed, not be closed down by the whim of a contrived and dishonest Ofsted “decision”.

THURSDAY 12TH JUNE AM UPDATE: The Waltham Forest Guardian (June 12th – June 18th 2008) has published an absolutely brilliant front page and inside spread on the growing anger our community feels about the closure threat to George Mitchell school. You can buy the paper in the shops now until next Thursday June 19th 2008.

3 thoughts on “Defend George Mitchell School!”

  1. I have only just read this & I am stunned.
    In 2008 boys & teachers of George Mitchell school carried out an oral history project into the Eton Manor Boys Club.
    The boys interviewed many old members of Eton Manor & displayed great interest, skill & sensitivity in researching the history of this fine old East End club.
    They showed tremendous respect & had the ability & maturity to develop great rapport with all us – quite a feat as our ages ranged from 60 to 80 plus!
    We enjoyed a fascinating tour of the school which included observing a variety of excellent classes taking place.
    The boys also visited my little golf course in Cambridge for their first golfing experience. Again they showed great respect, a keen willingness to learn & many showed a great talent for the game.
    In all my dealings I have been most impressed with the school, the pupils & the staff & trust that George Mitchell will receive the recognition that it deserves.

  2. Dear Bob, I’m sure your comments here will be appreciated by not just the staff, pupils and parents at George Mitchell school but by the entire Leyton community. The pressure that Ofsted ‘judgement’ put on Helen Jeffery, the Head, was intolerable to say the least. It’s great to know the school has such strong support from outside of the borough. Thanks again for posting here and I do hope you enjoy Easter. Kindest regards. Miranda

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