Education, Page 4 - Kibble, A Lasting Legacy. Residential, secure, education, fostering, social enterprise, training for young people and youths.



Page 4

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Nonetheless, some other staff perceived the potential for problems with this method. David Speirs, principal teacher of science and technology until recently, first came to Kibble in 1984. He saw potential difficulties if there was a situation where a pupil and teacher didn’t get on, as they had to spend all of their classroom time together. On the positive side, though, this situation meant that the teacher had to deal with issues and develop understanding of them. In more difficult teacher/pupil relationships, he adopted the professional approach that you don’t have to like someone or what they’ve done in order to help them make progress and go forward. David saw another negative aspect to this teaching method when it was necessary to arrange cover for a teacher who had to be absent from class in order to attend reviews, for example, and finds the current eight-period day with specialist subject teachers more effective in this respect:

Education at Kibble, present day

Education at Kibble, present day

School pupils learning art and design in a classroom at Kibble, present day.

‘…in an eight-period day there might be gaps in somebody’s timetable and these are used for cover. It means that we don’t have supply teachers coming in, strange faces and so on. It’s actually the best way, really a better way of doing it.’

(David Speirs, Interviewed 12th October 2006)

Robert Forrest, former Assistant Director of Education at Glenthorne Youth Treatment Centre in Birmingham and former Headteacher at Kerelaw (1981-1995), recalls that gradual changes to education within the residential schools’ system began around 1982/83:

‘…historically, it would be trade training for youngsters…the idea was you would then give kids the skills, perhaps, to get jobs when they left – give them an edge on the market. It was felt, however, that the youngsters were being discriminated against; they were being denied the opportunities of youngsters that the mainstream…i.e. doing exams and whatever. So there was a big push to move towards the mainstream curriculum… and there was also a push very much from the HMIE (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education) as well, so it wasn’t just driven internally, there was external pressure.’

(Robert Forrest, Interviewed 8th June 2006)

In keeping with this trend, Kibble gradually moved to a secondary model of education from the early 1990s, firstly offering maths at Standard Grade, followed by English in 1992. A full secondary model and curriculum were in place by 1996.

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