In the year that I joined my local state comprehensive, its GCSE results were below the national average. All around me, parents were engaged in frantic efforts to get their children into selective schools, or faith schools, or private schools, or else move out of London altogether. But I will be forever grateful that my parents spared me this destructive and divisive scramble, because I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere other than Queens Park Community School. A warm and friendly community with some incredibly dedicated teachers and a genuine mix of people, it soon began to attract more local support, delivering better results and improving more lives.
For what it's worth, after QPCS I achieved a 1st class degree in History at Cambridge. But I'm not particularly important - what matters is the community which the school continues to serve, thanks to a rejection of the segregation in education that has plagued our country for too long.
Also see: http://dominicself.co.uk/life/qpcs.html