An Open Letter to Maidenhead Councillors

Questions to Councillors in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

An open letter from Tony Hill, retired Head Teacher of Furze Platt School

Dear Councillors

Your Constituents at present can express a preference to send their children, at 11, to six schools skilled in providing education to young people of all abilities, with a record of academic achievement at the highest levels. They can also now express a preference for an all ability school which takes boarding students. If your constituents want their children to be educated in a grammar school they can apply to a Buckinghamshire school or the two Reading Grammar Schools.

So good are your schools at present that large numbers of parents not your constituents enter their children to Maidenhead schools. They do not trust the Grammar school systems in their areas to educate their children well. They trust your Comprehensive Schools in Maidenhead. Your constituents do not send their children across the border to the Buckinghamshire Upper Schools, however good they are.

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Why “Excellent Education for Everyone” – isn’t that what we all want?

Excellent education in action

Well, yes, it should be. However, RBWM are seeking to create a grammar school in Maidenhead. In most local education authorities (including RBWM), grammar schools were abolished decades ago, mainly because it was found that they didn’t improve social mobility, so pupils from less well-off families were less likely to get into a grammar school. Pupils who didn’t pass the 11+, and who therefore didn’t get into a grammar school, went to “Secondary Moderns”. As these schools didn’t get the top achieving pupils, their results didn’t always meet expectations and so began a downward spiral – lower results, lower expectations, harder to recruit the best teachers…

No-one wants that for Maidenhead. Do they?

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