THE school is under constant scrutiny. There is a little hothouse group of people who have always disliked the school because it is a symbol of something else they don't like. From the beginning, it attracted the hate of the right, possibly because it looked as if it might work.
An awful lot of myths circulated - that it was terribly posh, for example; people still think this is a posh school, but they've never visited it, never seen that it's an ordinary comprehensive.
It is also in an area where the largest percentage of young people in the country are privately educated. So there's always been the town and gown problem. In the early days, the school got letters from local residents complaining that children with cockney accents were walking their streets. It was a nave revelation of what they really objected to.
When I first heard about the school I thought great, and when I experienced it, I found it was exactly what I wanted. I really believed in the school. It offered the best education you could have found for four very different children, with each child able to develop his or her own self. I wanted my children to learn about the whole of society, both inside and outside the classroom. That's something you can't buy.Reuse content