Praise where it’s due. St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Bury, has this week been highlighted for sending the highest number of its pupils to Oxbridge universities. We should all bask in the reflected glory from this impressive statistic.
An Oxbridge education is still very much a great start in life. Having worked in Cambridge myself for some 10 years, I know the real quality of candidates coming out of that particular seat of learning.
My thoughts went back, though, to my own secondary school and the number of pupils there who went to Oxbridge schools in the mid-1980s. There were two. They were the brainiest. We all enjoyed their success. They earned it.
But the real successes of any school can’t just be measured in the number of highest achievers – however laudable these achievements. Some of the successes are in seeing pupils struggle initially, respond to learning and then enjoy relatively mediocre success. We all have a part to play in that.
As a wise old headteacher told me: ‘It takes a whole community to raise a child’.