“Putting the best possible case for being a public school in this day and age.”
That is how one judge summed up the argument for Latymer Upper School being named the Tes independent school of the year. Another praised the “strong moral and civic purpose they are enacting in their own context”.
In an election year in which the sector came under scrutiny, Latymer showed the massive contribution that independent schools make. A map showing the state schools that Latymer works with stretches out to every part of its corner of West London, from Chiswick and Barnes to Shepherd’s Bush and White City.
Testimonials from schools where the contributions of Latymer students range from teaching Latin to helping to run after-school clubs talk of how their pupils “absolutely beam”, “say it’s really fun” and “feel more mature”, and outline the increased motivation and attainment of lower-ability children in particular.
And when the community faced the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire, Latymer proved its commitment to being a good neighbour. Headteacher David Goodhew, who grew up in a nearby block of flats, offered his school as a base for lower-sixth pupils and teachers whose own school, Kensington Aldridge Academy, had to close.
The school simply said that “offering some continuity to these pupils’ education was one small way in which our school community could help”.