Local schools benefit from a comprehensive system where all are treated the same.
by Fay Davies
Posted: 02 Nov, 2010
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I went to school in Bury, North Manchester, but moved south to take up my first job after university. When I decided to start a family myself I took a serious look at schools in the area where I had ended up working. I found that the schools were polarized between high achieving private schools and much lower achieving state run schools. After noticing year on year that Bury LEA schools as an average got consistently high scores in the national tables it made me think seriously about moving back. I finally did move back to Bury and both my children attend very good state schools. When it came time for my kids to move on to high school there was some anxiety about which school they would get into, but this was much less than I anticipated because almost all the schools in Bury do well in their GCSE pass rates. I put this down to the fact that although Bury does have its more struggling areas there is, due to there being very few Grammars or private schools in the area, a system in Bury that is as close to the comprehensive system as you will find in the UK. It does amaze me year on year that Bury as an LEA does brilliantly in the UK league table despite not being a wealthy area. I have been a school governor in the passed and was impressed by the help and support given to the school by the local LEA and maybe this is part of Bury's success. Either way I think most parents in Bury will feel that their children do have a chance at a good education and most of the children, that I know through my kids, go to the nearest high school in their areas. (This is compared my nieces who live in the Midlands and who have a 50 mile round trip to school each day!)