Cool for young males to succeed

11th December 1998 at 00:00
I accept that there is mounting concern over boys underachieving nationally. However at my boys' school we have increased the number attaining at least five good grade GCSEs by 90 per cent - from 21 per cent in 1997 to 40 per cent in 1998. In 1986 we only achieved 14 per cent of five or more A* to Cs.

In addition 100 per cent of our students gained five or more A* to Gs and considering that 26 per cent of our students have special educational needs - 45 per cent have English as an additional language and 11 per cent are refugees -this is no mean feat.

We were one of the first technology colleges to be announced in 1994 and this status has given us a focus creating an ethos where students believe it is "cool" to be successful. This year our students' performance culminated in achieving the Susan Fey Cup for Science and the runners' up Certificate for Design Technology awarded nationally by the TC Trust.

We currently hold our own with mixed schools and single-sex schools in the London borough of Brent.

As a boys' college with 87 per cent of our students of ethnic-minority origins, it would be worth investigating whether boys' schools with a wide multi-cultural range are performing better than those dominated by the "fighting, fucking and football" culture of white, heterosexual working-class boys (TES, November 27).

A Young. Principal. John Kelly Technology College. Crest Road. London NW2.

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