I was surprised and concerned that city technology colleges were branded as high-cost failures in your front-page article (TES, November 25). As the only reference to success was a brief mention in the final paragraph of a lengthy account, the balance of the article gave a distorted impression of the overall picture.
This summer, in its first full set of GCSE examinations, the Dixons CTC achieved results which were praiseworthy by any method of interpretation. An all-ability cohort of students, who all live within the city of Bradford, achieved grades which were 25 per cent above the national average (68 per cent gaining 5 or more grades A-C); and more than 40 per cent above the average for the whole Bradford metropolitan district (26.7 per cent). Also, out of 927 individual subject entries there was not a single unclassified grade.
Before anyone claims that this was due to supposed over-funding, I should also point out that in English, hardly a subject dependent on heavy investment in technology, 86 per cent of the entire intake gained A-C passes in both language and literature. Consequently, I believe that these results were the result of a combination of the strong work ethic which has been created, outstanding teaching from a committed staff and the high expectations which we have for students of every ability.
In addition, the college achieved the highest attendance rate and the lowest truancy rate for state schools within the Bradford area (0 per cent unauthorised absence); became the first school in the region to achieve the national quality standard Investors in People and gained entry to the Daily Telegraph Schools Guide - all this within its first five years. If you regard this as failure, I would be interested to know what you define as success.
Dixons City Technology College.
Bradford, West Yorks.