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A short life but one that deserves praise for excellence

The school where I work: * has been addressing the problems of low performances at GCSE within our community and, working with other schools, believes it has established a formula which will be successful;

* has been educating 65 students more than its funding allows; * has been open for three years and has grown from nothing to 950 students in that time and has established a distinctive and respected ethos despite this incredible growth; * has produced GCSE performances which are double the local average (only for the first time and it recognises that it must repeat this several times to be significant); * has sent several students to university who possessed only one A-C grade GCSE or less when they joined the college, and has also sent students to Oxbridge; * has been recommended for the ISO 9002 quality standard (formerly BS5750) a standard only awarded to one other state secondary comprehensive school; * is bound to ensure that it has a total cross-section of ability in its intake which represents a normal distribution, a restriction applied to no other schools; * has trained, in consortium with other local schools, 15 graduates to PGCE in technology and next year is doubling this to include science as well; * operates a genuinely differentiated curriculum with the students at the heart of decision-making about their programmes of study; * has developed unique app-roaches to organisation and management which provide alternative models for schools to operate and have freed teachers to concentrate upon pedagogic rather than administrative issues; * is the only education establishment I know that allows its students open access to equipment and facilities (with no theft or vandalism); * is developing the use of technology throughout the curriculum to facilitate student learning and is, through its new technology development unit, initiating new approaches to the technology curriculum; * is inundated with visits from schools throughout Great Britain, the rest of Europe and every other continent to observe its new approaches.

I feel this school, bearing in mind its short life, has done remarkable things. It is, of course, a city technology college. I find it hard to understand why the report in The TES failed to recognise any of this.



Brooke Weston College.

Great Oakley.


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