I am Headteacher of Langdon Park School, a Community secondary school in Tower Hamlets, London. I have worked in Comprehensive schools throughout my life.I believe that, properly funded and effectively led, they provide the best hope that this country will survive economically in a world where it is becoming increasingly essential that every citizen is educated to a high standard.
In my school some 70% of students are on free school meals. In 2010 100% of Year 11 students attained 5+A*-G, 99% including English and Maths; 47% attained 5+A*-C including E&M. The attainment gap for students on free school meals nationally was 27.5%; at my school it was 1.2%! This outcome was the result of the hard work of a fantastically dedicated staff, coupled with funding levels over the past decade which have provided the means to overcome many of the obstacles which such students face in their lives.
I believe in educational provision as a public right and a public duty. I oppose the disposal of public assets to the governors of Academies, most of which then sub-contract to the private sector. Empirical evidence suggests very strongly that most Academies are not fully inclusive. It suggests very clearly that , so far, the vast majority of approved Free Schools will be highly selective.
P.S. I taught Ed Miliband A Level English. I also showed him how to access the live phone-in on LBC radio!