Well, I was brought up to think that the War to End All wars would have ended all wars. Women had got the vote, and eventually it was okay for men to be gay as well. Children with Special Needs got Included. It could only get better. Sadly it didn't. Some idiot decide to count things and invented league tables. There was a brief pause when David Blunkett said Every Child Matters, which sounded good, but it didn't really, because they did make a magazine in Leeds called that, and then they said, Oh you'd expect a dip in results in the first year after a merger, an academisation or a closure. So, obviously the children that year didn't matter. So, really, it's more about bragging about how good the UK system is, than actually doing anything good. And actually, the dip is more likely to take a genration to get over rather than a year.
What I found so shocking about the consultation meetings was that a group of five, presumably intelligent people, and we can only presume people with some sort of educational background, would put aside their integrity and their common sense and put forward an idea that your average Year Six pupil would see right through. Close a school, split friends up and send them to other schools that they have not chosen, right in the middle of their high school career, because a year group doesn't get the average grades that some blokes in Whitehall set, when 55% of that year group did not start their City of Leeds, or Primrose School career in Year Seven. When we also inherit the kids the pupils they exclude from other schools; And when the presumed intelligent people open their mouths to the press and slag us off in quite an unprofessional way.
And the blokes [Ed and Vernon] in Whitehall have never visited the school; they don't really understand, they don't answer the letters we send; they're only interested in their reputations, in averages and so-called "standards" and not in individual children.
And it was Year Six pupil, Luke, who said - it was the last comment from the audience that he wanted to come to City of Leeds but that he wouldn't if they said they were going to close the school. And they have been saying that for about seven years. And lots of people who had wanted to come, in the end changed their minds. Not, unpopular, Education Leeds, until you made it so.