My Local School

Marie Faulkner's picture
I attended a school in the London Borough of Hillingdon, Douay Martyrs School.

A school riddled with bad rumours as well as a few bad realities, no more than you would expect at a secondary school, that does not take part in selection/or cherry picking and full up with teenagers.

Like many others who have published articles on this website. I believe that your childhood and your education is not about just reproducing a well trained, well educated human being. But the social skills, the ambition, and the love of learning that makes you wish to pursue your life in which ever way you wish.

On paper I got average GCSE's, average A Levels... but the combination of inspirational teachers and a great mix of friends was priceless when I finally attended a Russell Group University and obtained a 2:1 in Sociology, and a 1st in my dissertation on the Academies Programme and the Marketisation of Education.

I understand parents want the best for their children, and maybe I will feel that way some time. But as a 22 year old who went through State education I believe the difficulties throughout school really do prepare you for your future life (even if it did include working at a post office for one hour a day for £2.00 for extra tuition).

I'm not saying we all should accept the failings that ALL schools can have but to take a leap of faith and work with your local school and the local community, rather than take time and money  'playing the system'. BE POSITIVE, I truly believe it will be the best result for everyone.
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Francis Gilbert's picture
Tue, 04/01/2011 - 18:11

What a great post, Marie! I really think this is an inspirational story and should reassure parents wanting to send their children to local schools. It also illustrates the great work that local schools do which often goes unnoticed. Just today, my son came home really enthused because he's done so well with his reading; he has a great teacher who is preparing him well for his SATs as well as inspiring him. He is really confident and happy; it's a very big contrast from when he was at a private school a few years ago, when he was demoralised and anxious at school. I totally agree that schools thrive when parents "buy in" to them; it's far easier to work with and improve an existing school than it is to set up a new one! Contrary to the myth perpetuated by this government, local schools are NOT clogged up by LA bureaucracy and resistant to change; they are independent and free-thinking, and full of innovation.

Imogen humphris's picture
Tue, 04/01/2011 - 23:15

agreed. I was thinking this evening that there's a big difference between what society deems as a capable person and the qualities that you describe. I have always got pretty average grades overall but the moment I left university I never thought about it. I now feel like I'm making leaps and bounds forward in my career just from the sheer ambition and passion for growth and change an ultimately the people skills that I fostered in high school.

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