Bad review of school study

15th October 2004 at 01:00
Your story grossly misrepresented the study by Tansin and Barry Benn and Brigitte Doyle and the reality of the impact of specialist school status across our co-located campus (TES, October 1).

At no point does the study conclude that the disadvantages of arts college status outweighed benefits as stated in the article and nobody at Fox Hollies school was contacted prior to the article being written.

In fact the article refers to Queensbridge and Fox Hollies as one school when in reality we are two schools who are co-located on a campus.

On the specific issue of perceptions of non-arts staff, the study found that at Fox Hollies "the staff were convinced of the value of the arts in the education of their pupils and there was total commitment to performing arts college status".

The perception of arts staff was also generally a positive one: "the nature of working with artists changed to a more genuine partnership, good practice was shared and resulted in the empowerment and development of both artists and teachers."

The article ignores the passionate commitment of our pupils and parents to the performing arts, their pride in their achievements. It also ignores the findings on inclusion "where in-house collaborative training brought some exciting results".

Significantly, there was no quote from our 2001 Office for Standards in Education report which found that "the excellent work of both staff and students in the performing arts has been used to influence teaching and learning across the curriculum". It also concludes that "the granting of performing arts college status in collaboration with Queensbridge school has brought considerable benefit to the students and staff from both schools.

"The educational value of the partnership is significant. The performing arts make a major contribution to the students' personal and social skills.

Students enjoy working together and sharing ideas and this is helping to raise the academic achievement of students from both schools."

Paul Roberts Headteacher Fox Hollies school Birmingham

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