Schools, eh? Whoever had the idea of putting children in a room and teaching them stuff was a genius, a bloody genius. But how did that genuis get educated in the first place? It’s one of life’s great mysteries.
This week will see a focus on secondary schools in Twickenham. On 1st March, the September intake of Year 7 pupils will find out which school they’ve been allocated. (Primary school children find out their fate in April). In Twickenham, as with just about everywhere else, it’s a bit of a post-code lottery but at least in this part of the burbs it’s one where most people get broadly what they want. Orleans Park, Teddington and Waldegrave are generally well regarded and get good GCSE results, especially girls comp Waldegrave which always features near the top of results tables. The only question mark sits next to Twickenham Academy but “the school formerly known as Whitton” is still in its first year of operations and so it’s far too early to judge. It’s got new facilities and, as seems to be key to these things, a new name. The only problem is that to most people “academy” is just shorthand for “previously underperforming school”. Let’s hope its Swedish management can get rid of that tag. If their strap line “A Learning School” is anything to go by then at least they’ve understood the basics of what schools are for.
Meanwhile at the other end of the production line, the Council is continuing to look at options for re-introducing sixth forms to Borough Schools. (It’s also floated the idea of setting up a Roman Catholic secondary school, presumably because only Roman Catholics want good secondary education). It’s been a long time since schools had sixth forms in Richmond. There are arguments for and against but having an option to continue learning up to A Levels in an environment that has delivered decent GCSE results only two months previously doesn’t seem like a such bad idea. As with just about everything else at the moment, cost and logistical considerations could see this one simmering on the back burner for a while. To be continued.
So best of luck to all those waiting to hear about school places for their children later today. And if you’re a Year 6 pupil reading this, then stop wasting time on the internet and go and do your homework instead.