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