There is a new attack on grammar schools that many are unaware of – starving them of cash. St. Bernard’s Catholic Grammar could be forced to become an academy by joining with St. Joseph’s Catholic Comprehensive. Strangely enough there is no money to repair or renovate the schools unless they become a super academy. So St. Bernard’s has to lose its selective status to be granted money by the government. This is a form of blackmail by this Labour Government. Hopefully a new Conservative government will sweep this form of educational vandalism aside.
Who wants this to happen? Quite frankly – hardly anybody, except the government (which has the money, which it will of course borrow) and the Northamptonshire Diocese (which has no money to help). Those who oppose the change include: virtually all the parents, the children, the teachers, the governors and prospective parents wishing to send their children to the school. In terms of results, this is the highest ranked school in Slough, beating all the other grammars in the area and the comprehensives (including academies).
Currently, there are only two Catholic grammar schools in the London area. However, St. Michael’s Catholic Grammar School in North London is a girls’ school. Therefore, St. Bernard’s is the only co-educational Catholic grammar and, if it changes to an academy, this will give parents less choice.