On the matter of funding, CTCs have to pay their own way as self-managing schools without local authority support. There may be wider lessons here as self-management has very actively contributed to their success.
On the matter of disaffection - some children have behavioural problems, but a well-managed school with an effective working culture and productive learning experiences goes a long way to preventing the psychological problem of some teenagers being translated into disaffection.
There is no evidence that disaffection is an inborn trait in children and I don't like the labelling. The CTC I work for does take the full ability range and is deeply-committed to inner-city pupils' achievements.
What Nigel de Gruchy fails to acknowledge is that in this handful of schools called city technology colleges, teachers have taken on a number of challenges - and risks - with teaching and learning methodologies, curriculum design, working conditions and overall school culture. These in turn have translated into a series of successes that need to be seen as significant.
23 Old Mill Road