Monday, 15 February 2010


We have been leafletting again. If it's not dark or raining this is by no means an unpleasant experience. I have developed a dog-in-house-fingers-out-fast-response, taking no chances with barks and bites. Most people are either receptive or polite about our campaign. There's still the entrenched "No way would I send my child to City!", and they seem to be supported by the Education Leeds spokesperson who said as much on the Radio Leeds breakfast Show last Wednesday [10 February].

I must say I had heard the rumours, then I went in to City as a peri, changed my mind overnight and sent both my younger children there. This doesn't mean to say it was perfect, but it was more than good enough, and better than the school that I had sent my two older children to.

When I worked at Foxwood, I asked head teacher, Bob Spooner why local parents made such an effort to bus their their kids out to John Smeaton, Boston Spa and the like. He said they don't want their children to mix with the rough sons and daughters of the criminals classes. I would say to say to these anxious Woodhouse and Hyde Park parents something sanctimonious like the "sins of the father" and so on. But the fact is that our school is full of the children of aspirational African and Eastern European parents. We have an A* English=as=an=Addtional-Language Department to help them without their problems impacting on the education of the native English speakers. and children of supportive parents are more likely to come out with 9 A-Cs than a drug habit. And they'll save enough money on busfares to go on more holidays.

However, if the truth is too inconvenient, I would say to those who don't want to have their minds changed: If City of Leeds is closed, the truancy and crime rate in the local area will increase, as will calls on mental health services.

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