As a Norfolk man, I have become increasingly concerned by the standard of secondary education that the three high schools in Lynn are providing.
Ofsted has judged King’s Lynn Academy and King Edward VII Academy as not good schools and results support that position, even if the schools argue with them.
The one bright light is my old school, Springwood, which I recently visited to support my niece with her sixth form application. I found a very different school to the one I attended.
There is no doubt that without the support of Springwood I would not have attended university, the first member of my family to do so. I have come back to the town with a degree that earned me a job and now I am hopefully helping the community.
If I was attending Springwood in 2018, they would not allow me into the sixth form, apparently not bright enough. I left my niece’s interview with a strange feeling that Springwood was no longer serving the town and giving youngsters, such as myself in the past, a chance. Rather it was imposing a barrier that was unnecessary in front of young people such as my niece which could shut the door in her face.
My niece now faces the possibility of studying for five years with good school reports, passing her exams then hearing from her school that she isn’t clever enough for the sixth form.
How can this be allowed? Youngsters like my niece need a school which helps them to have a future. Why have the governors allowed this to happen? Surely they must have faith in their pupils and make sure that they have every chance to follow their dream?
When I look at the school website, I read plenty of words saying the school will do its best for its pupils.
If this is true, then why is it stopping hardworking pupils from joining the sixth form by asking for unnecessary high grades? I put this question to the governors: Is my old school serving its pupils or does it want to have a reputation of being a prestige school which only the cleverest can join? Please, governors, reply to this question.