In the UK, the latter portion of primary education is called "Key Stage 2". It covers children up to the age of 11, in years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Kids get assessed in May each year at the end of the stage and the results are published in league tables. The 2006 results came out last week, and my boy's school's results deteriorated for the second year in a row against a background of year on year improvement since 2004 at both Local Authority and national level.
What to do, what to do? I pay a lot of attention to his homework and his progress, and both seem OK to me. There's a newish head at the school who stikes me as competent, and he won't even start Key Stage 2 for another two years. Maybe they've just had two bad cohorts in a row. It might not be right to cut and run; a school that languished below his when we were looking at them has had two great years that leave it way above our choice in the league. Who's to say that the roles won't be reversed in another two years, never mind another five.
Something else to worry about anyway:
And if you ever have to go to school
Remember how they messed up this old fool
Don't pick fights with the bullies or the cads
'Cause I'm not much cop at punching other people's Dads
And if the homework brings you down
Then we'll throw it on the fire
And take the car downtown
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