21 Oct '14

News Inspiring leadership for challenged schools | @guardianletters

Clacton-on-Sea may be on the end of the line in railway terms but its failing comprehensive school, Bishops Park college, has lessons for today (The coastal schools neglected by national initiatives, 16 October). Students felt at home, known and cared for in the three small schools that made up its campus. The school was built on the schools within a school model, which provides a more personalised education for all students. The integrated curriculum combined with imaginative teaching methods made possible the mixed ability teaching that was part of a whole-school commitment to inclusion and social justice.By the time it closed in 2009 nearly all its 16-year-old leavers were going on into jobs, training or further education a huge achievement in an area of high unemployment and low aspiration. There were nil rates of pregnancy and of permanent exclusion. Parents and the local community supported the school and used the campus facilities. Continue reading...

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