Wednesday 9 November 2011

‘Free’ school vultures swoop on East London

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I go to a school in Newham, east London. The other day a group of about 30 of us who they called “gifted and talented” were asked to go into a room after assembly.

There are more than 200 students in my year. They don’t explain how you can tell who is gifted and talented. So that just left most people feeling rubbish.

Our small group was shown a powerpoint presentation about the London Academy of Excellence. This is a free school sixth form that expects to open in September next year.

Eton College, Brighton College and some other private colleges are funding it.

The open day will be held at HSBC bank in Canary Wharf, because the school isn’t built yet. It will only offer certain subjects, like maths and science, and no fun things.

The people in the photo promoting it were all white, while most people at my school are Bengali.

When the teacher said it was a free school, I said, “I’m not going.”

The whole way it was presented was wrong. It implies that Newham colleges aren’t good enough for us. But that’s because they aren’t funded correctly.

The academy would choose the brightest students and get better results. Then all the other colleges would get worse results.

But that would be because the academy has taken the cleverest people and has more money.

People are asking, why do a few people get to go to a properly funded college while the rest get stuck with nothing? It doesn’t make sense to anyone.

Shereen Prasad, East London

copied from Socialist Worker

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1 comment

  1. Ayesha said:

    Hi, I also attend a school in East London with an overall majority of asians. You say that the academy implies Newham colleges aren’t good enough but this is actually true. The whole point of this college to give ordinary students a push so that they can actually believe they can succeed and get into top universities. Have you ever seen any Newham college promote this kind of message? No, that’s because most colleges only care if you get good grades to raise their pass rate higher. Also, you’re correct when you say the Academy takes in bright students but you have to take a verbal reasoning test at the interview to show you’re smart,and not just someone who can get straight A*’S. It’s true that the academy have a tight limit in enrolling students but at the end of the day, if people want to succeed in life then they have to work hard themselves to prove themselves.

    21 January 2012 at 7:07pm