All happening after school

15th September 2000 at 01:00
Looking for a job in...Bristol

MANY OPPORTUNITIES?

Yes, lots potentially. In the state sector, Bristol has 13 nursery schools, 119 primaries, 20 secondaries and 11 special schools. As nationally, there's a shortage of primary heads, also with recruiting male teachers at primary level.

In secondary schools Bristol is short of teachers in maths, modern languages, science and technology. The city also has one of the highest concentrations of independent schools in the country.

PROSPEROUS PLACE THEN?

Generally, yes, but educationally it's a city of contrasts. While world-renowned Clifton College and its other big public schools top the league tables, its state sector GCSE results are among the worst in Britain.

On the other side of the city from upmarket Clifton lie pockets of deprivation in areas like Knowle West and Southmead. Two comprehensives in these areas - Merrywood and Pen Park - have just closed because of poor results and falling pupil numbers.

TRYING TO PUT ME OFF?

No - Bristol is an exciting, happening place.

SO - LOTS TO DO WHEN I'VE FINISHED THE MARKING?

Bristol is big on the arts and has a lively night-life, with cafes, clubs, pubs and restaurants galore. It also boasts a thriving music scene. Family fun includes @Bristol - a pound;97 million interactive science and ildlife centre. In late summer there's a Balloon Fiesta.

BUT CAN I AFFORD TO LIVE THERE?

It depends - a three-bedroom Victorian semi in trendy Clifton can set you back as much as pound;320,000. In suburbs like Brislington, a three-bed semi would be around pound;105,000. A one-bedroom flat rental in leafy Redland or Cotham would cost between pound;450 and pound;500 a month.

WHAT'S THE LOCAL AUTHORITY LIKE?

Trying hard to overcome a difficult legacy. When it became a unitary authority four years ago Bristol inherited low attainment and a lack of parental confidence in secondary schools. OFSTED says there has been some progress since, but not enough.

From this month Bristol becomes an Education Action Zone. Its secondary schools are also taking part in government initiative Excellence in Cities and the Key Stage 3 Pilot Project, a secondary equivalent of the literacy and numeracy drives in primaries.

Adrian Becker, Bristol City Council's executive member for education and lifelong learning, says: "Bristol is a lively, creative and multicultural city."

FAMOUS SONSDAUGHTERS?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Julie Burchill, Wallace and Gromit.

DON'T TALK ABOUT...

The city's past as a major slave trade port, particularly while walking down Whiteladies Road or Black Boy Hill.

Martin Whittaker


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