middle class parents don't realise the transformation which has taken place in state schools in the last 15 years
Posted: 13 Oct, 2010
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Most parents seem happy to send their children to their local primary school. The problems arise at the secondary school stage where we all join in a collective hysteria based on a belief that most comprehensives have low academic and behavioural standards. The fear is that our children will underachieve and be drawn into a world of 'street culture'. These fears are often based on our memory of some of our local schools in the 1980s. I shared these fears when looking around for a school in South London in 2002 for our three children who had gone to our local primary very happily. At first glance, our comprehensive in Streatham, Dunraven School, didn't look or feel much like the grammar school I went to and I had my reservations. But once they were there, it became apparent that the standards of teaching and the management of the school were superb. Indeed much better than some of the rather hit or miss teaching which I had received at my academically elite school. Yes, the culture is different from a grammar school or a private school. It is genuinely diverse, which means that all the pupils didn't look exactly like my kids or come from exactly the same background. But feeling comfortable about this was our problem; it not a problem for our children who all flourished, both socially and academically at Dunraven. At the time we sent our children to Dunraven when so many of our friends were bailing out into the private system I felt we were taking a risk. In fact, we were being given a wonderful opportunity which has given our children a great start in life.